Ottawa Contra Dance

2017-2018 Schedule

The 2017-2018 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, 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!

We also organize community talent dances on occasion. These feature awesome local talent in a more intimate setting. Contact Catherine if interested (at same address, above).

Access/print the 2017-2018 Season Schedule Flyer. Post it on your fridge! ;-)

Here is our season's Four Double Events Poster.

Access/print the Ottawa Contra Publicity Poster.

Date
Band
Caller
Sep 163rd Sat
730pm Changed location!

IMPORTANT!

This dance at Parkdale United Church at 429 Parkdale Ave
(map link).

Old Sod Band [Ottawa]

Our first contra dance of the season - come celebrate the start of our 28th season!

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.

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.

Due to renovations in prgress at our usual hall, this dance will be at Parkdale United Church at 429 Parkdale Ave (map link).

Sept 264th Tues
730pm Pot-luck 6pm, AGM 630pm
COMMUNITY TALENT 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!

We'll start the evening with a pot-luck dinner at 6pm and then join us for our Ottawa Contra AGM at 630pm.

HALL LOCATION

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

Oct 71st Sat
730pm Under 30 get in free at our Youth dance!

Changed location.

IMPORTANT!

This dance at Parkdale United Church at 429 Parkdale Ave
(map link).

Les Quatres Coins [Quebec & Ottawa]

Les Quatres Coins, featuring Richard Forest, Emily Addison, Greg Brown & James Stephens, is 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

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

Due to renovations in prgress at our usual hall, this dance will be at Parkdale United Church at 429 Parkdale Ave (map link).

Oct 213rd Sat
730pm Changed location!

IMPORTANT!

This dance at Parkdale United Church at 429 Parkdale Ave
(map link).

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 year these talented musicians have completely delighted us, and this year we are overjoyed to have them back three times!

Ken Panton [Ottawa]

Ken is one of our regular Tuesday night dance callers and really enjoys the task. Ken's got a great sense of humour and a keen eye for interesting dances! Come hear what he has to share with us!

This dance will be at Parkdale United Church at 429 Parkdale Ave (map link). This is not our usual location.

Oct 244th Tues
730pm
COMMUNITY TALENT 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!

HALL LOCATION

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

Nov 3
to
Nov 5Woo Hoo! Dance Weekend!
Hey Fever! DANCE WEEKEND!!!!

Our very own Ottawa Contra Dance Weekend with two excellent bands: The O'Schraves and Julie Vallimont & Friends!!


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

Hey Fever! DANCE WEEKEND!!!!

And we have two first class callers: Mary Wesley and David Eisenstadter!!

Important: This is a pre-registration only dance (i.e. can not purchase tickets at the door on Saturday night). Sign up early as this has sold out in past years!

All information, including how to register, can be found at: http://www.ottawacontra.ca/heyFever/.

Nov 183rd Sat
730pm With 330pm Family dance then a pot-luck!
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.

PLUS... 3:30-5:00pm a special Family Dance for children and their parents in the afternoon featuring music by the Old Sod Band and calling by Chrissy Fowler. Come out and have lots of family fun! The family dance is followed by a pot-luck dinner at 5:00pm! Bring something to share and enjoy dinner with other families. More info here.

Chrissy Fowler [Maine]

Chrissy Fowler is an amazing caller! Coming all the way from Belfast Maine to call for us, she is one of the most talented contra community builders around.

Nov 284th Tues
730pm
COMMUNITY TALENT 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!

HALL LOCATION

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

Dec 21st Sat
730pm With 330pm Waltz workshop & dance + dinner out!
Alexis Chartrand & Peter Senn [Quebec]

Alexis Chartrand (pictured), on fiddle, and Peter Senn, on guitar. Passionate Montreal fiddler Alexis Chartrand will enchant us when he comes our way. He will be joined by Peter Senn, who has a solid reputation playing Irish, Scottish, and Quebecois music and is quite in demand in this music scene.

