a vibrant musical heartbeat throughout the city

Kent Aitken photographed in front of Irene’s Pub in The Glebe.

Local musician and Musical Underground Ottawa creator Kent Aitken is originally from Prince Edward Island. When he moved here, he figured he’d stay for three to five years then head back east. That was just shy of six years ago, and he doesn’t see any signs of budging, and it’s because there is so much he loves about Ottawa. He loves how everyone here plays an active part in the community – and seems to go above and beyond. He also loves from his home in The Glebe where he can easily bike to work downtown or even kayak along the canal to a bar on Dows Lake.

Having been interested in politics and how countries work since high school, Kent loves being a part of that process as a public servant, and loves seeing the government Parliament Buildings while walking around downtown.

© dwayne brown studio – the loveOttawa project

Two things stand out for Kent that are distinctly Ottawa – all of the public spaces and historical sites, as well as all of the events and speaker series. He loves to take advantage of the parks, the canal, Parliament Hill and monuments. “My group of friends and I have become downright masterful at biking food, beverages, music, instruments, games, and sports to the various venues around the city (Hog’s Back is a favourite).”  Kent also loves to catch events hosted by HUB Ottawa, Canada 2020, The Ottawa Economics Association, The Bank of Canada and others. “These events draw politicians, public servants, academics, citizens, journalists, you name it. The conversations taking place about public policy, politics, public administration, economics, social issues, etc. – between people that can bring weight to bear on them – are fascinating, and as a theme are one of my favourite things to do in Ottawa.”

Kent is also a big fan of the various music venues and restaurants in town, but qualifies his list of favourtites with “There’s a time and place for everything!” Here’s a list of some of his favs:

Eating + Drinking
Irene’s (for Saturday afternoons)
Union 613 (for lunches)
Parliament Pub (for really nice days)
Murray Street (for well…..whenever)
The Daily Grind and Pressed (are also top notch)

Avant Garde
Irene’s (of course)
The NAC Fourth Stage (great sound and layout – and cabaret style seating)

Kent is also a big fan of the local independent music scene in Ottawa, names like: Tariq Anwar, Dynamite Motel, Cooper MacLaren, Choopy McWilliam, Tindervox, Arrows and Anchors, and Little Stella. “There’s a vibrant musical heartbeat throughout the city!”

Kent’s been putting his love for music and Ottawa to work by creating a really cool street initiative called Musical Underground Ottawa – it’s about encouraging people to share the music they love to play. “It’s reverse busking –  that is, setting up in parks and public spaces and inviting passers-by to play for us. And, of course, filming the whole thing.”  Taking a close peek at this cool project is a must!

Thanks so much Kent for sharing and for creating Musical Underground Ottawa! You can follow Kent Aitken on twitter at: @MUOttawa


Categorised as: Dwayne Brown Studio, loveOttawa

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