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Marc-Antoine Joly and Céleste Lévis. Photo: Iain Murphy/Rogers TV.

Secret concerts fill Shenkman Hall with #ottmusic again—virtual series launches Feb. 26

By Apartment613 on February 19, 2021





16 shows taped at Harold Shenkman Hall begin airing on Feb. 26 via YouTube

Seiiizi, Harea Band, Mischa, Céleste Lévis, and Pony Girl are just some of the 16 Ottawa music acts that were booked to play a secret series of concerts behind closed doors at the Shenkman Arts Centre in Fall 2020. At the time, Ottawa was in an “Orange” zone of COVID-19 restrictions, so in front of 500 empty seats, the artists performed for a small camera crew with support of the venue’s pro technical staff backstage and in the wings.

Produced by the Shenkman Arts Centre, Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC), and Rogers TV Ottawa, the new music showcase was only recently announced by OMIC on social media:


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A page of production safety notes describes how the Rogers TV camera crew used cranes and robotic cameras to shoot the performers from a distance.

Apartment613 was there too! Albeit in another theatre at the Shenkman Arts Centre—so we’re actually seeing these concerts for the first time when you do, if you tune into the series premiere via YouTube. After their sets, one musician from each project stopped by Apt613’s pop-up studio in the Richcraft Theatre for short video interviews we shot from a safe distance of about 25 feet.

Behind the scenes of a pop-up interview studio in Shenkman Arts Centre’s Richcraft Theatre.

“Designed to meet the needs of local musicians whose opportunities to perform and record are drastically limited by the necessary COVID-19 safety measures, these high-quality video showcases will give Ottawa acts the opportunity to develop new audiences both locally and abroad,” says Jamie Kwong, OMIC’s Executive Director.

Following a one-hour TV special and YouTube Watch Party to launch the series on Friday, Feb. 26, the 16 concerts will air in full on Rogers TV (cable and free streaming) in weekly double-headers through spring 2021.

The Lineup

Tune into the live series premiere via YouTube on Friday, February 26 at 8pm. RSVP for updates via Facebook. Visit for the complete schedule of concerts.