All join hands for a warm winter cheer!
We are thrilled to know that many modern square dance Clubs across Ontario have kicked off the fall season with regular classes and dancing. And we hope this continues, one way or another, as we head into special events for the festive season and another covid winter (alas). Unfortunately, we also know that a few Clubs across Ontario have closed, as well.
We represent square dancing across the province. Here are some highlights from regional associations.
Eastern Ontario (EOSARDA)
Active volunteers from Ottawa and Eastern Ontario attended and performed demonstration square dances at this year’s International Plowing Match, in Kemptville, Ontario (south of Ottawa) in September. At the EOSARDA booth, flyers about Ontario round dance and modern western square dance clubs were distributed to the many attendees who dropped by. All were encouraged to check out square dancing in their own communities. OSRDF provided significant financial support for this ambitious undertaking. The demos and flyers were, by all accounts, very well-received. Many visitors to the booth fondly recalled square dancing years ago. We hope that raising the profile and awareness of local square and round dancing opportunities will generate new dancers for Clubs across Ontario.
Among the many postponed events being rekindled, the very popular Swing into Spring 2023 Committee is hard at work again planning for a weekend of dance and fun May 5 – 7, 2023 in the Prescott / Cornwall area. Mark your calendars!
Lakehead and District Square and Round Dance Association (LDSRDA)
The Lakehead & District Square and Round Dance Association was formed many years ago and covers the northern part of Ontario from Thunder Bay to the Manitoba border. Over the years, there were Clubs in Dryden, Kenora and Fort Frances.
Over time the Dryden club folded because of lack of dancers, and the Kenora club also, just prior to COVID, folded as their caller passed away. The caller came from Winnipeg to call at Kenora. The Fort Frances club is still running and they use computers for callers and music; a few times a year they bring in a caller from Winnipeg or from St. Cloud, MN.
In Thunder Bay we have two good callers and two beginner callers who look after the clubs. Our round dance cuer has been cueing for about nine years now and learned from our former cuer.
South Western Ontario (SWOSDA)
In addition to Clubs in southwestern Ontario starting up again (or planning to do so in the new year), SWOSDA hosted a round dance in September and a square and round dance in Woodstock on October 26th. Approximately 50 dancers from 10 Clubs were able to attend with excellent calling and cueing by eight talented leaders. The next SWOSDA dance will be November 26th in Kitchener and another planned for January in St. Thomas.
Toronto & District (T&D)
T&D hosts a number of dances jointly with local Clubs throughout the dance year. The first – on October 1st and hosted by Peterborough’s Lift Lock Squares – attracted dancers from Toronto’s Triangle Squares, Arrowhead Squares (Etobicoke), Lakeshore Waves (Port Hope), Quinte Twirlers and Napanee Pioneers.
Upcoming joint dances include:
Saturday, February 4th | 2 – 5 pm
Etobicoke – Arrowhead Squares
Mainstream and Plus
Callers: Steve Goodman, Marge Coahran, Wayne Hall
Saturday, April 1st | 2 – 5 pm
Waterdown Village Squares
Mainstream and Plus
T&D Annual General Meeting
Callers: Jim Lee, Wayne Hall
Spring 2023, Date & Location TBD (investigating other venue and date in May, not dark, wintery month of March)
2 – 5 pm and 7 – 9:30 pm
Guelph area – Royal City Squares
Ottawa 2023 – Follow Your Northern Neighbour!
Now that snow’s on the ground, it’s time to plan next year’s summer holiday around the biggest national event in square dancing, the rare Canadian setting for the IAGSDC International Square Dance Convention in Ottawa July 2 – 10! Hosted by Ottawa Date Squares, and taking place right downtown Ottawa on the expansive convention floor of the Westin, the main program – 3 days of dancing, multiple rooms, many wonderful callers – is Thursday, July 6 – Saturday, July 8. Trail in dance is Wednesday evening. Of course, there will be a pre-convention Caller School, awesome pre- and post-Convention tours, and other fabulous special events. Registration fees increase at the end of December. You will not want to miss this epic square dance extravaganza!
Check out the local modern, olde tyme, contra and line dances along the way and wherever you roost. Send us an update and/or some pictures of your experiences!