Sunday, 20 December 2015

New trad jams and sessions in Ottawa region

Great news! There are two new jams of traditional acoustic music in Ottawa and Gatineau (I only recently heard of them, so they are new to me). The first is the Ottawa Celtic Kitchen Party, and the second is the Jam Trad Outaouais.

Ottawa Celtic Kitchen Party

Whether it be in the Maritimes, Quebec, the Ottawa Valley or the Western Provinces, the party often ends up in the kitchen, with lots of foot stompin’ music, singing and step dancing. The Ottawa Celtic Kitchen Party showcases live Celtic music from these regions of Canada. The primary focus is to give talented musicians and singers, joined by high level accompaniment, a chance to showcase their music. The events mainly feature a variety of instrumentalists, including fiddle, guitar, bagpipes, banjo, tin whistle, bodhran, flute, uilleann pipes and piano, with the occasional vocal tune thrown in for good measure. Our performances take place the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, at the Royal Oak at Bank and MacLaren. Hope to see you all there at some point!

Jam Trad Outaouais

Groupe sur Facebook en lien avec les jam sessions de musique traditionnelle qui se déroule partout en Outaouais. aussi site web.:

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Finest Kind "Christmas at the Black Sheep Inn" - Sunday 13 Dec 2015

Early season's greetings from Finest Kind!

We just wanted to make sure that people are aware that the Finest Kind "Christmas at the Black Sheep Inn" in Wakefield is happening as usual this year, despite the fact that we have pulled back from actively touring. We all agreed that this is something we love to do each year, and we know people look forward to it.

The date is Sunday December 13th; a 4pm matinee as usual. Tickets are available from the Black Sheep website:
As always, we advise folks to buy a ticket and get there early.

We're looking forward to it!
Ian, Ann and Shelley

Monday, 30 November 2015

Celtic Songs and Carols - 13 Dec 2015

An evening of carols and winter songs from the Celtic countries and from Canada, offered by the Ottawa Celtic Choir. This is part of St. Luke's Anglican Church 2015-2016 Recital Series.

Doors Open at 7 pm
Entry: donation at the door

760 Somerstreet W.

For more information: (613) 235-3416

Irish Movie: Brooklyn (Bytowne Cinema, 1 Dec 2015)

Late entering this piece but tomorrow night (1 Dec at 6:35) the Ottawa European Union Film Festival's entry for ireland screens at the Bytowne Cinema. The film's title is "Brooklyn". Information about the film can be found at the Bytowne website.

If you miss tomorrow's opportunity, the film begins a run outside of the EUFF on December 11.

More information on this 30th Aniversary of the EUFF can be found at the EUFF webpage.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Ceili this Saturday Night (21 Nov 2015)

The monthly ceili (Irish social dance), organised by the local branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (translated as "the gathering of the musicians of Ireland"), will be held at Blessed Sacrament Church Hall, 194 Fourth Ave. at Percy St. (in the Glebe). Ceili's are normally held on the 3rd Saturday of each month. (Note: however, the December ceili is Dec 12)

Live music is provided by the Ottawa Ceili Band, Gold medal winners in the last two years at the Oireachtas in Tamworth, Ontario. A whole night of ceili and set dancing, entertainment, with free home-baked snacks (Irish soda bread!) with tea, at 9 PM.

Also, donations of warm items of clothing (such as new hats, scarves, mittens, socks...) for those less fortunate in our community as the weather gets colder will be accepted at the November and December céilís. Cash donations to the charity are also gladly welcome.

No experience necessary for dancing (people will help you). A lot of fun and at a great price! $15 non members, $10 members, $5 registered students, 12 and under free. This is a very family-friendly event.

A cash bar with alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages is available.

We hope to see you all there!!

Further information on CCE:

Concert: Bright Beautiful Isle - Songs and Dance Tunes from Ireland, 4th Dec.

Ellen MacIsaac, Traditional Singer
Susan Toman, Harp
Ross Davison, Uillean Pipes and Whistle

Includes reception after the concert.

Tickets at the Door: $20

RSVP by Dec 1: 613-552-3964

(Click on picture for larger view)

Concert: "All Hands on Deck" - Friday Dec 4th

Next up on the Old Sod Concert Calendar is a rollicking evening of chanteys, ballads and traditional dance music from the Great Lakes and The Seven Seas. This show, entitled "All Hands on Deck" features the fertile imagination and great musicianship of veteran Canadian folk musician and maritime lore buff, Ian Bell, coupled with the vocal energy of the young Toronto-based accapella chantey sextet, Pressgang Mutiny, some of whose members are on shore leave from the Lemon Bucket Orkestra.

