Ottawa gets a hug from underground music promoter Ska Jeff

Ottawa; a small city, but rich in underground art, music and culture. I’ve lived here my whole life. I grew up in the east end suburb, Orleans. As a young teenager I discovered punk rock which led to the underground music scene. At that time so much was happening. There were so many awesome bands coming through Ottawa, and an entourage of Ottawa and the valley bands.

We had amazing spots like Bumpers, Club Saw, The Underground (now House of Targ), and Babylon to name, plus the majority of community centres and tons of houses throwing basement shows. I’d see multiple shows a week of all styles. It was an incredibly inspiring thing as a teenager to be surrounded by great music and great people.

This all led me to playing in bands, promoting shows, and getting involved in the underground punk/music community. Over the years bands, venues, and kids came and went. However, people continued to collaborate with other musicians to create new bands. Bands kept coming through Ottawa. People continued to make things happen. A small minority in an apathetic majority, but putting Ottawa on the map.

Ottawa; a small city, but rich in underground art, music and culture. Ottawa is blooming right now with incredible show spaces and venues like Luneta, Gabba Hey, Pressed, Mavericks, among others, and soon will include the incredibly anticipated House of Targ started by Paul ‘Yogi’ Granger which will feature pinball, classic arcade machines, house-made perogies and live music every night. Gabba Hey as mentioned is a 15+ room jam space, newly made record shop, and occasional show space run by Luke Nuclear of Boyhood/The White Wires.

We have festivals like Ottawa Explosion, Bleak Life, and Heartfest coming up. Tons of promotion collectives like Ottawa Explosion, Finish What You Started (shameless self plug!), Bruised Tongue, Debaser and the giants Spectrasonic.

Ottawa is a great city, and I love it. Get out and indulge yourself!

Check out, and to see whats coming up!

- Ska Jeff