RBC Bluesfest is a nonprofit & charitable organization overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors.
The festival was first held in 1994 at Majors Hill Park with the performance of Clarence Clemons, attracting 5,000 spectators. Over the years the festival has grown to include some of the biggest names in musical acts from around the world including B.B. King, Kanye West, KISS, Lady Gaga, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. The festival opens it’s gates to over 300,000 fans each year.
The mandate of the RBC Bluesfest organization is to provide a world-class event that showcases local, regional, national and international musicians. The objectives of the organization are:
- to maintain one of Canada’s foremost music festivals, in the City of Ottawa;
- to support and sustain the growth of emerging and diverse musical genres, including the Blues, World Music, Alternative, Rock, Jazz, Funk, Soul, Rap, Folk, Urban, and other forms of music that develop from time to time;
- to produce and present the art of music to the public, including new audiences, and to sustain a vibrant music community for local, regional, and national artists/performers/composers and songwriters;
- to provide professional local, regional, and national artists/performers/composers and songwriters with substantial exposure to new audiences;
- to provide an educational program within schools in the Ottawa region for the purpose of promoting among students the appreciation of Blues music as an art form and its impact on various genres while advancing and developing the careers of local and regional artists and educators;
- to support other charitable organizations, institutions, events or activities where the subject is related to the above objectives.