Bringing a Musical Harvest to the Masses

By Christine Séguin — Tue, 15/09/2015 - 13:11

Yes, it’s good to get away. These days words such as ‘wanderlust’ seem to permeate our discourse and it seems as though it could be easy to take our home for granted.  While yes, there are few things more exciting than road tripping to that festival in the sweltering southern desert, or spending five expensive days on a hipster pilgrimage in Texas, there is something to be said about celebrating your talented neighbours then going home to sleep in your own bed.

The Marvest Festival is aptly named as it is a musical harvest of local talent, craft beer and food. The event will be running from September 16 to 22 in various locations along Bank Street.  Foodies, music lovers and craft beer drinkers will be able to wander the Glebe all while enjoying the best that our city’s musicians, artisans and tastemakers have to offer. Inspired by Austin’s SXSW, the Marvest Festival looks to present Ottawa with a feast of locally produced music, food and drink- everything from within 100 miles of the region. The event is an offshoot the newly renamed and relocated CityFolk Festival.

I spoke with Marvest project manager Samantha Everts about this celebration of all things local.  “We have exceptional music talent in Ottawa and we thought we would take the opportunity to celebrate what we have in our own back yard.”  With the help of the Glebe BIA, several businesses in the Glebe will be participating by hosting some of the concerts and offering specials and discounts on their products. These venues include Octopus Books, House of Targ and Black Squirrel books. In an interesting twist, The Unrefined Olive will be participating as a venue by paring olive oil and balsamic tastings with the performing artists.  

In the spirit of harvesting and supporting local talent, the Marvest Festival created an album release program to assist local bands in producing and releasing new work.  Out of dozens of submissions, nine artists were chosen and will be performing their new work from Thursday to Sunday at the Aberdeen Pavillion. Some of these artists include Moonfruits, Ilvekyo and Loon Choir. “I am so excited to see the people who are releasing their albums,” added Everts. “I’ve seen and supported some of the bands throughout the years like The Split and The Hornettes while there are others I have yet to see and look forward to getting to know like Lost Cousins.”

Many of the events at Marvest are curated by local tastemakers in Ottawa such as yours truly, Couch Assassin. Our curated event will be held on Friday, September 18 at the FarmTeam Cookhouse and Bar. Andrew Lacelle,Couch Assassin’s Promotions Manager is looking forward to the event.  ‘When the invite came through for Marvest I was skeptical about the whole idea. After sitting down with Mark Monahan and Samantha and the whole Marvest team, I understood their idea on what Marvest was going to be. Bringing Marvest to Cityfolk and using the event to showcase local musicians was an amazing idea. I am proud to be part of Marvest and I am proud that we have such an amazing showcase of talent that shows the diversity of music in the city.”

The best way to enjoy the festival is to download the Marvest App, which lists the schedule of events, venues and specials that will be available. Go out and explore the rich crop of artists and businesses our community has to offer. We hope this is only the beginning of a great new Ottawa tradition.

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