Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Upcoming events for the Christmas season

Tomorrow night, 11 December at 7:30 pm, the Barra MacNeils play at Centrepointe Theatre for their annual Christmas concert. Maybe you can buy a ticket at the last minute to hear this fantastic group from Cape Breton.

Weekend of the 13th
This Saturday, 13 December, the local Gaelic Football club, the GAA affiliated Ottawa Gaels, are hosting 'Christmas Craic at the Laff' with Lucky Ron which is a benefit for the Ottawa Food Bank. The party starts at 3pm at the Chateau Lafayette, 42 York Street in the Byward Market. You are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items and invited to wear your most hideous "Christmas sweater" you can find from your closet. There will be food, music, fun, and prizes! Did we say fun?? OK, fun!!

On Saturday night, 13 December at 7:30 pm, is the house concert of Ellen MacIsaac and Susan Toman. This will be a delightful concert in a warm home, an intimate setting for a concert. The details are posted just a few stories below this one (posted 13 Nov).

On Sunday, December 14 at 2pm, down in the historic town of Perth, there will be a concert entitled "From the Valley to the Sea", held at the Full Circle Theatre, 26 Craig St.  The Perth Celtic Heritage Fiddle Orchestra Performance in support of Blue Skies Community Fiddle Orchestra journey of learning and sharing with the fiddlers of Prince Edward Island in 2015 at the Full Circle Theatre in Perth. More details here.

Also on Sunday afternoon, December 14, at 3:00pm, The Cymdeithas Cymry Ottawa Welsh Society presents the Welsh Caroling Christmas celebration. Experience carols to a pipe organ in the Welsh language as well as treats. Westminster Church (470 Roosevelt Avenue), contact Rob at for details.

Wednesday, December 17thStairwell Carollers, St Columba Anglican Church 24 Sandridge Rd, , Ottawa, (ON), 7:30pm.
More details at their fine webpage: 

Weekend of the 20th
You, your friends, and family, can enjoy a real Irish ceili on Saturday December 20th at 194 Fourth Avenue in the Glebe, in the basement of Blessed Sacrament Church. The music, with live ceili band, starts at 8pm, and goes until about midnight. No experience is necessary to dance, as there is some basic instruction before each dance begins. There will also be entertainment by the Ottawa Celtic Choir, and a CD launch by Eithne Dunbar of Brockville.

Closer to Ottawa, also on Sunday Dec 14, is the Finest Kind Annual Christmas Concert at the Black Sheep Inn, Wakefield, starting at 4pm. No doubt this will be a sellout.

Weekend of the 27th
December 28, 1:00pm–4:00pm, a (Scottish) Cèilidh, Comunn Gàidhlig Ottawa holds their monthly cèilidh at 28 Granville Avenue. Free entry for CGO members, $5 entry for guests. Please contact Randy for more information at 613-286-1003.

New Years Eve
Why not celebrate New Year's Eve with the Ottawa Scottish Society at this year's Hogmanay? This year it is being held in grand fashion at the Aberdeen Pavillion (appropriate!) at Landsdowne Park, and will feature the Glengarry Pipe Band, the Ottawa Celtic Choir, Bobby Watt, Ceilidh Trailers, Stewarts Glen, Ecosse, and Glass Tiger!'s FREE admission! Fireworks, food and drink (you pay for the latter two). Starts at 6pm, until *at least* midnight!


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

CELTIC CHAIR LECTURE SERIES - ‘The Gaelic Life and Work of Patrick Ó Broin'


‘The Gaelic Life and Work of Patrick Ó Broin'
Tues. 2 December 2014
2nd December MNT (Montpetit Hall) room 207, at 7:30pm
Lecturer: Kevin Dooley

Padraig O'Broin (Patrick Byrne) 1908-1967 was an internationally known Canadian Poet. He ranks among the great Canadian Poets of his time - Al Purdy, Milton Acorn. He worked as Poetry Editor for the Canadian Authors Association and McClelland Stewart publishers. Padraig , who came to Canada from Ireland in 1913 with his family was also a Gaelic poet, scholar and translator. He taught himself the very difficult Gaelic language and founded and edited Celtic/Gaelic Journals in the 1950's.

Kevin Dooley, Irish born and bred, has lived in Canada since 1977. He now works as an independent scholar/heritage activist and musician.  He is the author of several novels and now lives in Ottawa.

