FOLK FEST PRIMER: Lorde, M. Ward, Lee Fields, and other make Chris Lackner’s must-see list

For its 20th anniversary, the Ottawa Folk Festival has expanded to five days for the first time (Sept. 10-14), leaving local fans with more musical options than ever before. Pop culture junkie Chris Lackner highlights the acts not to miss at this year’s festival.


M. Ward plays Sept. 10.

M. Ward plays Sept. 10.

M. Ward (Sept. 10) – The Wednesday night lineup features some big headliners in pop-rockers Foster the People and Blues Traveler. But low-fi, Americana troubadour, M. Ward, is the one not to miss. The talented producer and musician’s solo work sounds ageless, culling influences from folk, country, and gospel. But it’s Ward’s gravelly voice that truly resonates. Part of She & Him with Zooey Deschanel, Ward deservedly gets the chance to hog the spotlight when flying solo.

Lorde (Sept. 11) – The young electro-pop chanteuse has lorded over the music scene over the last year, practically taking it by storm with her debut Pure Heroine. Lorde breaks the female pop star mould. A darling of both critics and fans, she may be the most buzz-worthy name in this year’s lineup.


Lee Fields and the Expressions play Sept. 12.


Dailey & Vincent (Sept. 11) – They put the blue in Bluegrass. With stunning harmonies and a top-notch backing band, Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent will help many fans discover – or rediscover – the musical genre.

The National (Sept. 12) – The moody, introspective indie-rockers are one of the most talented band’s in the business – proving you can make intelligent rock music and still become a headliner. Matt Berninger’s deep, brooding, baritone vocals are pure magic.

Lee Fields and the Expressions (Sept. 12) – You got soul? The venerable North Carolina artist has been crafting R&B since 1969. The man is timeless.

Neutral Milk Hotel (Sept. 13) – The revered, experimental indie band have a cult-like following despite disbanding after their acclaimed 1998 album In The Aeroplane Over the Seas. In 2013, frontman Jeff Mangum and company announced a reunion tour with their entire 1998 lineup. Dreams do come true. This Milk will go down easy for lovers of bands like Arcade Fire and The Decemberists.

Couer de pirate plays

Coeur de pirate plays Sept. 14

The Strumbellas (Sept. 13) – The Canadian six-piece’s 2013 album, We Still Move on Dance Floors, was one of the year’s best. The indie-rockers fuse folk, country, and bluegrass to craft a stirring live show. Prepare for an assault of hollers, handclaps and harmonies.

The Lone Bellow (Sept. 14) – The Brooklyn country rockers play acoustic-based Americana as it was meant to be – with grit, earthiness and fire in the belly. Fans of The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons will find something to like. Fans of Johnny Cash and Hank Williams will too. (Fans of today’s plastic pop country stars need not apply).

Coeur de Pirate (Sept. 14) – Yes, the final day is chalk-full of headliners such as The Gaslight Anthem and Joss Stone, but one not to miss is spellbinding Quebec songstress Béatrice Martin – otherwise known as Couer de Pirate. The petite singer-songwriter has an unexpectedly powerful voice that could simultaneously break hearts and move mountains.










EVENTS: A-hoy Sailors! It’s National Capital Regatta weekend!

Photo by David Trattles

The National Capital Regatta, this weekend on August 9 & 10 at Britannia Yacht Club. Photo by David Trattles

All aboard
This year marks the 57th anniversary of the National Capital Regatta, which draws participants from as far away as Montreal and Toronto, as well as local sailing enthusiasts, to the Britannia Yacht Club. Held on August 9 and 10, it is considered a major event in the eastern Ontario sailing circuit, as well as one of the best multi-class regattas in Canada. Last year over 100 people took part. The fun, family-friendly weekend attracts sailors of all ages and abilities — plus plenty of water-loving spectators. “People are welcome to come down and watch the races,” says race chairman Tom Clairmont. Take in the action from the comfort of the clubhouse, or cheer on the racers from the water — just stay clear of the course itself.

On course
Races are craft-specific, and because the regatta is open to many kinds of boats, three courses are designed. For example, all Lasers compete in one course, three-person Y-Flyers compete in another, and a special course is designed for windsurfers. All races take place simultaneously, but each course has a designated race officer to watch out for actions, such as false starts, that might disqualify a crew. Inflatable red buoys mark the route but can be moved if winds change drastically. Each course takes between 20 and 40 minutes to complete, depending on conditions, and winners are based on best average rank over multiple races.

Watching the wind
Last year, very high winds on the first day of the regatta caused many of the larger boats to capsize. On the second day, the opposite occurred: low winds left some boats with nothing to fill their sails and some needed to be towed to shore. That’s part of the thrill of the weekend, but it can be an organizer’s worst nightmare. The event gives the Britannia club a chance to iron out the kinks in their course for the 24-foot sailing yachts before hosting the world championships in 2015.

Photo by David Trattles

Photo by David Trattles

THE (WET) WEEKENDER: 5 watery events happening in and around Ottawa this summer


Photo by Rod Beauprie for Bring on the Bay.

