This summer, a diverse range of emerging and established Canadian artists and bands such as Marie-Mai, Sam Roberts Band, Patrick Watson and Tim Hicks will perform live concerts at the Place des Festivals, Zibi site. People will be able to drive-in and watch live performances from their vehicles, respecting distancing measures in place at that time.

OTTAWA (Canada) – The National Arts Centre and RBC Bluesfest are pleased to announce they are coming together to present #CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In, a summer weekend series of live concerts at the Place des Festivals Zibi site, by the Kitchissippi River (Ottawa River).

The #CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In live concerts will be a bridge between on-site and livestreamed experience, through a Facebook Canada partnership, in an effort to help the live performance and music industry gradually come back and recover from months of disruption and cancellations in helping fight the pandemic.

Concert-goers, as small pods or families, will be encouraged to drive to the site and watch live concerts from their individual dedicated space. In order to safely welcome back audiences to watch live concerts, the Drive-In series will offer a physical distancing

experience that respects reopening measures and protocols. Canadians will also be able to watch online the livestreamed concerts.  

The opening weekend of #CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In concerts will take place on July 31st and August 1st, starting at 7 p.m., and feature live performances by:

Friday July 31:  Marie-Mai – Donovan Woods and The Opposition

Neon Dreams – Terra Lightfoot – Julian Taylor – Kellylee Evans

Saturday August 1:   Sam Roberts Band – Shad – Haviah Mighty

LeFLOFRANCO – Nambi – Bboyizm


The following weekend, August 7 & 8, these performers have confirmed their presence:

Friday August 7:  Patrick Watson – Basia Bulat – Zaki Ibrahim

Asuquomo – Silla and Rise – Geneviève et Alain

Saturday August 8:  Tim Hicks – Kira Isabella – Chris Labelle – Crystal Shawanda

Lyle Odjick & The Northern Steam – Andrea Rheaume

Tickets will go on sale on Tuesday, June 23rd, at 10 a.m. EDT. For the details, including additional dates and performers, go to : https://canadaperforms.ottawabluesfest.ca/


#CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In concerts will take place at Zibi and respectfully honour this site of great importance to the Algonquin Anishinabe and Indigenous peoples. Algonquin protocols, culture and artists will be part of the experience on site

“The NAC is thrilled to be presenting #CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In. We will dedicate a space to celebrate and honour Indigenous culture and talent, in particular from the Algonquin Nation, as well as Black artists from the Ottawa-Gatineau region. As the NAC wants to help the performing arts sector through its recovery, we are also glad to work with Facebook Canada to livestream these artists across country.”, said Heather Gibson, the NAC’s Executive Producer of Popular Music and Variety, and lead programmer for #CanadaPerforms.


“Over the years, the Team Behind Bluesfest has had the pleasure of working with the NAC on a number of collaborative initiatives, and I believe it’s safe to say this is one of the most innovative and exciting projects, yet,” said Mark Monahan, RBC Bluesfest’s Executive/Artistic Director. “Given the disappointment brought about by this year’s cancelation of our event, we felt it was essential to come up with a safe, alternative live music experience for music fans in Ottawa and beyond—this partnership gives us that opportunity. We’re confident that the RBC Bluesfest Drive-in concept, staged in conjunction with NAC’s #CanadaPerforms, will become a ‘must-attend’ event in Ottawa, for the summer of 2020.”

“So proud to support #CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In to create a new experience for music lovers in Ottawa-Gatineau and all across the country, thanks to a partnership with the National Arts Centre and Facebook Canada,” said Marjolaine Hudon, Regional President for RBC. It will be an exciting showcase of Indigenous and up and coming talent, presented in an iconic location. It’s just one way RBC is helping bring the arts to Canadians and supporting the music industry.”, said Marjolaine Hudon, Regional President, Ontario North & East, Royal Bank of Canada


#CanadaPerforms is a national platform that features artists from coast to coast to coast wanting to experiment and innovate with live-streamed performances. It explores digital engagement, augmenting existing programming at the National Arts Centre. The National Arts Centre and Facebook Canada announced on May 22 a two-year partnership that will focus on the evolution and extension of their #CanadaPerforms collaboration. Facebook Canada committed a $500,000 investment to benefit artists through livestreamed performances, music events and festivals.

#CanadaPerforms was initially launched on March 19 by the National Arts Centre and its founding partner, Facebook Canada. The $700,000 relief fund helped ease the financial strain for 700 Canadian artists and published authors impacted by the closure of performance venues and literary events across Canada related to pandemic. Livestreamed performances from March 19 to May 31 were viewed by over 4.75 million people from coast to coast to coast, and lifted the spirits of Canadians during the crisis. #CanadaPerforms inspired and shaped other livestreaming efforts and funds, and helped inspire a sister initiative in Europe, #IrelandPerforms. This first phase of #CanadaPerforms made possible through the financial support from Facebook Canada, Slaight Music, RBC Foundation, SiriusXM Canada, and the Bennett Family Foundation. 


RBC Bluesfest is ranked by Billboard Magazine as one of the top-10 most successful music festivals in the world. Launched in Ottawa in 1994, the festival has evolved from a one-stage, three-day event with a budget of $10,000 to a multi-staged, two-week music extravaganza with an annual budget of $30 million. The organization has grown from one director and one volunteer to nine full-time professionals complemented by 12 part-time seasonal staff, countless contracted specialists, and 4,000 community volunteers. The exceptional programming of nationally and internationally recognized acts is one of the main reasons for the festival’s success. In recent years, RBC Bluesfest has been referred to as the Canadian version of Bonnaroo, Coachella, or the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival; all highly regarded, world-class music events.


The National Arts Centre raised its curtains for the first time in 1969. A bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for Canada’s most creative artists, the NAC strives to be artistically adventurous in each of its programming streams — the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety. The Centre’s national role is reflected in its motto: “Canada is our Stage.” The NAC collaborates with artists and arts organizations across the country, acts as a catalyst for performance; invests in ambitious new works by artists and arts organizations nation-wide; and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. Situated on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe nation, the NAC is accessible and welcoming to all, and offers a variety of free programming and events.


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Annabelle Cloutier

Executive Director, Communications and Public Affairs

National Arts Centre




AJ Sauvé

Director of Communications

RBC Bluesfest

613-247-1188 ext. 229



Nadia Kharyati

Communications Officer

National Arts Centre



Erin Taylor 

Facebook Canada



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