Starting this Saturday, the second annual MayWorks Ottawa festival of working people and the arts will bring working class history to life in Ottawa.
This year’s MayWorks Ottawa 2019 theme of Toppling the System: 100 years of the working class resistance and the arts marks the centenary of the Winnipeg General Strike, the largest and most influential strike in Canadian history.
MayWorks 2019 Program (details available here):
- Saturday, April 27: Workers Cabaret featuring Union Thugs, The Apparatchiks, Just Voices choir, The Ashton Starr, Christophe Elie, Maria-Helena Pacelli, and Himig Masa. 7pm at Avant Garde Bar, 135½ Besserer.
- Sunday, April 28: Book launch of Winnipeg 1919: The Strikers’ Own History of the General Strike, featuring labour historian Christo Aivalis. 2-4pm, 251 Bank Street, 2nd floor.
- Monday, April 29: Avant-première film screening of Never Forgotten, a documentary about the historic On-To-Ottawa Trek. In partnership with the Workers History Museum. 7pm at Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Ave.
- Tuesday, April 30: Participatory Dance Workshop. 7pm at Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Ave.
- Wednesday, May 1:
- Workers Cabaret: Resistance Is Beautiful, featuring music, poetry, aerial artists, and workers’ rights bingo. In partnership with the Fight for $15 & Fairness Ottawa. 7pm at Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Ave.
- Gil’s Hootenanny 10th anniversary concert, featuring Maria Dunn, Maria Hawkins, and Just Voices choir. 7:30pm at the RA Centre, 2451 Riverside Drive.
- Saturday, May 4: May the Fourth May Day Picnic. Organized by the Punch Up Collective. 2:30-4:30pm, Jack Purcell Community Centre, 320 Jack Purcell Lane.
- Tuesday, May 7. Sandy and Nora Talk Politics Live, a live recording of the popular podcast. 7pm at Arts Court Courtroom, 2 Daly Ave.
- Monday, May 13:
- Readings of a socialist playwright, featuring the award-winning Darrah Teitel. 7pm at Arts Court Courtroom, 2 Daly Ave.
- Storytelling and Panel on the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike. In partnership with the Workers History Museum. 7pm at Nepean Council Chambers
- Tuesday, May 14: Film Screening of the NFB documentary “Final Offer”. 7pm at Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Ave.
WHO: MayWorks Ottawa is a grassroots festival organized by labour and community activists.
WHY: “MayWorks is a festival of working class culture that is rooted in an understanding that all workers share a common struggle for justice and that the arts are an important means of advancing this struggle. Working class struggle in Ottawa and around the world is rooted in an unjust economic system and is characterized by unstable hours, short term contracts, and low wages,” says Kelti Cameron, one of MayWorks Ottawa’s organizers. “These struggles are further exacerbated by barriers like racial and gender discrimination, immigration status, criminalization, and lack of access to education. The result is precarity, income instability, underemployment, unemployment, forced migration and poverty.”
MayWorks recognizes May 1st, which is marked throughout the world as May Day or International Workers’ Day. This is the day when the workers of the world take to the streets in major cities around the globe demanding justice, fairness, and dignity for all. MayWorks Ottawa, for a 2nd year, aims to shed light on the issues facing workers and marginalized communities in this city, through various forms of art and engagement coinciding with May Day 2019.