Virtual Marvest, haunted Lansdowne and Glebe Spree highlight fall lineup in the Glebe

October 7, 2020 | by glebeadmin


Many of you may not be looking forward to the next few months, worried about what a second wave of COVID-19 could do to the community.

But if you live in the Glebe, there is a lot to be excited for this fall. From weekend Farmers’ Markets and a 15-week virtual music festival to a haunted attraction that promises to scare the living daylights out of you, the Glebe is alive this October.

The fun all starts with the 2020 virtual edition of Marvest, the Glebe’s signature music festival that typically draws more than 25,000 music fans to the Glebe for two days of local tunes. This year, the fest is going virtual, with 15 weekly concerts from some of the region’s most exciting emerging talents. The concerts will feature everything from folk and alt country to indie rock, jazz, funk fusion and more. Catch compelling performances from the likes of Mia Kelly, The Lionyls, Tara Shannon and more on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

“It was very important for us to maintain the event, even if it meant adapting creatively to these strange and trying circumstances,” says CityFolk Programming Coordinator Emma Francis. “It also continues to be a space to showcase emerging Ottawa musicians, as well as more established musicians interested in a one-of-a-kind performance opportunity.

In a time when many local musicians have had to stop playing as a result of the pandemic – be it cancelled performances at venues, shifting personal circumstances or even having to focus on being at-home teachers to their little ones – we wanted to offer a space to perform again, safely.”

While we will miss packing Glebe venues like The Clocktower, Capital Barbershop and The Papery, the virtual fest will provide that same Marvest vibe that we have all come to love so much. And you can still support these small businesses during the festival. Order take-out and feast in your living room while rocking out to Hopper; purchase a gift card from a past venue or stop into get a haircut from your favourite barber.

The 2020 edition of Marvest kicks off during the week of October 12 with a performance by Andrew Waines and will continue each and every week for 15 whopping weeks. Stay tuned for the full Marvest schedule.

If you’re afraid of anything this fall, it really should be the ghouls and goblins who will be taking over Lansdowne this October for a fright fest for the ages. Saunders Farm is pulling out all the stops for a haunted attraction on The Great Lawn that will feature, “the largest, longest, most terrifying walking experience produced by Saunders Farm to date.” Saunders Farm owner Mark Saunders says that if The Exorcist is a 10 of the fright scale, the SAWMILL is about an eight or a nine.


“The SAWMILL will be right up there with our scariest attractions on the Farm,” says Saunders, with a ghoulish laugh. He said the SAWMILL is a bit too intense for those under 12 years of age, but for adults, teens and tweens that can’t get enough of the horror genre, he says you should bring an extra pair of underwear.

The haunted walk will expose guests to the latest in scare technology, live actors and a creepy story that involves a lost colony of Millworkers from the early Bytown days that were discovered deep beneath the South Stands. Visit for tickets The SAWMILL, if you dare to find out what lurks beneath!

“We spent two years preparing for the launch of The SAWMILL in partnership with OSEG and, regardless of COVID-19, we are very excited,” says Saunders, noting that his haunted attraction adheres to social distancing rules and local health guidelines to ensure everyone is safe during their visit. “What people need now, more than ever, is a safe space to enjoy time outside with their loved ones, to make memories together, and to keep their spirits high. That’s what we are here to do.”

Once the scaring is done, it’s time to think about more cheery times. And those who are hoping to do Christmas shopping a little early this year will be happy to learn that Glebe Spree is returning this holiday season, and with it your chance to win a $10,000 shopping spree in the neighbourhood. This year’s contest will also feature a $2,500 early-bird prize as well as scores of instant-win prizes. Never has buying local been more vital to a community.

“Glebe Spree has never been more important to our neighbourhood than it is this year,” says Glebe BIA Executive Director Andrew Peck. “Our businesses and the local economy need community support greater than ever. The contest encourages people to shop locally and to keep their spending in the area during our most important shopping season.”

Glebe Spree runs from November 15 to December 31 and will lead into the Ottawa Christmas Market at Lansdowne, where scores of merchants will set up in the Casino Lac Leamy Square to sell off their holiday wares. The square will also feature local performances, outdoor fire pits and visits from Santa throughout December. Stay tuned for more details on the Ottawa Christmas Market.

It’s a busy fall and there’s a lot to keep you and your family busy, happy and healthy.

So, come out and support your local shops, your beloved bistros and your favourite local bands as we slide into a cozy fall. Our small businesses, our artists, our chefs, our service providers all need our help now more than ever. Small businesses are the lifeblood of any community. Let’s all do our part to make sure that blood keeps flowing through our cherished neighbourhoods. We’re all in this together and the only way it is through, together.