PLUS... 3:30-5:30pm a special afternoon Connecting with your waltz partner dance with performances by our own wonderful Greg Brown and Emily Addison. This workshop focuses on the connection and body communication between you and your waltz partner. It assumes familiarity and comfort with waltzing. We will rotate partners in the workshop. Luke will teach some moves that may be new to you. They are as a vehicle for exploring frame and opportunity for connection. The workshop will run for the first 45 minutes of the waltz session, with open waltzing for the rest of the afternoon.

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 :-)



After the afternoon dance we, and our dance friends, will all head out for dinner at local restaurants!

Dec 163rd 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 61st Sat
8pm Contra Ball!
New Brew [Rochester NY]

New Brew is Jane Knoeck on accordion and keyboard, Eileen Kalfass on fiddle, and Tom Santarsiero on mandolin (and so much more!). They join us from Rochester and are sure to delight us! They are experienced, passionate musicians who play a broad range of perfect-for-dancing music.

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!

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!

Note: Ball from 8pm to 11pm, no introductory lesson for this dance.

Jan 203rd Sat
730pm With 330pm Family dance then a pot-luck! Under 30 get in free at our evening Youth dance!
Les Quatres Coins [Quebec & Ottawa]

Les Quatres Coins, featuring Richard Forest, Emily Addison, Greg Brown & James Stephens, is 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.

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

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!

PLUS... 3:30-5:00pm 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 5:00pm! Bring something to share and enjoy dinner with other families. More info here.

Jan 234th Tues
730pm
COMMUNITY TALENT 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!

HALL LOCATION

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

Feb 31st Sat
730pm With 330pm dance & then pot-luck dinner!
Tempest [New York state]

Tempest blends traditional tunes with inventive, progressive grooves and harmonies. Originally formed in 2009 by Tim Ball and Chuck Abell as a contra dance band, their repertoire has expanded to include many other varieties now too. Tempest's core band is Tim on fiddle and Chuck on guitar. They have veteran Larry Unger joining them in Ottawa. We are in for a treat from this wonderful band!

Check them out on their website (http://tempestdanceband.com) to see their contra dances and sample their CD.


PLUS... 3:30-5:30pm special Afternoon Dance, also led by Bev, with a theme of Dance a mile in your partner's shoes! This afternoon session is guaranteed to be a great learning opportunity while also loads of fun! You'll be spending lots of time dancing the opposite gender role. It's the perfect time to practice! Plus, we'll be finessing moves and talking about what works and doesn't work for partners. Open to everyone except brand-new dancers.

Bev Bernbaum [Toronto]

Bev Bernbaum has been addicted to all things contra since she was first introduced to it in 1996. Bev has excelled as a caller and is much in demand in Toronto, her home town, and beyond. Bev's philosophy is to call the dances that she loves to dance herself. Her clear voice, calm manner and straightforward calling style make contra dancing a pleasure for both beginning and experienced dancers. It will be a joy to have Bev back to call for us in Ottawa!

More Bev Bernbaum info here.

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!

Feb 173rd 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 274th Tues
730pm
COMMUNITY TALENT 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!

HALL LOCATION

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

Mar 31st Sat
730pm With 330pm dance + dinner out!
Nicholas Williams, Alex Kehler and Aaron Marcus [Quebec & Vermont]

Nicholas (pictured), Alex (pictured) and Aaron are returning to delight us once again! These guys are each fabulous musicians having played in various bands. They play an impressive array of instruments. Be there as this is going to be fantastic music!

Click here to watch Nicholas, Alex and others play for us at the Ottawa New Years Ball in 2014.

Click here to see/listen to Nicholas and Alex play a beautiful piece, First Frost, composed by Nicholas. Their CD is available here.

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!

More info on David Smukler.

PLUS... 3:30-5:30pm a special afternoon Kindred Spirits: Contra and English. Contra dancing and English country dancing spring from the same roots, and continue to influence each other to this day. In this session, we'll experience both English dances and contra dances that benefit from this wonderful synergy. It's a great opportunity to enjoy some outrageously fun dances, while considering different dance vantage points.

We'll also have a dinner out at 5:30pm, before the evening dance. Enjoy dinner with wonderful dancers!