The show will feature powerful unaccompanied harmony singing with lots of opportunities to join in on choruses. Ian and the mutineers also pack a small arsenal of instruments ranging from concertinas, and button accordions to banjos, fiddles and mandolins, so there are bound to be a few jigs and hornpipes along the way! Their repertoire includes little known songs of Great Lakes sailors along with the very best of the salt-water chanteys all delivered with excitement and passion.

A special feature of the concert will be projections of Ian's large collection of vintage photographs of Great Lakes schooners, sailors and ports that are arranged to accompany the songs and instrumental selections.

Heave to and drop your anchor - It'll be a good evening!

Date: Friday Dec 4, 2015
Time: 8:00pm (doors open at 7:30pm)
Location: Rosemount Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave (Google maps link)
Tickets: $20, available from or at the door.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Book launch: Kevin Dooley's latest, A Dog's Breakfast, 8 Nov 2015

You are invited to a Book Launch Party for Kevin Dooley's new novel “A Dog's Breakfast” on Sunday, November 8th, 2015, from 6 to 8 pm at Daniel O'Connell's Irish Pub, 1211 Wellington St.

It will be an open mic set up with music, songs and readings from Kevin's book.

All four of his books will be available for signing and sale.

(click image for larger version)

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Ceilidh Benefit Concert in support of Refugee Family - 7 Nov 2015

(click poster for larger view)

Attached is a poster with details on an upcoming benefit concert. This is for a refugee family which I am helping to sponsor along with a group of individuals, led by Ottawa teacher and storyteller Ruth Stewart-Verger. If you have a moment to view the video / news article from the New York Times below, it should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind of the importance of helping these unfortunate people.

The concert planned for Saturday November 7, 7:30 pm will take place in Westboro at the First United Church, 347 Richmond Road. It will assemble 14 musicians, all of whom are donating their time and talent to offer an evening of Celtic music and song, to warm your hearts and make your toes tap…

Admission is by donation, with a tax receipt for any amount over $20.

It will be a fun concert. I hope you can come and enjoy, and help us out with your donations.

All the best,

Monday, 5 October 2015

Concert: Syrian Refugee Crisis Benefit Concert - 23 October 2015

For the admission fee of $20 you will get an evening of great traditional Irish music with special guest singers in the beautiful heritage setting of Saint Brigid’s.

The venue, support workers and performers, will contribute their time without charge so that the proceeds will go to Oxfam Canada for this very worthy cause.
(click for larger poster view)

I hope you can join us on the 23rd. October for what will be a wonderful evening of music.

Best regards


Doug Eunson and Sarah Matthews in Concert - 6 Nov 2016

The Old Sod Folk Music Society is presenting an Ottawa concert by two great singers and instrumentalists from Derbyshire, England, Doug Eunson and Sarah Matthews, on Fri Nov 6th.

Melodeon and hurdy-gurdy wizard Doug Eunson and fiddler Sarah Matthews have performed many times at southwestern Ontario's Goderich and Millrace festivals, but have never made it to Ottawa...until now. So we're very happy to have enticed them to the East this time around, and we're looking forward to a concert by one of England's finest folk duos.

Doug and Sarah choose their material with care and craft their arrangements with style and intuitive elegance, playing English and European dance music and drawing on some of the finest English folk song repertoire.

The duo, based in Derbyshire, has been playing English acoustic folk music together since 1995. They both sing - in superb harmony - with melodeon and fiddle/viola instrumentation. The singing is very fine, the playing superb, the sound rich and textured, and all this is delivered with relaxed and easy good humour.

Details are:

Doug Eunson and Sarah Matthews
Friday, November 6th, 8pm
Rosemount Hall, 41 Rosemount, Ottawa (in Hintonburg)
Tickets ($20) and info:

Artist website:

(Thank you to Ian Robb for providing this information)


Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Friar's Green - this weekend!


Do not miss out on seeing and hearing Friar's Green this Sunday evening, 4 Oct 2015 at 7 PM. This magnificent duo of Irish traditional music will perform at the official residence of the Irish Ambassador to Canada (Dr. Ray Bassett) in Rockcliffe, Ottawa.

