Monday, 28 March 2011

Natalie MacMaster and Leahy Music Camp Registration

Leahy Music Camp 2011
Camp Registrations Are Now OPEN!

It's that time of year again - Music Camp registrations are now open! For the 6th year in a row, Natalie MacMaster & Leahy can't wait to welcome you to Lakefield, Ontario, Canada. Everyone is looking forward to another unforgettable week of music and fun!

DATE: Sunday July 3 - Thursday July 8
LOCATION: Lakefield College School
MORE: The website is up and ready for your registration!

Everything you need to know and download is on the dedicated Music Camp website. You can link to the site right HERE or you can go via the News page of the Leahy website.
Remember, the Music Camp usually sells out within a month or so, so don't delay in registering!

If you have specific questions about Music Camp that are not addressed on the website, please email the Leahy office. Our email address is:

We look forward to seeing you in July!
Leahy & Natalie MacMaster

(Initial blog posting)

Comhaltas Ottawa - Ceili this weekend

The Ottawa Branch of Comhaltas April ceili will be held this Saturday, April 2nd, instead of the usual third Saturday.  See directions for a map to 194 Fourth Ave, the location of the Blessed Sacrament Church Hall. Free street parking. Beginners welcome. Cash bar. $12 non-members, $10 members. Dancing and performances from 8pm - midnight. A free light snack and tea are also served.  The dancing is comprised of both ceili dances (social dances) and set dances (square figures of 4 couples per set).  Live ceili band playing the best in traditional Irish music.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Concert - Ottawa Celtic Choir - Bright May Day


Bright May Day: A concert celebrating of the coming of summer. The Ottawa Celtic Choir and
invited guests will perform music pertaining to May Day and the Celtic festival of Bealtaine.

Admission by donation.
SUNDAY, MAY 1st at 7:30 pm
St. Luke's Anglican Church
760 Somerset St. West,
Ottawa, Ontario
K1R 6P9
(613) 235-3416

Irish Language and Ceili - 2 April 2011

As a reminder the CCE Ottawa April ceili will be held off the usual schedule, and is on APRIL 2ND! So mark your calendars appropriately! This would be a great way to round out a wonderful day of immersion in the Irish Language offered by Caint is Comhra and CCE, Ottawa Branch.
Where : St. Brigid's Centre, NICCC, Entrance on Cumberland St. between St. Patrick St. and Murray St.

Date and Time: Sat. 2 April 2011, 9am - 4pm.
Cost: $20. Tea / coffee/ snacks provided. Bring your own lunch, please.

Please Register by March 25th if possible. We will try to accomodate everyone. Bridget 613-834 0387; Email: briguglich935 at rogers dot com

Clár Ní Dhuibhir ~ Clare Dwyer
for CCE Ottawa

Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade - 20 March 2011

Still in need of some Irish for St. Patrick's Day week? Get in the car/van/bus/train and get yeself over to Montreal for the United Irish Societies of Montreal St. Patrick's Parade. I've been to it only one, myself, but it is HUGE!

Chris Langan Weekend, Toronto, 27-29 May, 2011

The weekend is dedicated to the memory of Chris Langan and his tireless promotion of the traditional arts of Ireland. As such, classes are offered in all manner of instruments, including uilleann pipes, fiddle, tin whistle, flute, and accordion as well as song and dance.

This year we are proud to announce our guests as:

Tom Byrne, Donegal, Ireland - Accordion and Harmonica.
Liam O'Connor, Dublin, Ireland - Fiddle
Pat O'Gorman, Ontario, Canada - Flute
Jarlath Henderson, Tyrone, Ireland - Uilleann Pipes
Debbie Quigley, Ontario, Canada - Uilleann Pipes
Cillian Vallely, Armagh, Ireland - Uilleann Pipes.

For more information:

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Irish Conversational Group

There has been some interest in organizing a weekly Irish language conversational group in Ottawa. If you are interested in participating, we would appreciate your input. Please contact the CCE Ottawa Irish officer Bridget Guglich at: briguglich935 at rogers dot com

Clár Ní Dhuibhir ~ Clare Dwyer

Happy St. Patrick's Day !

