September 6th marks Labour Day in Canada – a holiday to celebrate the importance of unions and workers’ rights.
This year, Canadians have a deep understanding of the value and importance of the work of front line workers in services such as health care, retail and transportation who help keep us, our families and our communities safe and secure.
Join Gil’s Hootenanny in celebrating Labour Day 2021 by singing along with Steve Richer and Tamara Levine as they perform Woody Guthrie’s “You Gotta Go Down And Join The Union”, an adaptation of the traditional gospel song, “Lonesome Valley”.
Gil’s Hootenanny will be a feature story on the new WPBS current affairs program, ‘WPBS Weekly: Inside the Stories’, tonight (Tuesday, April 27th) at 7:30 pm. A 5-minute segment features Tamara Levine sharing the history of Gil’s Hootenanny and plans for the 2021 event. She also talks about her father, the inspiration for this annual May Day sing along. The PBS story will include footage from past Hootenannies.
WPBS Weekly: Inside the Stories can be viewed on Channel 97 on Rogers Cable and Channel 64 with a Rogers Digital Cable Box. If you are watching from outside Ottawa, please consult https://www.wpbstv.org/channel-listing/ for the channel in your area.
The video “Gil’s Hootenanny 2021: Singing Together Apart”, a retrospective of highlights of past Hootenannies along with some exciting new songs, will be released on May 1st at 4pm at https://gilshootenanny.ca/.
Since the first Gil’s Hootenanny in 2010, this May Day event has featured outstanding Canadian musicians leading sold-out audiences in singing songs of hope and protest which celebrate the stories, struggles and victories of working people. With an introduction by singer-songwriter and Gil’s team member Arthur McGregor, “Gil’s Hootenanny 2021: Singing Together Apart” is a selection of some of the best of these performances from the Gil’s archives. Emphasizing sing-along songs, the video encourages viewers to sing along with the performers, as if they were attending an in-person Hootenanny.
Among the performers featured in the video are Maria Dunn, Tony Turner, Chris White and Eve Goldberg. Other musicians will be announced next week.
Gil’s Hootenanny brings folks together to celebrate, share and sing about the stories, struggles and victories of working women and men. When Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) legend Gil Levine died at 85 in 2009, three words in his obituary, “plan a hootenanny”, began an Ottawa tradition that started in 2010 and continues to this day.
The 20 minute video “Voices for Change”, sponsored by Ottawa labour and employment firm Ravenlaw, documents the story of Gil’s Hootenanny and how the event has evolved from an annual May Day event into a catalyst for other contributions to Ottawa’s and Canada’s rich music scene.
A sold out audience sang and clapped their way through a rollicking 2018 Gil’s Hootenanny at the Clarke Room of the RA Centre on May 1st. Everyone, audience, performers and volunteers had a great time. Here are some highlights:
A Light of A Much Brighter Kind Finale
Solidarity We Bleed
Right Here Finale
We Shall Not Be Moved
See you all next year. Same day. Same time. Same place.