It is rare that Ottawa gets this level of talent visiting from across the big pond, so be sure to delight your ears and soul with this special evening.

Tickets MUST be purchased in advance.

For all the information and ticket purchase visit the Eventbrite page for the concert.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Van the Man, Friday 18 Sept 2015

In case you haven't heard, and most have, Van Morrison is performing at CityFolk FEstival this Friday night (tomorrow). Concert starts at about 8:30 PM and goes to about 10:30 pm.

More information:

Day passes are $60.


Irish Ceilis set to start again this Saturday night!

This Saturday night, 19 Sept 2015, sees the return of the Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (CCE) Ottawa Branch monthly ceili. The event starts at 8pm, and Blessed Sacrament Church, in the basement hall, accessible from Fourth Avenue (Glebe). Free street parking is available. Kids 12 and under are given free admission! (save the babysitting fees, bring the kids!).

The CCE ceili is a social occasion for all ages, celebrated mainly with dancing to live Irish music, provided by the branch's highly regarded ceili band. Young and young at heart are encouraged to attend to enjoy a night of real Irish culture right here in the nation's capital, a city rich in Irish heritage going back to it's founding days.

What should you expect if you go to the ceili?
You should expect welcoming and smiling faces, people eager to help you learn the dances and support you during the dances. Refreshments are available (including home made Irish soda bread, with tea), door prizes, raffles, and halfway through the evening local talent is showcased as an entertainment period. Of course, mingling takes places when people aren't dancing. The dancing will go to about 11pm.

What kind of Irish dancing?
There are usually two kinds of Irish dancing at the ceilis in Ottawa. First is ceili dancing (sounds generic..), but these are very easy dances performed by the entire group at the same time in a large arrangement. They are very easy to learn, generally, and a lot of fun. Over the course of one dance you may interact with each and every other person on the dance floor. The other type is 'set dancing', which is very basic terms is 'Irish square-dancing'. Groups of 8 dance set moves to various kinds of Irish music (jigs, reels, etc.) in preset patterns. These are more complicated than the ceili dances, but before each set dance 'figure' instruction is given. Mistakes are often made and that is ok, as the emphasis is on having fun. People who want to improve the quality of their set dancing are encouraged to take up lessons which are taught on Monday nights.

Check the CCE webpage for more details, dates, and other activities.


Friends of Fiddler's Green - 18 Sept 2015

Many have already bought tickets to the FoFG concert this Friday, and thanks for that. I`m just trying to get the word around that there are still tickets left. Details and tickets are at, and will be available in advance until Friday morning. Anything left at that point will be available at the door.

Please share with anyone you think might be interested.

Many thanks!
Ian Robb

The Friends of Fiddler's Green are back on the road with a new CD, "Old Inventions", their first recording of the 21st century. Yes, it's been a while...

The legendary "Friends" boast six versatile musicians, five fine singers, three great songwriters, a brilliant joke teller, one Order of Canada, two Queen's Jubilee Medals, two electron microscopists, and the occasional Fiery Dragon. This totally uncategorizable collection has performed, in one form or another, for 44 years. Nobody, not even the Friends themselves, can predict what might happen during one of their concerts, but it always includes great songs and tunes, powerful vocal harmony, fine musicianship, social commentary and much laughter.

The Friends were recipients of the 2003 Estelle Klein Award, given by the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals for services to folk music in Ontario.

The current line up of reprobates: Alistair Brown, Laurence Stevenson,
Ian Robb, Ian Bell, Grit Laskin and Jeff McClintock.


Tales She Tells - Stories and Music from Ireland - 2 October 2015

On Friday October 2nd, Tales She Tells will play at the Shenkman Theatre. Weaving together the storytelling talent of Tess Mc Manus and the musical finesse of Celtic harpist Susan Toman, Tales She Tells takes you on an Irish Celtic Journey. Through tales of myth and wonder, our storyteller tries to understand love and loss – and why, in Irish fairy tales, the brave young princess always seems to die. Struggling to reconnect with her mother, she turns to the ancient tales of Irish folklore her mother used to tell her. Only to realize the stories she idolized might be far less romantic and fanciful than she once thought. Tales She Tells combines the musical and storytelling skills of two exceptionally talented young performers, both rising stars in the arts in Canada.

