At first glance, Ottawa may not seem like a place conducive to women and music, but if you look closer, you’ll realize that’s not the case. When it comes to ladies and the local music scene, Ottawa is home to some great initiatives like the Ottawa Rock Camp for Girls. With inspiring opportunities like these, it’s no surprise that the National Capital Region abounds with female talent.
One local lady in particular, Andrea Desjardins, set out to contribute to the local music scene by launching Rocksteady Bookings (RSB), her very own events production company, in December 2011. As someone with a passion for music of all genres, Desjardins felt the need to support Ottawa’s scene by giving local artists a platform with which they could be heard. Since its inception, the company has strived to enhance the Ottawa music scene by presenting a wide array of bands and musicians at various venues. Along the way, RSB has allowed new bands to showcase their material to receptive audiences, permitting them to gain fans and garner attention. Being a woman in the music industry certainly comes with its challenges, but as Desjardins puts it, the key is to “focus on the business and passion I have for it and those who don’t take me seriously or question my ability to succeed will be proven wrong eventually”. And that’s the spirit to have, regardless of gender.
Since starting RSB, Desjardins has seen a noticeable change in how the local music scene has evolved. Reflecting back on the past 3 years, she points out: “More up and coming artists are taking the chance to perform and getting their names out in the city. Equally, there’s more and more support coming from local businesses and promoters towards them.” That in itself is extremely encouraging and proves that by working hand-in-hand, Ottawa musicians, venues and promoters are helping the scene grow while building a sense of community. “Hopefully this trend will continue and more aspiring artists will take the leap and put themselves out there musically, and the outpour of support for them will continue to flourish,” she adds.
As a female entrepreneur, it was only natural for Desjardins to want to celebrate her company’s third birthday surrounded by other local superwomen, and what better way to do it then by presenting an all-female-fronted music night on December 13 at Mavericks. By aligning with Dead Centuries, Tindervox, Danielle Allard, Arms of the Girl, and Sweet Alps, RSB’s first lady recognizes that “female empowerment is important and can sometimes get lost in things like music, as it tends to be very male-dominated. Having a girl power theme is a perfect way to celebrate our city’s female talent by placing them at the forefront.” RSB’s Ladies First inspired birthday bash will showcase five great bands for $5, making it an easy and affordable way to support home-grown talent and hardworking ladies of the National Capital.
Who run the world? Girls!