Tim Horton’s Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival 2018 was recently held in the Nation’s capital. Having been in existence for a quarter century, the Festival has cultivated quite a following, drawing 200 teams from across North America. The sporting event hosts races in competitive, corporate, and community categories, and the Foundation raises funds to support local charitable organizations. The event is family friendly and has activities for all ages, including free concerts each evening. This year’s event, which took place from June 21 through 24 at Mooney’s Bay Park, featured four nights of music. For the 25th Anniversary, the Festival’s lineup was overflowing with notable talent.
On night one, Toronto’s M.T. Walker launched the music portion, followed by local favourites Amos the Transparent. Oshawa’s rock duo Crown Lands really impressed with their blistering performance and impressive hair flips. The evening concluded strongly with Canadian rockers Sam Roberts Band.
Halifax’s Gianna Lauren started off the second evening, and Hamilton alt-pop band, Ellevator, followed, sharing songs from their debut self-titled EP plus with a stunning cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill”. Dizzy‘s set was an impressive collection of dream-pop and a wonderful Festival discovery. Closing out the second night were Broken Social Scene, possibly setting a record for the number of performers on the stage at one time. A great finish to the Friday night !
On Saturday, Ottawa’s folk duo Old Man Grant kicked things off in the afternoon followed by Wakefield’s band-on-the-rise Rebelle. The early evening included with performances by Festival stalwarts Fast Romantics and Hollerado. Though the weather was somewhat inclement, the rain ceased before the evening was closed out by Halifax’s Wintersleep.
Sunday marked the end of the Festival and the popular Craig Cardiff started things off. He was followed by Rory Taillon and Midnight Vesta. Toronto’s Birds of Bellwoods made the crowd forget the drizzle with their folk-pop. Under the most magnificent rainbow, Matt Mays took the stage to close the event. The last time he performed in Ottawa at the Aberdeen Pavillion the venue was so packed some fans could not get in to see him, so a return visit was more than welcome.
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