Although the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every economic sector in the
country, there’s no question it has dispropor-tionately impacted the arts and entertainment sector.
Acting and dance companies have been unable to perform in front of a live audience for nearly a year. Festivals have been canceled, galleries have been closed and although some professional sports have resumed, they have done so in empty arenas and stadiums.
Concert venues have also been closed for nearly a year, forcing musicians to seek out audiences on YouTube and other social media platforms. The trickle-down impact this has had on the industry is unimaginable, affecting everyone from theatre technicians and concession attendants to the musicians them-selves.
In an effort to support Ottawa musicians during this challenging time, the city’s recreation cultural and facility services department organized a series of concerts in collaboration with the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition. These concerts were taped behind closed doors at the Shenkman Arts Centre in the fall.
The Encore Ottawa series premiered on Rogers Channel 22 and was rebroadcast on March 1 and 2. Each of the 16 acts performed one song each on the show which doubled as a teaser for the rest of the series.
Future performances will be broadcast every Friday night starting March 12 and simultaneously live-streamed on the Rogers TV website at rogerstv.com.
The performances were recorded over a number of days using Shenkman Arts Centre stage and sound technicians. The project granted artist fees to more than 40 professional musicians who made up the 18 acts through Ontario Creates and the Ottawa Music Development Fund. The tapings also generated weeks of work for the Art Centre’s technical staff.
The live tapings adhered to the health and safety guidelines of Ottawa Public Health and the Province of Ontario at all times.
The Ottawa region was in the Orange-Restrict zone at the time of the tapings.
Here is the schedule with broadcast dates:
• March 12 Andrew Casara/Taming Sari
• March 19 Celéste Lévi/CHRISSY
• March 26 Harea Band/Chrystalena
• April 2 IAMSOULFUL/KAR33M
• April 9 Jess Wedden/Rosalyn Dennett
• April 16 Marie-Clo/Mischa
• April 23 Sing Song Part Time/
• April 30 Pony Girl/Seiiizi
Each performance will be rebroadcast on the following Monday and Tuesday.