Ottawa Contra Dance

2018-2019 Schedule

The 2018-2019 line-up is filled with WONDERFUL bands and callers from Quebec and the United States as well our local favourites. Come on out for some fabulous dancing - you will not be disappointed!!! In addition to our evening dances every 1st and 3rd Saturday (Sept different), we also offer a number of special afternoon events, all listed below.

If you are interested in learning how to call or want to dance as new callers practice, contact Catherine at dance@ottawacontra.ca. Our callers group gets together several times a year to practice - dancers as well as complete beginner callers are welcome!

Here's the 2018-2019 Season Schedule Flyer. Post it on your fridge! ;-)

Here's our season's Five Afternoon Dance Events Poster.

Date
Band
Caller
Sep 82nd Sat
730pm
Peach Jam [Ottawa]

Our first contra dance of the season - come celebrate the start of our 29th season!

This is a wonderful local band made up of Duncan Gillis, James Stephens and Paul Hawtin. Duncan and James are in the Old Sod Band. Along with Paul, this is their very SWEET spin off project! The last three year these talented musicians have completely delighted us, and this year we are overjoyed to have them back three times!

Catherine Burns [Ottawa]

Catherine Burns is the reason contra dancing exists in Ottawa. She is an AWESOME caller, working to make fun for all. A guaranteed great night!


Watch Catherine here and here.

Sep 224th Sat
730pm Pot-luck 5pm, AGM 6pm
Old Sod Band [Ottawa]

This dance was cancelled due to Ottawa tornodos and wide spread power outages.

The Old Sod Band, who lay down a most beautiful groove, are playing. We are lucky to have them as our house band!

Click here to watch the Old Sod Band.

More about the Old Sod Band.

We'll start the evening with a pot-luck dinner at 5pm and then join us for our Ottawa Contra AGM at 6pm.

June Harman [Ottawa]

June is a fantastic caller originally from Vancouver. Experienced in leading many forms of dance, June is incredibly effective at teaching dancers through clarity and her fun, lighthearted approach. We are lucky to have her living and calling in Ottawa!

http://juneharman.com/

Sept 254th Tues
730pm
TUESDAY NIGHT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in a beautiful century hall. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun!

The evening starts with a very short lesson for contra dance beginners (at 725pm) and the first half of the dance will focus on building skills - a great way to learn more!

HALL LOCATION

4th Tuesday of the month dances are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

More information about our local community band can be found on the Community Band page.

Oct 61st Sat
730pm
Lake Effect [Rochester, NY]

Lake Effect is a versatile, progressive band that maximizes the dynamic and harmonic range of contra dance music to help induce an exhilarating and entrancing dance experience. Blending stellar fiddle playing with creative guitar and vocal stylings, Matt Sloboda (Glenrose) and Chuck Abell (Tempest, Blue Dance) integrate the traditional with the modern in wildly inventive sets. Rounding out the band, Eastman Music School-trained saxophonist Rowan Wolf adds intensity and depth by infusing both jazz and pop sensibilities into the mix. Prepare to be transported!

Watch Lake Effect playing this lively tune at home in Rochester.

Watch them playing in Toronto.

Esther Fraser [Ottawa]

Esther honed her talents calling and facilitating workshops in Nova Scotia and beyond. Dancers love her energy, clear calling and tight walkthroughs.




My, my, it's Thanksgiving weekend! Thank you contra for letting us have this most wonderful time! :-)

Oct 203rd Sat
730pm
Old Sod Band [Ottawa]

The Old Sod Band, who lay down a most beautiful groove, are playing. We are lucky to have them as our house band!

Click here to watch the Old Sod Band.

More about the Old Sod Band.

Peter Simonyi [Ottawa]

Peter has been honing his callers craft in the last few years. He's enthusiastic about really interesting choreography. We are sure to enjoy this evening of Peter calling for us (though we might miss him dancing with us!)

Oct 234th Tues
730pm Pot-luck 5pm, AGM 6pm
TUESDAY NIGHT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in a beautiful century hall. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun!

The dance starts with a very short lesson for contra dance beginners (at 725pm) and the first half of the dance will focus on building skills - a great way to learn more!

We'll start the evening with a pot-luck dinner at 5pm and then join us for our Ottawa Contra AGM at 6pm. This is the rescheduled AGM due to the cancellation on Sept 22nd.

HALL LOCATION

4th Tuesday of the month dances are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

More information about our local community band can be found on the Community Band page.

Nov 2
to
Nov 4Woo Hoo! Our dance weekend!
Hey Fever! DANCE WEEKEND!!!!

Our very own Ottawa Contra Dance Weekend with two excellent bands: Genticorum and Seaglass!!


