Ottawa RBC Bluesfest 2016: THE Music Festival To Attend & Support


Music is something that I think lives inside all of us. You don’t have to be musically inclined to appreciate it and or connect with others through it. Music can lift you up, transport you back in time, be a motivator while exercising, and even make you cry.  From infancy right through to old age, music is somehow a part of all of our lives.

I use music as a way to de-stress and unwind. I listen to music on my commute to and from work. And sometimes even during the day at work. I even have playlists for when friends come over. It may sound funny to say but music plays a big role in my work / life balance.

Even though I really enjoy listening to all sorts of music genres nothing beats seeing my favorite performers live on stage. I love the energy that I get from of the crowd around me, everyone singing along and enjoying the atmosphere. And I cherish the memories afterwards and relive them in my mind when I hear certain songs played on the radio.

I feel very fortunate to be living in the Ottawa region and to be able to attend and enjoy one of the top-ten music festivals in the world, (according to Billboard Magazine), The Ottawa RBC Bluesfest. The countdown is on! It starts on July 7th and goes until July 17th.

This year I will be going on 5 separate dates, and I will be seeing Billy Idol, Duran Duran, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Brad Paisley and The Cult. Yes – a pretty varied music range and except for Brad Paisley, they are all ones that I grew up listening too. I am very excited and feel like a teenager (ish) all over again… but I like to think I dress better now than I did back then.

The Ottawa RBC Bluesfest has something for everyone! They have an amazing line up this year. Some other artists include; Alessia Cara, Nelly, Sam Hunt, The Lumineers, and many many more. (You can see the full list of artists here.)

The Ottawa RBC Bluesfest started in 1994 and has grown from a one stage, three day event to a multi stage two week music festival featuring the best talent locally, nationally and internationally. Bluesfest has a very diverse scope and incorporates a lot of variety of music genres.

Why am I promoting Bluesfest?

Besides the benefits of listening to music and attending a great music festival, Bluesfest as an organization does some really great work. I love to help promote and support organizations that give back and help others. They are a non-profit charitable organization with a great mission, vision and attitude. Their motto is;

We Do Good Things

How do they do good things? Bluesfest has a few programs. One of their award winning initiatives is called ‘Blues in the Schools’.

Blues in the Schools started in the Ottawa area in 1999. It has grown significantly since then. Each spring visiting artists/educators and local musicians deliver the Blues in the Schools program to thousands of students in Ottawa schools, contributing hundreds of hours of in-class instruction over a two-week period. The goal is to get students involved and communicating through music.

Another initiative that is funded by Bluesfest is called ‘Be in the Band’.

Be in the Band helps to reach at risk youth in various communities. They provide music lessons, equipment and mentoring to students aged 11-17 that could not otherwise afford music lessons. Bluesfest provides 10 to 12 weeks of semi-private music lessons.

Plus Bluesfest has other initiatives too; BSOMA (Bluesfest School of Music and Art) and Festival House.

With so many schools cutting back on extra programs, such as music, it is amazing to see Bluesfest’s passion and how they want to open up the world of music to everyone, especially the young. Music is so important for children and for teenagers too. Not just for the pleasure and beauty of it, but there is a correlation with children that learn music at a young age and improved cognition and math skills.

How can you help support Bluesfest?

One easy way is to attend the festival. They have a great line up, and by attending you are helping to support all the programs that Bluesfest puts together year round. So by being at Bluesfest you are doing good work too! Buy your tickets here. Don’t miss out!!

If you do attend the Ottawa RBC Bluesfest, another way to show your support is by purchasing commemorative posters. They will be available on site and are works of art. Proceeds help support the Blues In The Schools.

I hope to see you there! 

RBC Bluesfest Be In The Band Alert

What: Bluesfest Musical Instrument Drive
When: Ongoing (except during the festival in July)
Where: Instruments can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays (except during the festival in July), at RBC Bluesfest HQ (Festival House), 450 Churchill Ave., N. (Mezzanine Level), Ottawa.
Why: To join the RBC Bluesfest organization in sharing the joy of music! Community donates used instruments for children in need


Photo Credit: Bluesfest


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