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Songs from the Shed

Ottawa musician Shawn Tavenier performs from behind a sheet of plexiglass during

an outdoor performance on the Sparks Street Mall in Ottawa on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020.

Sean Kilpatrick Canadian Press

If you’ve been frequenting Sparks Street this summer and fall, you may have been lured by the melodies emanating from our little venue, Songs from the Shed, finding yourself enjoying live local music on your walk by. Some of you may have even stopped your busy day to take a beat and enjoy the free entertainment.

Sparks' second season of Songs from the Shed looked a little different this year without our red beanbags and coloured block seating. Instead, a plexi-barrier shielding musician from audience was set up, but the vibe was present regardless. Passersby still had the opportunity to let their mind ease for a moment to take in a little soul food: music.

Live music creates an atmosphere where audience members can have an intimate and shared experience all at the same time, listening to the rhythms and sounds with both the musician and others as well as having an internal response. Many studies and articles have been conducted and written on the phenomenon of music and its effects on people. According to the research article, How Live Performance Moves the Human Heart, live music resulted in “…the audience’s superior attention and temporal entrainment to live performance.” Music has also been known to de-stress, and during times like these, we could all use a little break!

Sparks Street BIA Songs from the Shed 2019

We are so grateful to have a city full of local talent which made every single Tuesday and Thursday performance an enjoyable treat from noon to 2 p.m. We’ve compiled as many of our past performers as we could into an Archive located on our site for those interested in

learning more about individual artists. Our music programmer, Mason Quesnel, sources as well as occasionally performs for us and is well known in the Ottawa musical community.

Sparks Street BIA Songs from the Shed 2019

We hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy the tunes and can come back to Sparks Street again next season when we hope to host our third edition of Songs from the Shed! We look forward to more opportunities for experiences and interactions with local talent on your lunches or as you explore the shops and restaurants in a safe and healthy environment.

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