7:30pm | October 2nd, 2015 | Shenkman Arts Centre (Richcraft Theatre)
Tickets: $24.50 (Adult) | $20.50 (Senior) | $18.50 (Student)
Contact: Tess McManus,


TESS MC MANUS, WRITER & STORYTELLER ( Born to a Donegal father and an Irish-Canadian mother, Tess Mc Manus’ passion for her cultural heritage merges with her academic and artistic training to create the critically-acclaimed Tales She Tells. In June 2014, after graduating with honours from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor of Arts with a Specialization in Theatre, Mc Manus launched Tales She Tells in Ottawa, then toured across Western Canada. Mc Manus has worked with a variety of established and independent artistic companies as an actor, creator, musician, and stage manager. In 2012, she founded Little Green Hat Theatre, a company that strives to educate, stimulate, and entertain audiences by presenting and touring productions that are visually appealing, full of girl-power, and promote Irish culture. Under the banner of Little Green Hat, Mc Manus has written, produced, and performed PANTS. (2014), Who Will Separate Us? (2013), and Donkey Derby (2012-14). She continues to work as an independent artist, acting and writing.

SUSAN TOMAN, CELTIC HARPIST ( Susan Toman is a versatile and engaging musician who divides her time between the Celtic harp and harpsichord. She completed intensive studies on the Celtic harp in Ireland with Grainne Hambly and William Jackson. Susan holds a Doctorate from McGill University, and is now on faculty at Carleton University.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Early Bird Sales for Friar's Green nearly done . . .

To obtain tickets to the 4 October 2015 gig with Friar's Green, at the official residence of the Irish Ambassador (Rockcliffe, Ottawa), make haste to either The Gaelic Hour webpage or the Eventbrite ticket page for this event BY 31 JULY.  

May 2014 saw the  launch of duet album by ace piper, Blackie O' Connell and singer, accompanyist-supreme, Cyril O' Donoghue. Thirteen tracks, three songs, of wholesome, full-bodied traditional Irish music by consummate, effortless musicians.

Comment from

Friars Green
Duet album launched in May 2014 with Michael "Blackie" O’Connell on pipes and Cyril O’Donoghue on bouzouki, guitar, and vocals. Available from Custy’s:

"This is a fine recording of two great musicians making music and song together skilfully, joyfully, and effortlessly" ~ Davy Spillane


Recent news from John Christopher

Hello to all of you from the shores of the North Atlantic

I was very lucky to be given the opportunity to give a concert at the newly opened Paul O'Regan Hall in Halifax's most impressive new central library recently with my recently convened world/Celtic/Newfoundland band of Gilles Losier (fiddle  and keys), Ken MacKenzie (pipes and whistles), and Jim Ferguson (percussion, drums) and me on guitar and vocals........that led to this acknowledgement.....

Halifax Magazine, Top 50 things to do for summer, coming in at #17 . . . 

#17. Concert of Newfoundland: July 12
Join musician John Christopher, author of the memoir Molasses Bread and Tea at the Halifax Central Library. Concert begins at 2:00.

We have only recently begun performing together again after first taking Mariposa by storm in 1988 but the music only keeps getting better, .... I have now been invited to give some world music shows for the Toronto Public Library this fall for recently arrived new Canadians.

Hope to see you generally around and many thanks for your interest and support.

John C

(Book by John Christopher: Molasses Bread and Tea; further biographic information and purchase of John's music cds:

No Danny O'Connell's Session in first week of August 2015

Due to a renovation project at the pub there will be no Thursday session, or any other musical activity, at the pub in the first week of August.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Concert: Between the Hills and Sea, Ellen MacIssac and Susan Toman, 19 April 2015

Singer Ellen MacIsaac and harpist Susan Toman will be offering a concert at the Residence of the Irish Ambassador on April 19th, 2015.

This is your last chance to RSVP to a special event being hosted at the residence of the Ambassador of Ireland. On Sunday April 19th at 7:30 pm, Susan will perform on Celtic harp alongside the incredible singer Ellen MacIsaac in a program entitled "Between the Hills & Sea." We will give a one-hour concert followed by a wine and cheese reception. The Ambassador's residence alone is a sight to be seen, and we think that you'll find the combination of ambiance and music to make for an unforgettable evening! An all-Irish program, you'll hear some songs in Gaelic, some in English, some harp solos, and lots of toe-tapping music to kick off the spring season.

Help us to "pack the house" by telling your friends about this event! I've attached a PDF with all of the information.

