Ottawa Contra Dance

COVID-19 updates

July 17, 2020

2020 Fall Dance Season Cancelled

Hi everyone,

The Ottawa Contra Dance Board met recently for the first time since May, and I'm writing to give you an update.

Based on our current understanding of how COVID-19 is transmitted, and ongoing physical distancing requirements, the Board believes that indoor contra dancing will not be feasible in Ottawa for some time. For how long, we don't know. However, we decided that it is reasonable to cancel the Fall contra dance season, meaning that there will not be any contra dances held by our group during the remainder of 2020. The Board will continue to monitor public health information, government regulations, and scientific updates and we plan to reevaluate the situation in November. We will issue a statement regarding the Winter 2021 (January-March) season at that time. We continue to take a cautious approach. It may be that other types of dancing will return before contra is able to do so.

We intend to hold our Annual General Meeting in mid-September. We plan to meet outdoors (rather than online) and include a social element to the event. More details will follow as we get closer.

Wishing you all the best during these unprecedented times,
President, Old Sod Folk Music Society / Ottawa Contra Dance
On behalf of your volunteer Board
Catherine, Stephen, Peter, Lynne, Maura, Jane, Dawn, and Neville

April 24, 2020

Dear contra dance friends,

2020-21 Season Suspension, Hey Fever Cancellation

The Ottawa Contra board has made the decision to suspend plans for our 2020-21 dance season until we know that it is safe to dance again. We have also decided to cancel Hey Fever this year, due to health, financial, and other considerations. At this time, we do not know when dances will resume. The board will continue to meet occasionally to assess the situation. We expect that, once restrictions are gradually lifted, we will need to proceed cautiously, since contra dancing is one of the higher risk activities for virus transmission.

Our board acknowledges and sincerely thanks the bands and callers who have donated their performance fees for the dances we had to cancel this season, and the dancers who donated their season's pass refunds. Your support is much appreciated.

We wish to thank all of you for your ongoing efforts to support one another online, with music and dance videos, and your positivity. Please continue to let Maura know when there are online events that others would enjoy.

Very best wishes from us all.

President, Old Sod Folk Music Society / Ottawa Contra Dance
On behalf of your volunteer Board and the Hey Fever Committee
Catherine, Stephen, Peter, Lynne, Maura, Jane, Dawn, Neville, Val and Cheryl

March 22, 2020

In summary, sadly, on March 22nd we announced the cancelation of our current dance season through June 2020.

Contra dancing will resume in Ottawa once it is safe to do so.

Come try contra dancing in Ottawa!

Dances feature fabulous live music and calling from the Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, the New England states, and beyond.

Whether you are in your 20s or in your 60s, travelling solo or bringing your partner/family - come out for a great evening of big smiles and community fun.

Beginners are super welcome
& dances are taught!

We have lots of visitors from out of town. If you need billeting, join our Facebook group and post your request in the group, ideally a couple weeks ahead of time. Usually our dancers can help visiting folks out if enough time is allowed.

Contra dancing doesn't require fancy footwork - all you need is to be able to walk forward and feel a beat. There's lots of room to grow as a dancer, naturally picking up flourishes and groove from other dancers.

If you're into traditional-groove style of Irish, Quebecois, or Appalachian music, you would probably enjoy attending a dance to hear the wonderful live music! We hire top bands!

From Michael (who started contra dancing in 2014):

"I was fine... really... I was. I was content with where things were at. THEN I came to this 'thing' called Contra Dance and it turned out to be really fun and all the people are really nice... and if that wasn't enough... the music is amazing. In fact, the music was so good I started want more from life... I wanted to learn to play. Specifically the small pipes. Every time the Old Sod band graces us with their playing I am mesmerized by their talent. Because of this, and I blame them all for this, I now own a chanter and have committed to learning the small pipes. This is all your fault and my dogs and my neighbors would like a word (lol)!"