Saturday, 14 December 2013

Great Events in Kingston - January 2014

Patrick Ourceau and Ivan Goff
House Concert - Saturday, January 25. 8:00 p.m.
Fiddle/Flute immersion weekend - January 24 - 26

Immersion Weekend: $125 advance registration (till January 15), $150 late registration.
Private lessons Friday night
Concert: $20 advance (till January 20), $25 at the door

The usual reminder, a house is just a house and only holds so many (about 45, with 20 seats taken by the workshop musician) and our house concerts have always sold out.

Send an e-mail to to book your spot for the concert or workshop.

Weekend registration includes workshops all day Saturday and a ½ day Sunday, Saturday evening concert and session. Potluck shared food, and Kingston has a range of hotels to stay in - we can provide information Ourceau is a virtuoso on the fiddle, an avid student of the old masters, and a particular specialist in the style and repertoire of Clare and East Galway.
Since moving to North America, Patrick Ourceau has performed with many U.S.-based musicians, including the legendary accordion players James Keane and Paddy O'Brien, concertina wizard John Williams, and the band Celtic Thunder. In June 1999, Patrick joined the Tulla Ceili Band on their last U.S. tour, and for three years has performed regularly with former Tulla Ceili Band accordion player Andrew McNamara. For several years, Patrick's main concert partner was Gearóid ÓhAllmhuráin, a renowned County Clare concertina player now living in Montreal. Together with Gearóid, Patrick performed in concert and at festivals all across Europe and North America. In 1999, they released Tracin', a critically acclaimed duet recording faithful to the style and repertoire of the older generation of traditional musicians in Clare and East Galway.

Patrick is also featured on flute player Cathal McConnell's last solo album, Long Expectant Comes At Last, released in February 1999 on the Compass Records label, and on accordion player John Whelan's Celtic Roots, released in February 2002 on the Narada label. Patrick also appeared with a host of local musicians on Music and Songs from East Clare - Volume 1, an archival recording made as a part of the Millennium Project to preserved and collect folklore in that part of Ireland.

Patrick has been in great demand as a teacher and regularly teaches out of his home in Toronto. He has taught at various festivals in the U.S. and Canada, such as the Chris Langen Weekend in Toronto; the Saint Louis Irish Festival, and the Augusta Irish Week in Elkins, West Virginia; and at the Fleadh Nua in County Clare, Ireland.

Patrick now plays in the band ‘Chulrua’ with Paddy O’Brien and Pat Egan. Goff
An All-Ireland champion from Dublin, based in New York, Ivan plays uilleann pipes (Irish bellows-blown pipes), whistles and Irish wooden concert flute. A traditional musician with an eclectic background that includes master degrees in both musicology and computer composition, Ivan has performed in several well-known productions including extended engagements with Riverdance (US tour and Broadway), Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance and has featured in film scores such as recently-released Cremaster 3 (Matthew Barney) exhibited in the Guggenheim museum 2003. In addition to performing as a solo artist, Ivan has collaborated as performer and composer in the theatrical productions Peacefire and The Voice of the Sea (Mac Uibh Aille) and has performed with numerous bands and artists including NYC-based Whirligig, Cathie Ryan and Irish traditional band Lúnasa.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Ottawa Celtic Choir Christmas Season Gigs!

The Ottawa Celtic Choir has a few performances this holiday season you might be interested in. Come out for some Celtic-y songs of Christmas and of the winter season!

Sunday, December 15, 2013A Celtic Christmas
Where: St. Luke's Anglican Church, 760 Somerset Street West
When: 7:30 pm
Cost: admission by donation

Saturday, December 21, 2013
Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann Christmas Ceili
Where: 194 Fourth Avenue, Ottawa
When: 8 pm
Cost: Members – $10, Non-Members – $15, Students – $5, Children under 12 years of age – free!

Saturday, January 4, 2014National Anthem, Ottawa 67's Game (Ottawa vs. North Bay)
Where: Canadian Tire Place
When: 2 pm
Cost: $22. Tickets available from Choir members, or by contacting
(NOTE: a portion of the proceeds of tickets sold via the choir go to benefit the choir - with this money we can undertake things like recordings, travel to other cities for performances, etc. So instead of going to the 67's website for tickets, please talk to me or to any of the choir members!)

Monday, 18 November 2013

Busy weekend of events for Cape Breton music

Dance/Ceilidh - Cape Breton Square Sets, Gaelic piping
With Ben Miller, Anita MacDonald and Tyson Chen - Friday Nov. 22

RCAF Officer's Mess at 8pm.
158 Gloucester St. Ottawa
Tickets in advance: $10 at Ottawa Folklore Centre
Tickets at the door: $15

Workshops in Cape Breton Style Fiddle and Piano - Saturday Nov. 23
Faith Lutheran Church, 43 Meadowlands Dr. (Between Merivale and Woodroofe)
Beginner/Intermediate Fiddle/Piano 9am-12noon
Intermediate/Advanced Fidde/Piano 1pm-4pm
Intermediate Scottish Smallpipes/border pipes 1pm-4pm

House Concert -Cape Breton Ceilidh - Saturday Nov. 23 7:30pm-9:30pm

An evening of high energy Celtic fiddle, with Cape Breton fiddler Anita MacDonald, accompanied by Tyson Chen of Mabou, and with special guest Ben Miller on Scottish small pipes and border pipes. Jam session to follow - bring your instruments!
Hosted by Aylene and Brian Gracie at 925 Parkhaven Ave. 613-820-1535

Reserve seats for the house concert, or in the workshops by email to Workshop registrations accepted onsite, space permitting. House concert reservations are recommended but we'll squeeze you in even if you haven't reserved.
More information/maps for all events are available at

Although barely recovered from Celtic Colours International Festival where she both performed AND worked as stage manager and media spokesperson. Anita, along with Tyson Chen are both ready to bring a bit of that Celtic Colours feeling to the National Capital, they are also bringing a piper with them to round out the experience.

Anita is uniquely qualified to perform of traditional Cape Breton music, having spent more than seven years with the cultural component of Feis an Eilein at Christmas Island Cape Breton where she had close contact with some of Cape Breton's oldest and most respected tradition bearers. She's a triple threat, being an accomplished Gaelic singer and songwriter, a noted step dancer AND a fabulous fiddler. Putting her exposure to the oldest traditions of the Island together with her Gaelic speaking and dancing gives her playing the 'lift and lilt' that makes the Cape Breton fiddle so well liked around the world. Add to that her youth, energy and enthusiasm and she becomes an unstoppable force!

Anita and Tyson will be sharing the spotlight this year with an amazing piper. Ben Miller is a player of Scottish smallpipes, Border pipes, and Highland pipes, whose repertoire and style draw mainly on the Gaelic traditions of Western Scotland and the Canadian Maritimes, blended with a healthy dash of Irish tunes for good measure. Early in his career Ben left the pipe band scene to pursue traditional Scottish and Cape Breton dance music. He now teaches and performs in Scotland, USA, and Canada.

Tyson is originally from Ottawa, although he has been living and playing in Mabou, Cape Breton for several years now. He is immersed in the Celtic music scene in Cape Breton and performs at many ceilidhs, concerts and dances with some of the Island’s best known fiddlers, including Anita MacDonald. He can often be seen at the keys at Celtic Colours International Festival, the Glenora Distillery, the Red Shoe Pub or a West Mabou square dance.

Thanks, Beth

Thursday, 7 November 2013

FILM: Natural Grace: Irish Music and Martin Hayes - 26 Nov 2013


The documentary about Martin Hayes by Director Art O Briain that will be shown in the EU film festival on Tuesday, November 26 at 7:00 pm in the Auditorium, 395 Wellington St., Ottawa:

This film documentary explores the world of Irish music as lived and played by Martin Hayes. From East Clare, Hayes is widely regarded as the finest fiddle player of his generation and has brought a new audience, worldwide and in Ireland, to this music. It reveals his background in Maghera, near Feakle, the shaping influence of his father who was a founder of the renowned Tulla Ceili Band, and his subsequent development as a player in the U.S., teaming up with the guitarist Denis Cahill to create an enduring body of work. A compelling and captivating live performer the film captures him solo, in concert with Denis Hayes, with a new supergroup ‘The Gloaming’ and in a special concert with the RTE Concert Orchestra. Natural Grace also reveals how Hayes’ understanding of melody in Irish tunes has opened up the very nature and character of this music. Prof. Micheal O Suilleabhan of the Irish World Academy University of Limerick describes it as both ‘ancient and new’. This film is an up close and personal portrait of a fascinating and important figure in the evolution of Irish culture and follows Martin Hayes to Japan and the U.S. as he continues to engage new audiences.

