NAC’s new Friday night ‘discovery series’ showcases emerging talent

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Gabrielle Shonk and her band performing at the NAC Fourth Stage during its grand unveiling on Wednesday Oct. 4, 2017. (Roy Grogan/via NAC)

The trouble with booking emerging artists a year in advance is, when it comes time for the show to begin, they may not be “emerging” anymore.

So said Heather Gibson, executive producer of NAC Presents and variety programming, about the process of creating the NAC’s new weekly series dedicated to new talent, Fridays at the Fourth.

“They might be past that point,” she said of some of the artists scheduled to perform in the series. It debuts on Friday at 8:30 p.m. with local hip-hop group Blakdemin at the newly-renovated NAC Fourth Stage, unveiled on Wednesday.

“There’s a number of local artists that are just on the cusp (between emerging and not),” she said.

One example may be Rebecca Noelle, the local soul singer who sells out shows wherever she plays, Gibson said. Or the quickly ascending Catriona Sturton, a local indie rocker scheduled for Nov. 10.

“The idea is I’m wanting to bring the very best of emerging music into Ottawa,” Gibson said in a previous interview in May. “It’s a discovery series.”

First look at the new NAC Fourth Stage after its unveiling. (Roy Grogan/via NAC)

True to the style of the former Fourth Stage, the series will have a laid-back feel appropriate for a casual Friday — the cover charge can be paid at the door for the spontaneous and there’s an open bar, too.

“I hope they’ll (the audience) get excited and like how it looks, how it feels,” Gibson said. “The experience is going to be much more audience-driven.”

Tickets for Fridays at the Fourth cost $15, or $10 for students.


Devyn Barrie

Devyn Barrie is an editor for OttawaStart.com and writes for our sister site StittsvilleCentral.ca. He studies journalism at Algonquin College. Follow him on Twitter @DevynBarrieNews.

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