Friday, 21 November 2014

TONIGHT: Ballymun Lullaby, Canadian Film Institute, 29th European Film Festival

Tonight there is an Irish made film being shown at Library and Archives.

BALLYMUN LULLABY follows Irish music teacher Ron Cooney, who has been working in Ireland’s Ballymun housing estate for fifteen years. During this time he has witnessed the effects of increasing funding cuts to the area, including the demolition of six of its seven tower blocks. In an effort to challenge the negative views many still hold of the area – views that have the potential to deny a future for Ballymun’s youth – Cooney sets out to produce a collection of music that will give these young people a voice. Working with composer Daragh O’Toole, the Ballymun Music Programme attracted the attention of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, who agreed to record the music in a unique collaboration with the students. As you will see and hear, the results are breathtaking.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

"The Angel's Candle" - Celtic Christmas music, house concert - Saturday, 13 December 2014

On Sat Dec 13th, there will be a house concert of Celtic Christmas music. Here are the details:

"The Angel's Candle" - Celtic Christmas music in a house concert setting! Featuring Ellen MacIsaac (traditional singer, founder of the Ottawa Celtic Choir) and Susan Toman (Celtic harp).

Saturday December 13 at 7:30pm. Suggested donation: $20. Address: 28 Granville Ave, Ottawa. RSVP required to attend: 613-552-3964. (RSVP deadline is Dec.11th).

Join us for a merry evening including music, food, and good company!


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Trad Tune Jam - Saturday 29 Nov 2014

Free WORKSHOP: Trad Tune Jam
2 p.m.- 5 p.m.
Patty’s Pub – 1186 Bank St.
Come and play in a traditional session with CFMA nominees and local players. Patty’s Pub is located in Old Ottawa South, near the remainder of the day’s activities – their food is good, their beer is local (and they have the biggies too), and the entertainment will be excellent. Irish/Scottish/Quebecois/Cape Breton/Old Time players are all welcome!


Thursday, 23 October 2014

The East Pointers - Sunday 26 Oct 2014 - at The Daily Grind, 8-11 PM

Hello readers, I am recommending you go to The Daily Grind, 601 Somerset St., on Sunday night to see and hear the musical talents of The East Pointers, an extremely talented traditional music group from Prince Edward Island. This is a trio comprised  of banjoist Koady Chaisson, fiddle player Tim Chaisson, and guitarist Jake Charron.

The cousins Chaisson hail from Prince Edward Island, Canada, part of the sixth generation of a heralded legacy of fiddlers and folk musicians. Tim tours the world as a performer/songwriter with a pop and country-tinged take on contemporary folk, with Koady often at his side or supporting other touring trad acts with his banjo, bass, and six-string. Jake, on the other hand, is based in Ontario and has strummed, plucked, and played piano alongside a laundry list of award-winning performers from around the globe.

Please check out their website, and give the tunes a listen. Their new album (are they still called albums?) is available on iTunes for a mere $5.94.

If you're in doubt, I leave you with a link to a great video of the boys in concert. CLICK HERE for AWESOMENESS.


Sunday, 19 October 2014

Irish Music, Language, and Dance Workshops - Saturday 25 Oct 2014

As part of their Regional annual general meeting, the Ottawa Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (CCE) is offering workshops in Irish set dancing, Irish language, and Irish instruments to the general public. No experience is necessary! The workshops are also highly subsidized, being only $15 for non-members ($10 for members) for approximately an hour and a half of instruction (and two hours for set dancing). All workshops are at Blessed Sacrament Church, 194 Fourth Ave, in the Glebe. Street parking. Enter from Fourth Ave, basement/hall door.

What is on offer?

Irish Set Dancing - in short, Irish square dancing, with great Irish music! A 'set' is comprised of 8 people, 4 couples, arranged in a square. Each dance has a set sequence of moves and positions. At this stage of learning, not much attention is paid to the footwork. Instructor: Maureen Mulvey, well known in Canada for her set dancing instruction, coming in from Hamilton. Saturday 10:00 am

Irish Language - if you are curious about the fascinating ancient language of Irish Gaelic, this is the place for you. Join Tomas O'Murchu, a Ireland Canada University Foundation (ICUF) Scholar and teacher of Irish Gaelic (what the Irish simply call "Irish"!). Saturday 10:30 am.

