• By: Kat Walcott

Ottawa Shows Off its Talents for K-pop World Festival

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Photos by Kat Walcott

K-pop fans were out in full force this past weekend for the 2017 K-pop World Festival Ottawa Preliminaries. Hosted at the gorgeous Canadian Museum of History, this annual event is just one of over 80 regional preliminaries taking place in cities all over the world as part of the Korean Broadcasting System's (KBS) annual global competition. The competition invites participants to cover k-pop, that is "Korean pop," songs through either singing or dancing, with the winner of each preliminary moving on to the online semi-finals, with a chance to compete in the finals taking place at a massive outdoor festival in Changwon, South Korea in late September.

Co-hosted by the Korean Cultural Centre Canada and KBS, the evening started out with a short reception where guests were treated to some delicious Korean refreshments and got to watch participating singers and dance groups pose on the red carpet. The screams for the contestants were so loud, it was easy to forget that these weren’t actual K-pop idols! Participants included local acts such as dance teams Kapital K-Dance and Salja, as well as participants from out of town such as Montreal’s 2KSQUAD and B-WARE.

After the red carpet, guests filed into the theatre. Every seat was filled and there was a buzz of excitement in the air as k-pop fans young and old waved their light sticks enthusiastically in anticipation of the show.

The big show kicked off with some words from the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Canada, His Excellency Shin Maeng-ho who shared his sentiments about the global success of K-pop saying, "I remember the days when K-pop was performed just by Koreans for Koreans. It is amazing to see how popular K-pop is here in Canada."

After this, the audience was treated to non-stop dance and singing performances. The competition proved to be tough with every act bringing their A-game. The performances were a great mix of soulful, such as singer Claudia's rendition of Ailee's powerful hit "I'll Show You,” sexy, such as B-WARE's dance cover of Miss A's "Hush," powerful, like dance team Bibimbapper's cover of NCT 127's "Limitless" and fun like newly-formed dance team 11:11's rendition of Girls' Generation's "Oh!"

Though everyone was strong, there could only be one winner. Dance groups DAAM and Salja took 3rd and 2nd place, taking home cash prizes of $500 and $300 respectively. The big win of the night went to newly-formed, all male dance team Bibimbappers, taking home a $1000 cash prize and moving on to the online semi-finals in August.

This is the third year Ottawa hosted a K-pop World Festival preliminary event and, if this weekend was any indication, k-pop has made a huge impact in the community and won't be going anywhere soon.