Going Out

Keeping the “Social” in Social Distancing

With non-essential businesses closed in Ontario and people urged to remain home, the lack of socialization can be rough on many. But in the past couple of weeks, Ottawans are finding new and innovative ways to stay connected —and without having to dress up and get out of their loungewear! 

Hintonburg restaurant The Third, for example, prides itself on being a “third place” (after home and work) where customers can relax and socialize. The restaurant, which opened in 2017, is renowned for its Friday night karaoke — it’s a long-time tradition carried over from its locational predecessor the Blackpepper Urban Pub. Fridays usually see guests let loose and sing their hearts out or simply enjoy the music, all over casual food and drinks.

Now with dine-in restaurants closed and the demands of social distancing, the restaurant is making use of video chat to keep its regular customers in touch. Last week, it held its first “E-karaoke” session where regulars request and sing their favourite songs. The first session was a big success, with over 100 songs requested. The crew at The Third are working on an even more interactive experience for this Friday, March 27 as a way to continue to bring the community together. 

Karaoke at The Third is a Friday tradition. The Hintonburg restaurant is taking their ritual online this Friday as a way to connect with their neighbours amidst social distancing

Those who wish to sing add their name and song request prior to the event; then they will be introduced from the queue when it’s their turn. Duets and even dressing up are encouraged! Sign in to be a part of the fun here.

“We really feel that it is important that people try to stick to their routines as much as possible and continue to check in with their neighbors. That’s how the idea for e-karaoke was born. We ran a small informal session last Friday and the response was great, we saw lots of action from our regulars and decided why not give this a real go next week!”

Here’s a list of a few other local artists and musicians who are also working to make sure everyone has fun online while self-isolating:

Following on the heels of their popular “Space Party Dance Party” last week, which raised $1000 for the Ottawa Food Bank, The House of Common is hosting “Together Apart” this Saturday, March 20 at 10 p.m.  Set up by Arturo B Turo and the studio’s owner, Rémi Thériault, the living room dance party invites virtual attendees to join in through their own live video feed to jam out to music provided by DJ Jose Palacios. 

Photo by Remi Theriault, owner of House of Common studio, which is hosting Together, Apart on Saturday, March 28

Wakefield musician Mathew Falvai has been live-streaming his music daily since March 14. Children can tune in at 2 p.m. to enjoy Falvai’s singing and guitar-playing, enriched with his funny charm. At 7 p.m., music lovers of all ages can enjoy even more great hits. He welcomes requests from music in every genre.

Jean-François Frenette has started “Bedtime Poutine,” nightly, live bedtime singalongs with his kids. With his home DJ setup, Frenette plays guitar, sings, and raps in both French and English. Singalongs take place at 7 p.m.

For more ideas on how to connect while social distancing, check out COVID-19 – Ottawa Arts Community Care / Soins communautaires des arts 

JF Frenette is streaming fun bedtime songs for children