Sasquatch Information Page
"Often, the artist is like a hairy beast, hiding in the forest."--Jane Jordan
This prescient remark by Ottawa's "Dean of Poets" twenty years ago prompted me to start a program aimed at bringing those "hairy beasts" out of the forest and into a well-lit place where they could -- in the succinct language of the Sixties -- "do their thing".
SASQUATCH is far more than a poetry reading series, it is a recreation of the European "cafe des artistes" tradition: an afternoon of music and words (poetry, stories, short sections of novels), sometimes films, paintings, even acting and dance, staged in a friendly cafe setting, in which it is entirely permissible, even mandatory, for the audience to dialogue with the performers.
SASQUATCH is currently meeting on the second and forth
Sunday at the Royal Oak II, 161
Laurier East between Cumberland and King Edward (Sandy Hill), in the downstairs
room, 2:00PM - 4:30PM. Admission is free and the "Oak" is fully
licensed.. There is always an open set and usually one, sometimes two
featured guests. We have met on and off since 1980 in various Ottawa cafes
("The Blue Gardenia", "Pepper's", "The
Wildflower", "The Centurion", "Rosie Lee", "The
Glebe Cafe", "The Rideau Cafe", "Cock Robin",
"The Dunvegan Pub"), in a format of party rather than serious
artistic communion. SASQUATCH is an environment where everybody is
welcome, from seasoned pro to beginner. The point is participation.
Our proudest boast is that many people have crossed their personal Rubicon,
that "line in the sand", that point of no return, and got up in
front of a live audience and presented their work for the first time at SASQUATCH.We
have over the years had periods when we have been funded by The Canada
Council for the Arts, the Ontario
Arts Council and the City of Ottawa
(formerly the Regional Municipality of
Ottawa-Carleton). At other times we simply "pass the hat".
Everybody shares in the bounty and everybody shares in the good times. We
intend to keep it that way. The names of people who have appeared at SASQUATCH
over the years is like a roster of the writers of Ottawa and includes
distinguished colleagues from other parts of Canada as well: Sylvia Adams,
Diana Brebner,Stephanie Bolster, Ronnie Brown, Cyril
Dabydeen, Michael Dennis,Luciano Diaz, William Hawkins,
Beth Jankola,Jane Jordan,Christopher Levenson, Blaine
Marchand,Seymour Mayne,Phil Mader,rob mclennan, Colin
Morton,Daniel Nadezhdin, Dominique Oriol, E. Russell
Smith,Nicola Vulpe, Patrick White,Caroline Zenailo
-- just to name a few. We hope to add your name to our list.