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Irish Music Ottawa! Hope everybody lifted a pint (at least one) on this feast day. Unfortunately I was held against my will in a laboratory, and only pint was raised during the noon hour.  Thanks for reading the blog. Spread the word, and send me your news/stories/reviews/etc.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

CCE Ottawa Ceili for St. Patrick's Day - all good craic!

The CCE Ottawa branch ceili for St. Patrick's Day was held this last Saturday night.  175 people were treated to a fantastically delicious roast beef dinner, followed by an evening of ceili and set dancing.  Also included in the evening were a cash bar, Blakey Designs (Celtic jewelry etc) selling on site, numerous door prizes, and dance performances at the mid-ceili break!

A YouTube video of one of the dance demos is available here. This is the third figure of Claddagh Set. Other dance performances from the ceili are also available from the provider of this video. Enjoy!

The next ceili is Saturday, April 2, 2011. Directions.

The Paddy Jammers - St. Patrick's Day, two shows!

Join Gerry and the band for some great Irish tunes at the Heart & Crown on Preston between 4pm and 8pm, then after a short helicopter flight, at The Glen in Stittsville, 9pm to close.

Monday, 14 March 2011

The Skirmish . . . St. Patrick's Day gig

For those celebrating the great day in the golden southwest, The Skirmish will be venturing out of our McDonalds Corners hideout and playing a marathon show at The Barley Mow, Barrhaven, (on Greenbank just north of Strandherd in the Village Mall) from 1 - 11 p.m. on Thursday the 17th. This is the full four-piece band featuring Bill Cameron, Linda Grenier, Gary Glover and Victor Maltby.

(Note: we don't have anything booked for the Friday or Saturday, if anyone is interested in a last-minute booking either for the band or a highly-experienced sideman on those days or nights, please contact Bill at cameronb at netscape dit ca )

Regards to all lovers of Celtic Music and other things Irish


Saturday, 12 March 2011

Cape Breton Concert and Square Dance April 30, 2011

Everyone is invited to join the Cape Breton Club of Ottawa and the Ottawa Cape Breton Session for an evening of Celtic music in the tradition of Cape Breton Island. Cape Breton's Kimberley Fraser accompanied by Ottawa's Denis Lanctot will provide a concert of both Scottish traditional as well as more contemporary Cape Breton tunes and stepdancing. A Cape Breton square dance will follow the concert. Square set instruction will be provided from 7:15 - 8 PM for those interested in learning a typical Inverness County three-figure set, with both square and round dancing after the 8pm concert. This is a family event, with cash bar available (at mess prices!), the location is wheelchair accessible. Officer's Mess - RCMP Headquarters at 1200 Vanier Parkway. Highway 417 east or west to exit 117 Vanier Parkway. Left at first lights to guard hut, tell the guard you are attending an event at the mess, then proceed to the mess entrance on the east side of the building. To get there you have to drive all the way around the building to access the entrance which is just past the garage on the left and has a red awning over the door. There is plenty of parking in the lot across the roadway, parking rules are not enforced on weekends. OCTranspo: From Hurdman Station take Route 9 Downtown/Centreville to the Vanier/Coventry stop. 3-4 minute walk from there. Via Rail: If you are coming from out of town this location is within walking distance of the Ottawa Rail Central Station and Hampton Inn is right across the street.

As a limited number of tickets are available, getting tickets in advance is strongly recommended. More information and maps to the location can be found on the Ottawa Cape Breton Session website Tickets can purchased at any OCBS Sunday session, from Brent MacDonald at 613-233-3047 or may be reserved by email at

Kimberley Fraser was born on Cape Breton Island, and nurtured within its rich musical heritage. She first began to impress audiences at the age of three with her step-dancing talents. Soon after that she took up both the fiddle and the piano. Though still in her 20s, Kimberley's already has a distinguished career. She has traveled the world, from Victoria to Afghanistan, performing at venues such as The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. bringing Cape Breton music with her wherever she goes. She has become one of the stellar players of the Cape Breton fiddle tradition, equally at home at a house party, playing for a square dance or on stage for a concert in Bras d'Or or Boston, Scotsville or Scotland." Kimberley has shared the stage with the finest acts in Celtic music, such as Alasdair Fraser, Martin Hayes and Lunasa. Kimberley is also in demand for her piano skills, accompanying musicians at home and abroad. Skilled at teaching fiddle, piano and step-dancing, Kimberley's ability to perform all three skills allows her students to learn the relationship between these different aspects of the music. Kimberley will be supported by a favourite local fiddler and pianist, Denis Lanctot.

