By Bernie Gracieuse
Ottawa is commonly given the reputation for being a ‘boring government city’, and we have heard it many times. However, in the last couple of years we have seen many creatives excelling in their craft and bringing positive attention to the city. Here is a list of six creatives (from all various mediums) that I have been following for a few years now:
My first encounter with Melissa was through the Aftermath Exhibition, an event thrown in honour of Black History Month by a few creatives in the city. She performed a few covers, and her beautiful vocals coupled with her intricate choreography left me in complete awe. Since then, her music has generated over 100 000 streams in the year of 2019 alone. Moreover, she recently announced she has been working on new music, which we will hopefully get a chance to listen to at the beginning of the new year.
Akarts is widely known for his artwork transforming various musical artists into anime and comic books inspired artwork and clothing. His colourful and detailed artwork has been recognized by platforms such Complex Canada, Esquire Uk and AT&T and has caught the attention of various celebrities such as Lil Nas X, Future, The Weeknd and many others.
Annita is a photographer that is passionate about storytelling. From weddings, to editorials, she does it all. Her precise attention to detail, coupled with her passion to represent black people in a positive light is constantly seen through her work. Her creative project Shea Butter Baby, Les Zazas, along with her collaboration with Clore Beauty Supply Store, has caught the attention of the media and other online platforms.
Fitch is a photographer who recently made the transition into film making. This transition ultimately furthered his passion for story-telling. His short film “Forgive Me Father”, has been awarded at the Pinnacle Film Awards and Flicks Film Festival. His latest film, ‘More Than Hair’, premiered earlier this December at the Digi60 Film Festival in Ottawa. This film was about the hair journey of a young adopted black boy, which I found to be very important. We often highlight stories about young Black women and their struggles to accept their beauty in the midst of adversity, forgetting that young Black men can also go through the same struggles.
Anais is a bilingual singer, songwriter, and performing artist. Her soft melodies, accompanied by her angelic voice and gentle lyrics make for catchy tunes. She performs at various events in the City of Ottawa, and has grown her online platform by constantly sharing her musical talent.
If you live in Ottawa, you have definitely seen some of Andre’s work. Whether it was online, during an event, or even a live painting or on a mural in the city – his art has travelled many cities and he has won various art competitions. One of the most notable being The 2019 National Champion Art Battle Canada. Recently, he was the subject of a documentary titled ‘The Eternal Chaos of Allan Andre’, detailing his journey as an artist. Art Life Andre allowed the audience to have a different perspective of the artist behind the art.
This is not even a handful of the talent we have here in Ottawa, but hopefully this introduced you to at least one, or seven new creatives. Follow this blog for more info about Ottawa Lifestyle and Pop Culture.