Monday, 2 December 2019

Sean McCann - in concert Saturday 7 December in support of the Queensway Carleton Hospital

An evening of caring, sharing, and singing together.

Join Séan McCann, founder of Great Big Sea, for a special evening with great music, inspiring stories, and a sing-along of your favourite Christmas classics. All proceeds will go to the Hopes Rising campaign in support of a renovated Mental Health Unit at Queensway Carleton Hospital.

Anna Ludlow, Marianne Dumas, Dee Dee Butters, Rebecca Noelle, and Jeremy Fisher will be joining the party!

Presented by Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation.

Tickets HERE
$40.00 – General Public
$20.00 – *Youth (18 years old and under)

The funds raised will be devoted to our Hopes Rising Campaign to improve mental health care at the Queensway Carleton Hospital.

Friday, 29 November 2019

Masters in the Hall: Celtic Music for Christmastime - NAC Fourth Stage - Tuesday 3 December

Masters in the Hall: Celtic Music for Christmastime

Tuesday Dec. 3rd at 7:30pm, NAC Fourth Stage (1 Elgin)

North American Irish Fiddle Champion Kyle Burghout joins forces with flute/whistle player Justin Thériault and Celtic harpist Susan Toman to perform a collection of traditional and contemporary Celtic music from Ireland, Scotland, and Canada. The concert will feature music specially selected for the holiday season, with accompanying anecdotes about the history of the tunes and stories from the trio's travels. This is a rare opportunity for audiences to hear three of Ottawa's leading traditional musicians performing in concert together.

Yuletide Treasures with The Ottawa Youth Harp Ensemble - 1 December 2019

Click on picture to ENLARGE

Thursday, 10 October 2019

The Chieftans with Sean McCann and the Ottawa Celtic Choir, National Arts Centre, Monday 14 October

The Chieftains and Friends:The Irish Goodbye

with special guest Séan McCann

If you've been living under a rock, you may have missed that the multi-decadal powerhouse of Irish music, The Chieftans, are coming to Ottawa, this coming Thanksgiving Monday (same as the last time they played here...). It's a rare occurrence, and probably your last chance to see this iconic band. As an added bonus, as is their custom to include local performers, the Ottawa Celtic Choir will be joining them on stage.
"2019 marks 57 years since The Chieftains began their illustrious journey. Since 1962 the six-time Grammy Award winners have been highly recognized for reinventing traditional Irish music on a contemporary and International scale."

I'll save you the torture of searching for the NAC concert link, it's RIGHT HERE !

St. Ignatius the Martyr Church presents the Ottawa Fiddle Ensemble October 20, 2019 at 7pm

St. Ignatius the Martyr Church presents

The Ottawa Fiddle Ensemble
with Special Guest
Sneezy Waters

Sunday October 20, 2019
518 Donald Street, Ottawa

The Ottawa Fiddle Ensemble is a small group of dedicated traditional fiddle music lovers who meet twice a month to play from a wide repertoire of Canadian, Irish, Scottish, European and American fiddle music, for our own enjoyment.

We invite you to join us for A fiddle concert and sing-along event featuring traditional sacred hymns and music.

A musical prelude will begin at 6:45 and postlude will be offered to accompany you as you exit the church.

518 Donald Street, Ottawa
Tickets $20 each available at the door

All proceeds to the needs of the Church.

Info: Adele: 613-240-8143 or Joanne: 613-745-3961 or Eric: 613-232-5081

Notice courtesy of: 
IN THE HOUSE Concert Series
145 Central Park Drive
Ottawa, On K2C4C1

Monday, 16 September 2019

Concert: Martin Simpson Sunday 6 Oct 2019

A reminder of the October 6 Old Sod concert with English guitar legend Martin Simpson. Details are as follows:

Sunday October 6th at 8pm, doors 7:30
Rosemount Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave in Hintonburg.
Tickets $35, available in advance from ($37 at the door)
Tickets and information at

There is no doubt that after 35 years as a professional musician Martin Simpson is, right now, better than ever. Widely acknowledged as one of the finest acoustic and slide guitar players in the world, his interpretations of traditional songs are masterpieces of storytelling. His solo shows are intense, eclectic, spellbinding and deeply moving.

There is no-one who has more successfully combined the diverse elements of British, Afro-American and old-timey music than Simpson. His 15 years living in the US were well spent. In addition his own songwriting has produced some real gems, from the truck-stop epic, "Love Never Dies" to the profoundly moving "Never Any Good" and "One Day".

His career includes collaborations on stage and record with Richard Thompson, June Tabor, Kelly Joe Phelps, Jackson Browne, Danny Thompson, Danú, Martin Carthy, Cara Dillon, David Lindley, Roy Bailey, Martin Taylor, David Hidalgo, Steve Miller, Dick Gaughan and many more.

Martin has been nominated an astounding 26 times in the twelve years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - more than any other performer - with 9 consecutive years as nominee for Musician of The Year, which he has won twice. 2008 saw an incredible 5 nominations for "Prodigal Son' and 2 wins, whilst in 2010 he had an unprecedented 6 nominations for his CD, "True Stories" and a win for Best Traditional Track, "Sir Patrick Spens". 2012's nominations for Martin include, Best Album for 'Purpose & Grace", Best Traditional Track for "The Lakes Of Ponchartrain" and Best Musician.

Whether playing American old-time music, blues, a Dylan song or his own material, Martin Simpson is unpredictable, individual and a guitarist of immense subtlety.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Concert: Flute and Harp on the Rocks - 18 July

Enjoy this upcoming gig at the Orange Gallery with plenty of traditional and new celtic tunes to share!

Thursday July 18

Doors & Cash Bar open at 7pm

Music at 8pm

Chill out to the sounds of flute & harp!

Sheila White and Lucile Brais Hildesheim in concert at the Orange Art Gallery.

Flowing from the traditional to the contemporary and a twist of jazz, their unique voice is reflected in their original arrangements for various flutes and harps.

Tickets $20 in advance / $25 at the door

More info and tickets LINK
On Facebook LINK

Saturday, 6 July 2019

In Concert: The Legendary Andy Irvine, 21 July 2019

ANDY IRVINE is one of the great Irish singers, his voice one of a handful of truly great ones that gets to the very soul of Ireland. He has been hailed as "a tradition in himself".

