Stewart Park Festival launches Coffeehouse Competition for Young Musicians

Posted on: April 23, 2019

Young musicians from across the region are invited to play in the Stewart Park Festival Youth Coffeehouse where they can compete for a chance to perform at the award-winning festival this summer.

The Coffeehouse is an invitation to all youth musicians living within Lanark County and Rideau Lakes. The coffeehouse concert gives youth ages 14-21 the chance to perform in front of a live audience while auditioning for a spot at the Festival’s Youth Showcase on Friday, July 19, 2019.

The Coffeehouse will allow each performer to perform two songs in a set and the winning performance will earn $300 as well as a set on the Stewart Park Festival stage this summer with a paid honorarium.

The coffeehouse is a new approach from the original youth coffeehouse design which welcomed school-designated musicians from across the region to compete, and representing their school.

The shift this year for the coffeehouse is an attempt to bring more musicians to the stage.

“We love the style and versatile musical offerings our local youth have brought to the stage in the past, and we wanted to open it up to the greater public to give more youth more opportunities to perform,” says SPF Chair John McKenty.

Past performers have included solo acts to five-piece bands.

“We’re really interested to see a variety of musical acts from across the region,” says SPF Musical Director James Keelaghan. “We can’t wait to see what our entrants bring to the stage and show how much musical talent comes to the stage from our youth.”

Once the coffeehouse performers are finished, a group of judges will name the winner, who will receive the monetary prize and a chance to perform at the Stewart Park Festival.

The event will take place at the Perth Tea Room on Gore Street on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 7 p.m. The public is welcome to attend and admission is free.

To register and learn more about the coffeehouse, visit The first 10 musicians to register will get on the line-up for the coffeehouse.

The Stewart Park Festival Coffeehouse will take place on Thursday, May 18 at 7 p.m. and the public is welcome to attend and admission is free. For more information, please visit