Govfest is an annual music and cultural show organized by public servants to celebrate music, arts, and support community-based projects around the world.

Govfest brings together hundreds of artists, musicians, volunteers and judges to put on the many shows that make up the festival.

The shows feature some of the excellent talent from within the public service staff community and well beyond. The musical acts range in styles from funk and reggae to klezmer and classic rock. Some performers and artists are just starting out and others already have recording contract experience. A selection of visual artists and photographers also contribute to the shows.

At the Govfest Battle of the Bands, a number of the musical acts perform in local venues and are judged by voting from the attendees (People’s Choice). The musical acts selected from the battles are then judged by Ontario Public Service Deputy Ministers at the “main event” (Judge’s Choice). The winning bands enjoy some prizes such as studio recording time as well as a chance to perform at official Public Service award ceremonies later in the year.

The Govfest organization has developed a number of key partnerships to support community projects. Proceeds from the shows go to Ryan’s Well and United Way organizations support local community projects and international projects concerning water. The United Way invests in community programs and services to promote wellbeing and ensure that people have access to support, regardless of where they live. Ryan’s Well Foundation funds safe drinking water and sanitation projects in the developing world and has brought safe drinking water to communities around the world. Over the years, hundreds and hundreds of families have benefited from the community-based projects supported through Govfest.

The Govfest organization also includes partnerships with sponsor organizations. Sponsors for the Govfest shows are essential to ensure the performances are well-supported with equipment and appropriate stages. Gold, Silver and Bronze standard sponsors have ensured that key expenses have been covered and sponsors enjoyed introducing bands and brand presence at Govfest events.

It is important to acknowledge the efforts of the volunteer staff, and their managers, who have helped develop Govfest into one of the largest festivals of its kind. The work of planning and managing the events has been done through extra hours while delivering against ongoing work priorities. The individual creativity and drive really make the festival have an enduring presence in the public service and ultimately support the benefits that come from the projects and connections to local communities.

Thanks for your interest in Govfest and we sincerely look forward to seeing you at the shows. Feel free to enquire about volunteering alongside us at the upcoming shows.