RBC Bluesfest ‘Be In The Band’ is back at GNAG

The RBC Bluesfest “Be In The Band” program was first launched in partnership with GNAG in January 2009 as a pilot project. The program put together youth musicians (ages 11 to 17) to form a rock band. The festival organizer recruited professional local musicians to mentor the teens and provide all the necessary backline equipment so they could truly enjoy a high-quality ensemble experience.

When the idea was first introduced to us, GNAG created a rehearsal space at the St. James Tennis Clubhouse during the winter months. The venue was perfect!

The pilot project was so well received that the initiative was extended to other locations throughout Ottawa. After a two-year hiatus, we are very excited to see this program back at GNAG.

This year the RBC’s Bluesfest “Be In The Band” will feature Pass The Vibe under the instruction of local artist Kimberly Sunstrum.

Pass the Vibe consists of five young band members who play a variety of instruments. They did not know each other before signing up for the program. Over the winter months, they worked on several musical numbers which will be performed at this summer’s Bluesfest.

There will be a showcase at the Glebe Community Centre on Tuesday, April 26 at 7 p.m.. Feel free to come and support local youth talent.

Kimberly Sunstrum (who performs professionally under the name OK Naledi) is a Queer Afro-Canadian singer-songwriter from the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Blending profound vocals with heartfelt lyrics, Sunstrum’s music delves into topics like family, race, feminism, queerness and the ways these multidimensional identities influence how we navigate the world.

RBC Bluesfest’s “Be In The Band” program is an opportunity for young musicians to play in a rock band. After a two-year hiatus, the program is back this year.   Photo: Courtesy of GNAG

GNAG’s spring grass roots soccer

Remember the days when you drove by Chamberlain field on a Thursday evening and saw crowds of children in bright-coloured tee-shirts zipping around the field kicking soccer balls? That was the trademark for GNAG’s Spring Soccer program.

This grass-roots program is a huge neighbourhood highlight every spring. The league is designed for children three years of age to Grade 6. In years past, we’ve had hundreds of players and parent coaches on the field. Half time was about orange wedges, group cheers, team huddles and play strategies.

It was also a giant social event for the whole family. Younger siblings kicked the ball on the sidelines while parents cheered for their team! It was fun and entertaining to watch the young players running around the field in giant clusters. Parents often refer it to as “herding cats.”

After two years off because of the pandemic, GNAG soccer is back again. This is a great opportunity to come out and play with your kids. It’s fun, it’s only one night a week and it’s a great way to connect with neighbours again.

Games are played at Chamberlain field and at Glebe Memorial Park (aka Glendale Park) and they are only among GNAG teams. Every player receives equal attention and playing time. We encourage a winning effort and fair play. We keep score during games, but not over the season. Registration has begun at GNAG.ca.

GNAG Spring fundraisers/special events

GNAG has two back-to-back spring events that you don’t want to miss!

Online Trivia night is back for another round April 29. Tickets are now on sale at GNAG.ca. Buy a team ticket (8 players or more) for $175 or single tickets for $25. Early-bird teams get to enter their name for a draw. Winners will receive two tickets to An Act Of Grace on May 6.

An Act of Grace, a GNAG theatre production. More info on page 28 on GNAG’s production.

Happy Birthday Bernadette Émélia Stewart O’Donnell

Congratulations to Paul O’Donnell, his wife Stephanie Stewart and their daughter Rafi on the birth of their new family addition, baby Bernadette Émélia. She was born on March 21 at the healthy weight of 8 lbs 8 oz. Everyone is healthy, happy and beautiful. Welcome to the big wide world, Bernie!

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