Bodhran (bor'-ann) - a lot of people own bodhran's. Not many can play it very well! How to play this Irish drum with the silent 'dh' ? Join Steafan Hannigan, a world renown bodhran player (and multi-instrumentalist). In fact, Steafan has worked with many top artists including Bjork, Depeche Mode, Uriah Heep, Loreena McKennitt, and Michael Flatley, and many more! Due to scheduling issues he's had to turn down gigs from Page and Plant, Tory Amos (wedding), Mary Chapin Carpenter, Dave Stuart, and U2! Check him out for yourself, here: . He is also the author of the Bodhran Book (available at many music stores and on Only $15 for non-members! WOW! (if you don't already own a drum, there will be some spares available). Saturday 3:00 pm.

Uilleann Pipes (ill'-in) - the sweetest sounding and most tonally expressive 'bagpipes' of the entire world of bagpipes. An Ireland-invented instrument. It is highly likely that you don't have a set of these kicking around in your closet unless you've already got the bug. Still, you could attend the workshop to learn about the instrument and what you would need to commit to if interested in this most difficult of instruments to play. If you do play, why not come along and join in the workshop? Again, the instructor is master Steafan Hannigan, a wonderfully patient and supportive teacher. If you can't bring pipes, I'm sure Steafan will let you have a go. Saturday 1:30 pm.

Irish Singing - Ottawa's own Dr. Ellen MacIsaac is offering a workshop on singing in both the English and Irish-language traditions. The workshop will focus on repertoire, ornaments and on voice production. Ellen lectures at the University of Ottawa in the Modern Languages department, and directs the Ottawa Celtic Choir. This is going to be a lot of fun. Saturday 1:30 pm.

For more details, please visit the CCE blog:
Click this Link for information.


Friday, 10 October 2014

EVENT: Don Kavanagh to receive 2014 Arts and Culture award from the Regional Association of West Quebecers

Congratulations to our friend, and local Irish harmonica master, Don Kavanagh! Don has been selected to receive the 2014 Arts and Culture award from the Regional Association of West Quebecers. Be sure to visit the RAWQ webpage!

The award will be presented at the annual Awards Banquet at the Aydelu Centre in Aylmer (94 rue du Patrimoine) on Fri. Oct. 24th. You can obtain  tickets from Patricia Cassidy or you can get them from RAWQ, tel. 819-682-9602. Tickets are $45 each.

We hope that some of his friends will come out to support Don. There is a draw for a dinner for two at Bistro Ambrosia in Aylmer for tickets purchased by Oct. 16th.

More about the wonderful Don Kavanagh and his harmonica:


Concerts and Workshops: Kenneth and Calum MacKenzie - November 14-15

As posted over at the Cape Breton Session webpage, there are some fine music events coming up for those interested in the Cape Breton style.

Nov 14—House Concert: Kenneth and Calum MacKenzie (fiddle, pipes and piano) Hosted by Graham and Suzanne, Ottawa $20 -- Seating is limited – All proceeds go directly to the artists. To reserve your seats, email Graham at gcrate at rogers dot com Light refreshment will be available during intermission, BYOB.

Nov 15—Fiddle, Piano and Piping Workshops: Details TBA (check the CB Session website)

Nov 15 —Ceilidh and Square Dance: 7:30pm Kenneth and Calum MacKenzie of Mabou. Montgomery Legion Hall 330 Kent St. at MacLaren. Square set instruction 7:30pm, dancing and other entertainment 8pm to midnight. Join us for a wonderful evening of Cape Breton fun with the Cape Breton Club of Ottawa. Tickets available mid-October $10 advance or $15 at the door. Available at the Ottawa Folklore Centre, from Brent MacDonald 613-233-3047 or Beth MacGillivray or at any Sunday pub or house session. Also available online via Interac email money transfer to


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

6th Annual Fall Celtic Festival - 14 Sept 2014

Drop in to the 6th Annual Fall Celtic Festival this weekend at St. Brigid's Centre for the Arts.