Don't forget to dress up, either formal or fun, Saturday night!

Hey Fever! DANCE WEEKEND!!!!

And we have two first class callers: Lisa Greenleaf and Dugan Murphy!!

Important: This is a pre-registration only dance (i.e. CANNOT purchase tickets at the door on Saturday night). Sign up early as this will sell out!

All information, including registration, can be found on our Hey Fever! page.

Nov 173rd Sat
730pm Afternoon family dance and evening youth dance!
Les Quatres Coins [Quebec & Ottawa]

Les Quatres Coins, featuring Richard Forest, Emily Addison, Greg Brown & James Stephens, is a Quebecois-inspired contra dance band whose goal is to bring joy to the dance floor! Their music is incredibly lively and uplifting ... it's sure to put a smile on your face and make your feet very happy.

Sarah VanNorstrand [New York]

Sarah VanNorstrand is a wonderful young caller from the Syracuse NY area. She's a very talented caller who will charm you with her smooth style. Come check her out doing what she loves! You are in for a treat!

And, to encourage lots of young dancers to come enjoy Contra, Youth under 30 get in FREE to this evening dance! Tell your friends!

PLUS: 330-5pm a special Family Dance for children and their parents in the afternoon featuring music by Greg Brown, Paul Hawtin and Richard Forest with calling by the wonderful Sarah VanNorstrand. Come out and have lots of family fun!

The family dance is followed by a pot-luck dinner at 5pm! Bring something to share and enjoy dinner with other families. More info here.

Nov 274th Tues
730pm
TUESDAY NIGHT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in a beautiful century hall. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun!

The evening starts with a very short lesson for contra dance beginners (at 725pm) and the first half of the dance will focus on building skills - a great way to learn more!

HALL LOCATION

4th Tuesday of the month dances are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

More information about our local community band can be found on the Community Band page.

Dec 11st Sat
730pm With 3pm Challeng- ing dance + pot-luck!
Mavish [Quebec]

This is a fantastic Quebec band that dancers will love. Mavish (musicians Jaige Trudel & Adam Broome) draws inspiration from traditional sources, reinterpreting the old and contributing to the new with their hypnotic and scintillating melodies and grooves.

Watch Mavish here and check out their website here.

PLUS: 3-5pm a special afternoon Challenging Contra Dance. Come have your brain and body challenged with an afternoon session full of advanced dances, also feature Mavish with Mary calling! This will both stretch your abilities and be VERY fun! Geared towards intermediate and advanced dancers (not suitable for beginners).

Mary Wesley [Vermont]

Mary Wesley is a fantastic young caller from Vermont. She has taken a lovely leadership role in contra dance organizations in New England states, and has fantastic calling skills. Under her hat already include working dance weekends such as our own Hey Fever!, Ooh La La, the Flurry, and the Youth Dance Weekend! We are lucky to have her back!

Click here to see Mary calling.

www.marywesley.com

There is a pot-luck dinner between the two dances. Bring a meal item to share (plus a plate & cutlery). These are popular and friendly!

Dec 153rd Sat
730pm Our Christmas dance!
Old Sod Band [Ottawa]

Old Sod is a super talented band that lays down a most beautiful groove. We are lucky to have them as our house band AND our Christmas band!

Click here to watch the Old Sod Band.

More about the Old Sod Band.

This is our seasonal dance with pot-luck snacks, carols, and other fun at the break! Bring a sweet or savoury snack to share. Wear red and green! Ho ho ho!

Catherine Burns [Ottawa]

Catherine Burns is the reason contra dancing exists in Ottawa. She is an AWESOME caller, working to make fun for all. A guaranteed great night!


Watch Catherine here and here.

Jan 51st Sat
730pm Contra Ball!

IMPORTANT!

This dance at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Westboro. 470 Roosevelt Ave.
(map link).

Everest Witman, Martin Aucoin and Capucine Maldague [Vermont/Quebec]

Everest Witman (guitar & feet), is a popular and lively contra musician who will join us with two wonderful fiddler musician friends, Martin Aucoin and Capucine Maldague, to treat us to a wonderful first dance of 2019! You might remember Everest as one of the members of the hot band Nova, who we've delighted in having perform for us in the past.

Watch Everest performing here with friends in Portland.

And here he is with Nova at the Flurry this year!

Adina Gordon [Vermont]

Adina travels the continent calling and her skill shows! She's superb! Choosing gorgeous dances and delivering them beautifully, you'll definitely have fun on the dance floor!.