Beth MacGillivray

Calvin Vollrath is In the House, Thursday April 28, 2011, 8pm

Calvin Vollrath is in the House! Calvin is a world-class fiddler and performer, and is a pleasure to watch. "If you can't dance to that, you better check your pulse".

Calvin is a musical prodigy. To date, he has composed just over 400 tunes, including 5 tunes for the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010 Opening Ceremonies! He has to his credit, over 50 of his own albums, numerous music books of his original tunes and an instructional DVD. Calvin was commissioned to compose the tunes for the!

Calvin represents Alberta and Canada internationally. Since his participation at the 2000 World Music Expo (WOMEX) in Berlin Germany, Calvin has toured several European countries. Calvin was selected as one of 10 performers to represent Alberta at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC.

Calvin has recorded with Ian Tyson, Colleen Peterson & Laura Vinson to name a few and is in demand as a studio musician for various Canadian artists and film and television productions. His works can be heard on the documentary "Alberta, Wild Rose Country" and APTN's "Hank William's First Nations". Calvin has appeared on many television shows including CTV's "Sun Country", CTV's "Number I West" and was music director for CBC's "Native Nashville North." CBC's "Adrienne Clarkson Presents" aired a documentary on Métis fiddle music featuring Calvin and John Arcand.

$20 donation -- Seating is limited – All proceeds go directly to Calvin
To reserve you seats, email Graham at
Light refreshment will be available during intermission.

St Patrick's Day at Daniel O'Connell's Pub

The usual Thursday session will be cancelled this March 17.  Replacing it will be an afternoon of Irish music hosted by Kevin Dooley at Daniel O'Connell's Pub (1211 Wellington St.).  It starts at 2 and will run to 5. There will be food and beverages for the musical participants.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Acoustics of free-reed instruments

Just to mix it up a little, here is a neat science article on the history and acoustics of free-reed instruments (no, it does not mean that the reeds or instruments are free to buy!). Here's the article.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Upcoming events at Saint Brigid’s Centre, Home of the National Irish Canadian Cultural Centre

310 St. Patrick Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 5K5

Saint Brigid's Centre for the Arts, a few blocks from the National Gallery of Canada, Notre Dame Basilica, US Embassy, Major's Hill Park, National War Museum, Lester Pearson Building, Chateau Laurier and the Parliament - near the Byward Market and Rideau Shopping Centre - Irish Village - accessible from Hull through MacDonald Cartier Bridge. SBC is the home of the National Irish Canadian Cultural Centre (NICCC). A converted Catholic church, Saint Brigid's Centre was founded in 2007 after the church was deconsecrated by the Archdiocese and privately purchased by members of the Irish community. The NICCC are dedicated to the restoration of this heritage site and to the development of community events for the Irish constituents of Ottawa.

Saint Brigid's Centre is honoured to have facilitated a variety of artistic and cultural groups from Ottawa and around the world. From orchestras and concerts to private parties, art exhibitions, lectures and conferences, Saint Brigid's Centre is a multidisciplinary space that truly showcases the diversity of our Nation's Capital.

For more information on our events, please visit our website:

For information on renting out our facilities for a space of your own, please call (613) 244-7373 or email

Hope you will subscribe to our mailing list!



Ottawa Irish Festival Proclamation "PROCLAMATION CEREMONIES" IRISH WEEK (March 10-17)
Ceremonies start at 6:30 pm followed by a musical concert from 7:00 - 10:30 pm.
Mayor Jim Watson and Irish Ambassador Ray Bassett has been invited to attend
Entrance to Kildare Room on Cumberland Street

FRIDAY 11th MARCH 2011
Journey of Ireland
Songs of the "Emerald Isle:" an array of timeless Irish melodies.
Seventeen Voyces with celtic harp and fiddles!
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
Tickets Adults: $25
Entrance to GRAND CANAL CONCERT HALL on St.Patrick St.

SUNDAY 13th MARCH 2011
Hosted by our own Don Kavanagh

Featuring musical entertainment by our very talented and dedicated volunteer musicians from the Irish community.  Breakfast is for all ages, and everyone is welcome! Pancakes, Ham, Home Fries, Juice, Fruit, Tea/Coffee.
TIME: 10 am – NOON
Adults: $5, Children $3
Live music, good food, and good company at an affordable price!
Info: Ann 613-225-1830
Entrance to Kildare Room on Cumberland Street

SUNDAY 13th MARCH 2011
Poetry and music celebrating Irish poet, W. B.Yeats.
Celtic music performance by: Kirsten Carlson, flute - Mary Muckle, voice & harp
Readings by Pat Scott
Harpists: Kelly Aminian, Marianne Lin, Kahlan MIron, Roisin Philippe
COST: $10 Advance, $15 Door
TIME: 7:30
Phone: 613-244-7373 – 613-222-0710
Entrance to Kildare Room on Cumberland Street

Monday 14th MARCH 2011
Celtic Knotwork Workshop
Presented by David Rankine
Learn how to draw Celtic knots! Taught by Artist David Rankine.
Materials and refreshments provided. Space limited to 40 people.
Buying your ticket in advance is recommended.
For more information contact Laura Hay at
COST: Free to members of the Irish Society of the National Capital Region, $7:00 for Non-Members.
TIME: 7:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Entrance to Kildare Room on Cumberland Street

Literary Evening: "Old Ottawa in Recent Writing"
Hosted by Ron Corbett
Musicians from the Ottawa Irish Community.
Local guest authors reading from their works:
John J. Heney (John Heney & Son - The Canadian Saga of an Ottawa Irish Family) .
Paul Kitchen (Win, Tie, or Wrangle - The Inside Story of the Old Ottawa Senators - 1883-1935).
Master of Ceremonies Ron Corbett, Ottawa Sun columnist and CFRA radio host.
COST: By Donation
TIME: Doors open 6:30 pm Session 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Entrance to Kildare Room on Cumberland Street

Book of Kells Lecture: Davis Rankine looks at the artistry of the images in the Book of Kells.
COST: Free will offering
TIME: 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Entrance to Kildare Room on Cumberland Street

Indulge your love of both Irish music and food for our St. Patrick's Day Luncheon
with the "Irish ghosts & spirits of the past" and the people of the present.
Saint's and sinner are welcome, bring your family and friends or meet new friends here.
If you enjoy Irish music this is the place to be.
Lunch served at NOON
Doors Open 11:30 am CASH BAR
Phone: 613-244-7373 – 613-222-0710
Entrance to Kildare Room on Cumberland Street

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

CCE Eastern Regional Board, Fourth Annual Feile Cheoil Competition (Toronto)

St. Paul's School
80 Sackville Street
Toronto, ON M5A 3E5
(Corner of Sackville & Queen Street)
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Commencing at 10:00 am

This competition is open to all amateur performers. Our aim is to encourage people of all ages to participate in the rich culture of traditional music, song and dance.

Ena O'Brien

Entry Secretary
Heather Corby
43 Brookmount Road
Toronto, ON M4L 3N3

1. All competitions are open to competitors who meet the requirements listed below.
2. You may enter in as many competitions as eligible.
3. A satisfactory standard is necessary for any competition.
4. In solo competitions, a competitor must compete in own age group only. In duets, trios, etc, competitors may compete only once in any age group of any of the aforementioned competitions. A competitor may also compete in a higher age group. In competitions for duets and trios, all members must at all times play the melody of the tune.
5. In duets – over 18, two different instruments must be played, and in trios over 18, at least two different instruments must be played.
6. No communication with the adjudicator is permitted before or during the competition, except through the steward (stage hand).

Categories: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Competitions 15 and over to commence at 1:00 p.m. approximately. Please check in ½ hour prior to competition.

Classes of Music
Air (slow or lively), Reel, Polka, Hornpipe, Jig (double, single, slip), Slide, Set Dance, March, Barn Dance
(Age as of January 1, 2011)
Under 12 Age 12 – Under 15
Age 15 – Under 18 Age 18 & over

Solo Competitions
Beginner all ages Two tunes from any class
Intermediate all ages Three tunes from three of the classes
Advanced all ages Four tunes from four of the classes
Fiddle, tin whistle, concert flute, and uilleann pipes only can include a slow air.

Only set dancing will be performed, as per the North American Dance Teachers' Association regulations. Ages may vary in the dancing groups. Groups may consist of four or eight competitors. Clarification on ages for these groups may be obtained through enquiries prior to completing entry form. Two figures will be danced from any set.

• Fiddle
• Accordion (button/piano)
• Piano
• Concert flute
• Tin whistle
• Concertina
• Uilleann Pipes
• Harp
• Banjo
• Mandolin
• Bodhran (solo competition only)
*(Music will be provided for bodhran competition)
Duets,Trios & Quartets
Beginner –One tune
Intermediate – Two Tunes.
Advanced – Three Tunes
No drums or bodhrans as part of duets or trios.

Ceili Bands: Minimum of five members. Requirement – two jigs, two reels, two hornpipes. Exceptions can be made.

Grúpaí Cheoil (Music Group) Minimum four members – maximum ten. Requirement – two jigs, two reels.

Solo Traditional Singing
Beginner any age – One traditional song (English or Gaelic)
Advanced/Intermediate any age – Two traditional songs (English or Gaelic)

Competition Fees
$10 each entrant for solo, duet or trio competitions
$10 each entrant for set dances and singing competitions
Maximum per competitor is $25.00
(example Competitor entered into a solo, duet and singing competition will be charged $25.00)

Call for Volunteers - The 29th Annual Ottawa St. Patrick’s Parade

Saturday, March 12, 2011 8:00am – 1:00pm
A Route Marshall guards a street intersection, sets up a barricade, wears a safety vest, and ensures no traffic enters the Parade route.

Meet at City Hall (Council Chambers) 8am – 9am to register. At that time you will receive your Street Intersection, your safety vest, and your FREE admission wristband to the Grand Irish Party. Orientation will be provided at this time.

Parking: City Hall has underground parking at City rates, and there is limited on-street parking. We encourage you to park at Lansdowne and take our van to City Hall. Parking at Lansdowne Park is $5.00.

Please note that Bank St. will be closed to traffic at approx. 10:00am.

Transportation between Lansdowne and City Hall: The Parade is using a van (The Royalton Retirement Residence) to travel between Lansdowne and City Hall. This van can be used by Parade volunteers who want to park at Lansdowne and ride to City Hall.

· 7:30am is the first trip of the day. The van leaves Lansdowne at the North East Corner of the Aberdeen Pavilion arriving at City Hall on Lisgar at Cartier, and will then travel back and forth between City Hall and Lansdowne.
· The last trip from Lansdowne leaves at 11:30am and the last trip from City Hall leaves at 12 noon.
· Route Marshalls who do not want to walk to their intersection should take the volunteer bus (school bus) which will take them to their assigned intersection. This volunteer bus departs from City Hall on Lisgar at Cartier at 9:45am.
· This volunteer bus will also be the last vehicle in the Parade to pick up Parade Route Volunteers, safety vests, etc. from Bank St. to take them to Lansdowne Park.

Other Parade Information

The Parade starts at 11:00AM from City Hall and proceeds west on Laurier Ave., south on Bank St. to Lansdowne Park. The Parade ends at approx. 1:00 p.m.

The Ottawa Food Bank will be collecting non-perishable goods and cash donations along the Parade Route.

All volunteers must be aged 16 or older. Students will each receive a credit of 6 volunteer hours.

Enjoy the GRAND IRISH PARTY after the Parade, at Lansdowne (Civic Centre) from 12:00 – 4:00pm, featuring young IRISH DANCERS, fiddle music, dance, jokes and plenty of Irish laughter. All Route Marshalls receive a free admission wristband to the Party, otherwise the admission is $10.00 (adults), $5.00 (13-19), and free for 0-12 years.

If you have any questions, please contact Irene Layton (Volunteer Co-ordinator) at 613-236-5039 or Thank you so much for helping at this year's Parade.