Photo by Rod Beauprie for Bring on the Bay.

Bring on the Bay 3K Swim
July 12
For the eighth year, swimmers of all levels will take part in the Bring on the Bay 3k Open Water Swim. Proceeds from the event go to Easter Seals Ontario, which raises money for children with physical disabilities. Registration from $50. Nepean Sailing Club, 3259 Carling Ave.,


The Ultimate S.U.P. Challenge
July 18-20
The Ultimate Stand Up Paddle Challenge at Owl Rafting in nearby Forester Falls is the first of its kind in Canada. All levels of stand-up paddleboarders are invited to take part in whitewater and flatwater races. Cash prizes total $2,500, and clinics with instructor Dan Gavere will be big draw. A portion of reg- tration fees will go to Lupus Ontario. Registration from $45. 40 Owl Lane, Foresters Falls, 801-554-2236,

The starting line of the Morrisburg Tubie race. Photo by David Trattles.

The starting line of the Morrisburg Tubie race. Photo by David Trattles.

Tubie Festival
Aug. 2-3
At one point, the much-loved Tubie Festival was in danger of being cancelled. Luckily, the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce swooped in and saved the day. So blow up your homemade watercraft, and head to Morrisburg for a fun weekend of tube races and family fun. Free. Waterfront Park, Morrisburg, 613-543-3982,

National Capital Regatta
Aug. 9-10
The National Capital Regatta is one of the oldest annual events of its kind in eastern Ontario. Over one weekend, the Britannia Yacht Club hosts a number of friendly compe- titions between novice and experi- enced sailors alike on a range of sailboats. There will be three separate courses for those who want to hone their skills; see page 37 for more information. Registration from $80. 2777 Cassels St., 613-828-5167,

Dunrobin Kids of Steel Race
Aug. 25
Sanctioned by Triathlon Ontario, Kids of Steel (KOS) races give children and youth the opportunity to try out the popular sports event in a fun and safe environment — the open-water swim is in the Ottawa River; the bike race is along well-paved, closed roads; and the run is through fields and on dirt roads. $50. 1620 Sixth Line Rd., 613-323-5255,

SOUND SEEKERS: Festival season begins!

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani   

SABphoto crop

 Dave Forcier, Steve Adamyk, Davey Quesnelle. Steve Adamyk Band play Club SAW June 14 for Ottawa Explosion

Ottawa Explosion kicks things off, plus a new track from Steve Adamyk Band

Festival season is upon us. The following weeks offer plenty of opportunities to catch live music. The bouncing and beer-drinking starts with the annual punk fest known as Ottawa Explosion.

At that festival, which takes place June 12-15 at about 10 different venues in the city, you can catch a number of punk/grunge/rawk acts, including hometowners The Steve Adamyk Band.

The trio’s new album is called Dial Tone and their label, Dirtnap Records, recently posted this new tune called “Crash Course in Therapy.” Check it out. It’s a minute-and-a-half of Gabba Gabba goodness from the band’s fourth album, to be released July 1.

See the Steve Adamyk Bank at Club SAW Saturday, June 14 and find the full Ottawa Explosion lineup here .

On the subject of concert lineups, we took an office poll of Ottawa Magazine editors for hot picks from this year’s festival rosters. Here’s who we want to see.

Ottawa Explosion: Steve Adamyk Band, Big Dick, Pookie & the Poodlez, Mother’s Children, Kappa Chow

Westfest: Fevers, A Tribe Called Red, The Peptides, Pony Girl

Ottawa Jazz Festival: Austra, DJ Rekha, The Bad Plus does Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Bela Fleck & Brooklyn Rider, Holly Cole, Colin Stetson, Sandra Nkake, Socalled, Aretha Franklin

Bluesfest: Sly & Robbie, Drive By Truckers, St. Vincent, Andrew Bird, Blondie, The Killers

Ottawa Folk Fest: Lorde, Jill Zmud, M. Ward, Wooden Sky, Lora Bidner, The Milk Carton Kids.

What are you seeing on the live circuit this summer? Comment here or tweet us @ottawamag

SNAPSHOT: Photos from the launch of the 10th annual Ottawa Mag Interiors issue at Alteriors

The bright blue cover image beckoned revellers — including artists, architects, writers, photographers, builders, and others from the community — to Alteriors, a snazzy modern furniture store in Old Ottawa South. Inside, a bright yellow wall, as well as sushi from Festival Japan, Balderson cheese, treats from Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut, and Broadhead beer, made for a spirited evening of socializing.

There wasn’t a speech to say as much, but the issue marked the tenth anniversary of Ottawa Magazine‘s blockbuster Interiors issue, which has grown from 80 pages to over 160 pages of breathtaking photography and intriguing editorial. Used to be that you had to travel to Toronto or Montreal to experience great design; the Interiors issue proves this is no longer the case.

Here’s to all the people who continue to make this possible! From the architects who design amazing spaces to the people who tell their stories to the advertisers who support our vision — cheers!


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