Musician, singer, songwriter, Andy has maintained his highly individual performing skills throughout his over 50-year career.

Andy has been at the helm of legendary bands like Sweeney's Men in the mid 60s, to the enormous success of Planxty in the 70s, and then Patrick Street, Mozaik, LAPD and recently Usher's Island. Andy has been a world music pioneer and an icon for traditional music and musicians.

Note: We regret that this venue is not wheelchair accessible.

Tickets and info at

As a soloist, Andy fills the role of the archetypal troubadour with a show and a travelling lifestyle that reflect his lifelong influence, Woody Guthrie. To quote the Irish Times, "Often copied, never equalled", his repertoire consists of Irish traditional songs, dexterous Balkan dance tunes and a compelling canon of his own self-penned songs.

Full biography at

Listen to/watch Andy: (full concert)

We hope to see you in July!

The Old Sod Crew

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Traditional music: Fánaid! The Ontario Tour (July 2019)

Fanaid, a toe-tapping trio from Belfast play up-beat jigs and reels on fiddle, flute and guitar combined with songs that are by turn funny and poignant.  Their unique and energetic repertoire champions the music of their native Ulster, but also includes tunes from Brittany, Galicia and Cape Breton.  Don’t miss them on their first visit to Canada!


Mon July 1, 7 pm – Canada Day house party/concert! - TLC Bed and Breakfast, 103 Fowler Street, Richmond. 613 838-5890,  $20.

Thurs July 4, 7 pm – Sivarulrasa Gallery, 34 Mill Street, Almonte.

Fri July 5, 7:30 pm – Log Drive Café, 2 Monk Street, Ottawa.  $15

Sat July 6, 2:10 pm – Celtfest, Gemmill Park, Almonte. Donations.

Fri July 12, 7 pm - The Cove, 2 Bedford Street, Westport.  $10.

Sat July 13, workshop 4 pm, concert 7.30 pm - Harp of Tara Branch - Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann – Kingston,

Sun July 14, 2 pm - Richard’s Coffeehouse, 234 King St. W., Brockville.  Tickets $15 at the Coffee House, or from or phone 623 342 5641.

Sun July 14, 7 pm - StoneCropAcres Vineyard and Winery, 5242 Smiths Rd, Morrisburg.  $20 before 14.7, $25 on the night.

Stop Press!  Fánaid will also be playing informal sessions at three Heart and Crown pubs in Ottawa.  You can catch them Sun. 7.7.19, 1-3 pm, at 353B Preston St; Wed. July 10, 6-8 pm, 3161 Stranherd Drive, Barrhaven; and Thurs. July 11, 8-10 pm, 62 William St. 

For more information, or to book Fánaid, contact Kathleen, 613 838 – 4201,  Their website:

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Film: The Peacemaker - Saturday, 18 May 2019

The Irish Film Festival Ottawa (IFFO) in association with the Irish Film Institute (IFI) present the documentary film The Peacemaker by James Demo, Saturday 18 May at 6:30 PM.

An intimate portrait of international peacemaker Padraig O'Malley - who helps make peace for others but struggles to find it for himself. The film takes us from Padraig's isolated life in Cambridge, Massachusetts to some of the most dangerous crisis zones on Earth – from Northern Ireland to Kosovo, Nigeria to Iraq – as he works a peacemaking model based on his recovery from addiction. We meet Padraig in the third act of his life in a race against time to find some kind of salvation for both the world and himself.

Join in on the post-screening for a talk back with the peacemaker Padraig O'Malley and General (retired) John de Chastelain.

More information and tickets HERE.

Monday, 18 March 2019

A Celebration of Irish Music with Ellen MacIsaac & Danny Doyle, 29 March 2019

Click picture to enlarge

Dreamers of New Worlds - 14 April 2019, St. Luke's Concert Series

An delightful upcoming concert "Dreamers of New Worlds - Musical Reflections from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and South America." The focus is on immigration from the British Isles in the past and South America in the present. The concert will in part also to showcase the rich musical heritage of South America especially as related to the harp.

Click picture to enlarge

Celtic guitar legend Tony McManus in concert, Saturday 13 April 2019

Guitar players take note!

$34 in advance, from
$36 at the door (if not sold out!)

The Trial of Thomas D'arcy Mcgee: April 12th, 2019, St. Brigid's Centre for the Arts

Click picture to enlarge
St Brigid's Centre for the Arts and the Limelight Theatre Group are very happy to announce that the Newpoint Players will be back in Ottawa on Friday April 12th, 2019 to perform their latest play: The Trial of Thomas D'arcy McGee, by Anthony Russell.

Hailing from the town of Newry in county Down, the Newpoint Players will be performing this hilarious and supremely historical courtroom drama for one night only in Ottawa, as they embark on their third Canadian tour.

On trial during the performance: Thomas D'arcy McGee, the Irish-Canadian politician and a father of Canadian Confederation. Charged with treason, the battle of arguments for and against his innocence, conclude with the audience acting as jury.

We invite you join us on April 12th at St. Brigid's Centre for the Arts, for this hilarious and historical courtroom drama. Please feel free to spread the word to your friends, families, colleagues, and Irish Community organizations and partners. We have attached an event poster, and we encourage you to share this event via your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media feeds.

Advanced Online tickets can be purchased HERE.

For more information, please email or call 613.304.5705

The Trial of Thomas D'arcy Mcgee, by Anthony Russell
Friday April 12th, 2019

Doors: 7 PM
Play: 8 PM

(Brigid's Well will be open as usual for pre- and post- play pints!)

The premise is that Thomas D'Arcy McGee (1825 – 1868), Irish rebel and Canadian patriot, is called from the grave to answer, in the Court of History, the charge that he committed treason against Ireland and her people. The prosecutor is John Mitchel (1815 – 1875), an unrepentant physical force republican from both Young Ireland and the Fenians. Sir Charles Gavin Dufy (1816 – 1903), former prime minister of Victoria, defends Thomas D'Arcy McGee against the charge of treason. Both Lawyers have returned from the grave for the occasion.