We need your RSVP by April 17 at the very latest, so we know how many will attend. (Call 613-552-3964)

The Irish Ambassador's home is located at 291 Park Road, Rockcliffe Park.


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Association presents The 2nd Annual FUNdraiser - 12 April

On Sunday, April 12, 4 p.m. The Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Association presents The 2nd Annual FUNdraiser featuring The Barrhaven Fiddleheads, Anthony Vial, Emily Yarascavitch, Kyle Burghout and Kelli Trottier - Greenfield's Pub and Restaurant - (Webpage: )

 The Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Association (CGMFA) is pleased to announce our 2nd annual Musical Entertainment and Silent Auction FUNdraiser to be held Sunday, April 12, 2015 at Greenfield's Pub and Restaurant (900 Greenbank Rd., Barrhaven) from 4-7:30 PM.

Tickets are $15 each. A real steal when you see the list of entertainers!! You'll also have the opportunity to bid during the Silent Auction on some fantastic packages put together from businesses all over Ontario, a highlight of last years' event.

We have a fantastic line up of three amazing musical artists: the Barrhaven Fiddleheads, the fantastic trio of young budding musician’s made up of Emily Yarascavitch (fiddle), Kyle Burghout (fiddle), and; Anthony Vial (piano), topped off by world renowned Canadian entertainer Kelli Trottier!


Donnell Leahy and Family, NAC - April 23, 24, 25

Fast-paced fiddling, breathtaking reels and jigs, story-telling, and step-dancing send sparks flying when one of Canada’s foremost fiddlers, Donnell Leahy, and members of his family team up with the NAC Orchestra!

More information at:


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Irish Film Festival Ottawa, Now Playing!

With great prices for the unique and storied films fresh off the press from Ireland, the Irish Film Festival Ottawa starts tomorrow (27 March 2015) at the Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Avenue.

Films run from 27 to 29 (Friday to Sunday).

For more information, film listing, film trailers, pricing and schedule, see the IFFO webpage:!film-calendar--2015/ce3a

G'wan, just go an by a load of tickets and enjoy the shows.


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Music for Malcom - 4 April 2015

(Please see : for this event and other great events in the Scottish/Cape Breton Style.)

Music for Malcom: 1pm-5pm A fiddle extravaganza in memory of Malcolm Dewar. Includes: catered lunch; cash bar; old time square dancing with caller; Cape Breton square sets; step dancers; big open dance floor for waltzing and two-stepping; fabulous entertainment. TROY MACGILLIVRAY-ANDREA BEATON-KyleFelhaver-Eric Provencher-The MacLeod Fiddlers-Glengarry Pipe Band- MC Cheryl Cooper. Maxville, ON fairgrounds, Metcalfe Centre (old Angus Grey Hall). Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Tickets and information: Dawn Dewar or 613-859-7876. Fundraising: in the past this event raised funds or Alzheimer’s research, this year part of the proceeds will be used for a bursary in Malcolm’s name to support youth fiddlers in Glengarry – Beverly, Laura and Dawn Dewar.


Ottawa Celtic Choir with the Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir - 11 April 2015

The Ottawa Celtic Choir proudly presents a joint concert with the Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir.
7:30 pm (doors open at 7).

All Saints Anglican Church in Westboro
347 Richmond Rd. Ottawa, Ontario, K2A 0E7
$20 for tickets, $18 for students and seniors.
Tickets are available from the Leading Note, All Saints United Church, The Ottawa Folklore Centre, and from Ellen MacIsaac. 613-552-3964 or

(ed.: this will be a fantastic show if it is even remotely like the last time the Ottawa Celtic Choir teamed up with the Montreal Welsh Choir)


Patrick Ourceau and Ivan Goff (Kingston, ON) - 18-19 April

If workshops aren't your thing, this will be a superb house concert.


House Concert - Saturday, April 18. 8:00 p.m.
Fiddle/Flute immersion weekend - April 18 - 19

Immersion Weekend: $150
Concert: $20 advance (till January 20), $25 at the door
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, BYOB, and Kingston has a range of B&B's and hotels to stay in - we can provide information. Free billeting is also a possibility.
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.  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 has also played in the band ‘Chulrua’ with Paddy O’Brien and Pat Egan.

Ivan Goff
Ivan 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.

