It seems like Ottawa has almost over night, turned into a summer festival city. There are so many festivals, for just about everyone. Most of these events are right in the middle of the city, celebrating the historic and cultural landmarks and the beautiful neighbourhoods of Ottawa. Last night we ventured down to experience a different approach to a festival, one that is almost hidden away and hard to find, unless you know where to look. Perhaps the venue (underneath the Bronson Bridge, between Carleton University and Brewer park) is the perfectly appropriate location. The House of PainT festival celebrates the local Hip Hop culture, highlighting DJing, MCing, dance and graffiti art.
To quote the House of PainT website, "Hip hop began as an expression of cultural defence and reclamation for marginalized communities. Continuing with this tradition, House of PainT is committed to supporting communities in fostering safe, respectful, anti-oppressive and empowering spaces." We love that a festival, on the surface, may look like just a fun expressive urban event, actually has such respectful core values.
We really enjoyed the event. It was beyond visual, very respectful and inclusive, super affordable (pay what you can to enter) and it was filled with some pretty awesome music and dance!