Marvest makes a move

Marvest is celebrating five years of presenting local acts in unique venues such as Kunstadt Sports. Photo: Gilles Vezina

Every year the CityFolk music festival celebrates local music with a free festival of talent in unconventional venues up and down Bank Street in the Glebe.

Inspired by the South by Southwest takeover of Austin, Texas, Marvest has booked 70 bands from the Ottawa-area for a weekend of music next month. 

That is the largest number of performers so far to take part in a Marvest festival, said Emma Francis, who co-ordinates the project for the Ottawa Bluesfest and CityFolk team.

“This is the biggest Marvest celebration to-date with 70 acts and 87 performances. To give you an idea of the festival’s growth – even just within the span of one year, Marvest 2017 featured 52 acts and 70 performances. It’s great to see the festival growing,” she said.

Many of them are new to the event, something Francis endorses.
“While Marvest does program established local acts, we feel the festival serves as a great platform to showcase emerging talent in the community. We have also noticed an increase in youth applicants over the last few years and are proud to showcase a number of those new artists this year.”
This year, for the first time and to mark 25 years of the folk festival, Marvest will feature four ticketed concerts:

• Jack Pine and the Fire on Sept. 7 at St. Giles Church, 729 Bank St. 

• The Trews (unplugged) Sept. 8 at the Fourth Avenue Baptist Church;

• Kelly Prescott, Ball & Chain and Ali McCormick at St. Giles on Sept. 14:

• Finest Kind, The Welsh Tornado, James Stephens, MOONFRUITS, Julie Corrigan and Campbell Woods, St. Giles on Sept. 15.

“We wanted to do something special for CityFolk’s 25th Anniversary,” Francis said.
Two shows Sept. 14 and 15 reflect the mix of music at the festival with country and folk musicians performing. She explained that the artists performing in those shows had a long history with the festival.
“The artists performing at the Country Gems and Folk Gems showcases were selected in large part for their involvement with CityFolk over the years or for their involvement within their respective artistic communities,” she added.

Francis offered the names of some acts worth watching:

“We are excited to present all of our Marvest performers this year. Some newer acts on the bill that we are excited about, who have been developing their sound over the last few years, include: lounge lizard mirage rockers Casa Lagarto; youth alt-rockers O Neptune; punk band dubé; experimental jazz singer Muzzy Legault and indie “space folk” artist Mountain Eyes, who have just released his debut album in 2018!

The list of local bands is extensive and a testament to the vitality of the local scene. Here is some of the lineup: 

 A Leverage For Mountains; Adam Ferris; Alexis Neon; All Day Breakfast; Almost Kennedy; Archy The Cockroach; Audrey Saparno; Beats’n Keys; Brad Sucks; Casa Lagarto; Chas Guay; Christine Jakel; Cody Allen; Colibri; Crystalena; Dan Kelly; David daCosta; D.B Cohen; Double Magnum; Dreamshell; dubé; Dylan Holton; Fiddlehead Soup; Fonts; Gentlemen of the Woods; Greathunter; ilvekyo; Joe Brownrigg and the Saturday Nights; Jon Creeden; Jonathan Becker; Josephine Leone; Justin Ralph; Krista Hartman; Kristine St Pierre; Kurtis Adamus; Kyle Burghout; Kyle Ivan; Lake Urmia; Lost to the River; Mabel Beggs; Mosely; Mountain Eyes; Muzzy Legault; Nebraska; Nighttime In Kansas; Nile Groove; No Fly List; No Hits; Old Man Grant; O Neptune; Onionface; Rainwater Whiskey; Rebelle; Remaclara; Renée Landry; ‘Sing Song Party Time’ with Derek McKinley; Sleepy and the Noise; Steve St. Pierre; Still Winter Hills; Sweet Rocket; The Dark Slacks; The Dustbowl Daddies; The Ethics; The Obsidians; The Opposite Point of Life; The Reverb Syndicate; The Vaneglory Farm; Tiffany Schilkie; Ty Hall and Winchester Warm.  

Marvest is Sept. 14 and 15. For more

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Peter Robb began his connection with the arts community in Ottawa in the mid-1980s when he was the administrator and public relations director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company. After a long career in journalism with the Ottawa Citizen where he served in a number of different posts he returned to the arts when he became the Citizen's arts editor.