Photo: Parker Townes.
Reading Time: 1 minute

Glebe venues host intimate shows with local bands

The Marvest festival—an annual offshoot of CityFolk— took place on Sept. 16 and 17 in the Glebe.

Though Marvest is not very well-known, even by the locals, it’s growing in exposure. This charming—and free—festival was filled with a number of up-and-coming local musicians, further showcasing Ottawa’s underrated music scene.

The action started on Friday, when Jessica Wedden, a 15 year-old fiddler and 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee wowed the crowd from The Papery on Bank St. with her musical prowess and unique approach. The festival continued on Saturday with local singer-songwriter Templeton Grey at Metro Music, who delivered an enjoyable performance while showing off his Leonard Cohen and Don McLean-inspired style. Then Steph La Rochelle—one of 10 Canadian Female Emerging Artists who performed at RBC Bluesfest, and a television and film actress—displayed her incredible voice with a number of original songs and acoustic covers.  

The day continued with 15 year-old Jaycee Lauren at Aroma Espresso Bar, a wonderful singer who accompanied herself on guitar, and put on a talented show that delighted the crowd.

Festivals like Marvest prove that Ottawa is not just a boring government city, but does in fact have a music scene that is growing and thriving. Marvest is only one in a long line of opportunities to watch high-quality live music in Ottawa, where the scene is unique from many other Canadian cities.

“(Ottawa’s music scene) is very accessible, unlike Vancouver, where I live, which is extremely bloated,” said Grey.

Marvest is a testament to that accessibility, showcasing talented, local artists in small stores and bars around the Glebe, free and open to absolutely everyone. Marvest is an excellent starting point if you are interested in exploring Ottawa’s continually growing and extremely underrated live music scene.