a peek inside the fishbowl

08 Apr, 2011

Welcome to our newest patron: WESTFEST

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Westboro|Fishbowl patrons

I am really happy to welcome the latest addition to the Fishbowl family! Please take a moment to say helloooo to Westfest.

Westfest is free, interdisciplinary community festival that will be celebrating their 8th year. But interdisciplinary sounds a bit, hmm, stuffy. It’s not the right word. So let me rephrase that: Westfest is a giant 14-block street party that celebrates art and life. It really does. The main strip along Richmond closes down to cars, creating one giant hive of people. In fact, I wonder if we should start calling it Bestfest. Although they’ve had some growing pains, I’ve talked to a lot of people about it lately and they all agree that this is going to be the best one yet. :)

The thing I love most about Westfest  – and I have mentioned this here before – is seeing our friends and neighbors taking part in what has turned into a really cool tradition. Imagine, we have a festival in our very own neighborhood!

This year, Westfest will be taking place Friday June 10 – Sunday June 12.

I had the opportunity to attend the official launch on April 1. It’s going to be one hellaevent. The theme this year is “Westfest gets Naked” which I think is absolutely hilarious.

Taken at the Westfest launch, April 1 2011

It remains to be seen whether someone interprets this literally and embraces noodee behaviour at some point over the weekend. WHO KNOWS. But seriously, it’s a great nod to the headlining musical act, Bif Naked. (Woot!)

Now that my kids are older I am really looking forward to enjoying more of the music acts and discovering something new. The lineup looks amazing. Every night has something worth checking out.  Headliners include Lucie Idlout on Friday, Bif Naked on Saturday, and the Mighty Popo on Sunday.

The big change this year is that the main stage has been moved behind the Superstore on Richmond at Kirkwood (along the giant strip of unused grass). This basically quadruples the audience area for the main stage. There’s a grassy hill which runs alongside the length of the audience area, which will create some nice breathing room and a bit of a buffer, allowing Westfest to fence it all off and make the space fully licenced. (Yay!)

Also worth noting- and in keeping with the music theme (as opposed to the naked theme) –  Westfest is giving away a $3000 custom guitar. Your name is automatically entered when you buy a Westfest t-shirt or cap… which will be available during Westfest at merchant tents along the street and at the Domicile main stage. More info about that here. I am SO entering this contest. If I win I swear I will learn to play the guitar.

Other good stuff to know:

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the official charity of Westfest is the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa. (Full disclosure: I sit on the board of the YSB Charitable Foundation.) They are a WONDERFUL organization and deserve every penny that is donated. When you see Westfest volunteers asking for donations (they’ll be roving the streets with empty paint cans), please give generously.

I hope to see you there!

5 Responses to "Welcome to our newest patron: WESTFEST"

1 | Chantal

April 8th, 2011 at 2:12 pm


we go almost every year. It falls on my anniversary weekend and DH and I often go to the concert as part of our celebration. Although this year I want to try and get there during the day with the kids. Have never done that before.

2 | Jay

April 9th, 2011 at 2:35 pm


We went last year for our first time because of your blog post:) I LOVED it so much that the kids and I dragged their Dad out the 2nd day because of how awesome it was. Love Westfest!!! Thanks for introducing it to our family!

3 | Zhu

April 9th, 2011 at 8:55 pm


I’ll definitely come! It’s the start of the festival season in Ottawa and honestly, after the long winter we’ve had, I can’t wait to go out and do stuff again.

4 | Kate S.

April 9th, 2011 at 11:05 pm


Westfest is fun, and I’m sure a great boon to local business, which I’m all in favour of, but I am groaning a little at the change in location for the evening music events, as I now live 3 blocks away with small children who need to sleep amid the loud, late music and the beer’d up late nigh leavers… yay indeed..! (oh, getting SO old, i know;) Maybe a weekend away..

5 | Pauline

April 13th, 2011 at 4:41 pm


Shucks! I missed it this year! Ah well! I hope it was a blast! :)

comment form:


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Lynn: Excellent to hear! Every person who reports getting the shot makes me feel hopeful, like we are one more small step closer to good times again. Our
  • a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive I got jabbed! #TeamPfizer - a peek inside the fishbowl: […] the same day our youngest turned 20, I got my first Covid vaccine. For the record, my next one is scheduled four months from […]
  • andrea tomkins: Heeeey! I'm glad it was a good experience for you! Thanks for letting me know. :)
  • Kylie: Thanks for telling us about the SavvyCompany fondue party! We signed up with relatives across Ontario as a fun (virtual) way to celebrate my mother-in
  • Charlotte: Thank you for this awesome post. it’s a very informative blog thanks for sharing with us.
  • andrea tomkins: I don't own any Miik items, just seen those pretty dresses from afar! :) I didn't know they made leggings and am intrigued...
  • molly: Have you purchased Miik before? I have a couple of dresses and I wear them all summer - like, twice a week - and they wash beautifully. And so so comf

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


Connect with me at these places too!

On the nightstand

All hail the mighty Twitter