Saturday, November 16: Québécois square dance

Québécois set dancing at the benefit for Centre d'inspiration jeunesse

Square sets, from one of our previous Québécois dances.

Edith is organising another Québecois square dance to raise funds for the Centre d’inspiration jeunesse in Haiti, which offers development initiatives for rural an remote youth in the Verrettes area of Haiti. This is the third one she is putting on, so if you’ve missed this rollicking good time, now’s your chance!

This time out, we are inviting a new caller, Jacynthe Guimond. We are keeping our fabulous house band: Richard Forest (fiddle), Rob Rohr (fiddle), Peter Jellard (accordion), Kate Murphy (piano).

Jacynthe will be calling mostly squares from Quebec, although she may also call some round or contra-style dances. Similar to Irish and other types of square dance, Quebec squares have some very distinctive figures.

Jacynthe Guimond

Caller Jacynth Guimond

To give you an idea of her calling style, we found a video with Jacynthe calling in Montreal. She calls in French on this video but, don’t worry: she is a bilingual caller. Jacynthe practices a wide range of traditional dancing, including step-dancing and calls regularly at the Wheel Club in Montreal.

As usual, there will also be a silent auction. You can call Edith at 416-796-6379 for more information or to donate items for the silent auction. Invite your friends using Edith’s Facebook event for the dance.

Round Dance at the benefit for Centre d'inspiration jeunesse

Round dance at a an earlier Quebecois dance.

Date: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Dovercourt House, 805 Dovercourt Avenue just north of Bloor near Ossington (map)
Cost: $10 per person, though additional donations would be appreciated

We recommend that you bring a reusable cup or water bottle. You might just dance up a thirst!

We are certainly looking forward to this event, but if you can’t make it, you can still support this  worthwhile cause online.


Upcoming events: October and November

Laura Risk

Laura Risk

As almost always when we get together with this dynamic group of people for a session, we have some things to mention:

  • First off, a HUGE congratulations to Elizabeth on the birth of her first grandchild, Aurora, in Budapest, Hungary, last week.
  • Next, kudos to Joan for completing her first half-marathon today, with a blazing 3 hours and 27 minutes. Sadly, Ms. Weed was indisposed for today’s session.
  • Next weekend, there are several events of interest to Québécois music afficianados:
  • Sunday, November 3rd, the Brian Pickell Band is appearing at Claude Church for one of their memorable Parlour Concerts. Tickets now available online.
  • Saturday, November 9th, Dan Gorno is returning to Toronto to call a contradance at St. Barnabas featuring an exciting young band: Benoit Schryer-Lefebvre, Colin Savoie-Levac and Toronto’s own Eli Howard.
  • Saturday, November 16, Edith is organising another of her fabulous Québécois dances with Richard Forest, Peter Jellard, Rob Rohr and Kate Murphy. Dovercourt House, 7:30 pm. More information available on facebook.
Gemme Falquet

Pascal Gemme & Yann Falquet

That’s a lot of stuff in the next little while! We will post more details about the workshops next weekend, but if you want information sooner than that, please e-mail us at


Rob and Donna

Saturday, June 1: Québécois set dance and silent auction fund-raiser

Round Dance at the benefit for Centre d'inspiration jeunesse

Round Dance at the benefit for Centre d’inspiration jeunesse

Building on the success of her previous venture, Edith is once again hosting a Québécois set dance and silent auction for the Centre d’inspiration jeunesse, a non-profit organisation that helps communities in Haiti become self-sustainable.

Edith has asked us to pass on the info:

Come enjoy another fantastic and fun filled evening keeping up with fiery fiddle tunes brought to us by Quebec’s favourite fiddler, Richard Forest, the best of the new generation of callers, Jean-François Berthiaume, amazing accordionist Peter Jellard of Swamperella, and lucky for us, now of Toronto Rob Rohr from Vermont.

This is an irresistible event with dancers from the other floors wondering “who’s havin’ so much fun?” You don’t want to miss the fun and you also don’t want to miss the silent auction or the chance to support Centre d’inspiration jeunesse, a Haitian-based NGO supporting local sustainable development including a music program close to our hearts.

No experience necessary.

C’est une veillée de danse comme à Québec avec des grands musiciens traditionnels du Québec, Richard Forest (violoneux) et Jean-Francois Berthiaume (caller et percussionniste) et aussi des amis d’ici, Peter Jellard (accordéoniste) et Rob Rohr (violoneux). Vous ne trouverez pas une soirée plus agréable et en plus c’est une affaire charitable, qui soutien un beau projet à Verrettes, Haiti. L’expérience n’est pas nécessaire. Tout le monde est le bienvenu.

Québécois set dancing at the benefit for Centre d'inspiration jeunesse

Québécois set dancing at the benefit for Centre d’inspiration jeunesse

There will also be a silent auction. You can call Edith at 416-796-6379 for more information or to donate items for the silent auction. You can invite your friends using the Facebook event Edith created for the dance.

Date: Saturday, June 1, 2012
Time: 8 p.m.
Venue: Dovercourt House, 805 Dovercourt Avenue (map)
Cost: $10 per person, though additional donations would be appreciated

We are certainly looking forward to this event. If you can’t make it, you can still support this worthwhile cause online.


Middle of May: Workshops with Pascal Gemme, Laura Risk, and World Fiddle Day. Wow!

Pascal Gemme from Genticorum will be in town on May 18-19, and is offering some all-instrument workshops in Québécois music at our house, in the east end of Toronto (Main & Gerrard area).
Come learn some tunes!

PascalSchedule for the weekend workshops with Pascal Gemme

Saturday, May 18

  • Workshop from 2:30 to 5:00 pm
  • Potluck supper starting at about 6:00 pm, followed by an open session

Sunday, May 19

  • Potluck brunch from 10:00 to 11:30 am
  • Workshop from 11:30 to 2:00 pm

Registration and venue

The workshops are $30.00 each ($60.00 for the weekend). You can register by emailing us at we’ll reserve your spot and send you our address and directions. Please note that space is limited (we have about 15 spots available), so if you register there is one fewer place for other musicians. You would be expected to pay even if something comes up at the last minute to prevent you from coming. 

You can also e-mail us for directions to attend the Saturday potluck or session. All events are BYOB.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Conflict with the monthly session

Unfortunately, due to Pascal’s heavy touring schedule the only weekend he had available is also the weekend of our monthly session. There will NOT be a session at the Tranzac in May. Instead, the session will be the previous (Saturday 18th) evening at our home.  See schedule above.

Conflict with World Fiddle Day

Anne Lederman is organising an event for World Fiddle Day, which unfortunately falls on the Saturday of the workshop we are offering. Please e-mail if you would like information about her Around the World fiddling event at Howard Park Emmanuel United Church (corner of Wright and Roncesvalles) from 1 to 5 pm. All stringed instruments are welcome. Sheet music is available.

laura_greenMidweek workshop with Laura Risk

Renowned Montreal fiddler, Laura Risk, will be passing through Toronto on Wednesday, May 22nd, and is also interested in offering a workshop of Quebecois or Scottish fiddling pending sufficient interest.

The workshop is on the evening of Wednesday, May 22nd, in the St. Clair and Bathurst area of Toronto, and will cost $30 per person.  Please email if you are interested.

Laura Risk is extremely well regarded as a teacher and touring fiddler with the group Triptych.  Workshop focus will depend upon the interest of the attendees.  Come learn from another extremely knowledgeable and skilled Quebecois fiddler.

This workshop is a great addition to the programs being offered by Pascal and Anne Lederman the previous weekend, and a great opportunity to learn some tunes should you decide to travel over the holiday weekend and miss World Fiddle Day and Pascal’s workshops and session.

May is an extremely busy month, so come on out and get your fingers flying!

Quelle fête ! Ten years of « Chantez-vous bien chez nous »

chantezvous10eA big thank you to Michel Riopel and to the organisers of this truly spectacular tenth anniversary celebration of what is one of the friendliest and most welcoming mid-winter festivals around. This is the 10th year that the tiny hamlet of St-Bernard-de-Michaudville, about 20 minutes from St-Hyacinthe, has hosted this festival of traditional Québécois music.

This year, the festival added a Thursday night show to its regular Friday-Saturday-Sunday programming, which normally includes two evening shows, a Saturday afternoon confiture (jam session) and a Sunday afternoon dance. This is a very relaxed festival, with the evening concerts being the main events. The Saturday jam is the earliest you need to get up, and that starts at 1pm.

2013-11 Chantez-vous-eglise WP_20130221_001We arrived moments before the start of the Thursday night show, which featured Genticorum, Réveillons!, and Nicholas Pellerin et les Grands Hurleurs. It was a pretty full house, with a number of little ones dancing around, and a happy, singing crowd. During the Réveillons! set, the stage was renamed in honour of the hometown heroes, the Berthiaume famile (many of whom were present, both on stage and in the audience). David and Jean-François (Berthiaume, of Réveillons!) were the official hosts for the weekend, welcoming to the stage some of the many local singers in between acts.

Genticorum were particularly sharp, having just recorded their live album, which is expected to be released at the end of March. Réveillons! were particular crowd-pleasers, choosing a repertoire of songs in which the audience joined in lustily. Nicholas Pellerin and his Grands Hurleurs, Simon and Simon, ended the evening wonderfully, with a fiery set.

Friday night’s set started out with Outaouais-area group La Tuque Bleue, a group of young friends and relations who quickly got the crowd jumping with their high energy and excitement. So they were already in the right mood for Les Chauffeurs à Pieds, who wound the crowd up even further. Technically brilliant and steeped in tradition, this band could easily be (and often are) headliners at folk festivals.

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Feb 7 to 10: Genticorum en Ontario!

Genticorum2011Great friends of ours and of the TOqueTrad sessions, Québécois group Genticorum will be touring Ontario early in February. Session regulars are organising two of the events (details below).

First, the tour dates, which are:

On Friday, February 8, Peter and Anne-Marie have agreed to host a house concert in the newly-renovated Hallam Street Concert Hall (aka their living room). Those of you who attended Genticorum’s last house concert on Hallam Street may be interested to know that this is the first post-renovation concert they are hosting. The preparations, in a word, have been extensive!

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Bonne et heureuse année à tous !

Meilleurs vœux pour 2013. All the best for the new year, everybody!

Une petite image pour nos amis Québécois…

Une petite image pour nos amis Québécois…

Due to a conflict for the “third Sunday” in January, we will reschedule our regular session time. But do feel free to check out the 22nd annual Chris Langan Weekend (January 18-23, 2013).

If you don’t know about it, it’s one of the nicest weekends of traditional Irish music around here. This year’s guests include Maeve Donnelly (fiddle), Cillian Vallely (pipes), Peter Maguire (flute), and Kelly Hood (uilleann pipes).

There will be a concert with local performers on Friday night, workshops during the day on Saturday, and a Saturday evening gala concert. Sunday features a breakfast, a lecture on some aspect of the music and the Piper’s Chair, an uilleann pipe recital. Everything happens at the Tranzac Club.

It’s been a bit hectic lately (I blame the Time of Year), and we have been unable to confirm the day for the next session. We are hoping for Sunday the 13th, or maybe the 27th… Watch this space for details.

Until then, stay safe, stay warm and keep playing!

Busy Sunday

This is a quick reminder about the session this Sunday… TOqueTrad was written up in this week’s L’Express de Toronto this week. You can read the article online.

The annual Tranzac Artisan’s Gift Fair will be in full swing in the Tiki room and the Main Hall, so you might want to come early to check out the many one-of-a-kind items (and get your last-minute shopping done). After the session, stick around for the annual Seasonal Celebration featuring sword-dancing, Morris dancing, a Mummer’s play, a candlelight chorus and many lovely seasonal songs (not to mention the potluck dinner, so bring a main course, salad or dessert to share).

Unfortunately, Rob & Donna won’t be able to attend due to a death in the family. Anne and Peter have kindly agreed to host the session in our place (thanks to you both!). Please come out and support them if you can.

This will be the last session for our inaugural year: thank you all for your enthusiasm and the energy you bring to each session — it really means a lot to us. Let’s keep working together to keep this beautiful tradition alive and well in Toronto.

Joyeux Noël et bonne et heureuse année à tous ! On se revoit en 2013, je 18 janvier.

November 21: Genticorum coming to Hugh’s Room!

Picture of Genticorum


….. this just in ….
If you’ve never seen Genticorum in concert before, you really ought to!  If you have seen them, you already know that.

They are playing at Hugh’s Room at 8:30 pm on Wednesday November 21, 2012. You can make a reservation online or by phone.
Tickets: $22.50 Advance/$25 Door (includes HST).  Read more.

Hugh’s Room is just south of the Dundas West subway station, on the west side. (directions)

The fiddle player, Pascal Gemme, is the author of the Tradquebec blog, which Rob’s  Tune List links to with such frequency.

Saturday, December 8: La Bottine Souriante concert

2011 La bottine souriante

Tickets are on sale now for a concert with La Bottine in the beautiful Koerner Hall (Royal Conservatory of Music). This québécois super-group has been at the forefront of the growing popularity of Quebec traditional music, as electrifying now as when they first began touring in the 1970s.

Date: Saturday, December 8, 2012
Time: 8 p.m.
Venue: Koerner Hall, Royal Conservatory of Music
Cost: $30.00+  (You can order tickets online now)

We suspect this might sell out quickly.