Hey everyone,

1 day before Nationals is super crazy. Between getting paperwork and late minute blog entries, but I’m super pumped for the experience. For our first blog assignment we were asked to pick something about our city that is unique and makes people want to come. Ottawa has so many amazing things, and most of the time people are inclined to talk about the canal or parliament buildings.

My friends and I (Kendra, myself and Jessica) all skating on the canal.

My friends and I (Kendra, myself and Jessica) all skating on the canal.

Skating on the canal is wonderful and visiting the parliament building is a super unique experience however it’s something that once you have done it once or twice it gets very old. So I decided to choose something that brings people from near and far but also excited the locals year after year: Ottawa Bluesfest.

Bluesfest originally started catering to blues bands (a style very similar to jazz… however not to be confused with the jazz festival). It has since branched out for there, this year bringing in bands such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alessia Cara, Brad Paisley and so much more. The volunteer positions for Bluesfest are all gone within a few days of posting. Student tickets will be sold out months before the show and there is always a huge line outside of the Bluesfest Office.

There are bands for everyone, as well as 50/50 draws, concession or food and merchandise. This year the merchandise was created by KANIA, an Ottawa based design company that features two main designers; Stacy and Arfie. I had the pleasure of meeting them earlier this week and I was then asked to come out a model and help sell some of their merchandise. Naturally I was thrilled. Take Me To The Place I Love!

And what energy! From the moment you enter Bluesfest, there are a million people all with their own individual stories and through the crowd you’ll find you’ll meet many.

I met one family who has travelled form Sweden to come and see Brad Paisley at Bluffest. Another little girl came to see Alessia Cara (couldn’t have been more than 8 years old). And became fascinated with the way that Arfie was cutting shirts. So we worked together to let her help up create the fridge for one of the shirts. That little girl is going to grow up to be a designer one day!

I got to meet up with one lady who had created a abound with her husband and were driving back home that night to perform the next night. it was great to see local bands wearing local Ottawa made and designed shirts.

Loved meeting this super hip Classic Rock Band!

Loved meeting this super hip Classic Rock Band!

Also just meeting the other volunteers and hearing their story and what brought them o Bluesfest. As a people person, this is why I love bluffest. And seeing the concerts live is just remarkable. Being what seems like face toffee with your favourite artists all in your own home town really makes the experience just so much more enjoyable. And with semi-easy bus service after most concerts it makes getting home simple (most of the time).

Love the volunteers at Bluesfest! Great Stories, Great Company!

Love the volunteers at Bluesfest! Great Stories, Great Company!

All in all Bluesfest is a blast, though it was originally for a very specific group of music, I love how it has branched out and touched so many people in the Ottawa area and beyond.

Stay tuned for more stories like this form Nationals.

Cheers,

Samantha

Miss Teenage Ottawa 2016

Written by: Samantha

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