With a chart-topping hit, Africa, concerts and video shoots booked through the end of September and his third album due out this fall, Karl Wolf is busy.
But the songwriter, producer and singer still wouldn’t dream of missing the Ottawa Lebanese Festival, which he’ll kick off with a concert during the opening ceremonies tomorrow night.
“I want to support the community like they support me,” said Beirut, Lebanon-born Wolf, who has performed at the festival for the last three years. “A guy is making it outside Lebanon — it’s inspiring for them and it’s a good feeling to be a role model for them.”
These days, the singer, who lived in Montreal for 15 years, is rarely ever home, but “my heart is here,” he said.
While he broke into the market in the Middle East years ago, it took a long time to crack the Canadian market, he said.
And now that he has, he’s not going to forget the people who supported him for years.
Tomorrow night, Wolf will play the hits, including Africa, and “a couple of songs that will trigger the Lebanese public as well.
“Some of my family lives in Gatineau, and I love visiting them here,” he said. “I love Ottawa.
It’s quiet and I like that — getting away from the hustle and bustle of Toronto and Montreal. I love Mooney’s Bay — all the people cycling and jogging. It’s a good vibe.”
Held on the grounds of St. Elias Cathedral across the street from Mooney’s Bay, the 19th annual festival also features entertainment, dance, traditional Lebanese food, a midway and a traditional Lebanese Argily (Shisha) tent.
The non-profit festival — which fundraises for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, Ontario Federation of Cerebral Palsy, CHEO, and the Down Syndrome Association of the National Capital Region —runs from 4 to 11 p.m. tomorrow through Friday; and from 11 a.m.
to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $2 and free parking is available near the Canada Post building, with a complimentary shuttle service.
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