One Exceptional Dance Weekend Where Two Cultures Meet
Just north of the Vermont border in the eastern townships of Québec, Ooh La La offers a rich summer dance weekend experience with a warm community spirit. Nationally renowned bands and callers, a fabulous sprung wood floor, locally grown organic food prepared by our own chefs, and plenty of dancing, workshops and singing have made Ooh La La an annual pilgrimage for many.
You can expect nothing but the finest, most festive bands and callers at Ooh La La.
Maivish will be the house band again for this year’s Ooh La La Dance Weekend. Appearing as a quartet, Jaige, Adam and Matthew will be joined by Cedar Stanistreet from the band Nor’easter, on fiddle.
Maivish is a collaboration between American fiddler Jaige Trudel, British born guitarist Adam Broome and Virginia native Mathew Olwell on flutes, percussion and step dance.
Jaige and Adam have been performing together since 2001 for dances, festivals and concerts throughout North America and abroad, predominantly with the band Crowfoot. Matthew has been performing and teaching as a dancer and percussionist at festivals and theatres across North America and Europe since 1996. These three musicians have joined together to explore and cultivate traditional and original music for dancing and the concert stage. Their sound has been described as mercurial, powerful, uplifting, and eminently danceable. The name Maivish comes from an English colloquial term for the Song Thrush.
Dugan is a contra dance caller. His voice is smooth like an evening radio personality and his pants are loud like his favorite metal band. Dugan calls contra dances across the U.S., but mostly in New England and the Midwest. He is known for emanating joy and for teaching with the artful precision of clockwork.
Gaye Fifer is an accomplished contra caller from Pittsburgh, PA. An active dancer herself, Gaye understands the subtleties of making contra dances particularly satisfying for dancers. She will delight you with clear walkthroughs and smooth flowing contras.
An easy smile and delightful sense of humor are part of Gaye’s relaxed, pleasant style at the microphone. Gaye calls contra dances throughout the U.S. and Canada. She is also an enthusiastic advocate and instructor of contra-style waltz.
Hailing from New England, Nova is a young contra dance band that weaves the sounds of fiddle, accordion, and guitar into a rich tapestry of sound. Nova draws from both traditional repertoire and original compositions to create versatile, high energy and driving dance music.
In the spring of 2013, Kathleen Fownes (Fiddle) introduced Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin (Accordion and Piano) to Everest Witman (Guitar and Feet). The trio’s undeniable chemistry became apparent as soon as they started playing. They continued to play together informally whenever possible, until 2014 when Nova began performing and playing dances. Nova plays local dances, dance weekends, festivals, concerts, and weddings throughout New England and beyond.
An important part of the overall vision for Ooh La La is to encourage and support youth participation by providing opportunities to explore connections with traditional music and dance forms. We attempt to achieve this goal in a variety of ways:
This outreach gives participants a chance to network and to hone their skills in a dance weekend setting, provides exposure to an extended dance community, and offers committed young talent an opportunity to meet and work with experienced staff.
We are very excited to welcome these two stellar musicians as our new-generation band this year!
Here is a taste of their beautiful music:
Ooh La La takes place at the “Centre Ste-Famille” in the charming town of Richmond, Québec. The dance hall is bright, spacious, and has a fantastic sprung floor!
Find directions on Google: 155 Rue Craig, Richmond, Québec
Dancers are responsible for their own lodging during the weekend. Motels and B&Bs are available in the area as well as some beautiful camping areas. Stay an extra night – explore Québec’s Eastern Townships!
Check out the 2016 schedule to get an idea of how the weekend looks. The draft 2017 schedule will be posted in early summer.
We ask for approximately six hours of volunteer time during the weekend; most tasks occur outside of dancing time. Activities include: dish washing, kitchen work and food preparation, floor sweeping, setting up tables, helping with snacks and final clean up on Sunday. Chatting, singing and friend-making encouraged while volunteering! Volunteers attend at a reduced rate ($100 CAD/$80 USD).
In an effort to encourage and enable youth participation at Ooh La La! we are reserving a certain number of these volunteer slots exclusively for young people. Even though we’re all young at heart, for the purposes of these positions, we will consider “youth” to include folks who are 35 or under. If you qualify, please let us know on your registration form and we will follow up with you.
Please contact our volunteer coordinator, Mary Wesley, with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Sharon Schenkel
You may sign up to volunteer at Ooh La La when you register. Thank you! (Please note volunteer spots are all filled for 2017; registration and the wait list are both closed.)
Learn more about volunteering. Please contact our volunteer coordinator, Mary Wesley, with any questions: email@example.com
Ooh La La is organized by a devoted group of volunteers spread across borders. Adam Broome, Jaige Trudel, & Mary Wesley comprise the core committee, working throughout the year to prepare for the big weekend! Our faithful ‘Super Volunteers’ this year include Marjolène Forest, who is helping with translations, registrations and more, as well as Eugene Lawrence who is ready to jump in at that critical time when everything must happen at once.
If you have ANY questions about our dance weekend, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! You can also keep up with Ooh La La news on our Facebook Page