Ottawa Contra Dance

2016-2017 Schedule

The 2016-2017 line-up is filled with TERIFFIC 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 once a month 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).

DOWNLOAD and PRINT the 2016-2017 season flyer from here.

DOWNLOAD and PRINT our publicity poster from here.

Date
Band
Caller
Sep 31st Sat
730pm
With a 3-5pm Dance, 5-6pm pot-luck, 6-7pm AGM
Old Sod Band [Ottawa]

Our first contra dance of the season - come celebrate the start of our 27th 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.

Join us from 3-5pm for an Alternative Music contra dance, lead by Lisa Greenleaf, to kick off the 2016-2017 season! This is a contra with very Alternative Recorded Music, such as Latin, pop, rock 'n roll groove, all edited to fit contra dancing! This will be LOTS OF FUN!

We'll follow the afternoon dance with a pot-luck dinner from 5-6pm and then join us from 6-7pm for our AGM. Then Lisa will call our evening dance! :-)

Lisa Greenleaf [Massachusetts]

Lisa Greenleaf has been treating dancers across the country (US and Canada) to her high spirited, witty calling for many years, and is known for precise walk-throughs and zesty, flowing dances. Whether she is presenting cool contras, hot squares, or focused callers' workshops (which we have her doing for us too), Lisa engages the crowd with her humor and community spirit. We are very lucky to have her starting our season with us!

For the pot-luck, bring food to share, your own plate & cutlery. Come share a meal, enjoy conversation (find out what your dance buddies have been doing all summer) and then what contra committee has been doing all year at the AGM. We'll keep the meeting short and interesting!

Sep 61st Tues
730pm
Special FREE 730-10pm Tuesday dance at Churchill hall!
Stolen Goods [Ottawa]

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

Find them on the Ottawa Contra site here.

OTTAWA CALLERS COLLECTIVE & Lisa Greenleaf

Come celebrate the dance season start with some of our Ottawa Callers Collective hosted by Lisa Greenleaf! Lots of fun for everyone!

This is a special FREE FOR ALL Contra Dance! It's on Tuesday Sept 6th, 730-10pm, at our regular Churchill St. dance hall. Woo Hoo!

Sep 173rd Sat
730pm
Peach Jam [Ottawa]

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

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.

Sept 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).

Oct 11st Sat
730pm Under 30 get in free at our Youth dance!
Richard Forest, Mario Loiselle, Greg Brown & James Stephens [Quebec]

Richard, Mario, Greg & James join us from Quebec (and Ottawa). They are all experienced contra musicians and will put together some of their lovely playing just for us! Come and enjoy!

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/

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

Oct 153rd Sat
730pm
Laura Risk & Nicholas Williams [Quebec]

Nicholas will be playing with Laura Risk, a super-talented fiddle player originally from California, now living in Montreal. Many Ottawa dancers know Nicholas as one of the three musicians that make up the fabulous band Crowfoot!

Click here to listen to Laura play.

Click here and here and here to watch Nicholas play with Crowfoot.

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!

Oct 254th 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 4
to
Nov 6Woo Hoo! Dance Weekend!
Hey Fever! DANCE WEEKEND!!!!

Our very own Ottawa Contra Dance Weekend with two excellent bands: Great Bear Trio and the Free Raisins!!


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

Hey Fever! DANCE WEEKEND!!!!

And we have two first class callers: Sarah VanNorstrand and Rick Mohr!!

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 193rd Sat
730pm With 330pm afternoon Family dance!
Godknowswhat! [Wakefield]

Godknowswhat! plays traditional music in non-traditional ways. Klezmer freilachs, 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.

PLUS... special Family Dance for kids and their parents in the afternoon featuring music by Greg Brown and Paul Hawtin and calling by Catherine Burns. Come out and have lots of family fun! 330-5pm, 10$ for adults...kids free! More info 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 family dance and a wonderful night too!

Watch Catherine here and here.

Nov 295th Tues
730pm On a 5th monthly Tuesday!
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!

NOTE: This dance in on the 5th Tuesday of the month (not the usual 4th Tuesday). Plan accordingly!

HALL LOCATION

5th Tuesday of the month dances at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

Dec 31st Sat
730pm With 3 to 530pm dance & then dinner out!
Genticorum

Genticorum is an incredible band that tours internationally impressing audiences as far as Australia. A great treat for us and a dance NOT to be missed!!

genticorum.com

Click here to hear them play their beautiful piece Reel Circulaire.

PLUS... special afternoon Quebecois Squares + Contras Dance from 3 to 530pm. This will have two amazing callers, Yvon Neveu & Dave Eisenstadter, and featuring both Quebecois Square dancing and contra dancing. This is a great way to try a new form of traditional dance with lots of experienced folks, all to the wonderful band Genticorum.

David Eisenstadter [Massachusetts]

David Eisenstadter is a wonderful caller from Massachusetts. He's a very talented and will charm us with his great style. Come check out David, his first time calling for Ottawa!

Watch David here.

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

Dec 173rd 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 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 71st Sat
8pm Contra Ball!
Frost & Fire [Vermont]

Coming up from Vermont is Frost & Fire! These guys have awesome tunes with absolutely fantastic energy. They have a beautiful, elegant and uplifting sound perfect for a New Year's Ball! We are in for a treat!

Click here to see a video of Frost & Fire in action.

www.frostandfireband.com

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

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

Marian Rose [Quebec]

Marian is a highly respected caller of Contra, Squares (& English) country dancing. Known for her varied repertoire and articulate, friendly presentation, she is in high demand among contra dancing aficionados.

Jan 213rd Sat
730pm With 330pm afternoon Family 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 Christmas band!

