photo provided by City of Ottawa
photo provided by City of Ottawa
Ottawa Jazz Festival goers (but not necessarily jazz fans, as many were inside the NAC listening to Myra Melford) were surprised on June 23 when Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson showed up in Confederation Park and took to the Main stage himself. Between sets of two American blues acts, and with vocal mic in-hand he sang not jazz standards, but praises of Ottawa Jazz Festival Executive Producer Catherine O'Grady. Watson officially declared it "Catherine O'Grady Day" in the City of Ottawa, citing her as "a visionary" and "passionate advocate"  (text below).

O'Grady joins Ottawa guitarist Roddy Ellias who has played jazz in Ottawa since he was a teenager, as the second person in the jazz community to have a day officially named for them.

   – Brett Delmage

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The full official text of the City of Ottawa proclamation in English et en Français


June 23rd, 2016

WHEREAS, Catherine O’Grady, the award-winning executive producer of the annual TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, has cultivated the scope and stature of the Festival into a significant, internationally-recognized event; and

WHEREAS, Catherine O’Grady, a visionary and curator, celebrates artistry in unique international projects and Canadian jazz, and encourages future generations of performing artists through outreach programs; and

WHEREAS, Catherine O’Grady is a passionate advocate for the protection and advancement of both the local and national arts community; and

WHEREAS, June 23rd, 2016 marks the 20th anniversary since Catherine O’Grady made the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival her life’s mission, motivating musicians, industry specialists, volunteers, the business community and audiences to come together for one purpose – the love of music;

THEREFORE, I, Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa, do hereby proclaim June 23rd, 2016 Catherine O’Grady Day in Ottawa


Le 23 juin 2016

ATTENDU QUE Catherine O’Grady, productrice exécutive primée du Festival annuel de jazz d’Ottawa TD, a conféré au festival ampleur et prestige en en faisant un événement de renommée internationale; et

ATTENDU QUE Catherine O’Grady, conservatrice visionnaire, rend hommage au talent artistique dans des projets internationaux exceptionnels et en jazz canadien et encourage les générations montantes d’artistes de la scène au moyen de programmes de diffusion; et

ATTENDU QUE Catherine O’Grady milite ardemment pour la protection et l’avancement du milieu artistique local et national; et

ATTENDU QUE le 23 juin 2016, Catherine O’Grady aura fait depuis 20 ans du Festival de jazz d’Ottawa TD la mission de sa vie, incitant les musiciens, les spécialistes de l’industrie, les bénévoles, le milieu des affaires et les spectateurs à se réunir pour une même raison - l’amour de la musique;

PAR CONSÉQUENT, je, Jim Watson, maire de la Ville d’Ottawa, proclame par la présente le 23 juin 2016 Journée Catherine-O’Grady à Ottawa.

Jim Watson
Mayor / Maire