John A. Macdonald (1815 – 1891), a founding father of the Canadian Confederation and its first prime minister is called as a witness for the prosecution. McGee's long suffering and loyal wife, Mary Teresa Caffrey (abt. 1830 – 1871) whom he married in 1847 is called as a witness for the defence.

All of the ghosts are aware of what has happened in the world since they entered the grave. The protocol of an earthly court loosely applies. As in previous Russell plays, the audience plays the part of the jury and their decision determines McGee's innocence ..or guilt.

(blogger's note: these are really fun plays, and the audience participation as jury was a lot of fun last time)

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Old Sod Concert News: Duncan Cameron, Laura Risk, Nicholas Williams - 30 March

Another Old Sod double header concert, with Duncan Cameron plus Laura Risk and Nicholas Williams.

Click image or link to concert info

Another Old Sod double header concert on March 30th, featuring singer and multi-instrumentalist Duncan Cameron, plus the great Montreal-based fiddler Laura Risk and Genticorum's Nicholas Williams.

Date: Saturday, March 30th 2019, at 8:00pm. (doors open 7:30 pm)
Location: Rosemount Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave. in Ottawa's Hintonburg neighborhood
Tickets: $22 in advance, $25 at the door. HST included.

Tickets are now available for this concert from

Listen to/watch Duncan
Listen to/watch Laura and Nicholas

Monday, 25 February 2019

Kevin Dooley & Friends - St. Patrick's Day at the Westboro Legion

Kevin Dooley & friends will perform on St. Patrick's Day, Sunday, March 17th from 3 to 6 pm at the Westboro Legion, 391 Richmond Road, Ottawa.

-  a traditional concert of tunes, songs and stories
-  food served
-  all proceeds to the Legion Veteran projects.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Harp Workshops with Susan Toman - March through June 2019

Harp Workshops

SATURDAY MARCH 2, 11:30-12:30
Left Hand Accompaniment Patterns

SATURDAY APRIL 6, 11:30-12:30
Chord Reading "Jam Session"

SATURDAY MAY 4, 11:30-12:30
Playing by Ear

SATURDAY JUNE 1, 11:30-12:30
Ensemble Playing, with prepared material

NOTE: Maximum of 5 participants per workshop, so register early!

~ Participants must bring their own harp and music stand

~ Payment required 2 weeks in advance to secure your spot: $35 by e-transfer to

Workshop location: my teaching studio in Barrhaven

Workshop Registration

Susan Toman, Tyson Chen, Kyle Burghout - Concerts for March 2019

St.Patrick's day is just around the corner, and I have some exciting CONCERTS you won't want to miss!

Kyle Burghout (fiddle), Susan Toman (harp), Tyson Chen (piano)
Mill Road Community Space, 8 Rue Mill, Chelsea QC
Tickets: $20

SUNDAY MARCH 10, 7:00pm
Kyle Burghout (fiddle), Susan Toman (harp), Tyson Chen (piano)
House Concert in Kanata, contact to reserve

SUNDAY MAY 12, 2:30pm
Susan Toman, Celtic harp solo concert
Traditional music from Ireland & Scotland
Glebe St.James United Church, 650 Lyon St. South, Ottawa
Tickets: $15/10, at the door

Choral: Star of the County Down - Saturday 2 March 2019 (Kingston)

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Cantabile at "Star of County Down"! Help us welcome Irish conductor, Bernie Sherlock, conductor of one of Europe's finest award-winning choirs, New Dublin Voices, Sat. Mar. 2 7:30 at the Spire, when she is guest conductor of the Cantabile Teen and Adult voices. A delightful programme of adventurous contemporary works by Zoltan Kodaly, Jake Runestad, Anuna's Michael McGlynn, plus charming Irish folk songs arrangements. Tickets: (613) 549-0099; Novel Idea, Church Book Room

Sat March 2, 2019
The Spire, 82 Sydenham St., Kingston, ON

Communiqué pour diffusion immédiate- Camp Violon Trad Québec


Camp Violon Trad Québec- 5 jours de formation en violon, guitare, mandoline et piano ! Inscris-toi !

Joliette (Québec)- 4 février 2019, La période d'inscription est lancée pour la 12e édition du Camp Violon Trad Québec qui se déroulera du 21 au 26 juillet 2019 à Plein Air Lanaudia à Saint-Côme.

Les co-fondateurs Stéphanie Lépine, André Brunet et Eric Beaudry accueilleront dans la cohorte des enseignants des artistes d'expérience et de réputation tels que les violoneux Louis-Simon Lemieux, David Boulanger et Dâvi Simard, le guitariste André Gagné et la pianiste Rachel Aucoin. Une nouveauté cette année, une classe de mandoline qui sera menée par nul autre que Michel Bordeleau. Violon Trad Québec aura la chance d'accueillir également pour une classe de maître, Madame Danielle Martineau, artiste et médiatrice du patrimoine vivant, spécialiste des chansons et des danses traditionnelles de l'Amérique française. De plus, se joindra en tant que Porteur de tradition, Daniel Lemieux. Ils vous partageront leur riche bagage musical pendant cinq jours de formation où la musique traditionnelle est vigoureuse et où le patrimoine est bien vivant.

Venez parfaire votre technique tout en élargissant vos connaissances et votre aisance au violon, à la guitare, à la mandoline et au piano et vivez toute une expérience de partage musical et de rencontres entre passionnés de la musique traditionnelle québécoise. Concerts, jams, soirée de danse, fête de la mi-carême, souper chantant et plus sont au programme ainsi qu'une panoplie d'activités plein air telles que le rabaska, canot, kayak, tyrolienne vous attendent pour des vacances uniques et mémorables !

Le camp est accessible aux jeunes et aux familles grâce à sa Bourse qui offre une aide financière aux 18 ans et moins et son tarif réduit de 35% pour les accompagnateurs non musiciens. De plus, en vous inscrivant avant le 30 avril, épargnez 50$ ! La période d'inscription et de demandes de bourses se poursuit jusqu'au 1er juin. Depuis ses début le Camp Violon Trad Québec a rassemblé plus de 1500 musiciens d'ici et d'ailleurs et a offert près de 35 000$ en bourse à près de 160 jeunes de la relève ! C'est un rendez-vous !
Inscriptions : - Renseignements : 514 378-0918/

Chamber Pints: Anna Ludlow - Saturay 2 March 2019

This pay-what-you-can event is on March 2nd, and will feature Anna Ludlow, an internationally renowned fiddler and vocalist from Nova Scotia, currently the lead fiddler for the Toronto production of Come From Away.