Click here to watch a dance called by Adina.

adinagordon.com

This is our New Year's Contra Ball!! Dress up in your finery (e.g. a costume, gown, tails, ...) to celebrate the new year! We'll dance mostly contras but also a few other styles to make it a real party. We'll have a BALL! And snacks will be provided at the break too!

Jan 193rd Sat
730pm With 330pm Family dance plus a pot-luck!
Les Quatres Coins [Quebec & Ottawa]

Les Quatres Coins, featuring Richard Forest, Emily Addison, Greg Brown & James Stephens, is a Quebecois-inspired contra dance band whose goal is to bring joy to the dance floor! Their music is incredibly lively and uplifting ... it's sure to put a smile on your face and make your feet very happy.

Esther Fraser [Ottawa]

Esther honed her talents calling and facilitating workshops in Nova Scotia and beyond. Dancers love her energy, clear calling and tight walkthroughs.


PLUS: 330-5pm a special Family Dance for children and their parents in the afternoon featuring music by Greg Brown, Paul Hawtin and Richard Forest with calling by our own wonderful Catherine Burns. Come out and have lots of family fun!

The family dance is followed by a pot-luck dinner at 5pm! Bring something to share and enjoy dinner with other families. More info here..

Let's celebrate Robbie Burns - Wear PLAID!

Jan 224th Tues
730pm
TUESDAY NIGHT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in a beautiful century hall. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun!

The evening starts with a very short lesson for contra dance beginners (at 725pm) and the first half of the dance will focus on building skills - a great way to learn more!

HALL LOCATION

4th Tuesday of the month dances are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

More information about our local community band can be found on the Community Band page.

Feb 21st Sat
730pm With 3pm Waltz workshop + a pot-luck + a community dance!
Mavish [Quebec]

This is a fantastic Quebec band that dancers will love. Mavish (musicians Jaige Trudel & Adam Broome) draws inspiration from traditional sources, reinterpreting the old and contributing to the new with their hypnotic and scintillating melodies and grooves.

Watch Mavish here and check out their website here.

PLUS: 3-5pm a special afternoon Waltz Flourishes! Luke will show us intermediate and advanced waltz moves focusing on different holds and flourishes. Learning will be peppered throughout the 2hr dance session so you can learn and then practice your new moves.

The afternoon dance is followed by a pot-luck dinner at 515pm! Bring something to share and enjoy dinner with others!

Luke Donforth [Vermont]

Luke is a wonderful caller who we are lucky to have return after being a big hit with us on multiple visits! He brings a warm and inviting playfulness to the stage. He is based in Burlington, VT.

Catch Luke in action here (& hear that playfulness at 1:43 in :-)

Community Dance! 630-730pm hosted by Esther Fraser & Emily Addison.
This lovely event has varied programming with accessible dances a little more structured than family dances yet less demanding than evening contras. The event is more for pre-teen to adults and offers a transition into contra dancing. Includes an open band that you can join. Think big barn dance party!

Feb 163rd Sat
730pm
Peach Jam [Ottawa]

This is a wonderful local band made up of Duncan Gillis, James Stephens and Paul Hawtin. Duncan and James are in the Old Sod Band. Along with Paul, this is their very SWEET spin off project! The last three years these talented musicians have completely delighted us, and this year we are overjoyed to have them back three times!

June Harman [Ottawa]

June is a fantastic caller originally from Vancouver. Experienced in leading many forms of dance, June is incredibly effective at teaching dancers through clarity and her fun, lighthearted approach. We are lucky to have her living and calling in Ottawa!

http://juneharman.com/

Feb 264th Tues
730pm
TUESDAY NIGHT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in a beautiful century hall. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun!

The evening starts with a very short lesson for contra dance beginners (at 725pm) and the first half of the dance will focus on building skills - a great way to learn more!

HALL LOCATION

4th Tuesday of the month dances are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

More information about our local community band can be found on the Community Band page.

Mar 21st Sat
730pm With 3pm Flourishes dance + a pot-luck + a community dance!
Joy Compass [Maine]

Clara Stickney and Jamie Oshima are a Maine-based duo known for their expressive and groovy music for contra dancing. Surrounded by traditional music all of his life, Jamie delights dancers with his genre-blending and dynamic use of rhythm instruments (guitar, piano, mandolin, and foot percussion). Drawing from her classical background and love of traditional tunes, Clara provides melody lines both playful and compelling on the fiddle and occasionally on the harp. Together they co-create a sound that dancers respond to with joy and stomping feet.

Visit them on Facebook.

Here they are in a lovely dance video. Don't they sound great?

And in this one too!