All the event details are found at their snazzy new website:

and here

Join us for an afternoon of Celtic traditional music, song and dance....
Noon – 6:00 pm. FREE ADMISSION 
Local Musicians – some of the best musicians in Ottawa are donating their time and talent for this event.
  • Dancers from various dance schools
  • FOOD – BBQ – BAR – Refreshments
  • Come and mingle with the folks, where you can tap your feet to the rhythm of traditional music and dance to the sound of violins, accordions and bagpipes.
  • A perfect event for the entire family - EVERYONE IS WELCOME!
  • A great way for students from out of town to introduce themselves to the City. Looking forward to seeing you there!
  • Meet some of the folks from the Irish community in Ottawa:
  • Sue Fay Healy School of Irish Dance , Gaelic Football Club, Ottawa Irish Rugby Club, Irish Society of the National Capital Region, Irish Seniors Drop-in Centre, Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann Ottawa - Irish Cultural Movement, The Gaelic Hour CHIN 97.9fm, Ottawa chapter of the Ireland Canada Chamber of Commerce, Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada – Festival, Ottawa Celtic Choir, Canadian Association for Irish Studies, Irish Eyes - Irish Eyes brings you all the very finest clothing and giftwares available from Ireland. 

Concert: The Shuffle Season presents: Songs of Canada, the British Isles and Europe - 19 Sept 2014

There is an upcoming concert that may of interest to lovers of folk music in Ottawa. A talented trio, The Shuffle Season, are playing a concert entitled Songs of Canada, the British Isles and Europe.

There are two local dates in the area:
  • Friday, 19th Sept. 7:30pm - St Luke’s Church, 760 Somerset St W (Chinatown)
  • Sunday, 21st Sept. 2:00pm – St Andrew’s Church, Pakenham

(The attached poster refers only to the St Lukes date.)

There’s much more info about this intriguing trio, their diverse backgrounds, and their instruments, at the website here:

See you there!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

A concert with Panache! 29 July 2014

The Old Sod Folk Music Society is hosting a concert with Panache on July 29th.

Panache is a fiddle super-group made up of four powerful female fiddlers:
Cape Breton fiddler, Andrea Beaton
Franco-Americaine fiddler, Donna Hebert
Southern style fiddler, Jane Rothfield
Quebecois fiddler, Veronique Plasse

What to expect from a Panache concert????

Lively reels, dancing jigs, soulful waltzes and airs, great playing and great singing! Listening to Panache is like watching art being made at the moment of inspiration. These ladies spark off of one another, with arrangements, counter melodies, harmonies, rhythms, and musical improvisation-the result is something NEW and EXCITING and FUN!!
Watch them here:
.... and here:
Check out their website here:

Concert details:

Tickets available online: ($15 advance; $18 at door)

Date & Time: Tuesday, July 29th @ 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm)
Location: Rosemount Community Hall, 41 Rosemount Avenue, Ottawa
For more information:

Hope to see you there!!!


Thursday, 3 July 2014

Almonte Celtfest 4-6 July 2014

Don't forget, the Almonte Celtfest is THIS WEEKEND!

All the details for this family friendly, and extremely affordable (pay what you can) celebration of Irish music and culture in the Ottawa Valley style, are available at the Almonte Celtfest website.

Besides the superb, live, on-stage entertainment, there are also music sessions and performances in the local pubs, instrument workshops in fiddle, bodhran ("borr-ann"), tin whistle (including an uilleann pipe demonstration), by extremely talented local musicians, and the O'Connell Session Tent where you can bring your own instrument along to the Park and join in the jam (which is an informal jam, all are welcome). (The session tent, I recall, is usually down by the stage, on your right as you look at the stage.)

And this year the Fest is going more green (appropriate, no?). See their latest green initiative here.

Schedule day by day here.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Return of the King! Paddy Keenan, plays Kingston, Ontario, Friday 1 Aug 2014

There is not much to say, except a chance to hear Paddy Keenan play his sweet sounding uilleann pipes and low whistles is not one that should be turned down with any sort of a casual shrug. This may explain why I have brought Paddy to Ottawa twice since 2008. Paddy's piping is sublime, and in my opinion I have yet to hear any pipes that sound as good. It may not just be the superb playing that draws you to a Paddy Keenan concert, but also the piping tradition of the Travellers of which Paddy Keenan is a direct continuation of that fine line of traditional musicians from Ireland. Paddy Keenan came to prominence in the 1970's with the emergence of The Bothy Band, a group which set the bar to new heights for all musicians in the Irish traditional style that have since followed. Surely, The Bothy Band will go down in the history of Irish music as one of the best ever (no exaggeration!).