This bar-concert in two parts begins at 5pm and will be at the Rainbow Bistro in the Byward Market. For more information, please visit our website at or you may reach me at 613-234-8008 ext. 241 or by email at


Thursday, 7 February 2019

Concert: Aerialists team up with locals From Away for night of prog-trad music - Saturday 9 February 2019

Transatlantic quintet Aerialists meld their ferociously creative harmonic sensibilities and deep love for folk traditions into a post-rock coloured sound called prog-trad. Featuring Scottish harpist Màiri Chaimbeul (Darol Anger), and Canadian neo-folk innovators Adam Iredale-Gray (Fish & Bird) on guitar and Elise Boeur (Jenny Ritter) on fiddle with a stellar rhythm section, the group draws from the wells of Nordic and Gaelic music, adding expansive textures and meticulously sculpted arrangements to create captivating, genre-defying new music.

From Away is a Trad/folk duo with captivating original sounds and its roots in tradition. Graham Lindsey is a tune-writer, performing and session musician and Trad session host. Four of his tunes have been performed on the Carillon (the 53 bells) in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill where he was welcomed as guest composer in 2019. Kristan Couture is originally a Saskatchewan girl where she won the 2018 Saskatchewan Country Music Award for Fiddler of the Year, and received final ballot nominations for her roots album "You Just Fooled Me". She performed as a classical violinist with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra for four years, as well as toured and performed with local country bands and folk artists across Canada.

In From Away, a new blend of voice, fiddle, guitar and gorgeous Canadian hand-crafted mandolins will take you back and forth between the timelessness of the prairie folk singer and upbeat jigs and driving reels.

Bar Robo (Chinatown), 692 Somerset St. W.

Show at 9pm
$15 at the door

--> Click here for the Facebook Event notice

Sunday, 27 January 2019

How playing an instrument benefits your brain (TED-Ed)

The TED-Ed videos are excellent. Here's one about the benefits of playing an instrument benefits your brain.

Link to YouTube Video

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Stars and Seas", an evening of storytelling and music from far and away, Saturday 26 January 2019

The Spirit of Rasputin's, Ottawa's Folk Music Society, invites you to "Stars and Seas", an evening of storytelling and music from far and away...

Award-winning Storyteller Jacqui du Toit will lead you on a magical voyage with a tale of an Inuit sea goddess, under a soundscape of the Northern lights, the story of a Water Kelpie, a shape-shifting malevolent water horse that dwells in the dark icy Scottish lochs, with swirling stars and oceans crossing over to West Africa, Australia and the Andes mountains of South America.

Joining Jacqui will be Acacia Lyra Celtic harp duo, who perform original and traditional world music in many languages, along with exotic multi-instrumentalist Jack Pyl on flutes and percussion, and Marc Vautour on a variety of didgeridoos. The music will speak of fire, ice and ocean waves with drum rhythms echoing the heartbeat of all living things.

This will be a unique concert - I hope you can come !

Saturday January 26, 8:00 pm
Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill Ave. N. at Byron
Tickets $20 at

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Live Theatre - Canadian Premiere of "Minding Frankie" by Maeve Bunchy at The Gladstone, 17-26 January 2019

The Canadian Premiere of Maeve Binchy's "Minding Frankie" starts this Thursday night at Ottawa's The Gladstone Theatre. Produced and Directed by the local resident and Irish born, John P. Kelly, of SevenThirty Productions. Featuring Vivian Burns and Lawrence Evenchick.

"Maeve Binchy was probably Ireland’s greatest romantic fiction writer.  Here, her 2010 hit novel Minding Frankie has been adapted for the stage by Shay Linehan. Watch Noel, a middle-aged Dublin alcoholic as he sets about raising baby Frankie.  “I intend to be the best mother I can be” he says.  Watch his whole community join in to share the responsibility – “It takes a village to raise a child. Or a street.” And watch well-meaning social worker Moira, a woman with secrets of her own, go beyond her call of duty to make his life as hard as she possibly can."

Visit The Gladstone Theatre webpage for the remainder of the description and to purchase tickets, to another fantastic production.

Enjoy an interview with John P. Kelly about the play on Irish Radio Canada.

Your blogger has never been disappointed in a John P. Kelly production!

Listening and Watching RTE - Online

If you haven't given it a thought lately (or ever), you can watch and listen to Ireland's national public service broadcaster, RTE, on your computer.

For radio, on your home computer use (requires Flash, which you probably already have):

Also, look for the RTE Radio app on iTunes or for Android. It's very good.

For television use the Player:

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Susan Toman: Upcoming Harp Concerts and Workshop for Christmas

Masters in the Hall, an Evening of Celtic Music for Christmastime
Hibernia, Kyle Burhout (fiddle) & Tyson Chen (keyboard)
Location: NAC Fourth Stage, Ottawa
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: $20

Masters in the Hall, an Evening of Celtic Music for Christmastime
Hibernia, Kyle Burhout (fiddle) & Tyson Chen (keyboard)
Location: Merrickville United Church, 100 St.Lawrence St, Merrickville ON
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: $20

Masters in the Hall, an Afternoon of Celtic Music for Christmastime
Hibernia, Kyle Burhout (fiddle) & Tyson Chen (keyboard)
Location: St.Andrew's Church, 425 Centre St, Prescott ON
Time: 3:00pm
Tickets: $20 (at the door)

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
John Huston, nominated by the Capital Critics' Circle as Best Actor 2014-15, performs a one-man show of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Susan Toman provides musical interludes throughout.
Location: Gladstone Theatre, 910 Gladstone Ave, Ottawa
Times & Tickets:

Saturday December 1st at 11am
This 1 hour workshop will cover aspects of playing by ear as well as Christmas music played together. JUST TWO SPOTS LEFT. Cost: $35. Register by November 24 by writing to
Workshop location: Barrhaven

Hope to see you at some of these events.
Happy Christmas to all!

