Girls+ Rock Ottawa is run by female volunteers and music-lovers who believe in increasing diversity and inclusion in the Ottawa music community. Join us on our mission!
Tiffanie believes that music is an important form of empowerment and self-expression and should be accessible to everyone. Born and raised in Ottawa, Tiffanie has been involved in music since an early age when she learned how to play piano, followed by guitar and saxophone. Tiffanie began teaching at Girls+ Rock Ottawa in 2014 and credits this experience for connecting her to her future band mates from Scary Bear Soundtrack, a local indie band that has performed at Yellowknife's Folk on the Rocks Festival, Ottawa Bluesfest and JUNOFest. A senior advisor for the federal government by day, Tiffanie is a graduate of Carleton University where she obtained her Master’s Degree in International Affairs.
Rachel Weldon is General Manager for Kelp Music and MEGAPHONO, where she manages communications, writes grants, supports tour and album marketing initiatives, and manages the program for the annual MEGAPHONO Showcase Music Festival and Conference. She also acts as creative director for Debaser, sits on the CHUO-FM Board of Directors, co-hosts Heavy Friends on CKCU-FM, and DJs events under the moniker Pink Veil. Before joining Kelp Music full-time, she was a founding staff member of the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition, and helped grow the organization from formation to over 150 members and five core programs. She loves music that is interesting, exciting, and out-of-the-box, and is passionate about supporting artists and creators.
Amanda Lowe Warnakulasuriya is a local singer-songwriter, open mic host and wearer of many hats within the music industry. She was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and grew up in Charlottetown, PEI. She was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Medal at age 18 for her work within her community. In August 2012, she moved to Ottawa to attend the University of Ottawa, and started her work as a musician. She then began working at Patrick Artists as their Grant Coordinator and also deals with many components of Artist Support (Show bookings, marketing/promotion, etc). She is currently the Social Media Coordinator at Ottawa Beat, and volunteers most of her time helping local artists plan tours, play rad shows, and get started in grant writing!
Stephanie first became involved with Girls+ Rock Ottawa in 2009 when it was organized by Ladyfest Ottawa. Her role within the organization has varied over the years from making lunches, to fundraising, coordinating volunteers and as a lead organizer of camp itself. One of the things that hasn't changed is the inspiration to take on a new challenge each year after watching our campers perform at the live showcase at the end of each camp. Working in healthcare by day, Stephanie continues to learn a lot about the local music community as a result of her involvement with camp.
Sponsorships / media relations
Music has always played a vital role in Bianca’s life. Born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, she spent most weekends as a teenager attending shows in the neighbouring city of Detroit, Michigan. With close access to such a vibrant – and iconic – music scene, Bianca was left inspired and impacted. At 15, Bianca was forming her own bands and promoting shows in true DIY form. At 17 she worked as a music writer for a grassroots magazine, interviewing Canadian artists such as Sarah Harmer and Treble Charger. At 19, she organized the No Name Music Festival, a one-night event featuring up-and-coming bands performing at various venues. The same year, Bianca began hosting her own music-based program, Close Your Eyes, on CJAM - the local Campus Community radio station. After graduating from the University of Windsor and working overseas, Bianca returned to Canada and worked as a National Publicist at Warner Music Canada in Toronto, Ontario. Currently working as a fundraiser in the non-profit sector, Bianca joined Girls+ Rock Ottawa in 2016. She hopes to share her wealth of experience and inspiration with aspiring young musicians.
Christine Chesser is a singer-songwriter, pottery teacher, plant nerd, and avowed cat appreciator. A long-time veteran of the local music scene, Christine hosted a weekly show focusing on Canadian independent music on CHUO community radio in the 1990's. Over the years she has played in various bands including Chickpea, Jimmy George, The Johnnies, and Trees of North America. Christine is passionate about encouraging young women to find their own voice through music. Through joining Girls Rock Ottawa, she hopes to help empower them to be the next generation of women rockers in the Ottawa music scene, that she herself is proud to be part of. During the day Christine multitasks like nobody's business at a local mental health Not for Profit where she has at different times served as Finance Coordinator, Admin Coordinator, and acting Executive Director. Christine currently plays violin in Chautauqua.
