Arts

GSAÉD-owned restaurant to bring local and international artists to U of O campus

Photo: Marta Kierkus

Café Nostalgica, the Graduate Student Association (GSAÉD) owned and operated restaurant, has been an integral part of the University of Ottawa’s community for over twenty years.

This fall, the restaurant is looking to expand outside of the student community and make itself an essential part of the Ottawa arts and culture scene.

The restaurant will be partnering with local promoters to bring an exciting lineup of both local and international artists to the U of O campus.

“We have a lot of opportunity and talent in this city, and it’s a matter of being able to showcase it. It’s a great opportunity to bring students and locals together, and that’s where we’re focusing our attention,” said Esmeralda Smith Romero, events coordinator for Café Nostalgica.

The first event stemming from this partnership is Endless Summer, which took place on Sept. 5, featuring Matías Muñoz, also known as DJ T, a local music promoter and DJ, and the founder of Ottawa Showbox, a website that covers local music.

When a former venue closed, Muñoz began to search for new opportunities for his local music promotion company.

“I looked at it as an opportunity,” says Muñoz. “One door closes and another opens. I’ve always wanted to put on shows on campus and tap into the student market. There’s such a huge population here of people that love music, who want to go to shows and have fun. It was an easy decision for me, for sure.”

Smith Romero says she is looking forward to providing students with only high quality shows. Upcoming events at the restaurant feature artists from Ottawa, the Yukon, Los Angeles, Toronto, and San Francisco.

“We’re trying to put Ottawa on the map as much as possible. Right in the middle of Toronto and Montreal, it’s a perfect opportunity.”

Muñoz agrees that the project will be opening doors that have yet to exist in Ottawa, and especially at the university. “This is expanding outside the bubble of campus. People view campus as this insular thing, but it’s not and it shouldn’t be. We’re bridging that gap between typical downtown Ottawa and where we are.”

The project, which currently has events scheduled up until November, uniquely combines a variety of niches with a central location, established venue, and a collection of progressive artists. With a new bar and stage being installed at the restaurant by the end of the semester, the space will be more than ready to welcome many more musicians throughout the year.