PLUS: 3-5pm a special afternoon Contra Flourishes dance! In this 2hr session, you will learn a number of contra dance flourishes and have a chance to practice them while dancing awesome contras! Alex has many moves in her back pocket and loves teaching them so this should be a super-fun afternoon. For dancers with some experience, not recommended for beginners.

Alexandra Deis-Lauby [New York]

Alexandra Deis-Lauby began contra dancing in 2011 while at school in Chicago. After catching the contra bug, she began calling in 2014. Alex's smooth voice, clear teaching style and engaging dance selections delight dancers from coast to coast.

When she's not calling, you can find her on the dance floor twirling away!

Visit her on Facebook.

The afternoon dance is followed by a pot-luck dinner at 515pm! Bring something to share and enjoy dinner with others!

Community Dance! 630-730pm hosted by Esther Fraser & Emily Addison.
This lovely event has varied programming with accessible dances a little more structured than family dances yet less demanding than evening contras. The event is more for pre-teen to adults and offers a transition into contra dancing. Includes an open band that you can join. Think big barn dance party!

Mar 163rd Sat
730pm With 330pm Family dance then a pot-luck!
Les Quatres Coins [Quebec & Ottawa]

Les Quatres Coins, featuring Richard Forest, Emily Addison, Greg Brown & James Stephens, is a Quebecois-inspired contra dance band whose goal is to bring joy to the dance floor! Their music is incredibly lively and uplifting ... it's sure to put a smile on your face and make your feet very happy.

David Smukler [New York]

A true expert at calling, David has written much on contra dancing including its historical roots of dancing. Don't let that fool you - he's up on modern dances and delivers them with that added bit of detail that makes them special!

David Smukler website.

PLUS: 330-5pm a special Family Dance for children and their parents in the afternoon featuring music by Greg Brown, Paul Hawtin and Richard Forest with calling by David Smikler too. Come out and have lots of family fun!

The family dance is followed by a pot-luck dinner at 5pm! Bring something to share and enjoy dinner with other families. More info here..

Don't forget to wear green for St Patty's day to both dances!

Mar 264th Tues
730pm
TUESDAY NIGHT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in a beautiful century hall. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun!

The evening starts with a very short lesson for contra dance beginners (at 725pm) and the first half of the dance will focus on building skills - a great way to learn more!

HALL LOCATION

4th Tuesday of the month dances are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

More information about our local community band can be found on the Community Band page.

Apr 61st Sat
730pm With 3pm Squares- Plus dance + a pot-luck + a community dance!
Cloud Ten [Massachusetts & Vermont]

From hot Irish fiddle tunes to driving old-time cello, from crisp trumpet fanfares to cheerful piano backup Cloud Ten sweeps dancers up into an ever-changing but always compelling sound.

Check out Cloud Ten on their website.

PLUS: 3-5pm a special afternoon SquaresPLUS dance = Surprise, Fun and Challenge! Expect an awesome afternoon of dancing in formations that are rarely seen during a typical evening contra dance. Squares will be the starting point but we will move quickly into partner-less dances, double quadrilles and more. All dances geared for challenge and fun! For dancers with some experience, not recommended for beginners.

The afternoon dance is followed by a pot-luck dinner at 515pm! Bring something to share and enjoy dinner with others!

Nils Fredland [Vermont]

Nils Fredland is one of the busiest and most sought-after callers in the fields of dance, music, and song. As a dance caller, he is widely respected for his expertise and skilled leadership, and beloved for his sensitivity, generosity, and community-minded approach. Fueled by energy and passion, he travels coast to coast and overseas to share those benefits with dancers many many dancers. We are lucky to have him!

Watch Nil's snappy calling.

Facebook link.

Community Dance! 630-730pm hosted by Esther Fraser & Emily Addison.
This lovely event has varied programming with accessible dances a little more structured than family dances yet less demanding than evening contras. The event is more for pre-teen to adults and offers a transition into contra dancing. Includes an open band that you can join. Think big barn dance party!

Apr 203rd Sat
730pm Youth dance - under 30 get in free!
Old Sod Band [Ottawa]

Old Sod is a super talented band that lays down a most beautiful groove. We are lucky to have them as our house band!

Click here to watch the Old Sod Band.

More about the Old Sod Band.

Peter Simonyi [Ottawa]

Peter has been honing his craft for the last few years right here in Ottawa and is enthusiastic about really interesting choreography. A guaranteed fun night!


Young dancers should come and enjoy Contra! Youth under 30 get in FREE! Tell your friends! And for this dance we'll be using gender-neutral terms! :-)

Apr 234th Tues
730pm
TUESDAY NIGHT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in a beautiful century hall. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun!

The evening starts with a very short lesson for contra dance beginners (at 725pm) and the first half of the dance will focus on building skills - a great way to learn more!

