Ottawa’s newest festival launches June 7 at Babylon, and “it’s about time,” says co-founder Rolf Klausener.
Arboretum is aiming to create a region-defining festival similar to Guelph’s outdoor Hillside Festival, with a strong emphasis on the best and most progressive local music, art and food. While it’s not a queer-specific event, organizers are welcoming queer Toronto indie-rockers Ohbijou as one of the headliners.
“There’s nothing like it in Ottawa,” says Klausener, who began planning the event with co-founder Marlene Power six months ago.
“We felt there was a real gap in the festival culture in the city,” says Klausener, who also fronts local band The Acorn. “We were inspired by the natural spaces and early Outaouais logging communities . . . Our name [Arboretum] represents diversity.”
Klausener, a veteran of many outdoor festivals, says Ottawa was missing a mid-sized festival.
Organizers need to raise $30,000 in order for the festival to be held at an outdoor space in summer 2013.
This year’s September 15 event at the Jail Hostel will feature more than 25 mainly local artists.
The other headliners will be announced at the Reveal party.
“Collaboration has been key to get the festival off the ground,” Power says, noting that one partner, Art-Is-In bakery, will be providing a grilled-cheese bar at the Reveal event.