2 min

Ladyfest Ottawa set to showcase women’s work

Females who rock and who want to rock harder

The original Ladyfest no longer happens, but local versions of the female-focussed fest have flourished worldwide, from Atlanta to Leipzig.

Inspired by the original event, held in Olympia, Washington in 2000, Ottawa women have been banding together for the past three years to celebrate females who rock – or who want to learn to rock harder.

“It’s to present female, independent artists and give them a safe place to present their work, for musicians and also some video artists,” explains organizing committee member Gidget Hornak. “At the same time we have workshops to help create dialogue within the community and also give people a chance to learn.”

For example, Hornak points to workshops that introduce women to instruments like the bass guitar or drums.

“A lot of times girls might feel too afraid to have a chance to play on the drums,” says Hornak,”and this just gives them a safe place to start learning things.”

The festival is about more than independent music however. An eclectic mix of workshops are offered over the weekend, including a session on politicizing your pride and another, presented by Venus Envy, on household items that can double as sex toys.

There will, of course, be bands and other auditory oddities. A number of queer groups and performers will participate, including Montreal’s Lesbians on Extacy, as well as three Toronto groups – Kids on TV, The Jane Waynes and spoken word group Trash And Ready.

Ladyfest kicks off on Thu, Sep 16 with a video/film screening of work by independent creators. The feature presentation will be selections from the work of Sadie Benning.


Thu, Sep 16 – Sun, Sep 19.

Thu, Sep 16: Kickoff and Film/video screening. 7-9pm. Club SAW (67 Nicholas St).

• Fri, Sep 17: Concert. Wendy Atkinson, Trash and Ready (spoken word), A Vertical Mosaic, Kids on TV and Lesbians on Extacy. 6:30pm. Club SAW.

• Sat, Sep 18: Workshops throughout the day at Club SAW. Concert: The Hussies, Cougar Party and Les Sequelles. 8pm. Irene’s Pub (885 Bank St).

• Sun, Sep 19: Workshops throughout the day at Club SAW. Concert: The Platonics, Yael Wand, Rae Spoon and The Jane Waynes. 6:30pm. Club SAW.

Tickets: Events $10/door. Workshops $3. Festival Pass $30 (events, workshops and food).

Available at mother tongue books (1067 Bank St), Organized Sound (591-A Bank St) and Venus Envy (110 Parent Av).