Ottawa Event Announcement: Bluesfest Presents #CanadaPerforms at the Drive-In

#CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In

This summer, a diverse range of emerging and established Canadian artists and bands—including Sam Roberts Band, Marie-Mai, Patrick Watson, and Tim Hicks—will perform live concerts at the Place des Festivals, Zibi site. People will be able to drive in and watch live performances from their vehicles, respecting distancing measures in place at that time.

June 18, 2020 – OTTAWA (Canada) – The National Arts Centre and RBC Bluesfest are coming together to present #CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In, a summer weekend series of live concerts, where people will drive, park, and watch from their individual dedicated space.

  • When/Who: The opening weekend of #CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In concerts will be July 31 and August 1, followed by performances on August 7 and 8, with the possibility of additional programming to be announced.



Ø  July 31 – Marie-Mai, Donovan Woods and The Opposition, Neon Dreams, Terra Lightfoot, Julian Taylor, Kellylee Evans

Ø  August 1 – Sam Roberts Band, Shad, Haviah Mighty, LeFLOFRANCO, Nambi, Bboyizm

Ø  August 7 – Patrick Watson, Basia Bulat, Zaki Ibrahim, Asuquomo, Silla and Rise, Geneviève et Alain

Ø  August 8 – Tim Hicks, Kira Isabella, Chris Labelle, Crystal Shawanda, Lyle Odjick & The Northern Steam, Amanda Rheaume



  • Why: #CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In is an effort to help the live performance and music industry gradually come back and recover from months of disruption and cancellations due to the pandemic.
  • Where: Places des Festivals – Zibi Site, Gatineu, QC., by the Kitchissippi River (Ottawa River)
  • How: Concert-goers will be encouraged to drive to the site to watch live concerts from their individual dedicated space. Canadians will also be able to watch the livestreamed concerts online, as #CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In will be a bridge between the on-site and livestreamed experience.
  • Tickets: The URL for the event/tickets is: Tickets will be on sale as of Tuesday, June 23 at 10 a.m. ET.

#CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In concerts will take place at Zibi and respectfully honour this site of great importance to the Algonquin Anishinabe and Indigenous peoples. Algonquin protocols, culture and artists will be part of the experience on site.


“The NAC is thrilled to be presenting #CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In. We will dedicate a space to celebrate and honour Indigenous culture and talent, in particular from the Algonquin Nation. As the NAC wants to help the performing arts sector through its recovery, we are also glad to work with Facebook Canada to livestream these artists across the country,” said Heather Gibson, the NAC’s Executive Producer of Popular Music and Variety, and lead programmer for #CanadaPerforms.

“So proud to support #CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In to create a new experience for music lovers in Ottawa-Gatineau and all across the country, thanks to a partnership with the National Arts Centre and Facebook Canada,” said Marjolaine Hudon, Regional President for RBC. “It will be an exciting showcase of Indigenous and up and coming talent, presented in an iconic location. It’s just one way RBC is helping bring the arts to Canadians and supporting the music industry.”

“Over the years, the Team Behind Bluesfest has had the pleasure of working with the NAC on a number of collaborative initiatives, and I believe it’s safe to say this is one of the most innovative and exciting projects, yet,” said Mark Monahan, RBC Bluesfest’s Executive/Artistic Director. “Given the disappointment brought about by this year’s cancelation of our event, we felt it was essential to come up with a safe, alternative live music experience for music fans in Ottawa, Gatineau, and beyond—this partnership gives us that opportunity. We’re confident that #CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In will become a ‘must-attend’ event in Ottawa, for the summer of 2020.”



  • The concert series will include multiple genres, emerging and established artists/bands, and local, Indigenous artists.
  • 7 p.m. start with 3.5 hours of programming, closing at 10:30 p.m.
  • Stage with multiple Large Screens/panels – 20’x40’ for a surround experience
  • Cars go through a gate and are scanned – individual dedicated space for each car.
  • Safety protocols that are aligned with public health authorities (Ontario/Quebec/City)
  • In order to safely welcome back audiences to watch live concerts, the Drive-In series will offer a self-distancing experience that respects reopening measures and protocols.
  • Facebook Canada, Founding Partner of #CanadaPerforms will be associated with the series, as the live-streaming platform for the drive-in concerts.

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