Monday, 5 November 2018

"Making Spirits Bright" OYHE concert, Nov. 24, 3.00pm, St. Andrew's Church, Pakenham

The Ottawa Youth Harp Ensemble' s Christmas concert, " Making Spirits Bright"  takes place at historic St. Andrew's United Church in the Ottawa Valley village of Pakenham, Ontario at 3.00pm on Nov. 24.  Our program reflects the Irish and Scots heritage of the area, but also includes Christmas music from South America in wonderful ensemble arrangements by A. Ortiz.  Our soprano soloist is Marilyn Jenkins and the OYHE is directed by Mary Muckle.  

Masters in the Hall: An Evening of Celtic Music for Christmastime (NAC 4th Stage) - 5 Dec 2018

Masters in the Hall: An Evening of Celtic Music for Christmastime

Wednesday December 5, 7:30pm

Hibernia (Ellen MacIsaac, vocal and Susan Toman, harp) teams up with North American Irish fiddle champion Kyle Burghout and pianist Tyson Chen for a Celtic Christmas concert at the National Arts Centre's Fourth Stage (1 Elgin Street). 

Tickets $20 at 1-888-991-2787.


Join us for an evening filled with classic Christmas songs and Traditional Irish tunes. Sure to get you in the holiday spirit and put a smile on your face! 
Buy your tickets early - they're going quick!

Friday, 6 July 2018

Theatre production: "I Come from the Valley! Tales and Times of Joan Finnigan"

The story is about a very Irish Canadian - Joan Finnigan. All the music is Celtic traditional. Musical accompaniment is by an up-and-coming family group led by a veteran Celtic performer - Siobheann Donohue (nee Leahy) and family.

I encourage readers to make a trip to the Ottawa Valley this summer to take in the unique Canadian theatre experience our new show, and Stone Fence Theatre, offer. (For a taste, check out the music video of the title song, I Come from the Valley! we made.) Our new musical, I Come from the Valley! Tales and Times of Joan Finnigan showcases one of Canada's most important writers, poets and historians. 

Roy MacGregor has called the show, "The essence of the Valley itself." It is set in the hills of the Ottawa Valley which Finnigan immortalized through her writing. Rich in the larger-than-life Valley lore and characters of her award-winning stories, the show also reveals much about Finnigan's troubled and turbulent life that the public never saw.

"You will laugh, sing and you will weep with both joy and sentiment," wrote MacGregor.

The show celebrates the author's work - funny, bawdy, touching and poetic - in Celtic musical style that befits someone as "Irish to the bone" as Joan Finnigan. It traces her life from her childhood as the feisty daughter of hockey icon Frank Finnegan in the Ottawa of the Roaring Twenties, through her husbands suicide, her literary celebrity status with her Gemini award-winning NFB filmscript Best Damn Fiddler from Calabogie to Kaladar (starring the late Margot Kidder in her first role) and her dedication to preserving the oral histories of the obscure Valley "old-timers."

And it raises - and attempts to answer - troubling questions about the ambivalence, or downright hostility, many Ottawa Valley locals felt about her and her works.

The show, which opens July 12 in Rankin (between Pembroke and Eganville), Ontario, was written by company producer Ish Theilheimer, with songwriting help from Johanna Zomers. Stone Fence Theatre, will perform the show 17 times in nine Ottawa Valley communities. Many of the shows include the company's trademark country-style roast beef supper and pre-show entertainment by outstanding local musicians. The tour concludes in Ottawa at the Bronson Centre November 18.

The show stars jazz and blues standout vocalist Fran Pinkerton as Joan Finnigan and features the sensational musical accompaniment of The Donohue Family of Douglas, Ontario. A cast of eight others take on approximately 50 roles - the people in Finnigan's life and her characters.

A music video of the title song, I Come from the Valley!, gives a good sense of the musical style and energy of the company and its performers.

Details about the show are available on the company's website.

The site includes biographical information about Joan Finnigan.

Ish Theilheimer, Producer

Stone Fence Theatre
"Putting the Ottawa Valley on stage since 2003"

Thursday, 28 June 2018

The Acoustics of the Violin Body

I recently came across an interesting short article on the acoustics of violin bodies. From Benning Violins, California:

The body of violins, including their front and back plates, their sides as well as the air they contain, all function as part of the process of transmitting the string vibrations through the bridge into the air surrounding the instrument. The surface area of the violin is in direct relation with the amount of air it vibrates back and forth.

Now that you're interested, the rest of this interesting article is located at the source for the above text:

Session at the Black Irish Pub - Tuesday nights at 8.00 p.m.

The session group which used to meet at the Tartan Pub in Orleans has now moved to The Black Irish Pub in Vanier due to the closure of the Tartan Pub.


1. Contact person - Seán O'Carroll. 613-824-0284. Email:
2. Music type - Irish, Scottish, English, down-east, bluegrass.
3. Instrumental and vocal.
4. This is a relaxed and fun type session.
5. All are welcome.

Pub, 15 Selkirk Street, Ottawa - in a strip mall on the west side of Montreal Rd., immediately east of the Rideau River.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Ottawa Gaels 2018 Golf Tournament - Youth Development Fundraiser

The Ottawa Gaels invite you to our annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser to benefit our Youth Development Program!

This year's Tournament will take place on Saturday, June 9th, 2018 at the Irish Hills Golf & Country Club.

We are offering player packages for $125 and they include:
18 holes of golf
Power cart
BBQ lunch
Roast beef dinner with all the trimmings

We also have a Dinner-Only option for $40: Roast beef dinner with roasted potatoes, and other sides, sauteed veggies, salads, rolls, dessert, coffee/tea.

We'll also be holding a Hole in One contest, Longest Drive contest and a Closest to Pin contest, in addition to giving away several amazing raffle prizes.

Please feel free to sign up a foursome or individually, we'll help you join a team!