Ticket prices are as follows:
$12.00 (includes HST): Non-member General Admission
$8.00 (includes HST): CFI Members, seniors (65+), students


Friday, 11 October 2013

A Short Review: Tara Players production of The Weir - 10 to 12 October 2013 - Directed by Margaret Harvey-O'Kelly

Tara Players - The Weir - Directed by Margaret Harvey-O'Kelly. Richcraft Theatre, Shenkman Arts Centre, Orleans.

Just in from a powerful production on this Conor McPhearson play. Set in a pub in rural Ireland, Margaret Harvey-O'Kelly has put together a strong cast with Michael Guest as "Jack" returning to the stage after 10 years. This pivotal role is a character that is found in every town and village in Ireland and Guest represents that character excellently. The cast, consisting of Guest, Bryan Morris, Mike Hefferenan, Lawrence Evenchick and Christina Kindl, bring us into the lives that McPhearson has created and through an evening of storytelling at the local pub, old stories and local legends are recounted, all revealing a vulnerability of the characters.

As a team, the 5 cast members interact seamlessly and comfortably portray the lives of their characters. The set is well designed and the lounge format for the audience, brings them into the pub as witnesses that happen to be there and overhearing and watching the unfolding evening. 

There are two more nights to catch this production. Curtain time is 7:30pm.

Links to ticket purchase are here:

Review by: Austin Comerton, host of The Gaelic Hour

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Lecture and Performance: A history of the harp in Scotland - 19 October 2013

There is an event coming up on Saturday, Oct. 19, 3pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church.  It is a lecture presentation with slides on a history of the harp in Scotland with performance of Scottish harp solos and duet repertoire. Harpist Kelly Aminian will be performing with me.  Admission is by donation.  The " House" is a place, " Tigh nan Teud" in Perthshire at the point where the highlands and lowlands meet, the heart or halfway point in Scotland. 
Best Wishes,
Mary Muckle

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Concert: Susan Toman and Dawn Baily - 15 October 2013

Susan Toman is a Celtic harpist & harpsichordist from Montreal. She will be giving a concert in Ottawa, involving the soprano Dawn Bailey, and herself on Celtic harp & harpsichord. They have put together a unique program of Celtic & Baroque music, interspersed with poems & stories. This program was recorded back in April, and the duo toured the Maritimes with it in July.

Here are the details:
Date: Tuesday October 15 at 7:30pm
Location: Ottawa Mennonite Church, 1830 Kilborn
Suggested donation $15

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

11th Annual Whits End Irish Fiddle/Flute Weekend - 1-3 Nov 2013

Hi Everyone,

We are now accepting registrations for the 11th Annual Whits End Irish Fiddle/Flute Weekend. We’ll cap the number of registrants at 25. Once again, Patrick Ourceau will be teaching fiddle, and Brian Holleran flute. As in past years, in addition to the workshops, there will be evening sessions, a brilliant house concert, delicious meals prepared by Robin Macmillan and her kitchen crew, the rekindling of friendships, and the forging of new ones.

November 1-3, 2013

We’ve had to move the event back a couple of weeks because Patrick is completely booked up in October.

At Whits End, our country home between Orillia and Gravenhurst, 1&1/2 hours north of Toronto.

Saturday from 10:00 to 5:00, with a 1 hour lunch break
Sunday from 10:00 to 12:00 or 1:00

The fiddle workshop will occur at Bayview-Wildwood Resort, the flute workshop in our home.

Saturday night, starting around 8:00

Friday evening finger foods
Saturday and Sunday breakfasts and lunches
Saturday supper

People with food allergies can notify Robin at a later date, once registration is completed

As before, we have booked space for everyone at the nearby Bayview-Wildwood Resort, on Sparrow Lake

$260 Canadian (all-inclusive), in cash. No advance payment is required; folks pay when they arrive. We ask for cash because we pay Patrick and Brian in cash, and I won’t have time to go to a bank to cash cheques. After the registration deadline, we ask people who cancel to reimburse us for the full fee, unless we can fill the vacancy. We don’t provide receipts for tax purposes.

Was...September 15, 2013, extended soon!

You can register by email ( or by phone ( 705-689-5248 )
Last year’s event was filmed, and a DVD documentary for each of that year’s participants was promised. I am still awaiting delivery of the DVDs, and will mail them to you when they arrive.

There won’t be any filming this year.

People typically arrive for the weekend mid-to late Friday afternoon, or early evening. Inevitably, there are sessions Friday night, and Saturday night after the House concert.  

Once again, Christie, Robin  and I are looking forward to sharing this joyous weekend with returning friends and with folks who are attending for the first time.

Please spread the word with your session friends.

All the best,
Bill Whitman

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Northern Lights Harp Fest - 4-6 October 2013

The Northern Lights Harp Fest is just around the corner. While the festival is not an Irish festival, the harp is the national instrument of Ireland! The festival is chock a block with practical and musical workshops for all harpists, and concerts are to be held on Friday and Saturday nights.

Some of the practical workshops that stood out for me (a non-harpist!) are:
  • HOW TO GET OUT AND GIG (we need more gigs!)
  • LEVERS AND BUZZES AND BUMPS, OH MY! HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR CELTIC HARP (keeping you instrument in top shape!)
A little on the Irish side, the local ensemble Acacia Lyra are performing for the Saturday night concert. Go check it out!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Omemee Legion Celtic Music Sessions

UPDATED 4 Oct 2013:

Unfortunately, due to a recent Legion Executive Committee decision the session  will not be hosted at the Legion. Stay tuned....

Original post:

The Omemee Legion (Branch 497) is hosting Celtic music sessions every Sunday from 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm, starting October 6, 2013. This is an OPEN HOUSE - FREE ADMISSION, and ALL MUSICIANS AND FANS WELCOME.

The Legion is located at 46 King Street East in Omemee.

For more information contact:
Gerry Mitchell (705) 799-5008

ps - Where is Omemee? About 25 minutes drive west of Peterborough, so if you're in the area on a Sunday, drop in!
pps - WHAT is an Omemee? In 1857 the community was renamed Omemee, a Mississauga word meaning pigeon. The name reflects the Omemee (Pigeon) Indians, a sub-tribe of the Mississaugas, who had once hunted in the area.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Some of the Best Albums for an Introduction to Irish Music

Traditional Irish music may not be something everyone is familiar with, but it has seen an increasing amount of commercial success and popularity in recent years. While it’s always been in the mix with varying degrees of success, we’ve seen several Irish groups, grounded in the traditional Irish sound, come to the forefront of western music, paving the way for other Irish bands to make an impact as well.

If you’re trying to narrow your musical focus and listen to some of these bands specifically, you might have a hard time identifying them by their sound alone, because many have intermingled their traditional sound with jazz or other musical influences.

One of the best things about these bands, and their albums that they produce, is that while they decidedly stick with their traditional roots, no two sound alike. These albums and bands are rich in Irish heritage and are proud of their roots and where they come from.

If you’re just now getting familiar with Irish bands and what exactly traditional Irish music sounds like, you may be surprised by how the sounds of each band listed here. To help you really home in on what to listen to, we’ve given you the best album from each band.

The Bothy Band

If you’re looking for some traditional Irish music, then look no further. Most active in the late 1970’s, the Bothy Band was extremely influential within the traditional realm. The band was characterized by their enthusiasm, and exceptional musicianship making them extremely popular and well respected.

To get a feel for what the Bothy Band was all about, the best album to listen to would be The Best of the Bothy Band, which was released in 1983. Their traditional influences are strong in this album, yet they don’t lose their individuality.

The Pogues

Steering away a bit from the more traditional side of Irish music, The Pogues are characterized by their punk influences and sound somewhat raucous. They began their musical career in 1982, and had great success through the early 1990’s. After breaking up for roughly five years, The Pogues came back together in 2001 and are still performing and playing off and on (without the infamous songwriter and singer, Shane MacGowan). Unfortunately for fans, no new music is on the horizon. 

The best album to dive into The Pogues music and find out what their sound was like, especially in the beginning, is Red Roses for Me, released in 1984. It was the band’s first first full-length album and is very rooted in traditional Irish music. This album has hints of a punk influence, but the traditional sounds cannot be missed. Also highly recommended is “If I Should Fall from Grace with God” which is also littered with Pogues classics, and likewise contains many recognized musical phrases from traditional music.