A huge thank you to the fine people in Kingston that are hosting this house concert for Paddy, the king of the pipers, a person I have the good fortune and privilege of calling a friend, and one of the finest people I have ever met. Can't wait! (and this time I just have to pay and listen!)

All the details are located on the Harp of Tara branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (CCE) special events page.  Tickets may be purchased online at the link. There are only about 45 seats available, and they are going FAST.


Monday, 26 May 2014

Concert: Seraphina, at Knox Presbyterian Church, 15 Jun 2014


Seraphina (video) is a vibrant new ensemble featuring soprano Dawn Bailey, and Celtic harpist Susan Toman. Praised for making history come alive through musical storytelling, these talented musicians perform from the Celtic, folk and Baroque repertoire.

SUNDAY, JUNE 15, 2014

120 LISGAR STREET (at Elgin)
2:00 PM
Advance Tickets: $18.00 Adults & $12.00 Students
At the Door on June 15th: $20.00 Adults & $15.00 Students
To purchase tickets by Visa or Mastercard go to EVENTBRITE at:
(Susan is also listed on the Irish Music Ottawa Music Resources page)

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Choral Concert: "Atlantic Voices - Irish Roots" - 25 May 2014

Who? Atlantic Voices : the Newfoundland and Labrador Choir of Ottawa

What? A concert of Irish folksongs

When? Sunday May 25, 2014 at 3 p.m.

Where? Centretown United Church, 507 Bank Street, Ottawa

This time Atlantic Voices delves into its IRISH ROOTS with a concert of folk songs from Ireland which have become favourite songs in Atlantic Canada too.

Some of the songs are nostalgic, like "The Cliffs of Dooneen" and "Tis Pretty to be in Ballenderry", and some toe-tappers, like "The Whistling Gypsy" , "The Little Beggarman" and "Tell Me Ma" There is a Gaelic song "Siul a Ghra". One of the songs,"The Parting Glass" was made famous all over America by Liam Clancy and Tommy Makem who often used it as the closer of their concerts.

It will be a grand show, do join this dynamic choir under the direction of Scott Richardson, accompanied on piano by Theresa Clarke.

A silent auction and refreshments will follow. Be sure to get there early for a preshow set of Celtic music by Fumblin' Fingers starting at 2:15.

Tickets are available at Leading Note, from choir members or contact Hannie at 613-722-9240.
Admission is $15 in advance (until May 23), $20 at the door, free for children 12 and under.
 Visit our website for more information.

Help us to spread the word about this special concert. The January concert was sold out, and this one promises to be well attended too.

(Another concert you may wish to attend is "Something 'Bout This Country - Ontario Folk Songs Through the Ages" also at Centretown United Church. It is being presented by Musica Viva Singers on May12, 2014 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20, seniors/students $15, under 13 free.


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Concert: Bring on Spring! Teresa Doyle and Acacia Lyra - 3 May 2014, 8 PM

Juno-nominated P.E.I. singer Teresa Doyle meets Ottawa Celtic Harp Duo Acacia Lyra, for an evening of unique and colourful musical travels around the world!

As harpers, Acacia Lyra duo partners Susan and Janine are keepers of traditional ballads handed down through the ages. But they also open the windows of their ancient castles and lofty halls to allow fresh aires into their repertoire. Their compositions are a reflection of the duo’s Irish heritage as well as their Canadian experience of pristine lakes and snowy landscapes. Most recently Janine, who has been living part-time in Iqaluit, Nunavut, has been influenced by the haunting allure of the far
North and the beauty of Inuit culture. Susan tends to look southward for inspiration, with thoughts of swaying palm trees and Latin rhythms. The two are the best of friends, musically and otherwise

Teresa is a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter and vocal explorer with eleven recordings under her belt. She is continuously experimenting with new vocal colours and textures from different cultures. Her repertoire reflects her journeys around the world while remaining rooted in the Celtic music and stories of her native Prince Edward Island.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

An evening of mainly traditional music & song with two of Ottawa's finest multi-instrumentalists and singers: James Stephens & Greg T. Brown - 11 April 2014

Two of the very best traditional/folk music musicians in Ontario are playing a concert on Friday, April 11th 2014 at 7:30 PM, upstairs at the Southminster United Church Hall, 15 Aylmer Ave. Old Ottawa South. Guests are asked to use the Galt St. entrance. The church is located just off Bank St., near the Rideau Canal (south side).

James Stephens
Well-known as a record producer (Finest Kind, Pierre Schryer, Glen Road, Genticorum, The Brian Pickell Band and countless other artists in the folk/acoustic genre; winner of the 2003 Porcupine Award as “Producer of the Year”), James is one of Canada’s most versatile and inventive fiddle players, mastering a multitude of styles from Cape Breton to Bluegrass, Québecois to Appalachian Old Time, Irish to Ottawa Valley. James plays “anything that has four strings”, and often works his way through violin, 5-string violin, mandolin, tenor guitar and bass in the course of a performance. He has played with a Who’s Who of Canadian folk music, from Lynn Miles to Eh?, Ecosse and Finest Kind, and has a shady previous life in classical and rock music.

Greg Brown
Fiddle and accordion alumnus of many bands including Matapat, Tüq and Glen Road,. Greg is originally from Newfoundland, and cut his musical teeth on the tunes of Rufus Guinchard and Emile Benoit under the guidance of current Newfoundland fiddle great Christina Smith. Since moving to the capital region he has added a variety of styles to his tune repertoire, most notably from the Irish and Québecois traditions. Greg has also added accordion, anglo concertina, viola and guitar to his amazing arsenal.

Both these gentlemen are also great singers. They have previously collaborated as the bread in the
Jiig sandwich and this concert promises to be a grand evening of old style kitchen music and song.


(source of above text taken from Ian Robb's site: visit, and visit often!)

Monday, 24 March 2014

Concert Kelli Trottier with Greg Simm , and Second Annual Music for Malcolm Fundraising - 4-5 April 2014

More going on the Cape Breton fiddle fraternity these days...

Apr 4—Special Event: 8pm Concert Kelli Trottier with Greg Simm, Parish Hall, church of St. Barnabas 394 Kent Str (at James), Ottawa. Tickets: $20. Seating is limited, reservations recommended. For more information or to reserve contact Andrew John at 613-225-8768, 613-794-1936 or

Apr 5—Special Event: 1pm-5pm Second Annual Music for Malcolm Fundraising event in memory of fiddler Malcolm Dewar. Metcalfe Centre (formerly Angus Gray Hall) Maxville, ON. *Advance tickets now available* An afternoon of fiddling, step dancing and Celtic song featuring Glengarry Strathspey and Reel Society, Kyle Felhaver, Pat Denelly, Troy MacGillivray and more. Partial proceeds will go to You and Me for Memories Alzheimer's research foundation. Lunch will be served. Cash bar. Tickets $20 advance, $25 at the door. For tickets and information: Dawn Dewar 613-859-7869 or



Sunday, 23 March 2014

Cape Breton Ceilidh and Square Dance - 29 March 2014

March 29 7:30 pm square set instruction, 8 PM dance ceilidh and square
dance with ANDREA BEATON, TYSON CHEN and ERNIE FRASER. Sponsored by Ottawa Cape Breton Club and Cape Breton Session. Montgomery Legion Hall 330 Kent St. at MacLaren. Tickets in advance $10 at Sunday Sessions, from Brent MacDonald 613-233-3047 by email money transfer to Tickets at door $15.


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

John P. Christopher and Greg T. Brown - 5 April, Museum of Nature

John P. Christopher will be performing, and story telling, along with fiddler accompanist Greg T. Brown, at the Nature Museum Cafe in Ottawa on Saturday night  7-10 PM on April 5, ......As well, they will be giving a one-hour concert on  Sunday April 6 outside on the Museum's plaza (food festival site) from 1-2 PM. Check it out the museum's "Edible Arctic Festival" April 3-April 6

John is also the author of Molasses, Bread & Tea and has three CDs, Having a Time, Live at Gate 403, and Tea or Tequila.


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

St. Patrick's Ceili, 15 March 2014. The real Irish evening.

There's only a few days left to buy tickets, but if you're looking for a great night out on this coming Saturday night, why not get tickets for the Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann Annual St. Patrick's Ceili? This grand event is held at 194 Fourth Ave, in Ottawa's Glebe, in the basement of Blessed Sacrament Church.

Doors open at 5:30, and a super tasty meal is served up by Franz Gierer, a European chef, at 6PM. After the dining tables are cleared of the 3 course meal, the large and live ceili band strikes up and the Irish dancing begins! The dances are a combination of ceili dances (large group participation). These dances are easy and instructions are given before and during the dance. There is also set dancing, which if you're not familiar can best be described as the Irish version of square dancing (better music, wink!). Instructions for set dances are also given.

This event is fun for the whole family, and is a nice break from the drink-your-head-off crowds filling the bars. No green beer is served (when did THAT start?), and after an hour of dancing, there is live entertainment for viewing. The dancing resumes, and then another break time where free Irish soda bread with jam and cheese, and tea, tea!

If you don't make it this Saturday, try going to any one of a number of ceilis Comhaltas holds during the year, on the third Saturday of the month, in the basement of Blessed Sacrament Church. Save on babysitting costs, bring the kids! They have dancers from age 3 and well up into their 90s on many occasions. 


Dinner and Ceili Tickets: HERE

Irish Music Ottawa webpage tidied up!

Last week the Irish Music Ottawa website underwent a much needed cleanup. While it still looks pretty much the same (keeping it simple), there are now there tabs along the top, so that it's not just one huge long page. The editing is done online now, and it's a cleaner interface than the old (ancient) version of Frontpage I was using. Thanks to my lovely wife for doing this for me! xo

Check it out at


Friday, 7 March 2014

The Birth of "Folk at the Oak" !

This coming Sunday afternoon (9th March 2014) sees the birth of a new Folk Club in town, Folk at the Oak. I am hoping to hold a 'get-together' on the second Sunday of the month for the next 4 months to gauge the interest. It is upstairs at the Royal Oak pub on Echo Drive (Pretoria Bridge). Whether you are a performer or listener, you are welcome to come along, starting at 2 pm and hoping to keep it going until 4 pm at least. There will be a sign up list for those who want to perform and each person/group will have 10-15 minutes to sing or play. I'm hoping the material will be slanted towards a traditional/familiar/established repertoire. It will be acoustic unless this proves to be impractical. It's FREE!

Hope to see you there. Feel free to pass this on to anyone who might be interested.
Neville Miller

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Concert - Kelli Trottier with Greg Simm - 4 April 2014

Kelli Trottier with Greg Simm
Friday, April 4, 2014
8 pm
Parish Hall, Church of St. Barnabas
394 Kent Street (at James), Ottawa
Tickets: $20

Seating is limited: reservations recommended.
For more information or to reserve, contact Andrew John:
613-225-8768, 613-794-1936, ajmiller at rogers com

Come hear the music — and try to keep your toes from tapping!

Kelli Trottier has toured much of the world as a featured soloist in the sensational string production, Bowfire, for nine years, a show often described as “the finest lineup of fiddle and violin virtuosi ever
assembled on one stage.” Kelli brings her crisp fiddling, angelic voice and fiery step dance to all of her performances.

Greg Simm has been a mainstay on the Nova Scotian music scene for more than 30 years, performing with artists as diverse as Denny Doherty, Lennie Gallant, Natalie MacMaster and Old Man Luedecke. He has been involved in more than 30 recordings as a musician, engineer and producer. For the last 20 years he has performed regularly with fiddler Gordon Stobbe and is now a member of the Stobbe, Trottier, Simm Trio.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Daniel Payne - concert at Paddy Bolands Pub, 30 Jan 2014

The great Newfoundland singer and fiddle, accordion and flute player, Daniel Payne will be performing at Patty Boland's Pub, 101 Clarence Street in the Byward Market, Thursday January 30th at 7:30 pm. Daniel is in town to work on Ian Tamblyn's upcoming Labrador coast recording project, and this is a rare opportunity to see and hear one of Newfoundland's best exponents of that Island's rich musical tradition.
Advance tickets are $11 and can be purchased online at

Here's some info on Daniel:
Daniel Obediah Payne grew up in the small fishing community of Cow Head, on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. After leaving in his teens to play music in Ireland, he returned home and began to delve into the musical traditions of his home. Daniel performs as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist on fiddle, mandolin, accordion, flute, whistle, bodhran, and guitar. He has worked extensively in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as touring Canada, Greenland, Australia, Japan, Europe, Ireland, the US and the UK. A wearer of many hats, Daniel has also worked as a composer, musical director, producer, and actor in both theatre and film. He is often recognized for his leading role in the television mini-series Random Passage, a portrayal of Irish and English settlers' life in early Newfoundland. A recipient of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council's Emerging Artist Award, Daniel has also received a Traditional Singer of the Year nomination from the Canadian Folk Music Awards, as well as nominations in the Male Artist of the Year and Folk/Roots Artist of the Year categories from MusicNL. His production company has released five titles: an album of accordion music entitled The Four Stops, three instructional DVDs (Learning the Newfoundland Button Accordion Volume 1 and 2, and Learning the Newfoundland Tin Whistle), and his solo album, Chain.

Provided by Ian Robb

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Returning to Our Roots: The Chris Langan Traditional Irish Music Weekend - 18 January 2014

The Chris Langan Traditional Irish Music Weekend has been an integral part of the Irish cultural scene in Toronto for the past 23 years. Despite recent changes to the organization and funding of this event, we are pleased to announce that a celebration of Chris Langan’s life and influence will be taking place on the weekend of Saturday January 18th, 2014.

As many of you know, the previous Chris Langan Weekend Committee stepped down on October 31st 2013. We commend them for their hard work and look forward to their continued support as we re-launch and revitalize this event. A new committee, headed by Debbie Quigley and supported by other members of the Irish music community, has now been formed. We are working hard to reinvigorate the Chris Langan Weekend and organize this year’s festivities.

Difficult economic times have contributed to a decline in funding for the weekend and there is limited time for the new committee to organize the 2014 celebration. Despite these setbacks, we believe that it is important to bring the local Irish community together for a weekend of music and festivities. This year, we will be returning to our roots and showcasing the dynamic and ever-growing community of Irish musicians in the region. Chris Langan was a devoted and influential teacher, and we intend to honour his memory by emphasizing the fantastic teachers and students that continue to keep the Irish musical tradition alive in this city.

This year’s event will include:
- Workshops with some of Toronto’s finest musicians
- A concert which celebrates the community and showcases the city’s young talent
- A ceili with music provided by the newly formed Lansdowne (Youth) Ceili Band
- A session at Dora Keogh’s pub

To signify our fresh start, this year’s events will be held at new locations—the Emerald Isle Senior’s Centre and the LucSculpture Centre—both of which are located at Danforth and Greenwood and are easily accessible by TTC. All venues will be licenced and impromptu gatherings and sessions are encouraged. While Saturday January 18th will be the focus, we would like to round out the weekend by organizing small gatherings on Friday and Sunday as well. A detailed schedule of all events will be released in the coming weeks.

We hope that everyone will come out to show their support for the event during this difficult transitional period. With your help and participation, the committee is optimistic that we can begin to rebuild the Chris Langan Traditional Irish Music Weekend as it approaches its 25th anniversary.

The Chris Langan Weekend Committee 2013-2014:
Debbie Quigley, Patrick Ourceau, Julie Ourceau, Steafan Hannigan, Colm Murphy, Stefanie Leigh, Jared Ross, Ann Gorman-McK
More info:

The Song Lives On - Atlantic Voices Choir - 26 January 2014

Join Atlantic Voices on Sunday afternoon, January 26, 2014 as the choir presents "The Song Lives On."

We pay tribute to some great Atlantic Canadian musicians who may be gone, but whose influence lives on in the East Coast music scene and around the world.

Celebrate the legacy of Stompin' Tom, Raylene and John Morris Rankin, John Allan Cameron, Stan Rogers, Gene MacLellan, Denny Doherty of the Mamas and the Papas
and a special tribute to Rita MacNeil.

The performance is presented in loving memory of longtime choir member Michael Bleakney

Concert from 3 -5 p.m.
Centretown United Church
507 Bank Street, Ottawa.

Pre-show entertainment by Fumblin' Fingers Band starts at 2:15, and a silent auction and refreshments follow the show.

For tickets, contact Hannie 613-722-9240. Admission is $15 in advance, $20 at the door, free for children 12 and under. Tickets are also for sale at Leading Note, 370 Elgin Street.

For additional information, visit our website:

Help us to spread the word about our concert. In return we will be happy to let our members know about your concerts.