You can register and make payment by completing the online form on our website. There are also tournament and  hole sponsorship opportunities, please see the sponsor letter in our online form or email us for more information at : or

Link to online registration, payment and sponsorship opportunities!:

Many thanks and we look forward to seeing you out on the links!
Ottawa Gaels GAA

Camp Violon Trad Quebec 2018

CAMP VIOLON TRAD QUÉBEC - Les inscriptions se terminent le 1er juin !

Joliette (Québec) – Le 7 mai 2018 - Violon Trad Québec, Lauréat du Prix Patrimoine des Grands Prix Desjardins de la culture de Lanaudière 2017 vous offre des vacances inoubliables du 22 au 27 juillet 2018 avec des artistes de renom tels que André Brunet, Stéphanie Lépine et Éric Beaudry, Nicolas Pellerin et Stéphane Tellier, David Boulanger, Davî Simard, Martine Billette, un porteur de tradition, etc. Ces derniers vous partageront leur riche bagage musical. Depuis 2008, le camp a enseigné à plus de 1 300 musiciens d'ici et d'ailleurs !

Près de 115 violoneux, guitaristes et pianistes en provenance du Québec, de l'Ontario, des États-Unis, de la France et de l'Allemagne se réuniront pour une durée de 5 jours pour perfectionner et approfondir le répertoire en violon traditionnel québécois. Offerte par des professionnels de la musique, la formation permet d'améliorer la technique et d'élargir les connaissances au violon, au piano et à la guitare. Venez faire un tour dans la région de Lanaudière à Plein Air Lanaudia à Saint-Côme pour une expérience exceptionnelle favorisant les échanges culturels, les rencontres intergénérationnelles ainsi que l'ouverture à l'héritage musical du Québec tout en réalisant des activités plein air telles que rabaska, canot, kayak, tyrolienne, hébertisme... ! Une occasion d'apprendre dans un milieu où le plaisir et la passion de la tradition sont à l'honneur.

Tu as 18 ans et moins, inscris-toi et demande une bourse avant le 1er juin ! Tu auras un remboursement de 100$ à 300$ sur tes frais d'inscription au camp. Plus de 30 000 $ et 145 bourses remises en 10 ans ! De plus, les frais sont réduits de 30% pour les accompagnateurs. Faites vite! La période d'inscription se termine le 1er juin.

Violon Trad Québec remercie les partenaires de cette 11e édition, Plein Air Lanaudia, Lanaudière Mémoire et Racines, Culture Lanaudière, Caisse Desjardins du Nord de Lanaudière, Héroux Lépine Luthiers, Réseau Québec Folklore et Festitrad.

Inscriptions : / Questions :
Entrevues possibles auprès des organisateurs.

Source : Ghislaine Beaufort, Coordonatrice, Camp Violon Trad Québec
450 499-0819/
Ghislaine Beaufort, coordonnatrice
89, Grande Ligne
Saint-Alexis (Québec) J0K 1T0

Cornerstone's Celtic Kitchen Party - 15 June 2018

Join Kevin Dooley & Friends for a night that can't be missed!

Ottawa valley Celtic legend will be on stage with gifted musicians all for a great cause.

Please join us on Friday, June 15th for a Celtic celebration.

Cornerstone's Celtic Kitchen Party is sure to be a great night, with delicious home-style cooked eats, live music, and chances to win great door prizes.

Cash bar featuring premium brew and non-alcoholic beverages.

Proceeds go to Cornerstone Housing for Women.

Cornerstone is a vibrant community for women moving from homelessness to hope, healing, and home. At Cornerstone, everyone belongs, everyone matters, and everyone deserves a second chance.

Friday, June 15th
All Saints Anglican Church Westboro, inside the Great Hall
347 Richmond Road, Ottawa
6:30 pm doors open 7:30 pm Live Music and Irish Dance lesson
Tickets only $20, before June 1 - $25 until event.

To purchase tickets:

We look forward to seeing you!

Jessie-Lee Wallace
Resource Development Manager
Cornerstone Housing for Women

Thursday, 26 April 2018

House Concert: Saskia Tomkins and Clan Hannigan - Wed 2 May 2018

House Concert: Wed May 2  7:30 pm, Doors open at 7:00 pm


Saskia Tomkins :

Currently living in Coburg ON where she teaches violin, viola, cello and nykelharpa.   Has toured and recorded nationally and internationally.  Former All Britain champion for Irish music.  We expect she will be playing a variety of Irish and other Celtic genres of music with perhaps some jazz and world music in the mix. 

But wait!  There's more!  Along with her, she is bringing most of Clan Hannigan who just happen to be her incredibly gifted children.  Clan Hannigan is a Celtic and roots music family band and normally includes her multi-instrumentalist husband, Steafan Hannigan (unfortunately Steafan can't make this concert) .

·         All proceeds donated directly to the musicians
·         Suggested donation $20 per person
·         Seating is limited. E-mail gary . palmer @ unb . ca to reserve your seat.
·         Light refreshments will be served at intermission
·         BYOB
·         Location and parking information will be provided when you register (Kanata area).

To hear Saskia and Steafan's latest CD, click here:

Sunday, 8 April 2018

The Hidden Folk - Faerie Lore in Music and Storytelling - 22 April 2018

There will be a concert on Sunday, April 22, 7.30 at St. Luke's Anglican Church,  " The Hidden Folk" features music and stories from Ireland, Wales, Scotland and the Isle of Man.  Harper Mary Muckle will be singing a song in Irish and Jennifer Davis, a native Welsh speaker will be incorporating some Welsh into her stories.  The Ottawa Youth Harp Ensemble, under the direction of Mary Muckle, will be performing on five pieces. A door prize on offer will be a copy of Danny Doyle's book "The Irish Language in Canada".

Admission by donation.

Darkness Into Light - Session and Walk Events - April and May

Darkness into Light (DIL) will have their 2018 Launch with a live Irish Music Session on Saturday, April 21 from 2 -  5 PM at the Heart & Crown Pub on Preston Street.

Also, registration is now open for the Darkness Into Light walk. The walk is Saturday, 12th of May 2018, starting at 5 AM, from the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre, Britannia Park, Ottawa.

From DIL Ottawa Facebook:

Darkness into Light began in Ireland in 2009 when 400 people gathered in the Phoenix Park in Dublin, to walk together towards the light the new day. Nine years later, Darkness into Light takes place in nearly 120 locations worldwide with over 120,000 people participating in 2017!