The Dubliners 

The Dubliners may be what many people think of if you are trying to guess what Irish music would sound like. Melding traditional influences with a lively folk side to their music, they have penetrated the world with their sound. 

In 2012, the Dubliners celebrated quite a landmark for their band-50 years together. This makes them the longest surviving musical act in Ireland. For those just starting out, A Drop of the Hard Stuff exemplifies the true sound of the band. It was released in 1967, and was later reissued and renamed Seven Drunken Nights, due to the first track becoming a single. This album has a very traditional sound to it.


Their name may come from the fact that the band originally began with three flutists, but since then, Flook has evolved into so much more. They have a decidedly modern jazzy sound and are well-loved for their musical imagination, which shapes so much of what you hear. 

In 2008, the band put themselves on hold, but rejoined just recently in 2013, due to their fans cries for more. Flatfish, released in 1999, is a true testament to the flute playing that the band is known for. Melding their own sounds with traditional Irish music, this album truly gives you a taste of the traditional.


Like the Bothy Band, Danu is decidedly traditional. They came together as an official band in 1995. 

Due to their superb choice of tunes, musicianship, and mix of both instrumentals and songs, loved by so many, Danu is the only group ever to have been voted Best Traditional Group twice, for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, both in 2001 and in 2004. The best album to get Danu’s traditional Irish sound is, without question, Think Before You Think. Released in 2000, they are traditional and precise. This album is a joy to listen to and plays a wonderful tribute to the tradition of Irish music. 

Getting Started

Picking out the more popular and well-known groups that either began in Ireland, or writes music with Celtic and Irish influences is a good place to start. You’ll find that most of those groups approach the traditional music of Ireland from an energetic and uniquely creative standpoint, making them a great way to add some culture and excitement to your playlists.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer and online marketing professional from Los Angeles. Her writing covers everything from the latest trends in the music, the music industry, to music’s role in health and therapy. Find out more about how music has helped her special needs son by visiting

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Tamworth Fiddle Camp - 14 Sept. 2013

The Tamworth Fiddle Camp will be held on Saturday, September 14th from 9:00am-4:00pm. It is a great day of fiddle and guitar instruction with a home made lunch. Cost is $55 for adults and $30 for students. Instructors this year are: Gordon Stobbe (fiddle), myself (fiddle), Kimberley Holmes (fiddle), Stéphanie Lépine (fiddle) and Keith Glass (guitar). Keith is the guitar player for the country band Prairie Oyster. The evening is concluded with an instructors concert at the Legion Hall from 7:00-9:00pm. To register, contact Faun Bank at 

If anyone is interested, the Bb Sisters will be performing a house concert on Sunday, September 15th in Pembroke. Contact me for details. 

Hope to see you! 


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Ottawa Celtic Choir beginning 2013-2014 season on September 10th, 2013

The Ottawa Celtic Choir is beginning it's 2013-2014 season on September 10th, 2013!

The OCC is a non-auditioned community choir that sings songs from the seven Celtic nations, as well as from strongly Celtic-influenced areas (such as the Atlantic provinces, Quebec, Ontario, Appalachia, etc.). We sing in the six Celtic languages as well as English, French, and Galician dialect Spanish. A grounding in the languages is not necessary; translations and pronunciation guides are provided for all songs not in English or French.

While an ability to read music is an asset, it's not necessary either; mp3s of all parts are provided on a website where choir members can go to download and learn their parts. The group is good fun and has a strong sense of community. We encourage laughter in rehearsals, as the same muscles you use to laugh are the ones you use to sing!

We rehearse on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 pm to 9pm, at St. John the Evangelist Church on the corner of Somerset and Elgin. We rehearse upstairs in the choir room.

We plan on at least two major concerts a year (usually Christmas and Springtime) as well as competing in Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada, an Irish-language festival near Kingston in late June. This year we may also be performing at the Almonte Celtfest!

For more information, please contact Ellen MacIsaac at
ellen @ laughingbrook dot ca

Friday, 26 July 2013

Alistair Brown in Concert - 31 July 2013

From our friend Ian Robb...

I just wanted to let you know that my Friends of Fiddler's Green bandmate, Alistair Brown, will be performing an Ottawa concert on Wednesday July 31st 2013. at the Rosemount Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave., in Ottawa's Hintonburg neighborhood, The concert will start at 7:30 pm, and tickets are $15. The venue is quite small, so advance reservation is advised, and you can do this on line at

Those of you who know Alistair will also know to expect a bunch of grand songs and stories, old and new, by a veteran performer who is a fine singer and concertina player, and one of the best raconteurs and joke tellers on the folk scene. For those who don't know him, here's a bit of background:

Alistair Brown has been singing the old songs, and new songs written by people who like the old songs, since he was fifteen years old. He began his career helping out in the folk clubs of his native Scotland during the great folk scare of the 60s, opening bottles (and occasionally concerts) for many of the great names in folk music. 

From 1972 to 2002, he lived in Canada, where he was active in many aspects of folk song and dance, as a recording artist, radio broadcaster, reviewer, columnist, festival director, dance teacher, university lecturer, and program director at folk music and dance camps. With several visits each year, he continues to make regular appearances in North American folk clubs and festivals, performing solo, or with the Friends of Fiddler's Green, a band which has just celebrated its forty-second anniversary, without maturing in the slightest.

Audiences at concerts and festivals across North America, Australia, New Zealand and the UK have been entertained and engaged by Alistair's performances, covering the field from big ballads, comic ditties, songs of struggles (usually unsuccessful) against temptation, odes to conviviality and songs of unashamed sentimentality, to outrageously funny stories from a master of the art - all this accompanied by Anglo concertinas and button accordion.
"Little wonder that he enjoys a healthy reputation as a much-in-demand performer... replete with versatility and good humour - a true folk entertainer"
... Living Tradition Magazine
"He held our discerning audience in the palm of his hand whilst singing two sets of songs from the folk club tradition, beautifully accompanied on concertina and introduced with humour and authority. He would be welcome back here anytime"
... Roger Giles, Devonport Folk Music Club, NZ

nb: this concert will not be licensed, but there are plenty of places to have a beer in the neighborhood afterwards.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you there!

Celtic Cross Dancers fundraiser Pub Night - 27 July 2013

The Celtic Cross dancers will be hosting a fundraiser pub night on July 27th. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased from myself (Erin: For the price of the ticket you receive admission, food, live music and dancing! There will be games, a silent auction and raffles. The event is taking place at the Montgomery legion (330 Kent Street). Doors open at 7:30 pm. If you have any questions or would like to reserve a ticket to be paid for either in advance or at the door, please contact me. A more detailed summary is included, below.

The Katharine Robinson School of Highland Dance and Celtic Cross Dance Troupe are going to SCOTLAND! We have been invited by the Sons of Scotland Pipe band to perform at Balmoral Castle for the Queen!

We are hoping you will come out to our Pub Night and support us on this journey across the pond!

For just $15/person, you will get:

Entertainment by Celtic Cross Dance Troupe, Occasional Pudding, and Beth Bisaillon!
A veritable feast of food provided by the dancers!
A chance to win some awesome door prizes!

There will also be:

A silent auction
50/50 draw
A cash bar
Guaranteed fun all night long!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Come Fly Away At 17th Almonte Celtfest - THIS WEEKEND!

The 17th Almonte Celtfest, July 5-7, celebrates the music, song and dance traditions of the Ottawa-Ottawa Valley region. 

Celtfest 2013 is thrilled to have Westjet offer 2 tickets to anywhere the airline flies to as the main prize offering for the Celtfest fundraising raffle. Limited to 2000 tickets at $10 per ticket, your purchase will make you a proud supporter of Celtfest and could take you to Hawaii, the Caribbean, or anywhere in the US and Canada.

Celtfest welcomes the return of The Town Pants as main stage headliners for this year’s festival. With over a decade worth of headlining Roots and Celtic festivals The Town Pants own brand of Celtic-Roots-Rock-Rebel spans six albums, and with a legendary live show that’s garnered them fans internationally from New York to Norway.

Celtfest commences on Friday night with music in area pubs. On Saturday, July 6th, Celtfest Instrument Workshops with excellent instructors are at the Almonte Old Town Hall from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm, and these feature: Fundamental Fiddle with Don Fletcher, Piano Accompaniment with Jake Butineau, Basic Bodhran with Art Solomonian, Mandolin & Tenor Banjo, with Bruce Barton, Celtic Harp with Heather Flinn, Intermediate Fiddle with Cindy Thompson, Tin Whistle & Flute with Graham Lindsey, Intermediate Bodhran with Alistair Dennett, Guitar Accompaniment with Ben Deschamps. Fee is $20 per workshop (or $30 for two).

A Celtfest Special Storytelling Event at the Almonte Public Library features “The Tales of King Arthur” - a show of story and song for children and their parents presented by Heather Dale and Ben Deschamps on Saturday July 6th at 11 am, Admission is free.

A Storytelling Workshop follows at the Library at noon with Heather Dale ( 10 per adult plus $2 for each additional family member).

The great Valley MC’s Reg Gamble and Charlie Kitts host Gemmill Park’s Main Stage events on Saturday from 2:00 pm until dusk with The Barley Shakers, Dai Bassett, Corkery Road, Sarah Burnell Band, Heather Dale, Cindy Thompson and The Town Pants  

Celtfest Sunday Main Stage festival commences at Noon in Gemmill Park and extends to 6pm with the Monday Night Fiddlers, Celtic Cross Dancers, and return sets by Sarah Burnell Band, Heather Dale, Cindy Thompson and The Town Pants.  

Almonte’s downtown shops, restaurants and The Riverwalk are great complements to the activities in Gemmill Park. The Celtfest site features Artisans, children’s activities and an open “jam” session tent for all who bring instruments

There is a great variety of food and beverages for all. Come and celebrate the “unofficial” kick-off to summer in the Ottawa Valley. For more info see .

Thursday, 27 June 2013

ANÚNA, Ireland’s National Choir - 8 July 2013

In 1987 Dublin composer Michael McGlynn founded ANÚNA, Ireland’s National Choir. Much of the group’s repertoire explores the relationship between traditional choral ideas in combination with the musical heritage of McGlynn’s native land. They have, over the last quarter century, created a unique choral voice for Ireland, receiving wide accolades for the originality of their performances,
recordings and the natural quality of their vocal production. An Ottawa first!
Date: Monday, July 8, 8:00 p.m. / Anúna
Location: St. Joseph’s Parish, 151 avenue Laurier E.
Adults: $20
Student: $10

All passes and tickets can be purchased online at .
Full brochure:

Katharine Robinson School of Highland Dance and Celtic Cross Dance Troupe Pub Night - 27 July 2013

The Katharine Robinson School of Highland Dance and Celtic Cross Dance Troupe are going to SCOTLAND! We have been invited by the Sons of Scotland Pipe band to perform at Balmoral Castle for the Queen!

We are hoping you will come out to our Pub Night and support us on this journey across the pond!

This event is being held at the Montgomery Legion at 330 Kent Street, Saturday, 27 July, 7:30PM

Tickets are $15/person, which includes:

Entertainment by Celtic Cross Dance Troupe, Occasional Pudding, and Beth Bisaillon!
A veritable feast of food provided by the dancers!
A chance to win some awesome door prizes!

There will also be:
A silent auction
50/50 draw
A cash bar
Guaranteed fun all night long!

To purchase a ticket please email Erin McConnell at emcconn2 at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Irish Session Workshop - Ottawa Folklore Centre - 13 July 2013

Join fiddler Alexis MacIsaac and bodhran player Ken Harper for an afternoon of live music, technique and conversation about playing traditional Irish music in a session setting. All players and ability levels are welcome and make sure to bring along your instrument. Ken and Alexis have over 3 decades of combined experience with traditional Irish and Scottish music. Saturday, July 13, 10am-12pm, $20 OFC Members, $25 non-members. Click here for OFC web link.

(thanks to Maureen Kennedy for the info!)

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Dermot Byrne and Floriane Blancke in concert ! - 24 June 2013, Baltimore, Ontario

Monday June 24th 8.15pm at 5278 County Rd 45 Baltimore Ontario K0K 1C0 (near Cobourg) - $20

Please book in advance as space is limited. To confirm a place email info at steafan dot com and you will be given directions.

Dermot has been selected as TG4 Gradam Ceoil Traditional Musician of the Year!

To quote Siobhan Long in the Irish Times “Traditional Musician of the Year, Dermot Byrne is a musician who has long skirted the limelight: revered for his virtuosity on the accordion and melodeon (and the reason, it has been said, for Steve Cooney’s immigration here from Australia in the 1970s), he has enjoyed two decades at the beating heart of Altan. In-between he has found time to collaborate with Parisian harpist Floriane Blancke with Brendan O’Regan, Brid Harper and Steve Cooney, Dezi Donnelly and Jim Murray.

This year’s awards was presented at the Gradam Ceoil Concert in the UL Concert Hall, Limerick on Saturday 30th March.
Irish Times article
Gradam Ceoil Awards

Dermot and Flo’s new album is now available on iTunes, and is also available on disc.

The album was recorded in Brendan O’Regan’s studio in Ballinderreen, and produced by Dermot, Flo & Brendan. As well as accordion, Dermot plays melodeon on one track, and as well as playing harp throughout, Floalso plays piano, and her voice features on a haunting French song. The album is quite varied, with a mixture of mostly Irish and French pieces. It includes some lovely contributions on guitar from Tim Edey, cellist Eimear O’Grady, percussion maestro Tommy Hayes, Mary Shannon on mandolin, swing guitarist Frank Kilkelly, and of course Brendan O’Regan himself on mandolin, guitar, keyboards and bass.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Almonte Celtfest Fundraiser Dance - Almonte Civitan Hall - 8 June 2013

The Almonte Celtfest is having a Fundraiser Dance on Saturday, June 8. There will be dancing, singing and a lot of silent auction items. The main auction item is a Daniel Alfredson's 1000 game stick. Tickets for the dance are only $10. Don't take a chance on not coming to the dance and missing out on bidding on this unique item. The tickets can be picked up Baker Bob or you can buy them at the door.

Brenda Cain-Kealy

Friday, 31 May 2013

Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada - A festival for the whole family, English and Irish! 28-20 June 2013

Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada is a weekend filled with traditional Irish music, singing, dance, story telling, and friendship. It is a celebration of the Irish language (Gaelic) and the traditional culture of that language.

The Oireachtas takes place Friday, 28 June, to Sunday, 30 June, at Gaeltacht Thuaisceart an Oileáin Úir. The Gaeltacht is located near the settlements of Tamworth and Erinsville in the rolling hills along the Salmon River, just north of Lake Ontario. The Days Inn in Kingston is the venue for accommodation, business meetings, club na féile, banquet, and awards presentations. Kingston is a 30 minute drive from the Gaeltacht.

Visit the event website for more information!


The Ottawa Fiddle Ensemble Spring/Summer Concert - 2 June

The Ottawa Fiddle Ensemble
Spring / Summer Concert

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013 – 7:30 pm

The Ottawa Fiddle Ensemble will perform a selection of favourite sing- a-long songs and their signature, toe-tapping, repertoire of Ottawa Valley, Celtic, and East Coast tunes. Come and sing along with the OFE in concert at:

St. Mary the Virgin Church
2750 Navan Road (just off Innes Rd.)

No tickets necessary. Donations to church projects welcome.

The Ottawa Fiddle Ensemble is a dynamic group of 20 musicians who perform Canadian, Scottish, and Irish tunes. Started in 1993, the OFE performs throughout the Ottawa region for community and civic events.

(submitted by: Graham Crate)

Monday, 20 May 2013

Atlantic Voices spring concert "Rocky Isle In the Ocean: Songs of Newfoundland and Labrador" - 26 May 2013

Atlantic Voices return to the choir’s roots for their spring concert, Rocky Isle In the Ocean: Songs of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Take a musical tour around the coastline of the province and celebrate the history and culture of “The Rock”. Music Director Scott Richardson and Accompanist Theresa Clarke lead the choir in compositions by leading composers, such as Stephen Hatfield, as well as fresh works from some exciting new composers on the Canadian choral scene, such as Newfoundland‘s Kathleen Allan and Labrador's Hannie Fitzgerald.

Please join us Sunday, May 26 at Centretown United Church, 507 Bank Street. The concert starts at 3:00, but come at 2:15 to enjoy pre-show entertainment by the choir’s own resident Newfoundland house band, the Fumblin’ Fingers, and stay after the concert for a reception and our silent auction.

Tickets: $15 in advance/$18 at the door, free for children 12 and under.

Please visit or contact Hannie at (613)722-9240 for more information or to order tickets.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

No session this Sunday at Paddy's Pub

Due to the long weekend, there will be no session held at Paddy's Pub on Bank St. south. You could probably still bring an instrument, but don't expect anything to be organised!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Daniel O'Connell's Pub Session Regulars at Westfest 2013 again!

Once again The Daniel O'Connell's Pub Session Regulars have been invited to play in front of All Saints/First United during Westfest.

It will be Saturday June 8 from 3:30 until 4:30 in the courtyard in front of the church on Richmond road (just west of Churchill).
via McV

North America's Premier Irish Gaelic Festival: Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada - 28-30 June 2013

Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada is the only festival outside of Ireland featuring the performing arts of the Gaeltacht, and conducted through the medium of the Irish Language.

Dates: Friday 28 – Sunday 30 June 2013
Location: The North American Gaeltacht, Tamworth/Erinsville Ontario

Featuring Performances and Competitions in:
Instrumental Music

Special Guests/Gaeltacht Personalities:
Máirín Uí Chéide
Máirín Nic Dhonnchadha
Loretta Ní Churraighín
Mícheál Newell
Meaití Jó Shéamuis
Lábhras Sonaí Choilm Learaí
Ray Mac Manais
John P. Kelly

The Irish Language brings families together. Our Language. Our Future.




Is é Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada an t-aon fhéile amháin taobh amuigh d'Éirinn a thaispeánann taibh-ealaíona na Gaeltachta, trí meán na Gaeilge.

Dátaí: Dé hAoine 28 – Dé Domhnaigh 30 Meitheamh 2013
Láthair: Gaeltacht Thuaisceart an Oileáin Úir, Tamworth/Erinsville Ontairió


Le Taibhithe i:
Ceol Uirlise

Aíonna Speisialta / Pearsantachtaí Gaeltachta:
Máirín Uí Chéide
Máirín Nic Dhonnchadha
Loretta Ní Churraighín
Mícheál Newell
Meaití Jó Shéamuis
Lábhras Sonaí Choilm Learaí
Ray Mac Manais
John P. Kelly

Teannann an Ghaeilge teaghlaigh le chéile. Ár dTeanga. Ár dTodhchaí.

Fundraiser and Concert - 25 May 2013, Maxville, ON

A reminder of an Awesome Fiddle show coming up on May 25th! See below for details. (Sorry if you have already received this notice, but feel free to pass it on)

Details for Fundraiser and Concert on Saturday May 25, 2013:
Fundraiser in memory of Malcolm Dewar "Music for Malcolm"
Saturday May 25, 2013
Metcalfe Centre,
Maxville, ON
This will be an afternoon full of live entertainment from amazing performers from the Ottawa Valley to Glengarry Fiddle, Song and Step Dancing.

All proceeds will go to Alzheimer's Foundation "You and Me for Memories"
A lunch will be served and the bar will be open.


Evening Concert
Troy MacGillivray graciously cancelled all of his events last year to attend my Father's service. So our family wanted to thank him by organizing a concert.

Troy MacGillivray accompanied by Betty Lou and Andrea Beaton, Terri Lynn Mahusky and Step Dancers Becky Reid and Dawn Dewar.

Saturday May 25, 2013
Metcalfe Centre
Maxville ON
Advance Tickets: $20
$25 at the door
Please contact: Dawn Dewar
(613) 859-7869
dawn dot kathleen at yahoo dot com

Saturday, 6 April 2013

OTFFAS - 25th Annual Fiddle Workshop - 27 April 2013


Nepean Creative Arts Centre – 35 Stafford Road, Nepean
Saturday, April 27, 2013 – 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Cost for all participants (includes lunch): $45.00
Your instructors:

Cindy Thompson is one of Canada's premiere combination fiddle player/stepdancers. She has been a guest fiddler on national television and radio, worked with Symphony Orchestras, released three independent albums and has performed across North America, achieving her life long goal of preserving traditional Canadian fiddle music. A dedicated fiddle teacher with over 25 years experience and a knowledgeable history of fiddle music that stems back to her roots, Cindy's teaching is full of spontaneity, enthusiasm, fun and musical excellence. She believes that the art of playing music is achievable for anyone and respects the skill level and individual needs of each student, finding the best approach to achieve their personal

Ashley MacLeod is from Dalkeith, Ontario, in the county of Glengarry, a hotbed of Scottish culture in Canada. At the age of 10, Ashley literally picked up a fiddle and began playing. At age 14, she was invited to play at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship as a Junior Showcase artist. Building from there, Ashley has gone on to perform her musical magic before thousands of captivated fans all over North America. She has collaborated with many outstanding musicians, including the world champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band and Celticrock band Hadrian’s Wall. Her strathspeys, jigs and reelsvibrate with strength, and her waltzes and airs are coloured with an aura of peacefulness. It is a gift, and it flows freely to you from the heart—from the heart of

Contact: Kristin at krew dot ca for registration form and information.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Happy Saint Patrick's Day weekend!

Dear readers, I have put together a posting to highlight some of the activities this weekend. Besides the usual green beer swilling (I'm not really into it and never was!) there are some family activities available sans the green beer (and by the way, the beer isn't green in Ireland...). Still, if you're of legal age, have a few pints, and enjoy them responsibly. Let's not be reading about you in the news on Monday!

The Irish Society of the National Capital Region (ISNCR) has been going all week long so far, and tomorrow (Sat. 16th) is the big parade in downtown Ottawa. The Parade will leave the intersection of Laurier Avenue West and Elgin St at 11:00 AM, and proceed west on Laurier Avenue West, turn right on Bank St., then left on Wellington St., and continue west on Wellington St. to an area near the Library and Archives Canada building, arriving there at approximately 12:00 – 12:30. After the parade, revellers will make their way by any route back to St. Brigid's Centre for the Arts for the annual Grand Irish Party. St. Brigid's is also home of the National Irish Canadian Cultural Centre – a likely place to hold a St. Patrick’s Parade Party. The Party will run from 12 noon until 4:00 PM, with food and beverage service provided by St. Brigid’s (I haven't checked...will the beer be the horrid green?). Get the black stuff, better for you anyway!

On Saturday night the other major Irish organisation in Ottawa, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCE), is hosting their annual St. Patrick's Day Ceili and Dinner at Blessed Sacrament Church, 194 Fourth Ave in the Glebe at 6PM. This is a major event, with approximately 150 people served a delicious catered multicourse meal, followed by a large Irish ceili at 8PM. Paying for the dinner gets you into the ceili. But if you skip the dinner, your entry to the ceili will depend on the number of people in the hall when you arrive to keep within fire limits. The ceili will involve all participants young and old dancing to a large and live ceili band playing all traditional Irish dance tunes. At the halftime break there will be live entertainment from an outside group, typically Irish dancing, or a musical troupe, all of high calibre. Yet another break typically occurs at around 10:30pm where members provide free of charge tea and home made Irish soda bread with jam and cheese. These events generally have a cash bar as well, but it is not a drinking event, there are many children and the events are quite family friendly. I hear that the event is practically sold out, as it does EVERY YEAR!

On Sunday, which is actually Saint Patrick's Day, there are the usual packed bars offering liquid refreshments and live, overly amplified, music, and there are still a few places where one's sanity may remain in tact. First, start off your morning by listening to the weekly Irish radio program on CHIN FM,  The Gaelic Hour with host Austin Comerton at 8-10AM.

There is the St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon, Noon to 3PM, at St. Brigid's Centre (Kildare Room), 310 St. Patrick Street at Cumberland street. Enjoy live entertainment, song and dance. Seating is limited seating and advanced ticket sales only ($35.00).  With hardly a half-hour to spare, the 2013 Rose of Tralee Ottawa Centre Selection takes place at the official Residence of the Irish Ambassador, Park Road, Rockcliffe Park at 3:30 PM. During the selection one of 9 extremely bright and talented young woman will be selected to represent Ottawa at the Rose of Tralee International Festival in Ireland in August. Attend this afternoon reception and enjoy onstage interviews and party pieces of all Ottawa Rose applicants. Interviews will be conducted by CTV's Michael O'Byrne. Refreshments will be provided and a portion of event proceeds going to the Ottawa Valley Aid for Chernobyl Children. Finally, if you can't make it out to any of the fancy events, on March 17 head over to Daniel O’Connell’s Irish Pub on 1211 Wellington west, near Parkadale (the bowling alley and Fil's Diner) and listen to some authentic Irish music, un-amplified, with the regular session players (they are also there every Thursday night!). They are supposed to play around 3PM. If you miss it, there's no guarantee of hearing some traditional music.

If you really want to hear the very best in Irish traditional music this March, on Tuesday 26 March head down to St. Brigid's and listen to Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly on fiddle and accordion. These are two very famous Irish musicians with an impeccable background and musical pedigree. For more information, see the story in this blog, as it is presented by Irish Music Ottawa! This really will be the absolute best quality in Irish traditional music you will hear in Ottawa this spring. Advance tickets are highly discounted!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, and if you must drink, drink responsibly!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Atlantic Voices Choral Composition Contest 2013

Atlantic Voices: The Newfoundland and Labrador Choir of Ottawa is a mixed-voice (SATB) community choir that sings music from and about Atlantic Canada. This is our third Choral Composition Contest, and the choir is looking for quality choral music with an East Coast flavour. We are offering two prizes, a 1st prize of $500 and a 2nd prize of $200, for original choral works by Canadian composers. The winning works will be programmed on Atlantic Voices' Spring 2014 concert. This competition is open to all residents of Canada, of all backgrounds and all ages. Note:
the winning entrant need not have a particular connection to the Atlantic region.

Contest submissions must fall into one of the following categories:
a) An arrangement of a folksong or set of folksongs from one of the Atlantic Provinces (Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, or Prince Edward Island);
b) An original choral composition based on a text with an obvious direct connection to Canada's East Coast. This may include a text by an East Coast writer or a text with Atlantic Canadian subject matter. 

If in doubt concerning the suitability of a proposed text, please contact for clarification.

All styles of composition will be considered, but one of the judging criteria is the suitability of the work for performance by Atlantic Voices, so entrants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with our choir and particularly with some of our recent concert programmes. In addition, although all submissions will be accepted and adjudicated equally, entrants are strongly encouraged to avoid submitting new arrangements of songs which have already been repeatedly arranged for choral performance or songs which Atlantic Voices has previously performed on multiple occasions. For a list of choral arrangements that Atlantic Voices has performed please visit our website:

Contest entries must be received electronically or postmarked no later than October 31st, 2013. Late submissions will not be accepted. Changes or modifications to any submitted score will be accepted until midnight on the closing day of the contest, October 31, 2013.

If mailing your work, please send one copy of each entry to:
Atlantic Voices Choral Composition Contest 2013
82 Prince Albert Street
Ottawa, ON
K1K 2A1

Submissions in .pdf format are also welcome.

For more information (much has been edited out of the above text): and cc

Thurlough O'Carolan and The Italians, a concert, 23 March 2013

Thourlough O'Carolan and the Italians: The Life and Times of an Irish Harper and his Italian Contemporaries, Marcello, Geminiani and Tartini.

There are many of Carolan's compositions on the program, music that he wrote for patrons and friends.  The Baroque Italian music which he so admired and which influenced his musical style is also represented. Tickets are available at Granata Music on Merivale as well as at the Leading Note and The Folklore Centre. There will be a ticket draw at the concert. The door prize is Canadian author Charles Foran's novel " Carolan's Farewell."

Performers: Mary Muckle, harp & Harpsichord; Kirsten Carlton, flute; Kelly Aminian, Kahlan Miron, harps; and Doug Brierly, violin.

Saturday, March 23, at 7:30 pm
St. Luke's Anglican Church,
760 Somerset St. W
Tickets $12, $10 for seniors and students
For more information, call 613-825-1379

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly in Concert - Tuesday 26 March 2013

Please join us on Tuesday March 26 to enjoy the music of master fiddler Matt Cranitch and master accordion player Jackie Daly at St. Brigid's Centre for the Arts (also home of the National Irish-Canadian Cultural Centre) - Doors at 7PM (entrance to Kildare Room via Cumberland St.). We are very lucky to have these two world reknown musicians come to Ottawa so close to St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

To understand the breadth of Matt's experience, you really must visit his excellent webpage, where you will find a wealth of inspiration, and a long list of very good reasons to go to this concert! Suffice it to say, Matt has won many awards, featured on many recordings, television and radio appearances, festivals throughout the world, and given master classes and lectures on all aspects of traditional Irish music. Now we come to Jackie Daly. So many of the top musicians in Ottawa have told me that Jackie Daly is quite possibly the best traditional Irish accordion player alive today. These local thoughts are totally commensurate with his world reknowned playing. Like so many top performers, Jackie knows and lives the music, and the music comes from the heart, never overstated, smoothly and richly played, and with nothing more to prove to anyone. His past 'gigs' include stints with such iconic super-groups in Irish music covering the last 40 years such as De Danann, Patrick Street, Buttons and Bows, Arcady, Reel Union and Kinvara, higlighting his versatility. He is truly legendary.

In 2010 Matt and Jackie, with Paul De Grae (guitar) and Bríd Cranitch (piano), cut a highly acclaimed recording, The Living Stream, available for purchase at CD Baby, and no doubt for purchase at the concert. Borrowing from Matt's website . . . In the booklet accompanying the album, Jackie Small, of the Irish Traditional Music Archive, states the following:
On this CD, two of the most prestigious performers of Irish traditional music, Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly, join together to celebrate their common musical heritage – the Sliabh Luachra tradition. Each in his own right has had a long and distinguished career in Irish music; each has left a lasting influence on that tradition.”

We hear sparkling dance tunes in all the favourite rhythms of Sliabh Luachra – polkas, jigs, slides, hornpipes and reels. An integral part of the Sliabh Luachra tradition was a wonderfully rich culture of playing slow airs, and both the musicians on this CD are acknowledged masters of the slow air. This CD contains a superb example of slow-air playing from each of them.
Tickets are available onlineheavily discounted ($15 and $22) for advance purchase (hint hint) at:
Irish Music Ottawa is volunteer run and non-profit.
All profits go to the musicians.
See you there!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Irish Music Workshops with Steafan Hannigan and Saskia Tomkins - 10 March (Kingston)

Irish Music Workshops with
Steafan Hannigan and Saskia Tomkins
202 Main Street, Barriefield(Kingston)

Sunday, March 10.
· Bodhrán, 12 to 1:30. top end or single stick $15
· Flute, whistle and low whistle, 1:30 – 2:30 ...ornamentation ...breathing and tunes techniques part 1 $10

· Fiddle Technique, 12: 1:30, with Saskia Tompkins $10

All levels can be accommodated. We will have extra bodhráns to lend if you want to try one out. And if you'd like to try a whistle, very inexpensive whistle will be available

Steafan Hannigan is a renowned multi-instrumental musician, playing among others, the Bodhrán, Uilleann Pipes, flute, whistle, and guitar. He created the Bodhrán DVD, the premier tutor for the bodhrán. He has performed with the Chieftains, Loreena McKennitt, Michael Flatley, Uriah Heep, Bjork and others. give more information.

Saskia Tomkins is Steafan's wife and a very accomplished fiddler/violinist - a former All Britain champion. She has appeared on over 30 albums as a musician and performed with most of the same artists as will give more information.
Harp of Tara, Kingston Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann
Contact, Harp of Tara: Robert MacDiarmid 613-544-1055 or
Driving directions are up on the web:

Bodhran workshop at Mississippi Mills Musicworks with Ken Harper - 8 March

March 8, 7pm. Bodhran and Irish Session Music workshop led by Ken Harper. $30pp

This workshop will be of interest to anyone who would like to learn or improve their skills in bodhran, as well as anyone who is interested in playing Irish session music on other instruments. This highly informative workshop will be delivered by Ken Harper, who also instructs at the Ottawa Folklore Centre. Ken is a drummer with many years of performing and teaching experience, and in addition to a career-long interest in jazz drumming, he is widely regarded in traditional Irish music circles throughout Canada as a first call bodhran player.

Questions can be directed to Kathryn at the store 613 256 7464.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

February Fiddle Frolic - Fundraiser for Children's Wish Foundation - 23 Feb 2013

For a great afternoon of fiddle, stepdance and song, come to February Fiddle Frolic this Saturday Feb 23rd from 2 to 4 p.m. at All Saints Westboro 347 Richmond Road.

The event is to raise money for the Children's Wish Foundation.

Triple Trouble, Gail Gavan, Kyle Felhaver , Kyle Burghout and other local singers will be sure to entertain.

Tickets at the door: Adults $10 Children $5

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Celebration of Rideau Canal Workers Designation - 14 March 2013

Co-sponsored by Irish Society of National Capital Region and Ottawa and District Labour Council, join Kevin and friends for a night of poetry, songs about the Rideau Canal workers, speeches by dignitaries. Music with Kevin Dooley and Friends. All welcome!

Time: 7:00 PM to 10:00 pm
Location: Kildare Room at St. Brigid's Centre
310 St. Patrick Street at Cumberland Street

More Information: or 613-591-9194

Many thanks
Kevin Dooley
Canal Workers Commemorative Group

Related links:

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Ar n-Oran Choir - in need of new members!

Comunn Gàidhlig Ottawa's internationally acclaimed Ar n-Òran Gaelic choir is issuing a call for new members immediately.

Ar n-Òran is a dynamic choir that sings traditional and contemporary tunes in Scottish Gaelic. In other words we like to embrace the past, put our own spin on tunes, as well as performing popular and original tunes.

What's involved:
* Practice every Wednesday evening in Bells Corners (West end of Ottawa, Ontario)
* NO previous knowledge of Gaelic is required. Pronounciation and tutoring will be provided.
* Previous choir experience is an asset but most important is a love of expressing yourself through group and possibly solo singing.
* Willingness to participate at fund-raising events to help support choir activities/travel
* Music/Lyrics/Pronounciation will be provided
* available to perform at six key events throughout the year, notably:

National Tartan Day on Parliament Hill (Sunday, April 7th, Ottawa ON),
An Ceol Earraidh (May, Ottawa, ON),
Mòd Chanada (June 7-9 Ottawa, ON),
Irish Oireachtas (28-30 June, Tamworth, ON),
US National Mòd (Sept, Ligonier, Pennsylvania),
Scotland Tonight (November 16th, Ottawa, ON),
Royal National Mòd (10-18 October 2014, Inverness, Scotland)

We are looking for all section parts, with a particular requirement at least two:

For more information, call or email either:
Fiona McDonald 613-422-2997
Randy Waugh 613-286-1003

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

La Gaeilge - Saturday 9 March 2013

Learn Irish! Caint agus Comhra, under the auspices of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, Ottawa branch, invites you to a day of learning the Irish Language, just in time for St. Patrick's day.

Learn a few words, brush up existing ones, and have a little fun doing so.

Everyone welcome.

Our teachers are friendly and came from as far afield as Ireland, Montreal ,and Ottawa.University teachers all!

Blessed Sacrement Hall. March 9th. 8:00 till 4:00pm
Blessed Scarament is located at 194 Fourth Avenue in the Glebe, Ottawa.

Cost, $25. Which includes lunch and snacks.

Bring your willingness to learn and your sense of fun.

More information,

Bob Haughian Band Making Music for Almonte Civitan Club - 'Relay for Life' - 9 Feb 2013

Live show and fund raiser – Saturday February 9th

Ottawa-valley musician Bob Haughian and his band have teamed up with the Almonte Civitan Club for an evening of fun and music benefiting the 'Relay for Life', 8PM Saturday, February 9th at JR's Downstairs Club, 385 Ottawa Street, Almonte.

Singer, songwriter Bob Haughian is gaining recognition in the international (and local!) folk/celtic music world. He defies any easy pigeonhole. By turns, he picks a mountain banjo to accompany a country ballad, sings a witty song about modern relationships, plucks a sweet Irish melody on guitar, swings a hot Maritime rock number, and then reaches deep for a soulful expression of values in a troubled Aboriginal world. He tops it all with a country fiddle tune -- all skillfully blended into a seamless flow. One fan said "Its music from the heart that hits you right between the eyes."

The recent release of Bob's second album – 'Home' follows regular airplay of his first album across Canada and the USA. This second release from the Ottawa Valley singer/songwriter continues with an eclectic blend of rocking Celtic-country with a twist of folk, jazz, and bluegrass. Soul-searching lyrics supported by gripping melodies define Bob's style. "Celtic, Country, Folk with a twist of Canadian ruggedness, make Bob's music a great blend of enjoyment that my listeners enjoy on a regular basis" says Dave Wertman of 'Celtic Dew', WSLR Radio, Sarasota, Florida.

Tom Franks of FolkWords magazine in England says "...expansive Celtic-influenced country-folk-rock fusion with a soupcon of jazzy-blues added for good measure. If you like folk with a distinct rocky edge added to a miscellany of influences then this is for you. Me, I loved it."

The members of Bob Haughian's band are comprised of an elite and versatile group of Ottawa Valley musicians with varied roots in folk, rock, jazz, classical and world music. They paint exciting musical canvasses with fiddle, accordion, percussion, keyboard, harmonica and, of course some rocking, country-celtic guitars. The band includes Doug Slone (keyboards, accordion, fiddle and crazy-bong), Ardi Balca (bass and buffalo drum), Mark Nyvlt (guitars and banjo), Robert Libbey (guitar, harmonica and turtle shell rattles), Cyndi Kennedy (vocals, percussion and native chants) and Darrell Medaglia (drums and train whistle). Further bios available at

About the Almonte Civitan Club and 'Relay for Life'
Serving the community of Almonte since 1972, the Almonte Civitan Club is dedicated to improving the Mississippi Mills area by helping others. Civitan members are involved in a variety of service projects to help the community. With a variety of fund-raising projects, they are able to contribute monetary donations to those individuals, groups, events and projects requiring help.

Relay for Life is the national, signature event of the Canadian Cancer Society. It is a 12-hour, overnight, non-competitive event that involves teams of ten people who take turns walking, running or strolling around a track. It truly is a moving event and one you cannot miss out on!

The fun starts at about 8pm at JR's 'Downstairs Pub' in Carleton Place, 385 Ottawa Street, Almonte. Come early and enjoy some great grub at JR's.
Opening act: Shane Ryan Roberts


Bob Haughian Band Website:

SHOW: JR's Restaurant – 'Downstairs Pub' fundraiser, Saturday February 9th, 8PM., 385 Ottawa Street, Almonte. Contact JR's for reservations (613) 256-2035. $5 cover. Proceeds to "Relay for Life".

Media Contact: Bob Haughian 613-864-4039

Album Availability:
'Home' is available on iTunes, CD Monkey, and locally at All three CD Warehouse locations and at the show.

Celtic Wall Hanging raffle for Ar-nÒran

From Ellen MacIsaac, founder and director of the Ottawa Celtic Choir...
Our sister choir, Ar-nÒran, are raising money to travel this summer to compete in the Royal National Mòd in Scotland. They are holding a raffle for a lovely Celtic wall hanging. Tickets are 1 for $4 or 3 for $10 and can be had by contacting

There's a photo of the wall-hanging posted on their website.

If you could please spread the word in your various circles, they would very much appreciate it.

I should also note, Ar-nÒran will be performing with the Ottawa Celtic Choir on March 24th at St. Luke's Anglican Church on Somerset. It should be good fun!


BOOK: The Road From Castlebarnagh, by Paddy O'Brien

A note from local musician Frank Cassidy...

Paddy O Brien has recently published a book on growing up and plying traditional music in Ireland which is being very well reviewed and is available on The book is called The Road From Castlebarnagh, great stories and references to many of the great players etc. Highly recommended.

The official book description reads:
The Road from Castlebarnagh covers the many adventures of Paddy O'Brien, Irish traditional musician, composer and collector, as a boy growing up more than half a century ago in the midlands of Ireland. Paddy grew up in a small thatched house without running water or electricity, near the town of Daingean in County Offaly. It was a time when the social life of the Irish countryside often took place around the fireplace, where stories were told and music was played. In his book he writes of the many colourful characters who shaped his perception of Irish life and culture. Showing Paddy's flair for storytelling, The Road from Castlebarnagh is the story of how a young musician absorbed his surroundings while developing his own distinctive musical style.
(thanks for the tip, Frank!)

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Folk Hibernia - documentary

From Bob MacDiarmid, to Judi Longstreet to Charles Dunlap, to all of ye! It is a documentary on Irish Folk revival. Charles recommends watching this as he found it both interesting and informative. Grab a cup of your favourite tea or coffee, as it takes about 1 hour 30 minutes.

To whet your appetite, here's the blurb below the YouTube video:

A revival of Irish traditional music took place around the turn of the 20th century. After a lull in the 1940s and 1950s, when (except for Céilidh bands) traditional music was at a low ebb, Seán Ó Riada's The Chieftains, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, The Irish Rovers, The Dubliners, Ryan's Fancy and Sweeney's Men were in large part responsible for a second wave of revitalization of Irish folk music in the 1960s. They were followed by the likes of Planxty, The Bothy Band and Clannad in the 70s. Later came such bands as Stockton's Wing, De Dannan, Altan, Arcady, Dervish and Patrick Street, along with a wealth of individual performers.
VIDEO LINK to the Irish Folk revival...

Paddy O'Brien Tune Collection of 1000 tunes now available!

Paddy O'Brien recently Tweeted, and Facebooked:

Here it is, the big news: The Paddy O'Brien Tune Collection is now available in digital download form!!! Now you can download just the tunes you want to learn, whole albums, or the whole 1,000 tunes!

A product of County Offaly in the midlands of Ireland, Paddy O’Brien is regarded by serious players and collectors of Irish traditional music as one of the tradition’s most important repositories; in a musical career that spans nearly forty years, he has collected more than 3,000 compositions—jigs, reels, hornpipes, airs, and marches, including many rare and unusual tunes. His mastery of the two-row button accordion was also acknowledged through prestigious awards: he was named Oireachtas champion four times, and All-Ireland senior accordion champion in 1975.

Since 1994, he has received a number of grants and fellowships to undertake an unprecedented project, recording and cataloging 1,000 tunes from his vast repertoire of traditional music; the result of that effort, The Paddy O’Brien Tune Collection: A Personal Treasury of Irish Traditional Music, has received accolades from players of Irish music around the world (*).

The tunes are available for purchase at CD Baby, here.

* text from the bio at CD Baby.

Call out for Heritage Day City Hall, 19 February 2013

A request from Jim Mountain...

Council of Heritage Organizations Heritage Day Celebration Free lunch and and audience of hundreds : Call out to O'Connell Pub Session Players and Friends

Lunch Hour, Tuesday February 19, City Hall, Elgin and Laurier

Audience survey last year indicated that the live music we provided was a true highlight of Heritage Day at City Hall.

So this is a call out to any and all musicians who have an hour and want to provide a session style presentation to some 1000 or so participants in celebrating Ottawa's heritage to bring your instrument along and join in. We are on stage in the centre of it all, and it is a lovely time.

Free lunch provided and refreshments too, sadly I can not convince them yet to supply a keg of guinness or other good stuff.

If interested and available, please let me know.

I am at

This is a particular challenge out to fiddlers. Last year - there were none and they still loved us !

Hope to see you there.

Friday, 11 January 2013

A Celtic Imbolc Celebration - 10 Feb 2013

Press Release: February 10, 2013, MacKay United Church, A Celtic Imbolc Celebration!

MacKay United Church and the Harmelodic Music Club presents A Celtic Imbolc Celebration: Scottish and Celtic Folk Over The Years on Sunday, February 10th, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. at MacKay United Church, 39 Dufferin Road at MacKay Street, Ottawa. From Robbie Burns' and Yeats' poems put to music, to O'Carolan harp tunes plus a good ole piper and a first class highland dancer - all guaranteed to warm the heart and spirit during the waning days of winter. Join us for Celtic and Gaelic music, original compositions and classics, traditional and modern arrangements - even a world premiere, solo and choral vocal pieces, instrumental piano duets, harp ensembles and celtic guitar. A reception, sponsored by the Scottish and Irish Store, will follow with a traditional ceilidh, with music provided by Mostly Bows. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and student, and are available in advance from the Ottawa Folklore Centre, Leading Note, MacKay United Church or at the door. For information please visit or call 613-749-3727.

Ottawa Cape Breton Session Update

Jan 26—Special Event: 6pm- 10:30pm- Robbie Burns Supper and Dance at Glen Cairn United Church in Kanata Google Map . Traditional roast beef dinner prepared by the United Church Women's Group followed by Highland Dancing, Scottish Country Dancing, music/entertainment provided by Ottawa Cape Breton Session. Tickets $20 for adults, $10 for children under 12. Cash bar. Sponsored by Sherry's School of Highland Dance in support of the 2013 trip to Scotland for the highland dancers. For more information, call 613-592-2777 or .

FIDDLERS: Please let us know if you can join us for this event. Participating musicians will get the full church supper so you MUST indicate your intention to play by Jan 20 at the latest. There are some new sets of tunes to learn for the dancing, which will be practiced at the next few house sessions.

Jan 27 — 3pm - Atlantic Voices Concert: "Scottish Fling" at Centretown United Church, 507 Bank Street, Ottawa.With Bytown Highland Dancers and the Fumblin' Fingers; A silent auction and refreshments will follow. Tickets $15 in advance/$18 at the door, free for children 12 and under.

Feb 16—Special Event: 2:45-4:15 - In From the Cold - Ottawa Cape Breton Session will provide music for the In From the Cold program at Parkdale United Church. This program provides a warm place for the less fortunate in the Hintonburg area to spend an afternoon and get a hot meal before going back out into the cold. The program also provides some live music for the audience who would not normally have the opportunity to go to concerts or pubs to hear good music, various musical groups in the Ottawa area have volunteered their talents - please come out and join us in this worthwhile endeavor. Bring your instruments and music stands/books, we'll play sets from our regular repertoire. 429 Parkdale Ave. Enter off of Gladstone St. There is a small parking area off of Gladstone, also a large lot on the other side of the church off of Pardale Ave, from there you will need to walk around to the other side of the church to enter. Go down the stairs and left, there will be a large cloakroom/volunteer office where we hang our coats and leave instrument cases. There is an entrance to the stage from there as well.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Upcoming Irish Events at Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts

Saint Brigid's Centre for the Arts
Home of the National Irish Canadian Cultural Centre
310 St. Patrick Street,
Ottawa, K1N 5K5

Live Irish Music - Breakfast
Sunday 13th January, 2013

Featuring musical entertainment by our very talented and dedicated volunteer musicians from the Irish community.

Breakfast is for all ages, and everyone is welcome!

COST: Adults: $5, Children $3 .
TIME: 10 am – NOON
Pancakes, Ham, Home Fries, Juice, Fruit, Tea/Coffee
Live music, food and good company at an affordable price!
Info: Ann 613-225-1830
Entrance to Kildare Room on Cumberland St.

St. Brigid's Day
Saturday 2nd February, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Celebrate/Join St. Brigid's Day with Diana Beresford-Kroeger and Ellen McIsaac and the Ottawa Celtic Choir.

Diana Beresford-Kroeger, a botanist, medical biochemist and self-defined "renegade scientist," brings to gather ethno botany horticulture, spirituality and alternative medicine to reveal a path towards better stewardship of the natural world. A precise and poetic writer steeped in Gaelic storytelling traditions gathered from her childhood in Ireland.

Ellen McIsaac creator and leader of the Ottawa Celtic Choir established in 2008. Reflects a rich heritage of Celtic music in our community and Canada. The choir sings the music of the Celtic nations and diasporas, both accompanied and acapella, in English and a variety of Celtic languages.

Entrance to Kildare Room on Cumberland St.

SUNDAY 17th MARCH 2013

Indulge your love of both Irish music and food at 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.

Great food - Live entertainment, music, song and dance!!!!

Limited seating - Advanced tickets only. Tickets: $35:00

TIME: NOON – 3:00 pm
Call 613-244-7373 or 613-222-0710 or 613-225-1830
Entrance to Kildare Room on Cumberland St.

PARKING: Ample street parking and city parking lot on 141 Clarence St (between Dalhousie and Cumberland streets). Two open parking lots on Dalhousie at St Patrick Street.

House Concert and Workshops with Patrick Ourceau, fiddle and Ivan Goff, flute and pipes - 25-27 Jan 2013

Patrick Ourceau, fiddle and Ivan Goff, flute and pipes

Concert on the Saturday at 8:00 p.m.
202 Main Street, Barriefield (near Kingston)

Immersion Weekend: $125 advance registration (till January 15), $150 late registration. Concert: $20 advance (till January 20), $25 at the door

The usual reminder, a house is just a house and only holds so many (about 45, with many seats taken by the workshop musicians) and our house concerts have always sold out - reserve early. Enjoy

Weekend registration includes workshops all day Saturday and a ½ day Sunday, Saturday evening concert and session. Potluck shared food, and Kingston has a range hotels to stay in - we can provide information

Patrick Ourceau is a virtuoso on the fiddle, an avid student of the old masters, and a particular specialist in the style and repertoire of Clare and East Galway.

Ivan Goff, an All-Ireland champion from Dublin, based in New York, Ivan plays uilleann pipes (Irish bellows-blown pipes), whistles and Irish wooden concert flute. A traditional musician with an eclectic background that includes master degrees in both musicology and computer composition, Ivan has performed in several well-known productions including extended engagements with Riverdance (US tour and Broadway), Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance and has featured in film scores such as recently-released Cremaster 3 (Matthew Barney) exhibited in the Guggenheim museum 2003. In addition to performing as a solo artist, Ivan has collaborated as performer and composer in the theatrical productions Peacefire and The Voice of the Sea (Mac Uibh Aille) and has performed with numerous bands and artists including NYC-based Whirligig, Cathie Ryan and Irish traditional band Lúnasa.