In 2015, Ottawa Folk Festival organizers announced a new name, along with relocation plans for Ottawa’s long-standing folk festival. The event was re-named and re-imagined as CityFolk and was staged at Landsdowne Park. When asked why a new location, the festival’s executive and artistic director, Mark Monahan responded with a straightforward answer: “It’s more central and easier to get to,” said Monahan.
Of course there’s more to it than that, but location was arguably an important criterion. “Our decision was also influenced by the fact that it’s a beautiful new facility—situated downtown with the canal running alongside it—and it offers all kinds of options and infrastructure for staging the event.”
Regarding the new moniker, Monahan had this to say: “The event has evolved in several ways since 2011—especially the programming. With the move to Landsdowne we felt that the timing was perfect for a fresh approach to branding the festival moving forward; one that reflects its musical evolution. Since we’re moving to the heart of the city, and we want all music fans in Ottawa to feel a kinship with the festival, we felt CityFolk would resonate with them.”
The line-up for 2015 had folks standing up and taking notice as well. Featured acts included: Van Morrison, The Avett Brothers, Wilco, Of Monsters and Men, UB40, The Sheepdogs, Patrick Watson, Walk Off The Earth, Elle King, and Lucinda Williams, just to mention a few.
Also new in 2015 was the introduction of Marvest, a harvest of music, food and beverages, with a local flavour. Marvest is a free event, staged as part of CityFolk. The event offered more than 60 free performances at the Aberdeen Pavilion and throughout various businesses in the Glebe.