The Tim Hortons Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival is looking to heat things up for its second time around by bringing you seven of the area’s hottest acts. We start off with a pair of acts so hot we have to limit Friday night to two acts because we have to keep the heat to a minimum Friday night so that the ice surface has enough time to freeze over again for a full day of Ice Dragon Boat races (Races start Saturday morning at 8:00). Once races wrap up on Saturday, February 10 though, we’re turning up the temperature again with five more amazing artists.

Birds of Bellwoods will be the first band EVER to take the stage at the Tim Hortons Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival. They already have their hometown of Toronto abuzz with their unique combinations of instruments: banjo, mandolin, and stand-up bass along with the guitars you would come to expect from a rock band, and their beautiful four-piece harmonies. Check out their video for Let You Go to hear what I mean, their four voices intertwined will be well worth the data charges, trust me.


Closing out our opening night will be someone who is no stranger to the Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, but this will be the first time we put Kalle Mattson on ice, which will be an interesting exercise considering this man’s musical style is already cool as ice. If you are in Ottawa and have not heard this man live, or worse still, do not know even know of this Juno nominated artist (2016 – Best Music Video for Avalanche), we at the Tim Hortons Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival have provided you the opportunity to resolve this.


Our second night of music launches with the 2014 winners of the Live 88.5 FM Big Money Shot, The Lionyls. If you’ve seen Serena Ryder, Sam Roberts, July Talk, A Tribe Called Red, The Stumbellas, The Trews or pretty much any mainstream Canadian Indie Rock artists, then you likely saw this hometown band open for them. Their music is an eclectic mixture of influences from Soul and R&B, to Rock and funk. This dynamic musical presence makes them a perfect fit for audiences of all kinds which makes them a perfect opener for an event like the Tim Hortons Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival, itself being a very eclectic mix of Canadian Ice and Chinese Tradition.

The next artist is another stayover from this past summer’s Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, the Twin Flames. Twin Flames combines the musical talents of Chelsea June and Jaaji, both of which were already well established folk artists in their own right before meeting during the filming of a song writing television series for APTN back in 2014. Since then their combination of Jaaji’s Inuit influenced musical stylings, mixed with June’s Metis inspired storytelling, has earned the Ottawa based duo much recognition and acclaim throughout both Canada and the United States.

If you’re a user of or have benefited from online dating or a connoisseur of that fine piece of Canadian culture known as Degrassi you should already be familiar with our third Saturday night artist, Amos the Transparent. Another product of the nation’s capital, this 10-piece band is sure to turn the heat up at the Tim Hortons Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival, this writer is a particular fan on their unique covers, referred to as Amos Undercover Sessions on their YouTube page. I highly recommend their cover of fellow Canadian artist Matthew Good Band’s Hello Time Bomb.

Rory Taillon made Ottawa his home about two years ago and has found more opportunity here as a singer-songwriter than he did in Toronto. Ottawa does host a tonne of huge Festivals, including the Tim Hortons Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival, but its Rory’s haunting voice and possibly that wonderful beard of his that has created those opportunities. Check out his video for Whispers—produced by longtime festival media partners, Current Sessions (check out all their videos from our past summer festivals on the Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival YouTube Channel)—walking with Rory through the almost empty corridors of Toronto’s PATH will make a fan of anyone who isn’t already.

We wrap the festival up with Julian Taylor Band a true chameleon of musical styles, combining Jazz, Rock, Soul, Blues, Folk, and more. With their versatility it is now wonder he was nominated for both a Black Canadian Award (Best Jazz/Soul Act) and Indigenous Music Award (Best Group) in 2015. Most importantly though frontman (Julian Taylor obviously) can fit 78 pieces of Coke Bottle Candy into his mouth at one time! The real amazing thing though, it that the song, of the same name, is way more impressive than the number of candies, and that just says it all!

Check out all these acts at the 2nd EVER (in North America) Tim Hortons Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival at Lago Bar and Grill:

Birds of Bellwoods – Friday, February 09 at 6:30pm

Kalle Mattson – Friday, February 09 at 9:00pm

The Lionyls – Saturday, February 10 at 4:00pm

Twin Flames – Saturday, February 10 at 5:30pm

Amos the Transparent – Saturday, February 10 at 7:00pm

Rory Taillon – Saturday, February 10 at 8:30pm

Julian Taylor – Saturday, February 10 at 10:00pm

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