Almost Homeless – Ottawa

Counting Pennies (photo by Josh Appel)

Add your voice to Frank Horvat‘s new music composition being commissioned by the Ottawa New Music Creators (ONMC). Titled ‘Almost Homeless – Ottawa’, this composition’s premiere concert is set for October 17, 2024, in Ottawa, in conjunction with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This musical work will examine the realities faced by a growing number of people, and more specifically, Ottawa residents, who are grappling with financial hardships.

SHHH!! Ensemble

ONMC Curators – SHHH!! Ensemble

Through the combining of music, live musicians, and the voices of Ottawa residents, this new composition will delve into the reality of today’s cost of living and how that impacts people’s lives as they try to make ends meet.

Are you an Ottawa resident? We’d love to hear from you so that your story can be told and as a community we can gain an understanding of the financial challenges so many Ottawa residents are currently facing.

We are seeking individuals who are open to recording their voice talking about present or past encounters of struggling to pay monthly expenses.

We’d appreciate hearing your thoughts on some of these points:

  1. Your life/financial story. (Are you just starting out? Retired? Under paid? Have a health challenge? Work in the gig economy? Had a financial, employment or housing setback?)
  2. Your reflections on the struggle of making ends meet.
  3. Any insights you have about the challenging cost of living situation in Ottawa.
  4. The specific financial circumstances you are confronting.
  5. Are you grappling with underemployment? Not receiving fair compensation for your work? Monthly expenses that have increased? Unable to enter your desired industry?
  6. Feel free to read a list of current monthly expenses, financial obligations and/or debts. How are these bills affecting your quality of life?

The Thriving City Project identifies the amounts of money we need in specific areas in order to live a good life (i.e., shelter, food, transportation, savings, social participation, professional development, healthcare, physical activity, personal care). How do these numbers compare to your expenses and what you can afford in Ottawa?

What does it cost to thrive in the GTA?

Are the costs to thrive in the Ottawa area in 2024 the same?
How do your costs/bills compare?

Your candid contribution will help shed light on the realities faced by so many people in the city. If your voice is used in the final composition, it will be utilized anonymously (i.e., your name and contact information will NOT be included in the piece).


Submit your recording by following this link to a Google form that will allow you to upload an audio or video file of yourself talking about your experiences.

By submitting a recording, your voice may be incorporated into this new music composition. Regardless of whether your voice is included in the final piece, your story will help contribute to shaping this work. We genuinely thank you for taking the time and energy to assist us in this endeavour.

File Upload Terms and Conditions

Thank you in advance for your participation. Stay tuned for announcements about Almost Homeless – Ottawa and its premiere performance Fall 2024!

One Way (photo by Rob Wicks)

ONMC - Ottawa New Music Creators

Ontario Arts Council - Conseil des arts de l'Ontario Ontario

City of Ottawa Canadian Music Centre