Monday, September 15, 2014
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Ottawa's Westfest promoters threatened with boycott after booking A Tribe Called Red

posted by Chris Dart

(Link to CBC site and the email)

Organizers of Ottawa-based music festival Westfest have received an anonymous email and phone call threatening a boycott after they booked Juno Award-winning local electronic music trio A Tribe Called Red.

Group member Ian "Deejay NDN" Campeau shared a screencap of the emails, sent to the Westfest organizers, on his Instagram page. He referred to the emails as "thinly veiled" and added "This is my hometown. So disappointing."

The email accuses Campeau of wearing "racist" T-shirts, presumably in reference to his tendency to wear shirts that parody sports teams with Native American mascots by replacing them with white people. (Campeau is Ojibwa. His two bandmates, DJ Shub and Bear Witness, are also First Nations.)

The email also calls Campeau a hypocrite, and mentioned his campaign last year to get local youth football team the Nepean Redskins to change their name. (The campaign was ultimately successful. The team will suit up as the Eagles this fall.)

Elaina Martin, founder and producer of the outdoor festival in Ottawa's Westboro Village, dismisses the email and phone call as likely being the work of one person.

"The phone message had similar wording to the email," she said. "It's probably just one person, but since Ian went public with it, we've gotten way, way more positive feedback ... we're just really excited for A Tribe Called Red and a crowd 4,000 strong of Ottawans being excited for their homeboys."

A Tribe Called Red will close out the festival on June 15.

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