Mar 173rd Sat
730pm With 330pm Family dance then a pot-luck!
Stolen Goods - our community band! [Ottawa]

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

More info on the community band here.

PLUS... 3:30-5:00pm a special Family Dance in the afternoon featuring Stolen Goods and calling by Catherine Burns. Come out and have lots of family fun! The family dance is followed by a pot-luck dinner at 5:00pm! Bring something to share and enjoy dinner with other families. More info here.

Catherine Burns & Peter Simonyi

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

Peter Simonyi will be joining Catherine on the calling this night as well! Peter has been honing his craft for the last few years and is enthusiastic about really interesting choreography.

Don't forget to wear green for St Patty's day to both the family dance and the evening dance!

Mar 274th Tues
730pm
COMMUNITY TALENT 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!

HALL LOCATION

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

Apr 71st Sat
730pm
Godknowswhat! [Wakefield]

Godknowswhat! plays traditional music in non-traditional ways. Klezmer, French-Canadian, Irish, Cajun, New Orleans marches, Cabaret-era swing, and Honky-Tonk all surface in this band's diverse repertoire. You never know what might happen!

Watch Godknowswhat! here.

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/

Apr 213rd Sat
730pm With 330pm Family dance then a pot-luck!
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.

PLUS... 3:30-5:00pm a special Family Dance in the afternoon featuring wonderful Ottawa musicians Greg Brown and Paul Hawtin and calling by Catherine Burns. Come out and have lots of family fun! The family dance is followed by a pot-luck dinner at 5:00pm! Bring something to share and enjoy dinner with other families. More info here.

Ken Panton and Peter Simonyi [Ottawa]

Ken is one of our regular Tuesday night dance callers and really enjoys the task. Ken's got a great sense of humour and a keen eye for interesting dances! Come hear what fun he's has to share with us!

Peter joins Ken as a second local caller who has been honing his craft for the last few years and is enthusiastic about really interesting choreography.

A guaranteed fun night!

Apr 244th Tues
730pm
COMMUNITY TALENT 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!

HALL LOCATION

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

May 51st Sat
730pm With 330pm Challenging dance & a pot-luck dinner too!
Dave Langford, Bethany Waickman & Glen Loper [Maine]

Tonight we have a trio of three perennial dance-circuit favorites. Fiddler extraordinaire and guitarist Dave Langford is also known as a member of the Latter Day Lizards. Mandolinist and tenor banjo player Glen Loper picks also with Frigate, Steampacket, Riptide, among other bands. Bethany Waickman is the rhythm section of the dance trio Anadama, but her clean, driving guitar has also backed many other wonderful performers. These guys have played for many other contra dances and are certain to delight us!

Listen to them perform in this lovely dance.

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.

PLUS... 3:30-5:30pm a special Afternoon Dance, also led by Will, with a theme of a Challenging 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 intermediate and advanced dancers (not suitable for beginners).

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!

May 193rd 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 two years these talented musicians completely delighted us, and this year we are overjoyed to have them back twice!

Tom Calwell & Myra Hirschberg [Peterborough ]

Spending part of the year in the contra dance mecca land of N. Carolina, Myra & Tom work to bring in new innovative dances that are enjoyed by all levels!

These guys, from Peterborough, have a wealth of experience in many types of dances. They are sure to delight us!

Check them out at www.dancingthread.ca.

May 224th Tues
730pm
COMMUNITY TALENT 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 for volunteers only (i.e. folks who have helped at some time during our dance season). And IT'S FREE as it's the Volunteer Appreciation Party!
HALL LOCATION

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

Jun 21st Sat
730pm
Wolfe Island Revellers [Wolfe Island, Ontario]

The Wolfe Island Revellers play fiddles, piano and guitar. Teilhard Frost and Dhyani Frost make up the core of this vibrant group playing, along with a third musician, reels, jigs and songs of St. Lawrence River Valley. They are great to enjoy!

Catch their Facebook page here.

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.

Jun 163rd Sat
730pm Dessert pot-luck at the break! Mmmm!
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.



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: