Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Meet the Master - Paddy Keenan Whistle and Piping Workshop

Irish Music Ottawa offers an opportunity for musicians of ALL levels of proficiency on the Irish tin whistle, including low whistles, and/or uilleann pipes, to meet and learn from Paddy Keenan. 

I've heard that you should never meet your heros, as you'll only be disappointed. Come meet Paddy Keenan in person and find out why that doesn't apply to him. You will not be disappointed!

This workshop is offered on the day after the Paddy Keenan concert (26 Nov) at the organiser's house (Nepean, 27 Nov). Based on the workshop Paddy gave in 2008, the atmosphere is very relaxed and it was a lot of fun. The people at the last workshop really enjoyed themselves as Paddy is tremendously supportive and respectful of musicians at ALL levels. He is simply one of the most genuine guys you will ever meet. He will work with you at your level.

The cost for the workshop is $30 for 2-3 hrs (we're casual!) with Paddy Keenan, his and your instruments! Limited to FIRST TEN registrants. Target start time is 2pm. Location details etc will be confirmed with registrants in advance.  Your registration includes light refreshments and a memorable experience with the living legend!

Registration: Via, or by cash at the concert. 
Cash payment on the same day of the workshop has to be arranged in advance.
Questions? Email

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

CCE Ottawa Branch Céilí this Saturday, November 19th

Dia daoibh.

This is just a reminder that there is a céilí this Saturday, November 19th at Blessed Sacrament Church Hall, 194 Fourth Ave., Ottawa.

Members - $10
Guests - $12
Students - $5 (with student card)
Children under 12 - free
Family rates

Music by the Ottawa Céilí Band
Entertainment provided by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society Demonstration Team, under the direction of Phyllis MacCulloch

Start your Christmas shopping early with Blakey Designs, who will have a booth set up at the céilí.

Don't forget to bring along your donations of warm outer winter wear, mitts, gloves, hats, scarves and socks too for our annual Toques and Toes drive, which will be distributed to the area's needy.  These items must be new.

Go raibh maith agaibh.

Cape Cod Ceili Weekend IX

For those that have a little more spare time, and don't mind the drive...

Cape Cod Ceili Weekend #9 will be held from January 27-29 at the Cape Cod Irish Village. Guest musician with the Northeast Ceili Band will be accordion virtuoso John Whelan.

The home page for the event is There's a flyer at

Each year we get dancers from further and further afield. Everybody's welcome - we think it's well worth the trip!

Please let your members and friends know about this and get back to me if there are any questions (note that questions regarding the accommodations should go directly to the Irish Village).

Bill Black

Mòd Canada - 20 Nov 2011, Stittsville

Mòd Canada 2010 - A premier music event in the National Capital Region Hello fellow pipers, whistlers, fiddlers, harpists, highland dancers, and Gaelic supporters.

As you may be aware, Comunn Gàidhlig Ottawa's annual Mòd Canada competition is coming up quickly. I will include specific details about the event and some links for your to look at.

What is Mòd Canada:
A very special day of activity packed full of talent and special performances.

* Scottish Gaelic speaking, singing, poetry, story telling and drama competitions.
* Instrumental playing: Small pipes, Celtic whistle, Harp and Bagpipe practice chanter.
* Highlang dancing, group and solo.
* Celtic Art.
* And special performances by world class performers.

Events include: A multitude of Gaelic speaking and singing competitions, Gaelic art, Highland Dancing, and Instrumental competitions in: Practice Chanter, Small Pipes, Celtic Whistle, Fiddle, Harp...
Come and spectate or compete, or both...

When: Saturday, November 20th from 8:30am - 5:30pm

Where: Community Bible Church, 1600 Main Street, Stittsville, Ontario

Cost: Most competitions are $5/per competition, or an annual membership gives you entry to the Mòd and unlimited competition.
Family - 25$
Adults - 10$
Children 11-18 - 5$
Children 10 and under - free
Senior Citizens and military veterans – Freewill donation
CGO and Ar n-Òran members – Free

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Almonte Celtfest joins Irish Music Ottawa supporters for Paddy Keenan Concert!

I would like to catch up on some recent news that the Almonte Celtfest has agreed to come on board for promotion of the Paddy Keenan concert, 26 November 2011. The Almonte Celtfest has earned credibility as a professionally organised showcase for Celtic music, dance, and craft, sourced mainly from talent within the Ottawa Valley and its environs. They also bring in 'outside' talent which only adds to the excitement. Admission to the Celtfest is by donation, and this makes it an incredible family-oriented event suitable for all budgets. Located in the beautiful Gemmill Park in Almonte, Ontario, the park provides an incredible naturally amphitheatre giving good acoustics and sightlines. It's a festival that you don't want to miss, and I am incredibly pleased that they are supporting the Paddy Keenan concert.

Not only does the Almonte Celtfest put on the annual festival, but throughout the year they host concerts within Almonte in support of their community activities. This last weekend I joined a full house of enthusiastic music and storytelling fans for the McGee Band's accompaniment for professor David Wilson's presentation of his latest book , Vol 2 in a series, on the life and time of the famous Irish-Canadian parliamentarian, "Thomas D'arcy McGee, the Extreme Moderate." This show exceeded my already heightened expectations in terms of an interweaving of new traditional music written in the traditional Irish style (James Stephens and Frank Cassidy, composers) and in-character readings from professor Wilson's book. Canadian history never sounded so good, EVER!

The McGee Band is comprised of James Stephens (fiddle), Frank Cassidy (whistles, banjo), Greg T. Brown (concertina, fiddle, banjo, vocals, accordion), Jeff McClintock (piano, harmonium, guitar) and for this performance Alistair Dennett (bodhran, snare drum). David Wilson played whistle as well!

Thank you to Jim Mountain and the Almonte Celtfest for helping to spread the word and keeping the music alive!

 - - - - - 

The Gaelic Hour, heard Sundays 8-10AM, on 97.9 CHIN FM, is the official media supporter for the Irish Music Ottawa Paddy Keenan concert.

Click here for further information and a link to online ticket purchase.

Music Session in Orleans - Fiddle Night(s)

Fiddle Night - All ages and abilities welcome.

The last Fiddle night was Friday Nov 4 from 7:30-9:30 at the Roy Hobbs Community Centre on the corner of Champlain and Larch Street (yours truly forget to get it posted in time). They meet once a month with many fiddlers, guitar players, Irish drums and more. There is no registration fee; donations towards the room rental are appreciated but not mandatory. For more information please contact Denise at 613-830-3856.

My Favourite Tragedy to play Café DeKcuf, 19 November 2011

The band 'My Favourite Tragedy' is a folk-rock act, but many of their songs have a celtic influence, and you may be interested in their upcoming show on the 19th of November at Café DeKcuf.

In case you've never heard them, here is a link to their new video, which I thought was very professional and I love the song. (Btw, I'm not paid to write this stuff! It's a good tune!).

Here is the official press release:

Ottawa, ON - Three-piece acoustic-influenced ensemble My Favourite Tragedy is set to play in their hometown of Ottawa, Ontario on November 19th at Café DeKcuf. Since winning top prize in Canadaʼs biggest band competition Newcap Radio's LiVE 88.5 Big Money Shot last November, the band has just completed a Northern Canadian tour, the release of their most recent album A World Of Quiet Talk, and the debut of their debut music video for their Celtic inspired single Like This. My Favourite Tragedy is North Easton, John-Marc Desmarais and Phil Desmarais. With upright bass, percussions and the intense vocal styling's of lead singer North Easton, their live show is a journey of emotion that contains passionate storytelling, show-stopping moments and heartfelt melodies.

My Favourite Tragedy caught the interest of 6-time Grammy award winning producer Steve Thompson (Guns N Roses, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, John Lennon) and 2-time Juno award winning engineer Hayward Parrott (Bryan Adams, Great Big Sea, K.D Lang) who both contributed to A World Of Quiet Talk. The most recent single from the album, Like This, is a high energy tune that has a strong Celtic flavored acoustic opening, upright bass being pounded on with intricate precision, and drums that leave marks in your melodic memory forever.

In 2010 My Favourite Tragedy entered Newcap Radio's LiVE 88.5 Big Money Shot competition where they were one of 40 bands chosen from over 200 submissions. From there, they competed on a number of nights against other bands and secured their spot at the Grand Finals taking home $80,000 in development money. "They effortlessly earned their spot in the 2010 LiVE 88.5's Big Money Shot Grand Final with their talented song-writing skills and pro-live performances," Noah Sabourin, Music Director of LiVE 88.5.

A World Of Quiet Talk can be purchased on iTunes. The video for Like This can be viewed here:

About My Favourite Tragedy:
My Favourite Tragedy, a three-piece acoustic-influenced ensemble, takes their name from the shifts in thinking that people experience in life's most challenging conditions. The band was formed in Rockland, Ontario, summer of 2009 by founder North Easton whose music experience to date is well seasoned. With radio success in previous project Garrity, including 7 radio releases and 4 music videos all receiving airplay and written by North Easton, he infuses his creativity and originality in a timeless form that pulls people through a roller coaster of emotions. With vocal comparisons to Dave Matthews, Phil Collins and Cat Stevens and his dynamic acoustic flavor, listening and watching him perform is hypnotic and an experience not soon forgotten.

Tour dates:
November 11 – La Maison Tavern – Cornwall, ON
November 19 – Café DeKcuf – Ottawa, ON
November 23 – Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, ON
December 9 – Black Sheep Inn – Wakefield, QC
For more information or interview requests, please contact: Amber Bell Dale Speaking Ltd. 416.861.8111
Dale Speaking Ltd. 84 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON, M5R 2H2

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Paddy Keenan Concert tickets - Ottawa Folklore Centre

For some people are may not want to purchase tickets for the 26 November Paddy Keenan and Andy Hillhouse concert, online via Eventbrite ( as of Monday Nov 7 you will be able to purchase them at the Ottawa Folklore Centre ( located at 1111 Bank St., just down the hill from the Mayfair Theatre.

Thank you.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Ottawa Folklore Centre 35th Anniversary Concert! - 13 Nov 2011

Wow, 35 years! It's way before I got to Ottawa, so I'm afraid I don't have any comedic stories about the first time I walked in to the OFC and accidentally stepped on Bruce Cockburn's toes, but any business that lasts 35 years is obviously doing something right.

The concert is a celebration of music and community with an all-star lineup including Terry Gillespie, Ana Miura, Sheesham and Lotus, Jesse Greene and harp sensation Marc Seguin, Folk legend Doug McArthur, Alicia Borisonik, Don Gibbons, Missy Burgess, the Bytown Ukulele Group (BUG), local clawhammer banjo legends Mary Gick, Paul Hornbeck and Anne Downey, the OFC Choir "Folka Voca", OFC Jazz Bands, Arthur McGregor and Wendy Moore, Piping celebrity Ross Davison, Sarah Ross and several special guest appearances. The whole evening is a fundraiser for the Hospice at Maycourt. As an added bonus, the gig is licensed for serving.

Find out more crucial details by visiting the Mayfair Theatre website:

Congratulations OFC!