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Photo: Terry Steeves/Apt613

Gig Photos: Westfest—Day 1

By Terry Steeves on June 9, 2018


Day one of Westfest packed the Tom Brown Arena & Park grounds on a beautiful Friday night. Entertainment included a cultural array of musical artists and dancers that reflected Westfest’s mandate of showcasing numerous artistic disciplines.

The late afternoon began with drumming/singing artists, Every Woman’s Drum, followed by Anishinaabe singer/spoken-word artist, Leonard Sumner; Ottawa’s own DJ/producer and Inuit throat singers, Silla + Rise; the soulful vocals and poetic lyrics of Witch Prophet; and the contemporary dance moves of dancer/choreographer, Artin Avaznia.

The performances ended with a resounding deejay mash-up of clubhouse and First Nation musical magic, hosted by DJ and producer Bear Witness, who is also a member of A Tribe Called Red. In a picturesque scene, powwow dancers filled the stage, while the crowd young and old danced along as the sun went down behind the Tom Brown Arena.

The party moved from the grounds and up to the arena’s fully accessible second floor, where the Westfest Dance After Party drew in those who weren’t ready to go home just yet.

Westfest celebrates their 15th Anniversary from Friday June 8 to Sunday June 10 at Tom Brown Arena and Park, located at 141 Bayview Road. Westfest is a free and inclusive music/arts festival. For more information, please visit