Ariane Bell Vila
Social Media Coordinator
Born in the UK, Ariane moved to Ottawa when she was six and has just recently returned to the city after living and working in New Zealand for a year and graduating from Laurier University in Waterloo, ON with her B.Mus in Voice. Being raised on an eclectic mix of her dad’s cassettes, her mom’s Spanish artists and her own music tastes, Ariane grew up with all kinds of genres and sounds; loving every minute of it. She firmly believes in the power of music and the joy it brings to both the people listening to it and creating it. She currently teaches voice and piano while working on her own music and learning new things about the arts industry.
Emma is a lifetime music enthusiast and self-identified punk, born and raised in Ottawa. After a brief stint in Halifax to complete an undergraduate degree in English and Gender Studies, she has returned to her home town and is working on a masters degree. Emma bounced around between woodwind, brass, piano, and vocals during her time in middle and high school band, and although nothing really stuck, she believes in the power of music and is passionate about making arts programming accessible to everyone. Drawn to Girls+ Rock Ottawa by its goal of creating a more diverse and inclusive local scene, Emma is excited to be working with an organization committed to visions of gender equality and justice that also- quite literally- rocks!
Kyla grew up in the suburbs of Toronto where she began playing acoustic sets at coffee houses from the age of 13. She moved to Ottawa to pursue a bachelor's degree in Interactive Multimedia and Design and now works as a Graphic and Multimedia Designer. Along with some of her good pals she met in Ottawa, she started a band called No Mistakes in Space and has now taken some of her acoustically written songs to a new level with a full band. Inspired by her own experience in the music scene and journey of self-growth and identification, she gains fulfillment from helping out with Girls+ Rock Ottawa and feels that it is important to inspire and empower other self-identified girls to not be afraid to be loud, confident, and to express themselves through music.
Official Girls+ Rock Ottawa Photographer
Jess was born and raised here in Ottawa. Although her musical tastes were heavily influenced by the rock and blues music of her dad, a career in music never quite took off (“band practices” with friends mostly consisted of sleepovers watching School of Rock). She chose to focus her creativity on photography instead, and graduated from the Algonquin College program in 2010. She has photographed subjects like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Tom Mulcair, Rona Ambrose, and the Chief Justice, as well as advertising campaigns and corporate work. In 2016 she approached Girls+ Rock Ottawa about her vision of doing a personal series of portraits and candids during the camp. With the success of that project, she is excited to partner with G+RO to continue capturing these amazing individuals and one of a kind moments! You can see more of her work at www.jessicadeeks.com.
Clara split her childhood between Ottawa and various part of Asia. Because her family had no access to English music radio while overseas, they listened to the same Broadway cassettes over and over again. When she moved back to Canada for high school, Clara began taking lessons and teaching herself a variety of musical instruments in order to compose songs on them, and started exploring different genres. Always fascinated by business, she began her Music Industry Arts diploma at Algonquin College in 2015, which led her to starting her music industry blog, Pop of Colour, while in school. Clara has been with Girls + Rock since 2017.
Policy & Governance Officer
Els Durnford is an East Coaster-turned-Ottawan after relocating from Lunenburg, NS to go to Carleton University. Always having an interest in music, Els found her way into the Ottawa music scene through photography for the local site Ottawa Showbox. Els has been shooting events in and around the city such as local festivals like Megaphono and Bluesfest, and National events like the Juno Awards. In addition, Els has a background in non-profit management, graduating with a Political Science degree from Carleton University concentrating in Development Management. Music has been a shaping influence of Els' transition into Ottawa life since the beginning and she can't wait for what the future has in store!
Sage made the move from Peterborough to Ottawa at the age of 5 and has been in love with this city ever since! After graduating from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Journalism, she decided that just four years of school wasn’t enough and went on to Algonquin College to earn a diploma in graphic design. While her short-lived dreams of playing trumpet in a ska band in high school never quite panned out, she’s happy to have found a small way to contribute to the community by helping to grow the brand of Girls+ Rock Ottawa. You can see more of her work at http://designedbysage.ca/.