This year, Darkness into Light Ottawa will host its third annual 5km walk for suicide awareness, on May 12th at Britannia Park. This event raises funds for Pieta House Ireland, the founders of this event, and Youth Services Bureau Ottawa who deal with youth in crisis. It is an awareness campaign, a community event and a movement to end the stigma attached to suicide and mental health. Darkness into Light begins at 5am with participants crossing the finish line as dawn breaks; representing the hope that brings people from darkness back into the light. It is a very emotional event and a different experience for everyone who participates. Many people walk in memory of their family members or friends that have died by suicide. For others, it symbolizes their own personal journey. This walk is about bringing people together in the hope that no one ever has to walk alone.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Our Celtic Connections in Music, Song and Story - 8 April 2018

Please join Sine McKenna and friends Lynda Kathan, Duncan Gillis, and Ellen MacIssac for our 2nd annual  benefit concert for The Glengarry Highland Society.

When: April 8, 2018
From: 2:00 - 4:00 pm
Doors open at 1:30 pm
Where: Spoiled Rotten Bed and Breakfast, 1403 Shawinigan Street, Orleans.

Scots Gaelic singer and teacher, Sine McKenna, has been sharing her passion for Highland heritage for over 35 years. Although she grew up in Montreal, she was immersed in Celtic music from a young age. Her Mother, Anne, is an accomplished musician and her Father, Kenneth, a singer and historian. Since the early 70s Sine and her parents have been working together to raise awareness of the precious legacy of Highland culture in their present home, Glengarry county, Ontario.

As a solo singer, she has performed on both sides of the Atlantic on radio and television and also as lead singer with the Montreal based Celtic group Phenigma. In 1999 she co-founded The Daughters of Glengarry, a Gaelic music ensemble who performed throughout eastern Canada and Scotland.


Alex Cumming & Nicola Beazley house concert, Tuesday 3 April 2018

Alex Cumming (The Teacups) & Nicola Beazley (The Rosie Hood Band) are an exciting English Box & Fiddle duo performing both songs and tunes from around England, America and beyond. The duo saw the release of their much anticipated debut album in late 2016, which was very well received. It came hot on the heels of concerts and festival appearances in folk clubs in Bristol, Dorset and Sheffield, at the legendary Green note in London, appearances at the folk weeks in Sidmouth, Broadstairs, and Gate to Southwell. Sandwiched in between all of this was a short tour of Canada in July all building up to the release of their debut album. They are returning to Ottawa in a more intimate setting to share more great music with us.

"No nonsense English folk music at its very, very best" - Downend Folk Club
"A fabulous duo! Great tunes, songs and banter. Highly recommended! " - Jon Boden (Bellowhead)
"a great synthesis of traditional material and modern inspiration" - Fatea Magazine

Suggested Donation: $20

For information on the address or to reserve your spot please email


Facebook Event:

Old Sod Society

Thomas D’Arcy McGee: Irish Rebel, Canadian Icon – A Life in Words and Music, 6 April 2018

A live music and literature event at the Canadian Museum of History

The youngest and one of the most intellectually gifted of the Fathers of Confederation, Thomas D’Arcy McGee enjoyed a remarkable career as a journalist, poet, author and politician in Ireland, the United States and Canada. As a youth, during a period of famine and international revolution, he was one of the leaders of the Young Ireland Rising movement of 1848. D’Arcy McGee also took an uncompromising stand against the Fenians — Irish republicans who wanted to free both Ireland and Canada from British rule. At the age of 42, in the early hours of April 7, 1868, he was assassinated on an Ottawa street by an Irishman who saw him as a traitor to the country of his birth.

Thomas D’Arcy McGee: Irish Rebel, Canadian Icon – A Life in Words and Music tells his story.


Tickets: $20 plus taxes
$10 plus taxes for Museum members, seniors and students

Purchase tickets online.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Masters of the Celtic Harp: Workshops & Concert - 6-7 April 2018


Two of the Foremost Harpers of Ireland and Scotland Together
Gráinne Hambly & William Jackson: Two Sides of Celtic
in Ottawa, April 6-7,2018


Date: Friday April 6, 2018
Location: Nepean Creative Arts Centre, 35 Stafford Rd, in Bells Corners (plenty of free parking)
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: $22 at the door, or through eventbrite:

WORKSHOPS (suitable for harpists with 1+yrs experience)

Date: Saturday April 7, 2018
Location: Nepean Creative Arts Centre, 35 Stafford Rd, in Bells Corners (plenty of free parking)
Times: 10-11:30am Grainne Hambly (The Jig is Up)
12:30-2pm William Jackson (Blind Harpers: who was Rory Dall)
2:30-4pm Grainne Hambly (Irish Traditional Dance Music)

Tickets: $40 for 1 workshop, $70 for 2 workshops, $100 for all 3 workshops
REGISTRATION: To register for the workshops (or workshops AND concert), please print off this PDF and send it back to me, either by scanning/attaching, or by regular mail. Payment can be done by e-transfer or cheque. All of this information can be found on the PDF, as well as on my website:

* Registration deadline is March 25, 2018

Find out more about the artists here:

Interview with the artists:


The Jig is Up: There's nothing that says Irish so much as the sound of a jig. Yet getting that "lilt" is a nuance that escapes many players just reading eighth notes on sheet music. Learn a jig or two from a master player and find out how to get the lightness and lift into your playing.

Blind Harpers: who was Rory Dall? A look at the music attributed to the 17th century blind harpers Rory Dall Morrison of Scotland and Rory Dall O'Catháin (Roger O'Keane ) of Ireland, and the confusion over the authorship of their compositions. Their music is very different than that of O'Carolan, probably the best-known, today, of the blind harpers.

Irish Traditional Dance Music: An Introduction to Ornamentation and Arranging: Learn about the different types of ornamentation used in Irish music, how to play them, and how to apply them to a basic melody. Some approaches to creating interesting and stylistically appropriate arrangements will also be covered. The difference between how dance tunes are notated and how they should be played will also be discussed.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Ottawa’s St. Patrick’s Day Concert, Friday 16 March at Saint Brigid's

Saint Patrick's on FRIDAY 16 March

Friday night, March 16. One day to go before official Saint Patrick's.  Whaddya gonna do?  You're going to go to the best Celtic music night you can find east of Myanmar! And you're going to like it.

