The music scene in Canada’s capital is growing rapidly, but sometimes lost in the mix is the francophone side of the scene. But with a number of Gatineau artists having had success on the latest season of La Voix, the Quebec version of The Voice, and with Ottawa having recently played host to the 2019 Trille Or awards, the premiere awards for francophone artists in Ontario and the provinces west of Quebec, the spotlight is increasingly shining on francophone music coming out of the capital region.
Looking to add a little fuel to the fire is David Muipatayi, founder of Le Z Show Fest, a two day event spanning both sides of the river.
When asked why he launched the event, Muipatayi said, “The reason why I started this event is to promote urban music and culture in our French community and to make the National Capital Region a must-see for national and international urban artists”.
Day one was hosted at the CÉGEP de l’Outaouais, arguably one of the best and most underrated venues in the capital region. Andy Saint-Hilaire and the Power Circle’s Reggie Cash emceed the opening night. Standout performers included Kwavey who performed his new single “Wine”, slam poet Julia Barkany, Coralie Lafontaine who performed Adele’s “When We Were Young”, a soulful Ariane Simard who performed Alecia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You” and “Always Remember Us This Way” from A Star Is Born. Gatineau hip-hop staples Timal Garnier, and Patchostars featuring Hevve, also performed. At the end of the night singer Anaïs Cardot took home the winning prize.
Day two of the festival took place on the Ottawa side of the river at La Cité collégiale with Erta Ekosso, Mounfou, and Sans Pression performing. Paris-based artist Jay Max headlined both nights with Reggie Cash once again holding down emceeing duties for the second night in a row.
Although the event is still in its infancy, what Le Z Show Fest proves is that Gatineau and the overall Francophone community in the capital region are not to be overlooked.