In just a week, the people of Ottawa and travellers from all over Canada will become honourary “City Folk.” That is if they choose to spend some quality time checking out the yearly festival (previously called Ottawa Folk Festival), which will now be taking place September 16th to 20th at Lansdowne Park. The newly redesigned Great Lawn will be exciting to see once it has been fully transformed into the folk festival we know and love. Not only is there a name and location change, the free section of the festival has had a slight change, and will take place in the Aberdeen Pavillion at Lansdowne as well as all over the Glebe and Old Ottawa South in various venues. This new portion of the festival is being called Marvest -a musical harvest, if you will- and will also feature craft breweries, local artisans and album releases.

Here’s a list of my top ten most anticipated acts for CityFolk 2015. It includes not only artists in the main festival but also those playing around the Glebe, and is organized by set dates and times.

1. Scarlett Jane – Thursday, September 17th @ 6pm (Ravenlaw Stage)

MAILMASTER Subject: Scarlett Jane photo On 2014-05-27, at 5:52 PM, Rayner, Ben wrote: Toronto country-pop duo Scarlett Jane: Cindy Doire and Andrea Romano. Photo credit: Jen Squires. ScarlettJane_JenSquiresnew.jpg

While Andrea Ramolo and Cindy Doire both began as solo artist and had a number of albums under their belts, forming this folk/pop duo meant combining their love of poetry, and a wide range of genres to create something outstanding. Now, on the heels of their self-titled sophomore album release, Scarlett Jane are setting out on a Canadian tour to tell us collaborative stories of heartbreak in vivid detail.

2. Wintersleep  – Thursday, September 17th @ 10pm (Ravenlaw Stage)


Wintersleep has been a Canadian indie treasure for the past 14 years, and hail from Halifax, Nova Scotia. I have been anticipating new music from them for quite some time now and hopefully they’ll grace us with a sneak peak of what’s to come with their 6th album.

3. Elle King – Friday, September 18th @ 8:15pm(Ravenlaw Stage)


The single “Ex’s and Oh’s” has made Elle King a break out star this year, and she’s keeping the ball rolling on her summer festival circuit with CityFolk. I remember reading about King back in 2012 and I’m glad to hear her music becoming more and more commercially successful after the release of Love Stuff back in February.

4. Van Morrison – Friday, September 18th @ 8:30pm (Telus Stage)


One of the greatest musicians to grace an Ottawa stage in my opinion, Van Morrison is bringing a bit of the 60s along with him and will hopefully spark a new love of folk into the younger generation who will be attending the festival. I’m sure many concert-goers, young and old, will be able to appreciate classic tracks “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Into The Mystic,” and “Moondance,” along with the rest of his insanely extensive catalog.

5. Kelly Sloan – Friday, September 18th @10pm (Original Burger Joint)


Kelly Sloan is a classically trained musician, originally from the Ottawa Valley area, and is going to be bringing her soft but soul-infused folk tunes to us via a free show at an unlikely venue, Original Burger Joint. With lyrics that epitomize Canadiana, Sloan was a part of the Halifax music scene, and is now back in our area, with a third album that will be release very soon!

6. Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – Saturday, September 19th @ 6:30pm (Ravenlaw Stage)


To change up the sound a little bit, this North London quintet, headed by the three Durham siblings, is ready to bring us a swing and jump-blues inspired set. Check out their single “Baby Bye Bye” for a taste of what you’re in for.

7. Baberaham Lincoln – Saturday, September 19th @ 8:30pm (The Unrefined Olive)


Long time friends and current University of Ottawa students, Hilary Lawson and Jenna Spencer, started this Ottawa based band that has been making a name for itself in the local scene. With a touch of slacker rock along the lines of Alvvays, and Mac DeMarco, Baberaham Lincoln is bound to have an engaging but super chill set.

8. Gregory Alan Isakov – Sunday, September 20th @ 3pm (Telus Stage)


Hailing from South Africa, raised in Philadelphia, and traveling as a musician since the age of 16, Gregory Alan Isakov has songs of wanderlust, and adventure to spark a desire to roam in all of us. With an unwavering passion for music, Isakov is noted as saying “I’ve always had this sense about music and writing, that I sort of have to do it. Like I’ll implode without it,” and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

9. Terra Lightfoot – Sunday, September 20th @ 6pm (Ravenlaw Stage)


While she may not be related to the well-known Gordon Lightfoot, she is taking a page out of his book and blowing everyone across the country away with her insane talent. Hamilton seems to be a breeding ground for fantastic guitar-slingers and with a killer voice to match, Terra Lightfoot’s set shouldn’t be missed.

10. Fortunate Ones – Sunday, September 20th @ 8:15pm (Aberdeen Stage)


Fortunate Ones is based out of Newfoundland and plays east-coast influenced folk/pop. The duo, made up of Andrew James O’Brien and Catherine Allen will treat us to a free show, filled with multiple instruments (accordion included!) and earnest songs of optimism and human connections.

While the festival is more centrally located this year, I may find myself doing a bit more running around so I can have a chance to check out some local talent at the free shows. I hope I’ll see some of you there, whether you’re local or coming to the city to check out this year’s crop of talented acts.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit