Schedule & Tickets

Contra Dances in 2023-2024

Our contra dances take place twice a month on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month from September through June each dance season. Our local callers Catherine Burns and Peter Simonyi will lead many of the dances, along with other callers too.

Doors open at 7 PM.
Introductory lesson 7:30-8 PM (highly recommended for new participants).
Dance 8-11 PM
Location: Churchill Recreation Centre, 345 Richmond Road, Ottawa
(see our Location page)

 Contra Dance Schedule (Saturdays) 

Jane welcoming dancers at the door, December 17, 2022


September 7th or 21st, 2024
Dancing will resume in September on one of these two dates. We’ll let you know which well in advance.

Tickets are available at the door. We have a sliding scale so you can choose your price. We accept cash, or e-transfer to

  • $10 Minimum
  • $15 Regular price
  • $20 Helps cover our costs
  • $25 Helps sustain our dances
  • Children: no minimum price

Masks are optional. Stay home if you’re sick.

Starting at our June 2023 dances mask wearing was optional. Dancers are most welcome to wear a mask if they wish to. If you feel unwell, test positive for Covid, or are a close contact of someone with Covid, please do not attend. Staying up to date with vaccination is recommended. Please see our full list of Covid measures here.

If you are new to contra dancing, check out the info on our website. Beginners are most welcome!

To stay informed, if you are not already subscribed to our Newsletter, please sign up for our emails here.

Peter Simonyi calling and the Odds and Sods Band playing on June 4, 2022

Larks and Robins
We dance using the role terms “Larks and Robins.” The “lark” is the same role as “gent,” and the “robin” is the same role as “lady.” Larks are on the LEFT to begin the dance and end the swing. Robins are similar on the RIGHT. Handy that Left/Right first letter alignment with the names (not a coincidence)! If you would like more information about these terms, take a look at this summary from the San Francisco dance community.

What to BringContra dancing is energetic!

  • Lightweight, casual clothing
  • A water bottle
  • Indoor shoes with non-marking soft soles (to protect our wooden floor).

Conduct and Etiquette
We expect all attendees to our events to follow our code of conduct and to practice good dance etiquette. Please do your part to create a culture of safety, respect, and consent.

Concerns? Don’t hesitate to contact a Dance Committee member.

June 4, 2022 Contra Dance

Past bands in 2023-2024 season

  • Sept 16/23 – Gròóvåtrøñ
  • Oct 7/23 – Greg Brown, Richard Forest and Ian Clark trio
  • Oct 12/23 – Grace Hendrickson-Jones, Jonathan Werk, and Antonie Beaudet
  • Nov 4/23 – Magia Vestis Café Orchestra (James Stephens, Kate Weekes and Peter Andrée)
  • Nov 18/24 – Odds and Sods
  • Dec 2/23 – Les Quatre Patates (Grace Hendrickson-Jones, Jonathan Werk, Antonie Beaudet, and Jacob deGroot-Maggetti)
  • Dec 16/23 – Greg Brown, Richard Forest and Emily Addison
  • Jan 6/24 – Traditional Fare
  • Jan 20/24 – Odds and Sods
  • Feb 3/24 – Atlantic Firth
  • Feb 17/24 – Magia Vestis Café Orchestra
  • Mar 2/24 – Greg Brown, Denis Drouin, Tina Therieu and Peter Andree
  • Mar 16/24 – Peach Jam
  • Apr 6/24 – Traditional Fare
  • Apr 20/24 – Tamsyn Klazek-Schryer Trio
  • May 4/24 – Grace Hendrickson-Jones, Jonathan Werk, and another
  • May 18/24 – Rideau Ramblers
  • Jun 1/24 – James Stephens, Ian Clark and Ann Downey

Past bands in 2022-2023 season

  • Sep 17/22 – Greg Brown, Paul Hawtin, Emilia Bartellas, and Doug Dorward
  • Oct 1/22 – Ottawa Valley trio of Dan Schryer, Paul McClelland, and Alistair MacDonald joined by Ian Clark and Karen Steven
  • Oct 15/22 – Greg Brown, Richard Forest and Ian ClarkRideau Ramblers
  • Nov 5/22 – Rideau Ramblers (Frank Cassidy, Jeff McClintock and Dennis Alexander)
  • Nov 19/22 – Magia Vestis Café Orchestra (James Stephens, Kate Weekes and Peter Andrée)
  • Dec 17/22 –  Old Sod with Ann Downey gathering Ian, Tim, Phillip and Dan
  • Jan 7/23 – Nicholas Williams and James Stephens
  • Feb 4/23 – Peach Jam
  • Mar 4/23 – Rideau Ramblers (Frank Cassidy, Jeff McClintock and Dennis Alexander)
  • Mar 18/23 – Odds and Sods with Ann Downey and Old Sod Band alumni
  • Apr 1/23 – Gròóvåtrøñ (Grace Hendrickson-Jones, Jonathan Werk, Everest Witman)
  • Apr 15/23 – Atlantic Firth (Alastair MacDonald, Karen Steven and John Mitchel)
  • May 6/23 – Traditional Fare with Nicholas Smith
  • May 20/23 – Magia Vestis Café Orchestra (James Stephens, Kate Weekes and Peter Andrée)
  • June 3/23 – Ian Clark, Greg Brown and Richard Forest
  • June 17/23 – James Stephens, Anne Downey and Ian Clark (instead of Peach Jam, who could not make it)