(the above is stolen word for word, with permission, from the Kingston Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann with web address: )


Saturday, 21 March 2015

"Songs of Women" - 27 March 2015

The Log Drive Café presents "Songs of Women" featuring Ellen MacIsaac, Daphne Volante & Laura Volante, from 7:30 to 9:00 pm (doors open at 7). The con

The concert is at Abbotsford House Recreation Centre, 950 Bank Street (across from Lansdowne) and the cost is only $7 at the door. (That's a great deal to hear these talented performers!)

(click image for larger size)


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Dear Readers,

Hopefully you have some time to enjoy the day during the daylight, or maybe after a day at work. Either way, have a grand St Patrick's Day to all our friends and acquaintances. Don't forget to support local Irish-related events throughout the year, not just on the 17th of March. Enjoy ye selves, but not too much you'll end up in the back of a police van.


Thursday, 12 March 2015

Tomorry night, Kevin Dooley and a fine cuppa coffee await ye!

What to do Friday night, March 13h, go to Gaia Java Coffee Company!

Kevin Dooley (Irish/Gaelic music)

In honour of the impending St Patrick's Day, Kevin and Deirdre Dooley will be performing a special concert of tunes, songs and stories, in English and in Gaelic. Kevin plays whistle, flute, sings and tells fascinating stories, and is joined by his daughter Deirdre who plans bodhran, djembe and lap snare, together with other percussion resources.

We hope you can come and join in what promises to be a fun evening of authentic Irish music.

Starts 7PM.


Get your Irish on the Web, and on your phone!

As we approach St. Patrick's Day, I note two good audio sources of Irish music and culture.

Live Ireland is a pretty good online radio station playing a wide selection of traditional music, and modern "trad-related", and rebel music etc. It's not overladen with talk or ads (rare in fact). See:

The other one, for users of iPhones (I am not sure if available for Android phones), the RTE Radio Player app is pretty smashing good. From this app you can access all RTE radio channels, live, or recap, and that includes RTE Raidio na Gaeltachta, and they play a fair bit of core traditional Irish music (and if you're learning Irish, or speaking it, you'll hear nothing but Irish on this channel).

So there you go.


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Straight from the Harp - 19 March

Straight from the Harp 

NAC’s 4th STAGE (53 Elgin Street)
Thursday, March 19, 7:30 p.m., doors open at 7:00 

Ages 12 and up
Tickets: $22, seniors $18; Live Rush & subscription available

Weaving together the storytelling talents of Tess McManus (Tales She Tells) and the musical finesse of Seraphina, the duo of Susan Toman on harp, and Dawn Bailey, soprano, Straight From the Harp takes us on an Irish Celtic Journey through tales of myth and wonder, and then to present day, where a young woman learns about love and loss through the power of storytelling. 

Straight from the Harp combines the talents of three exceptionally talented young performers, all rising stars in the arts in Canada. 

For more information, contact: Laurie Fyffe, Artistic Manager (, 613-322-8336,


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The Next Stage: Acacia Lyra and The Main Street Market Duo - 6 March

The Next Stage: Acacia Lyra and The Main Street Market Duo
Date and Time: March 6, 8:00 pm

We continue our weekly series of local music, storytelling, poetry and drama with the Next Stage in partnership with the Spirit of Rasputins. On Friday March 6th come and enjoy the music of Acacia Lyra and The Main Street Market Duo.

Acacia Lyra

Acacia Lyra is not just your average harp and voice duo. Janine Dudding and Susan Sweeney Hermon sing in English, French, Spanish and Gaelic, accompanying themselves on Celtic harps and guitars. As harpers, 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.

The Main Street Market Duo

The Main Street Market Duo is an Ottawa-Canada based world music act composed of Paul Weber and Loic Martin. The duo began with informal jam sessions between Paul and Loic at their local farmer’s market. A couple of summers of playing in the market inspired Paul and Loic to begin performing more regularly. They play a blend of jazz, folk, African and Latin styles of music, in an acoustic format. They are also one half of the Main Street Market Band – a quartet that plays the same material.

Contact Email:

West End Well
969 Wellington Street West
Ottawa, ON K1Y 2X7


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Tommy Tiernan returns to Centrepointe Theatre - 14 April 7:30 PM

When I saw Tommy Tiernan last time at the Centrpointe Theatre, it was one of those shows that was so funny you couldn't remember a thing by the time it was over. An onslaught of Irish funny through wild tales from his own experiences in life.

Tomy is coming on April 14. I believe the show is almost sold out, so if you're on the fence, don't delay. Go to the Centrepointe website for more details and access to tickets.


