CityFolk, Festivals, Photography, Show Reviews, The Revue — September 21, 2015 at 7:30 am

CityFolk & Marvest from an Artist’s Point of View


I just played a set surrounded by olive oil vats and balsamic vinegars!

While The Unrefined Olive provided the savoury flavours, local musicians brought the melodic magic. I was lucky enough to be one of 60 local musicians selected to perform at this year’s Marvest, a new music festival on the margin of CityFolk, showcasing local musicians at different venues in the Glebe. As a quaint little space just off of Bank Street on Second Avenue, The Unrefined Olive is not your typical music venue, but it made for a unique experience.

Kristine St. Pierre - Marvest

As a folk artist living in Ottawa, playing at the Ottawa Folk Festival – rebranded as CityFolk – has long been a goal of mine. The festival – just like its Bluesfest counterpart, is known for supporting both emerging and more established local acts by providing them with the opportunity to present their music to new and larger audiences. But as the end of July came around and the programme was unveiled, I told myself I might have better luck next year. But to my surprise, I received an email a few weeks later and here I am.

Ken Kanwisher and Kristine St-Pierre.
Ken Kanwisher and Kristine St-Pierre at The Unrefined Olive for Marvest 2015.

I shared the afternoon with Danielle Allard, a local singer-songwriter with a unique style of jazz-infused folk-pop. This will sound cliche, but Danielle’s set felt like a breath of fresh air. Her beautiful voice paired with catchy melodies – I think I sang along to every song! She also played several covers – including crowd favourites like KT Tunstall. Her set definitely felt too short.

Danielle Allard playing at The Unrefined Olive as part of Marvest 2015.
Danielle Allard playing at The Unrefined Olive as part of Marvest 2015.
Danielle Allard playing at The Unrefined Olive as part of Marvest 2015.
Danielle Allard playing at The Unrefined Olive as part of Marvest 2015.

While I had met Danielle before, we had never performed together, and so we decided to give the audience a little surprise – a cover of Crazy by Gnarls Barkley. It’s always inspiring to see and hear other artists that are also your peers, but it’s even better when you can share your artistry. Unfortunately, I don’t think this was capture on video…so we may just have to do it again!

Kristine St-Pierre and Danielle Allard at The Unrefined Olive, Marvest 2015.  PC: Mike Carroccetto, @wildfiremike.
PC: Mike Carroccetto, @wildfiremike.


At the end of the day, I feel blessed to be an artist in this city and to be part of an amazing community of musicians and music supporters. I’m also very happy to have been part of the first CityFolk Marvest festival.




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One Comment

  1. This is lovely! Thank you so much for this. A pleasure to be a part of the festival and to work with you Kristine!

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