By Artist

2014 Performers

Alexander George

Alexander George

Alexander moved to Almonte a little more than a year ago. He started bowing at age eight and has been playing the fiddle for five years. Shortly after learning to play, he began performing with an Old-Time fiddle band at seniors’ residences and local festivals in the Niagara Region. Since his move to Almonte, he has performed on a variety of stages throughout the Ottawa Valley, including Almonte’s Puppets Up!, Arnprior’s Fiddlin’ Fiesta, and a live show on Valley Heritage Radio 98.7. Alexander enjoys playing traditional Celtic and Irish tunes and his favourite fiddle genres are Classic, Old-Time and Nova Scotian.

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Celtic Cross Dancers

 Celtic Cross is a group of Ottawa dancers who perform a mix of traditional and contemporary choreographies.  With decades of experience in Highland, Irish, and Ottawa Valley step dancing as teachers, performers, competitors, and choreographers, Celtic Cross members have performed for Irish ambassadors and British high commissioners; have shared the stage with the likes of Ashley MacIsaac, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the Sons of Scotland, Ottawa Police, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pipe Bands, and with countless Celtic bands; have appeared on CTV, City TV, and other networks; and have performed and competed across Europe and North America. Celtic Cross shows are a lively blend of all three dance styles and are a mix of traditional solo and group dances as well as original choreographies. The group’s repertoire is suited to any venue or event from festivals to pubs to live concerts to wedding receptions and anything in between.

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Dai Bassett

Dai Bassett Dai Bassettstarted his career in entertainment in the late 1980’s. Writing his own material – with hilarious songs and poems – gives Dai the freedom to bring to his audiences wit and sharp comedy talent that this amiable Welshman possesses.

His musical background and his growing-up through the ‘Young Farmers Movement’ drama and public speaking programs in the UK, have led Dai into professional acting roles and brought him considerable demand as a formal MC and speaker. Dai branched into broadcasting in 2007, and now has his own daily radio show on the Ottawa Valley’s favorite radio station, CJHR 98.7FM – Valley Heritage Radio.

With three CD’s to his name, Dai shares his comedic abilities from experiences in Wales and in Canada. He also has several love songs to his name, further illustrating his versatility. Equally at home in a tuxedo as the master of ceremonies, in a cap and rubber ‘wellie’ boots as The Singing Farmer, or in the studio as an on-air personality, Dai invites you to continue browsing through his website and to contact him for any information on booking or CD purchases.

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Elly Squared

Elly Squared

Two exciting Ottawa Valley fiddlers have joined forces in a musical duo called “Elly Squared”. Elly Wedge and Ellen (“Ellie”) Daly found a love for traditional fiddle music over a decade ago and were fortunate to meet at one of their earlier fiddle competitions. The duo enjoys performing a mixture of fiddling styles including Irish, Old Time, Cape Breton and French Canadian. Both girls have studied classical violin as well as the fiddle and have had the opportunity to learn from many of Canada’s finest musicians including Denis Lanctot, Patti Lamoureux, Calvin Vollrath, Mark Sullivan, Shane Cook, Louis Schryer, Troy MacGillivray, Andre Brunet, and Leahy.

Over the past several years the girls have traveled and participated in numerous fiddle competitions in Canada and the US and each has won prestigious trophies in their age categories. Elly Wedge is a two time Shelburne Canadian Open Winner in her age group and a two time winner at the Maritime Fiddle Festival. Stepdancing is also featured in Elly’s performances. In 2013, Elly Wedge was featured in the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championships Junior Showcase at the age of 16. Ellen Daly recently won the Shelburne Canadian Open Under 18 Fiddle Championships, came fourth at the 2010 Pembroke Fiddle Contest and was the Under 16 Eastern North American Irish Fiddle Champion in 2008. Together, the girls have competed in duet fiddling and they won 1st Place for Twin Fiddling in Vankleek Hill, Ontario in 2008 and also in 2009. Elly and Ellen each perform in separate bluegrass/country bands playing lead fiddle in a mixture of bluegrass and classic country music.

Whether performing at special events, weddings, banquets, ceilidhs, seniors’ homes, country fairs, private parties, fundraising events, these girls are sure to put on a memorable show. The joy of traditional fiddle music and stepdancing is alive with these two musicians!
Elly Squared is accompanied by piano or upright bass depending on the event and program content. The string trio configuration (2 violins with bass) is popular for wedding ceremonies. Please contact Elly Squared to learn more about their wedding repertoire.