Close by the Sea - The Music of Celtic and Nordic Islands - 1 March 2015

An up coming concert, "Close by the Sea - The Music of Celtic and Nordic Islands", takes place on Sunday March 1, 8.00pm. at St. Luke's Anglican Church, 760 Somerset St. W. Ottawa.

The performers are Mary Muckle, harp & harpsichord; Virginia Dunsby, flute; Doug Brierley, violin, The Ottawa Youth Harp Ensemble and Cantorion Cerdd Dant.

Admission is by donation.

For further information contact Mary Muckle at 613- 825-1379 or

Genticorum in Concert! - March 22

Get your tickets now for what will be a sold out performance. Genticorum will entertain and amaze you with their talent, energy, enthusiasm and wit. These guys have so much playing music on stage that it infects the audience with joy and solace. A highly recommend gig if you want to turbocharge you entry into spring from the dreary winter of 2015!

Location: Rosemount Community Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave. Ottawa
Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Tickets available below.
Time: 7:30pm (doors open at 7:00pm)

Visit the Ottawa Contra website for more details and tickets.


Celtic Tenors at the Shenkman Arts Centre: Saturday, March 7

See and hear the musical talents of the Celtic Tenors on Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 8 pm, at the Shenkman Arts Centre, Orleans.

"The only tenor group with a truly global audience, The Celtic Tenors will give you a night to remember. These world-class artists provide an evening to savour and a night with tenors who despite their incredible success don’t take themselves too seriously! The Celtic Tenors have established themselves as the most successful classical crossover artists ever to emerge from Ireland. In 2000, following an impromptu audition at EMI in London, the Celtic Tenors were signed on the spot to an international record deal, a highly unusual event that was the talk of the music industry."

For more information and tickets, please visit the Shenkman Arts Centre website for this performance.

Also, listen to a hearty interview with the Tenors on The Gaelic Hour (Sundays 8-10am on 97.9 CHIN FM) from the radio show archives for 22 February 2015. What a fun bunch of lads!
Link to The Gaelic Hour Archive

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Ottawa Irish Film Festival Program released - FESTIVAL DATES REVISED!


Film Festival Program
March 27th. to 29th
Arts Court Theatre
Daly Ave.

Film trailers and more up to date information about the films can be found at the festival website:


Friday Night:
7 pm - Gold  (followed by a Gala Reception)

2 pm - Song of the Sea  (Oscar Nominated film for children)
5 pm - Pilgrim Hill
8 pm - Bachelor Weekend

2 pm - Pipe  ( Irish Language with translations)
5 pm - Good Vibrations
8 pm - Kisses
All films run about 90 minutes.

The Festival is organized by Patrick Murray with the financial backing of the Irish Dept. Of  Foreign Affairs.  It is a non profit organization whose purpose is to promote Irish Culture through film.
Robert Fontaine ( CBC Film Critic and author) will be one of our speakers at the Opening Night. We do not as yet know who else will be in attendance. As a promotion The Irish Film Festival is also presenting Secret of Kells, another award winning Irish movie, at St Patricks Retirment Home. This is restricted to the residents.

The festival is sponsored by the Embassy of Ireland, Culture Ireland, and the Irish Film Institute.
More information please call Eithne:  613-440-2196

Friday, 23 January 2015

Atlantic Voices present “Many Atlantic Voices” - Sunday 25 January 2015

Come celebrate the diversity of East Coast culture with Atlantic Voices as they present “Many Atlantic Voices”, including folk songs in Acadian French, Mi’Kmaq, and Gaelic, as well as selections from Newfoundland and the African-Nova Scotian tradition.

3-5pm Sunday, January 25 Centretown United Church, 507 Bank St.

Pre-show entertainment starts at 2:15pm, while a silent auction follows the show.

Tickets from me, The Leading Note (370 Elgin St.) or call Hannie: 613.722.9240 - $15 in advance until January 23/$20 @ the door.
Free for children 12 and under

For more information:
View our concert poster here.


Saturday, 17 January 2015

Ottawa gets an Irish Film Festival!

For the first time in Ottawa, there will be an Irish film festival, including 7 feature films, a children's matinee, some shorts/documentaries. The festival will take place over 3 days from 20-22 March 2015 at the Arts Court, 2 Daly Avenue.

More information will be available in Feb at the following Facebook page: