The Land of Glow

Ottawa Life’s Festival City Series is back! We'll provide a unique look at some of your favourite events.
We’ll go beyond the music with artist interviews, volunteer profiles, concert reviews and spotlights on
the tastes, sights and sounds of the festival season. 

Your city! Your festivals and events!
Like a good sunscreen, Ottawa Life has you covered.

Photos by Andre Gagne

Welcome to the Land of Glow, where for only two days a year Bank Street, one of the busiest streets in Ottawa from James Street to Slater is transformed into Glow Fair, and is taken over by pedestrians for a festival of lights, art, and music.

Ottawa Life was there all weekend, and we wanted to share our highlights from Glow Fair!

Our adventure into Glow Fair started from James Street, where the enchanting glowing set up along Bank Street welcomed us. Next, you may have seen street performer Yoshi Chladny. From Ottawa with 10 years of experience in his trade, he gathered large crowds of people every time we saw him perform. He may have enticed you by the flaming torches or knives that he was juggling, but it also may have been his humour.

From Maclaren, Francois Pelletier’s colourful chalk art glowed into the sky and you may have planned what you’re going to do for the rest of the summer on this block. You may have made plans to go to Temple’s Sugar Bush, Little Miss Ottawa gave Ottawa 50 plans for the rest of Summer, and Kate planned 24 dates for you and your significant other. In a silver tin 24 dates await you, the first 12 dates support local businesses, and a Date by Kate will you give free perks everywhere you go.

The Market Place hooked Ottawa up with free samples, free yoga passes to Elevate Yoga, and free hugs.  Saturday, we got creative making cultural art at the International Make and Take station, which was new to Glow Fair this year.

Glow Fit, was one of our favourite blocks. By 8 p.m. on Friday, the block was covered in yoga mats in preparation for Glow Yoga with Nigel Walker. For the first time ever Glow Yoga was live streamed for everyone who couldn’t make it, and Nigel Walker set the tone to get everyone out of their comfort zones by facing one of his fears, being topless in a large group of people.

When Ottawa Life talked to Nigel Walker, he told us Glow Yoga is his favourite class to lead.

“Leading this class is absolutely incredible. Of all the events and classes that I lead it's my favourite one. There's something very special about practicing in the streets of downtown Ottawa. The energy that people bring and seeing the diverse crowd that shows up brings me so much joy! It's a practice where everyone is there to celebrate life and support each other and it's free of judgment or competition.”

Ottawa Life's Victoria Brown got in on the aeriel antics. 

Glow Fair, is the only place where you will find a bouncy castle, and a skating rink on the same block, which took over the Glow Fit block on Saturday.

On the Bizarre Bazaar block, Melissa Landry, co-founder of Aerial Antics convinced Ottawa to hang up-side down. “We’re helping people glow by helping them embrace their inner circus personality,” said Landry. She even convinced me to embrace my inner circus personality.

Landry’s aerial career started in 2011 when she tried out the silk for the first time and just four years later she founded Aerial Antics.  It was their second year at Glow Fair, but their first time doing the workshops, which was a huge success!

From Nepean to Lisgar, art surrounded you and towered over you. We watched artist Daniel Martelock create a masterpiece in two days and Ottawa saw its transformations live. Martelock added the final touches to his flying goats, late Saturday night.

Class was in session Saturday morning, Ottawa got to try their hand at mixing music at DJ school, maybe we will see new talent performing at next years Glow Fair. Also to hit the stage to reveal her own album “Unfinished,” was Tara Shannon, owner of Ottawa’s Willow Sound Records. “Unfinished” finished what she started, 20 years ago at the start of her music career, when she turned down a record deal after being discovered by Alanis Morissette’s parents.

Headlining the main stage, was Canada’s own Alyssa Reid. In 2009 she became a Youtube sensation with her rendition of Justin Bieber’s “One Less Lonely Girl,” from a female perspective. Her record label discovered her through her Youtube hit, and since then she has risen to fame with her hits “Alone Again,” and “Dangerous.”

Glow Fair came to an end as DJ Katrella and DJ Ilon battled it out DJ style for Silent Disco. To an outsider, Silent Disco may have seemed a little bizarre. The crowd was singing out loud and dancing with no music, but when you put on your headphones it was like any other concert. The crowd lit up blue and green all night as they switched sets from Katrella to Ilon, singing like no one could hear them, and dancing like no one was watching.

Friday night headliners Neon Dreams.
Ottawa's Michelle Treacy performed Friday night. 

Elise Legrow from her Saturday night show!

We are counting down the days until pedestrians own the street again and Bank comes to life with art, music, and colour.

Until next year Glow Fair!