Metro News - Ottawa

Indie songstress thriving

Support from local fans keeps musician going

By Kim Mannix Vermette

for Metro Ottawa


There are a lot of challenges associated with being a totally independent musical artist, but there can be just as many rewards.

From Allison Crowe’s perspective, being an independent musician has brought her both success, and a network of supporters that stretch from her hometown on Vancouver Island, to her new home in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.

“It takes grassroots building through the people you meet online or in the towns and cities you go to. What’s rewarding about that is I’m still talking to a lot of the same people I did when I started, and they become friends.”

One of those friends Crowe encountered early in her career was Sam Awwad, the Managing Director of Ottawa’s Vision Theatre.

An Internet search to find the perfect song for his wedding led Awwad to Crowe, and her cover of Throw Your Arms Around Me - a song which Awwad’s favourite band, Pearl Jam, had also recorded.

When Awwad and his fellow organizers needed someone to play a benefit concert for the theatre, and another local not-for-profit - Canines With A Cause (CWAC) - Crowe quickly came to mind.

The show proved to be a success for the charities, and provided jut one more way for Crowe to share her unique mix of rock, jazz, folk and blues, which she pumps out with passion, and a healthy dose of humour, from behind her piano.

“Watching her perform is a fantastic experience, and I really think that more people should know about her and her music,” shares Awwad.

The benefit show was equally rewarding for Crowe, so she decided to come back again this year to aid CWAC and Vision Theatre.

“It’s always nice to have everyone working towards a common goal. It gives you a sense of community, even when you’re not from that city,” says Crowe.

After playing in the city Saturday nights, Crowe will do a handful of shows on the East Coast before heading to Scotland - a country that loves her almost as much as Canada does - to perform in the John Lennon Northern Lights Festival.

She says she feels lucky to have recognition and fans throughout the world, and credits the internet for creating buzz.

“With my Hallelujah video especially I suddenly had tons of viewers from all over the place and I thought “Where did they come from? It can’t all be my Mom,” she says with a laugh.

Crowe says she’s looking forward to reconnecting with Ottawa fans, and friends, at her show tomorrow night.

Indie music artist Allison Crowe will share her humour and passion with Ottawans on Saturday night

Indie music artist Allison Crowe will share her humour and passion with Ottawans on Saturday night.

Seeing It?

Tickets for the concert at Library and Archives Canada Auditorium are $18, or $12 for students and seniors. They can be purchased at the door, or at Arts Court Box Office, 2 Daly Avenue.