Canadian Indie Music · Annual Indie Events & Festivals

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Event Information

Barrie Jazz and Blues Festival

2003 - Jun 6 to 15

Held at various clubs and at The Centre Stage at Heritage Park.

Toronto Beaches Jazz Fest

2003 - July 23 to 27

Toronto's most popular FREE music festival.

Held on Queen Street East around the second-last weekend in July, it features jazz, blues, and Latin rhythms.

Since its beginnings in 1989, the Festival, has worked with the Beaches community to turn this local event into one of Toronto's premiere musical celebrations. One of the few remaining free jazz festivals, BEACHES JAZZ now attracts about 750,000 fans by featuring a wide variety of acclaimed and up-and-coming artists.

Canadian Music Week (CMW)
5355 Vail Court
Mississauga, Ontario
L5M 6G9

(905) 858-4747
(905) 858-4848 fax

2007 - Mar 7 to 10

Organizer of the annual Canadian Music Week, which showcases Canadian independent recording artists. The site contains info on the festival, as well as application forms.

Capital Music Conference and Showcase
Post Office Box 848
Station "B"
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5P9
(613) 860-0050 phone/fax

Spotlights fifty [for 2000] of the top bands and musicians in Ottawa's thriving music scene. Presents the best of its new talent in festivities at multiple clubs and music venues in the downtown area.

Music industry representatives will have the chance to audition potential new signings across a wide variety of genres. Capital Music Showcases also presents a unique opportunity for the Ottawa public to see the best musical talent in the region performing together in one weekend of jam-packed, vibrant live music.

Come Together Music Festival
at Frontier Ghost Town Camping Site


ticket info contact: Mark Wilson
(519) 751-0762

The festival is held 4 times during the summer, usually: mid-May, the Canada Day weekend, the start of August, and on the Labour Day weekend.

Performers wishing to play at the festival should visit the site's contact page, or contact Mark Wilson at the phone number/email at left.

Distillery Fringe Jazz Festival (Toronto)
55 Mill Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5A 3C4

(416) 588-9094 x 23

contact: Jennifer Amey

2003 - May 22 to June 1

The festival is an enterprise of Fringe Jazz Toronto. Under a format inspired by the Theatre Fringe and as introduced last year at the first Toronto Fringe Jazz Festival. The festival will feature the widest array of jazz acts imaginable including original instrumental and vocal acts; world music; traditional jazz including New Orleans and a tribute to early great vocalists of the jazz age; European traditions such as klezmer, gypsy swing and cabaret and some of the top free improvisation and club music acts in the city.The festival is also planning to animate the wonderful brick lanestreets of the Distillery with food stalls and buskers.Numerous Distillery art galleries will be staying open late during the festival for the enjoyment of our patrons.The Distillery Jazz Festival features over eighty acts on four stages in Toronto's Historic Distillery District!

Downtown Jazz Festival (Toronto)
Toronto Downtown Jazz Society
82 Bleecker Street
Toronto, Ontario
M4X 1L8
416-928-0533 fax

2003 - Jun 20 to Jun 29

Dundas International Buskingfest
401 Main St West
Hamilton, Ontario
L8P 1K5
(905) 525-6644

2003 - June 6, 7, 8

2002 Artist submission deadline: Feb 28, 2002 - Jury Date: Mar 1, 2002

Annual street festival held in downtown Dundas (Along King St. - from Cross St. to John St) (Performers) (General Info)

Festival of Friends
Gage Park
Creative Arts
401 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario
L8P 4Y3
(905) 525-6644

2003 -Aug 8, 9, 10

Held annually in early August at Gage Park, the performers' application deadline is usually at the end of February of the year of the festival.

Hillside Festival
On the Island at Guelph Lake
Guelph, Ontario

2003 - July 25, 26, 27

For any performers, artisans, sponsors, volunteers, or the just plain curious who wish to contact Hillside throughout the year, please submit packages to the Hillside office, at:

Artistic Committee - Hillside Festival 2002
123 Woolwich St
Guelph, Ontario
N1H 3V1

(519) 763-6396
(516) 763-9514 fax

CKCU Ottawa Folk Festival

101B-858 Bank Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1S 3W3

Festival Office
613-233-2345 fax
Gene Swimmer, Festival Director

2003 - Aug 21 to Aug 24

Held each year at the end of August.
Britannia Park, Ottawa, Canada

Limestone City Blues Festival
Kingston, Ontario

information available at:
Tourist Information Office
209 Ontario Street
Kingston K7L 2Z1

or by calling:
(613) 548-4415 or 1-(888) 855-4555

2003 - Aug 21 to Aug 24

Held in downtown Kingston at various clubs and Confederation Park.

Lose Yer Shoes
405 Limerick
Lefroy, Ontario
L0L 1K0

contact: Tom Kremer
(705) 456-3999

Annual Folkadelic Music Fest held the 2nd weekend in August in Kearney, Ontario. Features live music from 7pm Friday night until 8pm Sunday.

Markham Jazz Festival
55 Snider Drive
Markham, Ontario
L3P 6L7
(905) 471-JAZZ (5299)
(905) 471-7764 fax

2003 - August 15, 16, 17

Three main venues - The Markham Theatre, Toogood Pond Park, Swan Lake Village, plus numerous pubs/restaurants.

