Youth Ottawa

RBC Bluesfest in partnership with Youth Ottawa are proud to present two amazing opportunities for Ottawa-area youth to showcase their artistic talents – visual arts and music – at the festival this summer. Check out our winners below and see them at RBC Bluesfest July 6-16.

Youth Ottawa Music

RBC Bluesfest is proud to support young musicians in Ottawa! We will be showcasing high-school aged musicians throughout the festival. The chosen applicants consist of bands, solo & spoken word artists, MCs & DJs from the greater Ottawa area. Make sure you don’t miss these young musicians and help support them on the next step of their musical journey.

2017 Youth Ottawa Music Performers

Youth Ottawa Art

RBC Bluesfest aims to support youth artists beyond musicians and are proud to present visual art from high-school aged applicants. Artists were asked to focus on interactivity, durability, environmental sustainability and accessibility. We hope you make your way to our Youth Ottawa Art display during your festival trip and help us increase youth presence at RBC Bluesfest.

2017 Youth Ottawa Art Installations

The Garden of Flying Free Thoughts

Lindsay Warne

The Garden of Flying Free Thoughts is a walk through a brief garden with ceramic pots with human faces carved into the clay.  Coming out of these pots are carefully handmade ceramic butterflies that are positioned as if they were thoughts coming out of a person’s head. The butterflies are glazed in a variety of colours to showcase the diversity of symbols butterflies represent as well as the diversity of the audiences at Bluesfest. These heads represent the Bluesfest audience as a whole and the butterflies coming out of them represent the feeling of freedom that can come from listening to music.  Around the world people view butterflies as representing freedom, change, hope and new life. Thoughts are precious to one’s well being and the garden cherishes all thoughts. Bluesfest is about letting go and enjoying music and that is what I wanted to portray in my installation.


Sophie Weider

BluesFISH is an interactive installation of a large fish sculpture created with an upcycled canoe, recycled water bottle bottoms and recycled plastic bags. BluesFISH draws attention to the Ottawa River that surrounds the Bluesfest event site and the fact that Ottawa’s waterways are under threat from plastic pollutants. BluesFISH will also serve as a recycling receptacle. Festival goers can deposit their used plastic bottles through the fish’s mouth triggering a musical chime rewarding them for their recycling efforts. This activity will highlight Bluesfest as an environmental leader in the world of musical festivals and the efforts of Bluesfest’s Green Team. The BluesFISH will be built in part as a community art project with local youth collecting recycling materials and helping attach the scales, introducing them to Youth Ottawa and the organizations efforts to inspiring youth to spark change and take action.

Festival Vibes

Grace Chang

The focus of this installation is to add a creative touch to the RBC Bluesfest festival grounds that would be interactive with its surroundings. The figure displays character, possessing a lively attitude which aims to capture the theme of performing arts. Using red oak plywood, a full-sized figure of the dancing man is displayed in two forms – designed into a 4 ft. by 8 ft. sheet of plywood and standing alongside as a cutout of the figure. The fun and creative design of the installation captures the purpose of the music festival; to bring people together to share their love for music. The festival activities can be viewed through the cutout sections of the installation, which incorporate the views of the festival bustle within the artwork. The focus is to show how music allows people to express their passions while enjoying it in a social environment.