Speed thee to Saint Brigid's Centre, at Cumberland and Murray, near The Byward Market, home to the The National Irish Canadian Cultural Centre.

Caution: Musicians NOT TO SCALE

You're in for a very lively St. Patrick's Day celebration, featuring some of Ottawa's Finest Celtic musicians, including the TrousersHiberniaAlexis MacIsaac and Calum MacKenzie (sample), and Kyle Burghout and Tyson Chen.

All ages welcome. Cash bar.  Food available


Youth – 25 and under: $10
General: $20

Show Starts: 7 PM. Doors open at 6:30 PM

Undecided? Do not delay! Check their impressive bios at the Saint Brigid's concert webpage.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Theatre: A Night in November at The Gladstone (Little Italy) - 13-17 March 2018

Must see live theatre in Ottawa

A Night in November

Gladstone Theatre
March 13-17, 2018
Monday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday matinee at 2:30 p.m.
Preview Monday March 12, at 7:30pm

Starring Pierre Brault
Written by Marie Jones

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, actor Pierre Brault is back in his award* winning role as Kenneth McCallister, proud Ulsterman, welfare clerk and dyed-in-the-wool bigot who is the embodiment of sectarian hatred until the fateful day he finds himself in the crowd watching Northern Ireland vs the Republic in a crucial World Cup qualifier.

For more information and tickets:

Blogger's note: THIS is one of the most amazing plays I have ever seen by arguably one of the best stage actors in Canada. Have I seen plays on Broadway? No. It doesn't matter, this is an incredible story, and if you love great acting, and any interest in anything Irish, then double whammy, you need to go see this production. The stage is set minimally. Everything is in the story and its telling by the master, Pierre Breault. You will never forget it. I really promise you. You will laugh, you will cry. It's much better than Cats.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Saint Patrick's Day Dinner and Dance - 17 March 2018!

Check out a great night for Saint Patrick's Day, Saturday March 17, with a dinner and dance. Certain to provide a taste of Ireland for the mouth and the dancing feet. Live band, called dances, beginners welcome.

Saint Patrick Basilica
Kent & Nepean Streets

Go to for tickets: Enter St Patrick Basilica to access tickets.

Choral: A Celtic Night at the Movies! - Sunday 11 March 2018

Join the Ottawa Celtic Choir (and Facebook) for a night of movie music - Celtic movie music! This is a concert of Celtic songs featured in movies (and maybe a popular TV show or two), sure to delight.

"A bit of a departure from our regular repertoire, but we're very much looking forward to it!"

Image may contain: cloud, sky, ocean, outdoor, nature and water

Admission is by donation at the door - pay what you can.

Sunday at 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
St. Luke's Anglican Church, Ottawa
760 Somerset St. West (Chinatown)

Irish Film Festival Ottawa releases 2018 selection

For more information visit the IFFO Webpage.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

St Patrick's Day warm up! Celebrate with Live Irish Music on March 10 and 11 at Saint Brigid's

Seriously, would I steer you wrong? It's always the craic* at Saint Brigid's!
(*loosely, Irish for "good time")

Click this link to Saint Brigid's (Cumberland St. on the edge of The Market) to learn more about to following fun events the whole family can enjoy:

Come Celebrate Being Irish – Dan McHale & Friends
March 10th 2018 12:30pm

Live Celtic Music & Pancake Breakfast
March 11th 2018 10:00am

Irish Arts Ottawa Monthly Sunday Sessions
March 11th 2018 2:00pm

Monday, 5 March 2018

Clan Hannigan at MERA Schoolhouse, McDonald's Corners, Lanark - 11 March 2018

Clan Hannigan is an intergenerational family band based out of Baltimore, Ontario, that takes traditional Irish music and blends it with elements of Jazz, Pop, and other folk traditions, to create a unique high energy sonic soundscape. Steafan Hannigan and Saskia Tomkins have been mainstays on the traditional Irish and world music scenes for the last thirty plus years working with acts like. Uriah Heep, Loreena McKennitt, Olivier Schroer, Julian Lloyd Weber, Bjork, Depeche Mode, Martin Carthy, Sin É, LinnTilla, The Afro Celt Sound System, The Chieftains and countless others.

Rawlins Cross come to Centrepointe Theatre! - 2 May 2018

Rawlins Cross (named for a famous crossroads in St. John's, Newfoundland), one of Canada's most accomplished and beloved Celtic rock bands, have rekindled the magic with their recent release, Rock Steady. Rock Steady is the ninth studio project for Rawlins Cross and one of the most personal, with six original tracks being written by the band. Equally at ease with a soulful Highland Air or a raucous party song, Rawlins Cross never fails to electrify.

Tickets are on sale now! 

101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, ON  K2G 5K7
Toll-free: 1-866-752-5231

Ben Miller & Anita McDonald in concert at La Grange de la Gatineau - 17 March 2018

Celebrate St. Patrick's day in fine Celtic style! Ben Miller and Anita MacDonald join together, blending the rich traditional sound of the Cape Breton fiddle, with the fiery edge of the Scottish Border pipes. Combining their creative vision with influences from Old and New World Gaelic traditions, they create a powerful sound, heralded as 
"one of the most important folk acts on the Island [Cape Breton] today."(Wendy Bergfeldt-Munro, Producer/Host CBC).
Tempering the sharp edge of the pipes and fiddle, Ben and Anita are joined by friends from the Maritimes and beyond. Supported by Zakk Cormier guitarist, and specialist of Acadian foot percussion, they create a sound that has captivated audiences across North America and further afield.

A cocktail of tradition, distilled like a pure drop of the Canadian Maritimes, their unique blend of driving dance music transcends boundaries - equally at home at a kitchen ceilidh or on a late night festival stage. "... Fiery, fresh, yet totally traditional." (Alex Monaghan, Piping Today Magazine).

Location and more information:
March 17th
8 PM

La Grange de la Gatineau
80 Chemin Summer
Cantley, QC