Click here to watch the Old Sod Band.

More about the Old Sod Band.

PLUS... special Family Dance for kids and their parents in the afternoon featuring music by Greg Brown and Paul Hawtin and calling by Catherine Burns. Come out and have lots of family fun! 330-5pm, 10$ for adults...kids free! More info 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/

Jan 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).

Feb 41st Sat
730pm With 330 to 530pm dance & then pot-luck dinner!
Nicholas Williams [Quebec], George Wilson [NY], and David Kaynor [MA]

Nicholas, George and David are joining to delight us! David and George are true legends of dance music in New England. You won't get a more powerful double fiddle sound around! With Nicholas Williams backing them up on groovy uplifting piano, this is sure to be an incredible evening. We are lucky to have them!

Luke Donforth [Vermont]

Luke is a wonderful caller who we are lucky to have return after being a big hit with us last year! 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 :-)

PLUS... special Afternoon Dance, 330-5pm, also led by Luke, with a theme of Beg, Borrow and Steal Contras! Contra has a long and continuing tradition of appropriating moves from elsewhere. Come dance a collection of dances, both new and old, with rich influences from other dance forms!

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

Feb 183rd Sat
730pm
Godknowswhat! [Wakefield]

Godknowswhat! plays traditional music in non-traditional ways. Klezmer freilachs, 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.

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.

Feb 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 are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

Mar 41st Sat
730pm With 3pm Mostly Waltz session + dinner out + evening Youth dance!
Peregrine Road [Pennsylvania]

Peregrine Road is made up of Rachel Bell (accordion) and Karen Axelrod (piano, accordion) They share a passion for crafting tunes and arrangements that are eminently danceable, with just the right mix of exquisite beauty and raw energy! We are in for a treat!

Click here to see Peregrine Road performing. You can find about Rachel and the band here .

Music recordings here.

Special afternoon Mostly Waltz Dance. Beginner lesson @ 3pm, dance 330-530. This is an afternoon of waltzes sprinkled with the occasional other couple dance, such as a swing, schottish, or hambo. As usual with our dances, you don't need to bring a partner! The afternoon is lead by Julie Bishop.

Adina Gordon [Vermont]

Adina travels the continent calling and her skill shows... she is a superb caller! 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

We'll also have a dinner out at 530pm, before the evening dance. Enjoy dinner with wonderful dancers!

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

Mar 183rd Sat
730pm With 330pm afternoon Family dance!
Stolen Goods - our community band! [Ottawa]

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

www.ottawacontra.ca/communityband/default.htm

PLUS... special Family Dance for kids and their parents in the afternoon featuring Stolen Goods and calling by David Smukler. Come out and have lots of family fun! 330-5pm, 10$ for adults...kids free! More info 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!

David Smukler



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

Mar 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 are held at the Orange Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link).

Apr 11st Sat
730pm
Peach Jam [Ottawa]

This is a wonderful local band made up of Duncan Gillis, James Stephens and Paul Hawtin, who are members of the Old Sod band. 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!

Dugan Murphy [Maine]

We are in for a treat with Dugan's calling. His voice is smooth like an evening radio personality. He calls contra dances across the U.S. (northeast & midwest) and Canada too. He is known for emanating joy and for teaching with the artful precision of clockwork.

Dugan caller on Facebook

Apr 153rd Sat
730pm
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.

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's learned at camp and has to share with us!

Apr 254th 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 61st Sat
730pm With 330pm Family dance & a pot-luck dinner too!
Sassafrass Stomp [Maine]

Sassafras Stomp is a dance band who love traditional music from the various branches of the Celtic and old-time family trees. They enjoy playing old and new tunes, into a great groove, for contra dances. Johanna Davis plays fiddle and sometimes banjo. Adam Nordell plays guitar, stamps his feet in syncopation and sometimes plays the banjo too.

There website is https://sassafrasstomp.com and has lots of their lovely music.

Find them on Facebook here.

Click here to watch Sassafras Stomp.

www.myspace.com/sassafrasstomp
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 like Ooh La La, the Flurry, and the Youth Dance Weekend! We are lucky to have her back since two years ago!

Click here to see Mary calling.

www.marywesley.com

PLUS... special Family Dance led by Mary with music by Sassafrass Stomp. Come out and have lots of family fun! 330-5pm, 10$ for adults...kids free! This family dance also includes a pot-luck dinner at 530pm! More info here.

May 203rd Sat
730pm
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.

Catherine Burns and Peter Simonyi [Ottawa]

Catherine Burns is the reason contra dancing exists in Ottawa. She is an AWESOME caller, working to make fun for all. Peter joins her as a local caller who has been honing his craft for the last five years and who is enthusiastic about really interesting choreography. A guaranteed great night!

Watch Catherine here and here.

May 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!

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 note - 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 31st Sat
730pm With 330 to 530pm dance & then dinner out!
Barefoot [Maine]

Barefoot is made up of Edward Howe, formally of Perpetual e-Motion and plays bluegrass and dance fiddling improvisation, and Jamie Oshima, multi-instrumental phenom! Barefoot has fun with improve, blending in pop, beat boxing, Quebecois style foot percussion, and a multitude of instruments. These two guys are new and fresh! We are lucky to have them play for us!

http://sopaudio.com/musician

Video here.

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.

Special "Different Formations" afternoon dance from 330-530pm. The session of Different Formations will involve an unpredictable set of dances with Barefoot, an unpredictable band! Both the afternoon and evening dances will be played by Barefoot and called by Will Mentor. We are in for a treat!

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

Jun 173rd 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!

Dessert pot-luck at the break! Bring a sweet goody to share. :-)