The city of Ottawa recently hosted the annual and highly-anticipated Tim Horton’s Dragon Boat Festival. Twenty-three years since the festival’s inception, it has developed international acclaim, drawing 150 teams from across North America. Besides the competition on the water, it raises funds for the betterment of the Ottawa community via supporting charitable organizations in the area. To complement the event, there are fun activities for the family, including our favourites – free concerts in the evening! This year’s event, which was held from June 22 through 26 at Mooney’s Bay Park, featured three nights of music.
On the first night, Ontario’s indie foursome The Elwins lead off the evening, followed by Vancouver-based Said The Whale. As the sun’s glow set on the horizon, they were all smiles on the stage. The Sheepdogs rounded out the evening, drawing an appreciable crowd to the hillside, for some embroidered shirts, wide leg pants and good ol’ rock and roll.
Ottawa’s Kalle Mattson took the lead on night 2 with The Zolas following. You could tell that the Vancouver-based band were a crowd favourite. For example, a concertgoer made his own band shirt while the crowd passionately pleaded for “one more song” after the band’s time slot had expired. Dear Rouge closed the evening, keeping the hillside happy despite the arrival of rain mid-set. Wearing a sequins studded coat and cutout black bodysuit, Danielle McTaggart dominated the stage with her presence.
The final evening featured four bands, kicking off with local bands Twin Flames and Kasador. Despite the rain, the stage shifted to a tropical feel with glowing palm trees, neon pink signs and a stuffed parrot in the percussion. The poncho-wearing crowd got their groove going to The Darcys. The attendance grew steadily as Half Moon Run closed the night. Thankfully the rain paused as the energy in the air was electric during their set.
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