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Axé WorldFest is the preeminent creative platform celebrating Brazilian, Afro, Cuban, Caribbean, Folk, Indigenous, Funk and Soul Music through cultural events, interactive workshops and a variety of music programs for audiences in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa.


Axé WorldFest will provide audiences with a positive experience of cultural activities showcasing world music in Canada’s capital. Music will inspire and motivate positivity in our communities – bringing international acts together with local acts – strengthening the essential elements of a culture of diversity.


Our mandate is to deepen the appreciation and knowledge of world music through music programs that underscore the diversity of international artists, in an environment that provides an inclusive, interactive, safe and energetic space for people to learn about and experience musical sounds from all over the world.

Our main goals and artistic objectives are:

· To present exceptional artists from Canada, and around the world, through our headline festival and other live music events.

· To offer high-quality internationally-recognized headliners with emerging and established repertoires.

· To create culturally diverse and family-friendly line-ups to attract traditional and new audiences.

· To support local and emerging artists in establishing professional networks and partnerships around the world by strengthening artistic independence and supporting new practices and ideas.

· To produce numerous events across the Ottawa-Capital region, partnering with various local business and organizations, supporting and encouraging more women, trans and any minority to join forces in the music industry to elevate the community and enrich the local scene.

How it all started:


Having worked in the music industry for the past 18 years, Claudia Balladelli knows the beat - and while Yasmina has been working in the industry for the past 25 years - she knows what's fresh. Back in 2014, they started a business relationship having met on a dancefloor and discovered their similar passion for world music and mutual friends - so working together was a natural plan.

Over the last five years, they worked together in various world music events, noticing the major gap in these type of events in Ottawa. As international artists tour in Canada but rarely have a chance to come to Ottawa, and we created this initiative to put Ottawa on the map for international artists.And at the same time, they witnessed other music organizations declining booking/staging these artists with the excuse that there is not a big enough “world music audience” to support these acts. After so many years witnessing this disconnect, Claudia and Yasmina decided it was time to create Axé WorldFest, founding it in 2018.

In October 2018, researcher Michelle Thompson joined the team. Over 2018, they met, laughed, created plans, listen to music, drank coffee and formalized the vision and mission. Proudly, on March 28th, 2019, they officially register the company within the City of Ottawa.

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