Giving City of Ottawa a change of tune

Dylan Conway-Hardwick Photo

Not even your hipster friends would believe you if you told them you discovered the next cool and new indie band while waiting on hold to report a stray garbage can to the City of Ottawa’s phone system.

The City of Ottawa has launched an initiative to replace the mind-numbing elevator music that you hear when you call 3-1-1 to report a municipal issue to showcase some of the local talent that in the city.

The initiative, simply referred to as #ottmusik, boasters it will give a platform for local Ottawa musicians to “reach a broader audience and show appreciation for what you do for our city” according to the press release.  Providing a unique experience while calling the City and furthering new opportunities to Ottawa’s cultural community.

With over 200 submissions entered through their website, the process involves using the hashtag “ottmusik” to show support and love for your favorite artist, where on Feb. 25, a selection committee will choose a crop of artists they plan to play in rotation.

David Tullock, a music industry arts student at Algonquin felt inspired to submit his recording since the message of his song was about Ottawa already.

“I normally don’t enter into these contests,” says Tullock. “I recorded a song for school about Ottawa and why people leave it so it fit.”

Tullock thinks it’s great the city is supporting local artists, especially since Ottawa has gained a reputation as being boring compared to places like Montreal or out east.

“The music scene in Ottawa is a hidden gem, you have to look around to find it,” says Tullock.

Country recording artist Rory Gardiner heard about the initiative through Facebook, the main social networking site he uses as his “marketing board”.

A veteran to unique voting concepts, Gardiner was a contestant on a reality country music-type show in 2007 where he made the finals.

“It would be cool to go fight my water bill one week and hear my song play while I’m hold,” says Gardiner, whose music has been used for theme songs and commercials. “It’s a neat concept.”

“I hope all Ottawa residents and music fans share my enthusiasm for this project and my excitement about hearing the music samples that will be submitted to #ottmusik,” says Mayor Jim Watson on his website.


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