Newmarket Main Street Folk and Blues Festival

contact: Tom Kremer
(705) 456-3999

2003 - Feb 28, Mar 1, 2

The Newmarket Main Street Folk and Blues Festival is a non-profit project of merchants in Newmarket's old downtown Main Street and a small committee of folk and blues musicians. The mission of the festival is to support local musicians, promote folk and blues music and revitalize downtown Newmarket.

NXNE (North by Northeast) Music Festival and Industry Conference
NXNE Festival Coordinator
185A Danforth Ave., 2nd floor
Toronto, Ontario Canada
M4K 1N2

2004 - June 10, 11, 12
2003 - June 5, 6, 7

Annual event in Toronto (usually the second week in June) showcasing new indie talent from Canada and around the world. It's also a chance to schmooze with industry reps.

Open Eye Festival
Martene Orchards
RR # 4
Seaforth, Ontario
N0K 1W0

(519) 527-0911

contact: Steve Martene

2003 - June 6, 7, 8

Colour of Each, Boy Gone Mad, Indical, 7.5, The Kinetics, Capital 4, Jahmalama, The Approachables, Dub Trinity, Inside, Frank Andrew Iannuzzi aka G.N.U., Novar Road, Electric Lettuce, Whaling, Marr, Real Deal Orange Peel, The Ashgrove, plus many more TBA [for 2003].

This year's Open Eye Festival will again be held at Martene Orchards, just outside of Seaforth, Ontario. There is space for approximately 500 campers (tents only), plus another 500 visitors per day. This springtime celebration of peace, life, freedom and the arts encourages participants from all walks of life. We will be showcasing more than twenty independent bands, and presenting visual art and theatrical shows from independent artists deserving exposure.

This festival is an intimate chance for people to meet others with similar socially concious values and ideals. This is the first festival of the season, with two more to follow in the summer and fall, so friends you make here will be back together with you soon. The Open Eye is different from other festival events and venues. We do not simply take your ticket, give you a rock show and kick you out after the music is done. You are encouraged to interact artistically, creatively and spiritually with all other members of the Open Eye community. There is no such thing as "just an audience member" here.

Since tickets are sold on a grassroots level, many of the people you will meet at the event will be a "friend of a friend of a friend", so you start off your new relationship with an immediate connection. Theme camps are encouraged, to build a sense of community and togetherness, like smaller units of the cohesive whole.

Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival
contact: Larry Kurtz

2004 - June 3, 4, 5, 6

Rock City Women's Fest
Elaina Martin Director
c/o Rock City Women's Fest Headquarters
99 Holland Ave. Suite 202
Ottawa, Ontario
K1Y 0Y1

(613) 728-7126
(613) 728-7126 fax

2003 - August 15 to 17

"Central Canada's answer to Lilith Fair"

Live music, camping, swimming, funky merchandise and bungee jumping are just the beginning! Come to Ottawa's one-of-a-kind weekend showcasing talented musical artists from all levels of the industry - from established headline recording acts to popular local musicians. The festival also includes a gallery of women-focused merchandise, arts and crafts, as well as a series of workshops on a variety of issues of interest to women.

S.C.E.N.E. Music Festival
St. Catharines

Steve Stumble (Stumble Records)
(905) 347-3118

2003 - Jul 13

In early 1995, the lead singer of Revenge of the Egg People, Cashmere, took his love of music and the St. Catharines downtown and put his money where his mouth was. The idea of an independent music festival was no longer an idea. With the help of local bands and club owners the first independent music festival in St.Catharines was born.

Held in St. Catharines anually in early July, 2003's festival features 74 bands (including some out of town bands) on 8 stage in 7 venues.

Southside Shuffle
(Port Credit Blues and Jazz Festival)

Info: (416) 410-2172

2004 - Sep 10, 11, 12
2003 - Sep 5, 6, 7

Performances are in three main venues:
The Labatt's Main Stage at Fram Park (Southwest corner of Lakeshore Rd. and Hurontario St. (Hwy 10)). Admission to the main stage is $5.00 per day.
Street Festival
Various Clubs (see the site for club listings and schedules).

Thunder Bay Blues Festival
138 Rockwood Avenue N
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
P7A 6A4

(807) 684-3509

2004 - Jul 9, 10, 11

The Toronto Urban Music Festival
6-295 Queen St E, Ste 370
Brampton, Ontario
L6W 4S6

2004 - Sep 3 to 6
2003 - Aug 29 to 30

End of August/start of September every year.

Showcasing the best in independent talent, submission deadline usually in May.

We are also writing an independent urban music directory, to connect artists with other artists and useful information.

to sign up for it go here:

Urban Music Festival
P.O. Box 7083, Vanier Postal Station.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1L 8E2

(819) 669-2664
(613) 729-0242
(819) 669-7613 fax

2003 - Sep 5, 6, 7

Artists are selected by a Selection Committee at the close of the Submission date. To perform at Urbanfest 2002, we must receive your Promotional package before April 30th, 2002.
Please send your package to:

Band Administration Department
P.O. Box 7083, Vanier Postal Station.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1L 8E2

Wye Marsh Festival
Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre
PO Box 100
Midland, Ontario
L4R 4K6
(705) 526-7809
(705) 526-3294 fax

2005: Sep 24, 25

An annual event held around the third week in September. The festival showcases mostly folk and roots music, and provides daily workshops.
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