Hall Submissions

The 2019 edition of the Ontario Festival of Small Halls is seeking out BIG “Small Halls” to add to its expanding circuit. Is your volunteer-led organization interested in participating in this year’s event? We want to hear from you.

Before you submit your expression of interest (by following the link below), please make sure to read the following criteria. Ideal venues for this year’s event will:

  • Have a seated capacity of 150 or more
  • Have a stage or a large enough area to construct a temporary one.
  • Have wheelchair accessibility. Please note, halls must be accessible and equipped to accommodate patrons attending who may require special assistance. The venue must either be accessible presently or have plans to become accessible prior to September 2019.
  • Have an off-stage dressing room (or space to create a dressing room) for artists’ use before, during, and after the show.
  • Have minimum of 2 separate 15 amp circuits of electricity within 50 ft of the stage.
  • Have adequate parking appropriate to venue size.
  • Have sufficient & operational fire extinguishers and clearly marked Fire Exits.

The Host Committee Must:

  • Be a volunteer-run organization. Perhaps your hall already has an organization. Or maybe you have a community organization that would love to get involved and rent a nearby hall. Or maybe you just have enthusiastic, music-loving volunteers who will band together for this event. Any kind of cohesive team willing to rally behind this event will ensure its success.
  • Designate a contact person who the festival will liaise with. This contact must have a working email address and telephone and be available to answer questions/concerns and deal with any issues that arise.
  • Agree to sell event tickets in the local community with a commitment to sell a minimum of 15% of available seating. *The Host Organization receives a percentage of the gross revenues earned from its concert.
  • Provide light refreshments to concert goers at intermission (*these items can be sold and the Host Committee will keep 100% of revenues).
  • Take responsibility for all normal costs of the venue (i.e. rental, electricity, heat, maintenance/cleaning).
  • Provide a venue and an atmosphere of hospitality for the performers and crew.
  • Provide performers and crew with a hearty meal up to 1.5 hours before the doors open.
  • Provide volunteers to open the hall at the appropriate time for technical crews and set up for the show.
  • Provide volunteers for ushering, parking, sign planting and other jobs deemed appropriate during the event
  • Sign an agreement with Festival of Small Halls to ensure all is carried out as required.
  • Work cooperatively with Festival staff to ensure the smooth running of the event.
  • Agree to advertise in the local community bulletins and any other community notice board available.
  • Provide a phone number or email address for ticket sales that may be published in the brochure.
  • Provide volunteers for poster and brochure distribution in community.

If your Hall and Host Organization meet the following requirements, please fill out the Submission Form by following this link: 2019 Hall Submissions. (Please note, that filling out the Hall Submission form is an expression of interest and does not guarantee participation in the event. Halls the meet above listed criteria will be notified for a site visit by April 2019. Due to the high volume of submissions, not all applicants will be notified if their submission is not accepted).

Items to email into Small Halls once you’ve submitted your application:

  • Proof of venue insurance
  • A high quality JPEG  photo of the exterior of the hall/venue for our website
  • A normal quality photo of the interior of the hall, including the stage and dressing room


The Festival of Small Halls is being brought to your community by the Team Behind Ottawa Bluesfest, a dedicated group that has spent decades organizing high-quality concerts. The Festival of Small Halls is heading into it’s 6th year of bringing big shows, to small places.


We provide the performers: artists or bands we have chosen for their musical talent and captivating stage presence. Leading up to the event, we will do our share of marketing and online ticket sales. For the event, we will bring our professional sound equipment, technician, stage manager and MC to ensure the highest quality of concert. We will also arrive with marketing materials, like brochures, posters, signs and a backdrop to welcome people to the event.


The concerts will take place on Friday nights, Saturday afternoons, Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons from September 12 –29, 2019. Evening shows run from 7:30PM until around 10:00PM, and afternoon matinee shows run from 3:00PM until about 5:00PM. Doors open half an hour prior to the concert start time, which leaves lots of time before the concert for extra activities. For this festival to succeed, there should be no conflicting events happening in town on the day of the show. We are hoping that the festival will be the event of the weekend, where locals are sure to run into everyone they know, and visitors are sure to be impressed with the vibrancy of your community.