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Irons in the Fire

Irons in the Fire are an eclectic group of outstanding musicians. Although the focus of their music is Celtic, they also perform a number of Ottawa Valley and old-time fiddle tunes. Band members are extremely skilled with at least one instrument and many are multi-instrumentalists. The group is dedicated to preforming the higher quality of music as a way of giving back to their community. In an effort to spread joy through music all year round, they play for audiences at community events, retirement and senior’s homes as well as at many other venues and functions in and around Almonte, Carleton Place, Pakenham, Kanata and Ottawa. Their music has its roots in Ireland, Scotland, Quebec and Newfoundland. Any honorariums received are donated to charity.

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Kyle Felhaver

Kyle Felhaver

The Felhaver Family Band is a high-energy, toe-tapping, sing-a-long band that puts the “Get” in “Get’ er Done!”

Father Dave (guitar and vocals), along with sons Kyle (fiddle and vocals) and Josh (drums) will keep you on your feet all afternoon. Add in some great Ottawa Valley step- dancing and the entertainment equation is complete.

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Le Vent du Nord

Le Vent du NordDepuis sa fondation en août 2002, Le Vent du Nord a connu une ascension fulgurante. Récipiendaire de nombreux prix prestigieux – dont deux JUNO (Canada) et un GRAND PRIX DU DISQUE CHARLES-CROS (France) – le quatuor est désormais l’une des formations trad québécoises les plus estimées à travers le monde. Le groupe est aujourd’hui formé des chanteurs et multi-instrumentistes Nicolas Boulerice, Simon Beaudry, Olivier Demers et Réjean Brunet. Les chansons qu’interprète Le Vent du Nord sont des œuvres tirées du répertoire traditionnel et des compositions originales. Sur scène, les quatre complices atteignent des sommets de pur bonheur qu’ils ont le don de partager avec tous les publics. Le Vent du Nord a le talent de livrer en spectacle une musique qui fait danser toutes les foules autant qu’elle sait émouvoir. Une musique qui, sans aucun doute, est bien de son temps.

Mouth music and musical families. Deep history and playful innovation. Quebec’s Le Vent du Nord knows how to turn the lost past into intense and beautiful performances that push their roots in striking global directions. The group is blazing a path that connects their Québecois roots to the wider world, in both arrangements and on stage.
Considered a driving force in progressive folk, Le Vent du Nord captures the energy and mirth of a Saturday night kitchen party, infusing old Québec with a breath of fresh, cosmopolitan air.

Since its founding in 2002, Le Vent du Nord have become compelling Francophone ambassadors, winning critical acclaim and audience adoration across Europe and North America. The quartet has performed well over 1,000 concerts, racking up several prestigious awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque Charles Cros, two Junos (Canada’s Grammys), a Canadian Folk Music Award, and ‘Artist of the Year’ at the North American Folk Alliance Annual Gala.

The band delivers catchy songs and tunes, some taken from the Québec traditional folk repertoire while others are original compositions. The group has a rich and varied instrumentation, well-polished musical arrangements, and wonderful vocals.
In addition to their traditional repertoire, the group exhibits great finesse and flexibility, appearing regularly on Canadian, American, French, and UK television and radio, and participating in a wide variety of special musical projects. They’ve collaborated and performed with Harry Manx, Väsen, The Chieftains, Breton musical pioneer Yann-Fañch Kemener, Québecois roots legend and master storyteller Michel Faubert, hip Scottish folk band Breabach, and the trans-Mediterranean ensemble Constantinople.

Not content with standard approaches to tradition, Le Vent du Nord have also created a symphonic concert, presented by the respected Portland Symphony Orchestra and Québec Symphony Orchestra, that “puts all traditional folk naysayers to shame” (Voir Montreal). This concert will be presented again with The Victoria Symphonic Orchestra (March 2014).

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Louis Schryer

Louis SchryerEight Time Canadian
Open Fiddle Champion

Four Time Canadian
Grand Masters Fiddle Champion

Consecutive Four Time Winner
Of the famous
Pembroke Competition

Louis, born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, now a resident of Chapeau, Quebec, has been playing the fiddle since the age of eight. Being from a musically inclined family, he received his training in both classical and traditional music. He has
performed and competed in numerous competitions for the past eighteen years. Since music has always been of interest to him, Louis decided to pursue a musical career. He attained a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Ottawa in April 1994.

Throughout his musical career, Louis has been the recipient of many awards and titles. He is recognized as an eight-time Canadian Fiddle Champion, which is held in Shelburne, Ontario, and broadcasted live, on CBC Radio across Canada. Louis was proclaimed the youngest fiddler to ever win the Canadian Fiddle Championship at the age of eighteen.

He is also the four-time Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion, the only to have won the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship for four years. Each year, five of the best old time fiddlers from each of the ten Provinces and two Territories are chosen, by invitation, to compete in the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship held in Nepean, Ontario.

In 1999 Louis also won the famous, and one of North America’s largest, Pembroke Competition for the third consecutive year. He is the second person to accomplish this feat in the last 30 years.

His musical talent has enabled him to participate as a special guest on various television programs and interviews, such as; The Tommy Hunter Show, Midday (CBC-TV), Global News at Noon, Regional Contact (CJOH-TV, Ottawa), Eye on Ottawa (CJOH-TV), a documentary for Adrian Clarkson Show (CBC-TV), Public Television (PBS), Midday News (CJOHTV) and the Heart Institute Telethon (CBC-TV), just to mention a few. He has also been interviewed by CBC-Radio and by various newspapers across Ontario.

He recorded his first album with his two brothers at the age of fourteen and a second recording, also with his brothers. Triple Fiddle, the title of this recording, was produced by Louis. He has currently released his first solo CD.

To enhance and diversify his musical talent, Louis has played and performed with various artists that are well recognized. Having an interest in studio recording, he has had the opportunity to gain valuable experience in studio sessions with several artists. His versatility in music enables him to record in various musical styles.

Music is Louis’ life. He enjoys performing for an audience and doing studio musician work. He would like the opportunity to learn more and to improve his capabilities to endless limits. The energy, enthusiasm, and quality of his music makes it a pleasure to both see and hear.

Louis’ daughters, Chelsey and Kaitlyn are talented young girls that play
the fiddle and step dance. They are fabulous and energetic step dancers
that always leave the audience wanting to see more. They steal the
show every time!

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Matt Pepin

Matt PepinMatt Pepin is well known to the Ottawa Valley traditional music scene having performed at Celtfest and regional events many times and through teaching fiddle at the Ottawa Folklore Centre and the Ottawa Valley School of Traditional Music in Almonte. Matt has toured extensively outside of Ontario, notably in Newfoundland and Ireland. Matt’s fiddle playing blends traditional Irish and Scottish with his Old-Time, Valley, and Québecois roots to create a refreshing style of his own, which can be heard on his CD Pass It Down.

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Monday Night Fiddlers

The Monday Night Fiddlers meet regularly throughout the year to share their enthusiasm for the traditional fiddling of our area. The sessions reveal the cultural roots of “the Valley,” [and beyond], especially our Scottish, Irish and French Canadian heritage. Current members of the group include Lloyd Brunton, Ron Caron, Bruce and Donna Cummings, Paul Gemmil, Alf Hamilton, Del Kereluk, Paddy Legris, Bob MacGregor, Irene McClosky, Bill McQuitty, Doug Miller, Dan O’Connell, Zyda O’Grady, Bruce Wilson and Keith Wilson.
The Monday Night Fiddlers present genuine “old-time” flavour and enthusiasm in their performances and have been welcomed at Almonte Celtfest for many years.

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Ottawa Celtic Choir

The Ottawa Celtic ChoirFounded in 2008, the Ottawa Celtic Choir is a non-auditioned community choir that sings songs from the seven Celtic nations, as well as from strongly Celtic-influenced areas, such as the Atlantic Provinces, Quebec, Ontario and Appalachia. The music of Celtic nations is sung in diaspora, both accompanied and Acapella, in English and a variety of Celtic languages. The group is fun, outgoing and has a strong sense of community where laughter is encouraged in rehearsals, that’s because the same muscles you use to laugh are the ones you use to sing.

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Salty Dog

Salty DogSalty Dog plays Celtic folk music with a distinctive “Maritime” flavour. For the past 24 years, this Montreal-based group has brought foot-stomping, hand-clapping songs and fiddle tunes to many parts of Eastern Canada, including Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Salty Dog’s eclectic sound from the varied talents of its four members.

Rocky Dalonzo:  Guitar-player and ultimate showman, Rocky is a Montrealer at heart, although he now lives in Kanata. He notes that his ancestors came from the southern part of Ireland, the part that is shaped like a boot.

Tim Chambers: Bassist, bodhran player and vocalist, Tim is the other remaining founding member of the group, along with Rocky. His gift of executing both long-winded and tongue-twisting songs denotes his Irish heritage. This storyteller will share a tune that will keep you clapping your hands and stomping your feet while you sing along.

Ron Jenkins:  This keyboard wizard adds his great vocal skills and quick wit to the mix. Ron goes back many years with Rocky and Tim, both as a friend and co-conspirator (musically speaking, that is).

Alex Kehler:  A McGill music graduate in baroque violin, Alex has devoted more than a decade to Celtic fiddle styles as well as other types of world music. Currently living in Sherbrooke, he has discovered a love for teaching while managing to continue an active performing career.

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Sue Fay Healey Dancers

Sue Fay Healey Dancers

The SFH Irish Dance Studio offers lessons for students interested in recreational and competitive dance, for all ages, child through to adult.

The dancers enrolled at the school range in age from 4 to 60 years of age, and dance levels range from Beginner to World Championship qualifiers and World Champion medal holders.

Sue and Jennifer want all of their dancers to enjoy the music, be relaxed, make friends and learn to enjoy their dancing. They encourage their dancers to perform to the very best of their ability, whether the goal is competitive or recreational dance.

The school is host to two highly successful competitions in the Ottawa area: The Capital Feis and Feile Nollaig.

The performances beautifully showcase the combination of power and grace that is the essence of Irish dance.

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The American Rogues

American Rogues

If the 78th Fraser Pipe Band sat down with the Waterboys, the Chieftains, Wolfstone, and the Dave Matthews Band, and then asked some friends from a symphonic orchestra to join them at the table the resulting sound might begin to resemble the Baltimore-based AMERICAN ROGUES. For nearly two decades the performances of this American/Canadian CeltRock Folk Classical group have electrified audiences on three continents. They have added to their ever-growing family of fans — affectionately known as the Rogue Army — at music festivals, theaters, Highland Games, renaissance festivals, clubs, pubs, and corporate events — anywhere that presents top-quality, high-energy music. This has even included regular rotation on satellite radio and shows at non-Celtic venues such as FloydFest, where they performed for 25,000 people when they shared the stage with Grammy-winners Allison Krauss and Bruce Hornsby. Their hard won road successes have established them as artists with bona fide international acclaim. Renowned for their musical skill, quick wit, and engaging stage show the ROGUES have mastered the art of creating an immediate connection with their audiences. The AMERICAN ROGUES are fast becoming a household name with music lovers around the world, loved by young and old of all backgrounds.

In December of 2009 the AMERICAN ROGUES defeated nearly 65 other bands from around the world to win Irish Brewing Company, Strangford Lough’s 1st Battle of the Celtic Bands. They then appeared at the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino in Las Vegas and their recording of “Bonny Portmore” was chosen to appear in the 2011 film, The Irishman, starring Christopher Walken and Val Kilmer. Later t the AMERICAN ROGUES were invited to perform in Chicago at the prestigious Pritzker Pavillion in Millennium Park. The AMERICAN ROGUES have performed at numerous large venues including the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, the North Texas Irish Festival, the Chicago Highland Games, and the Antigonish Highland Games, among many others. They have also hosted their own exceptionally well-received variety shows, “Celtic Crossroads”, which included performers from all over North America and Europe. The AMERICAN ROGUES even appeared on the red carpet with Robert Duvall at the premier of his film, A Shot at Glory. With a unique, multi-instrumental sound that crosses the musical landscape to include traditional and original rock/pop songs, film soundtrack music, and Irish-based foot-stompers, the AMERICAN ROGUES are proving they have the creativity and the drive to conquer the combined worlds of Celtic, Rock, Folk, Pop, and Classical music.

The AMERICAN ROGUES have produced nine albums and two DVDs. Ceili Magazine called “3 LBS. of RAGE”, the newest album, “The best Celtic rock CD produced this year and one of the best Celtic music CDs … period!” Dirty Linen Magazine called “American Highlander”, their 8th album, “Outstanding” and chose it to appear on their Editor’s Choice CD with such legendary performers as Billy Bragg. Few bands like the AMERICAN ROGUES provide both the highly polished instrumentals that only elite musicians can perform, and the rousing songs that inspire crowds to sing. Indeed, listen to the audio tracks provided on this site’s music player and you will see that the AMERICAN ROGUES are several exceptional bands in one.

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The Ryans

The RyansMichael and Dave Ryan have been delighting Valley audiences for some three decades “starting almost out of the cradle” and following in their father’s musical footsteps. From legendary St. Pat’s celebrations at Douglas Tavern, through to house parties, and working with well-known performers such as Natalie MacMaster, Wayne Ronstad and Gail Gavan the lads bring back the great traditional ballads that make-up their extensive repertoire and bring joy to an appreciative audience.

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