HALL LOCATION

4th Tuesday of the month dances are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

More information about our local community band can be found on the Community Band page.

May 41st Sat
730pm With 3pm Challeng- ing dance + a pot-luck + a community dance!
Alex Kehler, Ryan McKasson and Eric McDonald [Quebec/US]

McDonald, Kehler and McKasson (MKM) play dance music to kick up your heels and swing your partner, bridging East and West coasts to the driving rhythms of fiddles, nyckelharpa, guitar and mandolins! These accomplished musicians play repertoire from Quebec, New England, the British Isles and Scandinavia and will weave and wend their way through the fabric of these cultures inviting you into a euphoric trance!

Here's video of Eric and Ryan.

Here's one with Alex, and others, in Ottawa.

PLUS: 3-5pm a special afternoon dance, also led by Will, with a theme of a Challenging Contra Dance. Come have your brain and body challenged with a great afternoon of advanced dances! This session will both stretch your abilities and be VERY fun! Geared towards dancers with some experience (not suitable for beginners).

Will Mentor [Vermont]

Will is travelling from Vermont to call for us! Travelling throughout North America and calling to hundreds in one room at events such as the Dance Flurry, Will is in high demand for both his contras and squares.

Watch Will's calling in action here.

There is a pot-luck dinner at 515pm. Bring a meal item to share (plus a plate & cutlery). These are popular and friendly!

Community Dance! 630-730pm hosted by Esther Fraser & Emily Addison.
This lovely event has varied programming with accessible dances a little more structured than family dances yet less demanding than evening contras. The event is more for pre-teen to adults and offers a transition into contra dancing. Includes an open band that you can join. Think big barn dance party!

May 183rd Sat
730pm With a Zesty English dance at 630pm!
Peach Jam [Ottawa]

This is a wonderful local band made up of Duncan Gillis, James Stephens and Paul Hawtin. Duncan and James are in the Old Sod Band. Along with Paul, this is their very SWEET spin off project! The last two years these talented musicians completely delighted us, and this year we are overjoyed to have them back twice!

We will have a Zesty English Country Dances 630-730pm before the Contra dance. Come learn some new English Country dance figures and enjoy this dances with a little zest added in!

Catherine Burns [Ottawa]

Catherine Burns is the reason contra dancing exists in Ottawa. She is an AWESOME caller, working to make fun for all. A guaranteed great night!


Watch Catherine here and here.

May 284th Tues
730pm Volunteer apprecia- tion party!
TUESDAY NIGHT CONTRA DANCE

This is a great mid-week dance held in a beautiful century hall. Local musicians and callers do their stuff. 'Tis oodles of fun!

This final 4th Tuesday dance of the year is FREE for volunteers (i.e. anyone who has helped at some time during our dance season). It's the Volunteer Appreciation Party! Non-volunteers are welcome to attend too for $5.
HALL LOCATION

4th Tuesday of the month dances are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

More information about our local community band can be found on the Community Band page.

Jun 11st Sat
730pm With a Zesty English dance at 630pm!
Sister Haggis [Ney York]

Sister Haggis features Eileen Nicholson Kalfass (Syracuse, NY) on fiddle and Jane Knoeck (Rochester, NY) on piano. These two have been delighting dancers in northeastern US and Canada too.

Hear them preforming, with others, in some videos at Eileen's website.

We will have a Zesty English Country Dances 630-730pm before the Contra dance. Come learn some new English Country dance figures and enjoy this dances with a little zest added in!

Bob Nicholson [Syracuse, NY]

Bob Nicholson joins us from Syracuse. He has earned the reputation for calling wonderful dances enjoyed by both beginners and experienced dancers. Bob has a well-deserved reputation for teaching the dances really well, just the right amount of calling, and a memorized collection of dances. We are in for lovely dancing!

Jun 153rd Sat
730pm Zesty English at 630pm! Dessert pot-luck at the break. Mmm!
Stolen Goods - our community band! [Ottawa]

Stolen Goods is our Ottawa Contra Community Band, founded in 2012. They pride themselves on being a 'contraband', borrowing from other bands to create great community groove. You'll enjoy their playful & fun sound!

More info on the community band here.

We will have a Zesty English Country Dances 630-730pm before the Contra dance. Come learn some new English Country dance figures and enjoy this dances with a little zest added in!

OTTAWA CALLERS COLLECTIVE

Come celebrate the dance season with some of our Ottawa Callers Collective hosted by Catherine Burns!



Since this is our last dance of the season we'll have a dessert pot-luck at the break! Bring a goody to share. :-)



In case you're curious, past years dance schedules are available: