The second of December's two Awesome Ottawa awards goes to Megan Johnson and Jacob Caines to support innovative community concerts.
“The music scene in Ottawa is conservative,” says Megan, “and dominated by older institutions. Jacob and I felt a need to create a platform that would allow young emerging artists the chance to create collaborative, innovative concerts. Sesquisharp (which means three quarter tones sharp) is a totally grassroots organization, and we function completely on volunteers. We program three concerts a year, and just completed a successful second season opening show in November. We perform all kinds of music: classical, contemporary, cabaret, broadway, etc., and use all different kinds of performers: instrumentalists, singers, dancers, tumblers, actors, etc. Our concerts are very multidisciplinary and are always held in non-traditional venues throughout the city.”
“We always have a loose theme for each concert,” Megan explains, “which informs the music choices, the types of performers involved, the venue and the marketing. We include as many young artists as possible, to provide them with the exposure, the performing experience, and also the chance to have a say in the creation of the concert. We believe in the power of art and music performance in creating vibrant, healthy, sustainable, communities, and with each concert we try to push ourselves even more to provide our community with something innovative and out-of-the-box.” The award from Awesome Ottawa will go toward the remaining two shows in Sesquisharp’s 2013-14 season—an evening of rotating conductors, and a short tour of Eastern Ontario with a concert of cabaret music.
Megan is a classical singer and art administrator, and Jacob a clarinetist and conductor. Both grew up in Nova Scotia, and came to Ottawa in 2010.
Funded by Ottawa, ON (December 2013)