square and round dance in eastern ontario

Archived Highlights

Long Time Caller Dies

Graham Ingram Passes Away

Graham Ingram retired back in 2016 after 35+ years of calling! He was “The King” of the One Night Stand ... a term callers use for special events where they get non-dancers up for a fun evening of square dancing for the first time. Graham called Squares for Square Dancers, cued Rounds for Round Dancers and prompted Contra for Contra Dancers.

Graham will be missed by all.

From his daughter, Karen ...

Creating and connecting communities through music in many ways was a calling for Dad, more than a hobby or past-time. It was present in all he did.

Our father, Graham Williams Ingram, passed away at 4:13 a.m., surrounded by music and singing, on March 7th at the Peter D. Clark Centre in Ottawa.

We are beyond grateful for the care the staff provided for Dad. Most of them had been with him since he moved there December 2019. Their connection and love for him was visible as they too began to grieve his passing.

Watch for details on the celebration of life for Dad, which will take place on April 15th, 2-5 pm at Zion-Memorial United Church in Carleton Place.

The afternoon will be full of what Dad loved in this world and certainly not traditional!

Rest easy, Dad, we'll keep the beat going here.

Sadly, Another Caller Dies

François Demarais will be missed

François called for the Swinging Swallows in Pembroke and was instrumental in the formation of the Glengarry Tartans in Alexandria. François was a long-time member of Meri Squares, serving as President with his wife, Barb, from 2018 to 2020. His sense of humour and positivity were legendary!

François' obituary is available at this Ottawa Citizen link

A celebration of François' life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that those who are able make a donation to the Ottawa Hospital Foundation

Condolences may be sent to:
Barbara McLellan
102-2019 Carling Avenue Ottawa K2A 4A2

Well Known Caller Dies

Harold Moore Passes Away

Well known Seaway Valley Square Dance Caller, Harold Moore, passed away on January 6, 2023.

Harold is survived by his wife, Marion Moore and his sons Stuart, Ronnie and Danny. A celebration of Harold’s life will be held at the Royal Canadian Legion in Morrisburg on Jan 21 at 1:00 PM. There will be a reception following the service.

Here's some information about Harold’s square dance history and Harold’s obitiuary.

Sympathy cards or notes may be sent to Marion, Moore, 13396 Country Road 18, RR#2, Williamsburg, ON. K0C 2H0

SVSRDA Dissolves

Seaway Valley Association -- No Longer

Seaway Valley Square & Round Dance Association had their meeting on October 23, 2022 and it was decided by the member clubs to dissolve the Association. The members, who all have positions in their own clubs, were not willing to step into the executive positions which were needed to keep the Association going.

Special thanks to our executives, who, for the last six years, supported our two dances every year. Thanks to the following people for their support:-

  • Lee Warriner as vice President
  • Jeannie & Russ as our secretary who did an amazing job.
  • Bill Shield, our treasurer, who wanted to continue as treasurer,
  • Co-ordinators Carolyn Greenhough, Deryl Neron, Sandy & Allen Brown and Shirley & Colin Brown for their help during our two dances, Christmas & Mother's Day for the past six years.
  • Helgi & Sharon Goodman, as Editor, (Helgi passed away on October 31, 2022) were SVSRDA greatest supporter, they worked very hard on the 35th Anniversary calendar, gathering the history of the Association, and he completed all the graduation certificates for all our new graduates, the flyers for our Christmas and Mothers' Day Dance as well as the dangles. They both worked hard on every calendar in the last five years.
  • Pearl King for helping Helgi with the names of the past presidents and history of the Association
  • Helen McCallum for helping us find the banner, we searched with determination to have the banner for the 35th Anniversary
  • Wendy VanderMeulin as our Caller Rep
  • Ario Speer for helping us with our virtual meetings, Lamar Mason also helped with our last virtual meeting.

It is with great sadness that the Association dissolved, a lot of work but not enough support.

Gerald & Marlene Casselman, President of SVSRDA

Callerlab Award to Geoff Clarke

Celebrating Geoff Clarke calling for 25 Years

At the October meeting of the OACA (Ottawa Area Callers Association), Wendy VanderMeulen presented Geoff Clarke with a certificate, on behalf of CALLERLAB, to recognize Geoff's 25 years of calling. Both Wendy and Geoff are members of CALLERLAB.

CALLERLAB is an international organization of square dance callers. Their mission is “to foster the art of square dance calling, and improve caller skills”. CALLERLAB provides guidance and education, certifyies caller coaches, maintains standardized lists of calls and definitions, and generally promotes the square dance activity.

Riverside Gypsy Squares have a New Home

Gypsy Squares now call Lower Beverly Lake Campgrounds their Home

The Riverside Gypsy Squares club started in 1994 at the Happy Green Acres Campground near Mallorytown, Ont. They have been meeting there every summer for camping and square dancing since that time. However the campground has had new owners with different priorities that made it increasingly difficult for the club to remain there.

So over the summer the executive and several other campers investigated other campgrounds and found that the Lower Beverly Lake campground in Delta, Ont provided a great place to stay and had good facilities for dancing.

The club's AGM was held there this past September so that all members could see or camp at the facilities and vote on whether this would be their new home. It was an open air meeting, socially distanced, and of course with no dancing. At the meeting, the motion to adopt the new site passed easily -- so the Lower Beverly Lake campground will now be the new home for the Gyspy Squares for upcoming seasons.

Russell Club Closes

The Russell Stone Bridge Squares have closed

MacDougall Park Stone Bridge in Russell
for which the club was named

Last year the Stone Bridge Squares in Russell were hoping that someone would be able to take over managing the club. That didn't happen and so the future was in doubt for a while.

Now, with no end in sight from this pandemic and the fact that they might not have access to the school for the duration of the dance season, the club has decided to close permanently.

The remaining club funds were donated to the Russell Lions Club -- a fitting donation since was it was some members from the Lions who initially started the Square Dance club for the community.

A big thank you to Shirley and Dean Benson for their dedication and hard work over the past 7 years to ensure many people could participate in this fun activity.

Dave's Quiz

Didn't Complete all the Quizzes?

Dave Hutchinson and Mary started sending out square dance quizzes back in March 2022 to keep us busy during the early days of COVID-19. If you were like me, you started doing some of the quizzes and then may have slacked off a bit, hoping to get back to them later.

Good News! The quizzes are NOT lost; you still have a chance to finish them. They've been captured from the bulletins and now reside on the eoDance website where you and future dancers can see them forever.

Even simpler. All the quizzes have been made interactive: you can read a question, select your answer and check if you are correct -- all on the same page. And they also provide reminders of the names of moves at each level to make it easier.

The quizzes are linked from the "Dancers" page. Click here.

Frosty Fling with many Purple Hearts

Frosty Fling enjoyed by all

Frosty Fling 2020 was attended by 125 regular dancers and 24 New Basic dancers who joined us from 15 clubs including those as far away as Quinte, Kingston, Napanee and Pembroke. John Charman and Dave Hutchinson joined to provide a lively afternoon of Basic and Mainstream tips with some Easy Rounds in between.

A highlight of the dance was 8 of our Leaders joining to form squares which allowed dancers to earn their Purple Hearts including many of our newest Basic Dancers. Their hijinks during the tips made for a lot of good fun being had by all who participated. In all 45 Purple Hearts were earned.

Bob and Marguerite Summers received their well deserved Trillium Merit Award at the dance and the sad passing of Paul Adams was commemorated with a beautiful presentation of the events in his life that many had shared with him.

"The dance floor has gone dark"

Paul Adams

We are devastated to announce the sudden and unexpected passing of beloved husband, father and caller extraordinaire, Paul Adams. Paul & Judy have dedicated their lives to the Square Dance Movement for 45 years and Paul's passing leaves a huge hole in the dance hall. Paul brought joy to so many lives on and off the dance floor. .

When writing his blog, Paul always signed off with "See you on the dance floor". Sadly, tonight, the dance floor has gone dark.

Paul's Biography

Harold Moore's Last Calling Session

Harold Moore's Last Calling Fri-Sat 23-24 August

Harold was a Charter Member of the Riverside Gypsy Squares when it first started in 1994, he's called for each of the Gypsy's 25 years since and he's the last Gyspy Caller to call just before the Gypsy's 25th Anniversary next month.

Harold has been a regular fixture in the Ottawa and Seaway Valley area since 1986 and his club, the Seaway Squares, saw almost 30 years of dancing. On August 23 and 24, Harold will be calling his last dance at the Riverside Gypsy Squares ... a good reason to come out and say a fond farewell as Harold hangs up his microphone and put his records away.

Read more

Meanwhile, ... Down at the Market

60 Dancers prove a point

The point is, Yes, Dancing is FUN.

A great time was had in the Byward Market at the August 11th promotional event to raise the visibility of square, round and line dancing in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario. It was a huge success ...so many dancers and lots of participation and interest from the public.

Read the full story.

Swing into Spring 2019 -- "an event to be remembered"!

An event to be remembered!

Swing into Spring 2019 will definitely be "an event to be remembered"! When things can go wrong, they usually do in 3's, we've been told. Well, that held true for this year's event.

Two weeks before the start of the event, we got word that the school would NOT be able to provide our Saturday lunch as has been the practice in all past Swing into Springs.

Five hours before the start of the event, we get a phone call that our 2 contracted callers were being detained at the border and "it was not looking good" that they would make it to our event. They would let us know... We eventually did find out that they had been sent home .

Sunday morning, a group shows up at the school, sets up a "workshop" outside the gym door, and starts working at creating a stage set for the school drama club - on the stage, in the gym we were using!!! But WE had the stage booked for our use!

Read the whole story.    Lots of Pictures here.

Successful Frosty Fling 2019

Frosty Fling Exceeds Expectations

Somehow "Scattered Flurries" became a heavy "dump" of snow on Saturday that had some organizers and dancers wondering if the dance should be cancelled. It was a very bad day for driving as evidenced by seeing some cars in the ditch on the way into Ottawa.

But after it was all over, and the dust (er, snow) settled we got this from the president: "Holy snappin'! We made more money on a "free" dance than we did on Harvest Hop !"

But it wasn't about the money ... it was about the ATTENDANCE! We were elated to see that 34 new dancers attended the dance — and this was in spite of the bad weather. By all accounts, the dance was totally enjoyed by all of them.

Although the new dancers got in for free, 80 dancers paid to attend. We had many Plus, Advance and even Challenge dancers show up to help at the tables, dance and be angels. Thank you so much for your support of our new dancers.

Despite the weather we had GREAT representation from out of town locations such as Pembroke, Cornwall, Prescott, Kemptville, Carleton Place and other remote areas. Pembroke, with perhaps the longest travel distance, showed up with 18 dancers and Cornwall, with 7.

Dance with us

Open House information -- September

Tired of the Same Old, Same Old? Need a Break? Something to do with a friend? Meet new friends?

Join Us. There are over 20 clubs offering Open House nights in September so that you can see what Square, Round and Line Dancing is all about.  You can dance all over Eastern Ontario and neighbouring areas ... from Kingston to Prescott, Carleton Place to Pembroke, Ottawa to Cornwall and many cities and towns between.

Click the Open House Info button below for a list of clubs who are welcoming new dancers.

Open House Info

Also check out these links:

Seaway Valley website is now eoDance

Seaway Valley website now part of eoDance

SVSRDA (Seaway Valley Square and Round Dance Association) has adopted eoDance.ca as their official website as a replacement for their previous site.

EOSARDA (Eastern Ontario Square and Round Dance Association) adopted eoDance.ca several years ago in a similar fashion when it was looking to replace its former website.

Now there's only one site needed with information on Clubs, Callers, Cuers and Events. This will make the information easier to find and keep updated. Information that is specific to EOSARDA or SVSRDA can be found under the “Associations” menu while the rest of the common information is linked under the main menus in eoDance as it always has been.

Another successful Swing into Spring

Swing into Spring 2018

Another successful Swing into Spring is in the books. Thanks to Gary and Jerry for super calling, and Roy & Janet for super cueing! Everyone who was there had a wonderful time! And thank you to everyone who did attend - whether for all of it or part of it, your attendance and support were greatly appreciated. The Organizing Committee, EOSARDA, and SVSRDA thank you all.

Square Dancing in Schools

Square Dancing in Schools

For a long time now, callers have been involved with local schools and showing students how much fun square dancing is -- of course, edging out English, History and Geography might not be that hard a sell and spending time in the gym easily beats out sitting in a class behind a desk most times.

Check out the schools and programs that we know about.  Some have been doing it for 30 or more years and are still going strong.




Keep Flyer Sizes Small

Be aware of the size of your flyer

Here is some information for anyone creating a PDF or JPG file or flyer that is going to be posted on any website. When it comes to eoDance.ca, this will typically be a flyer for an event for your club that you may wish to have posted on the web calendar on the eoDance website or that you want sent out as an EOSARDA Bulletin.

The sizes of some files submitted are very much larger than they need to be. This
- takes up space on our servers,
- makes the flyer slow to open, and
- will use/cost more bandwidth for those using a mobile device.

You need to be aware of the size of the files that you are asking people to post. There are many Free On-Line tools available that will easily compress and reduce the size of your file before you submit it and make it 3 to 5 times smaller.

Check out the eoDance Submit an Event page for more information on identifying the size of your file and for some links to a few on-line sites that can reduce your file size easily.

Bob Cathcart

Bob Cathcart

Bob Cathcart, long time caller of the Capital Steppers, passed away Wednesday from cancer. Bob was a master choreographer who entertained his dancers with smooth dancing.

If you were lucky enough to ever dance in one of the clubs he called for, you would see that Bob made a point of meeting and greeting every dancer during the evening.

Bob retired from calling in 2012 and caller Paul Adams wrote a wonderful tribute to Bob on the occasion of our Ottawa Area Callers Association retirement dinner & presentation for Bob. Here’s a link to that article

It was Bob's wishes not to have a service. Condolences may be sent to:

Gayle Alberelli
1509 Claymore Ave
Ottawa, ON, K2C 1T2

Swinging Swallows Celebrates 30 Years

Swinging Swallows Celebrates 30 Years

The Swinging Swallows in Pembroke are celebrating their 30th Anniversary.  Former EOSARDA callers Mel Wilkerson and Andy Himburg-Larsen have called at the club for many years.  The 30th celebration takes place on September 30, 2:30 - 7:30 with a pot-luck supper mid-way through the event. It's open to all.  Dancing will be Basics/MS/Plus with Francois Desmarais, their Club Caller keeping them busy. Please let Gloria Bateman (bateman.gloria@gmail.com) know if you will be attending.

Young Dancer Intitiative

Help us find a way to encourage youth to dance

Tell us your ideas on how to get young people involved in Square Dancing:
• How do we get them interested?
• Where do we find them?

Perhaps this will mean starting up a Youth Club in your area.  Please use your local contacts to see if there would be any interest.

EOSARDA has proposed a framework to encourage young dancers to get involved. 
- A PDF version of the recent Power Point presentation on the Young Dancer Initiative is linked here. 
- As well, we captured the President's Message from the December issue of Square Time for inclusion here.

For more information on EOSARDA's initiative to teach teens modern square dancing or to have a presentation to your club...

Dave Western
Phone: 613-838-5428
Email: dlwestern@yahoo.com


Get Out and Visit!

Let's start our new dancers on the road to visiting

Visiting other clubs is a fun way to enjoy dancing.  Many of our Basic-level clubs are encouraging such visits by making them Free to new first-year dancers ... and angels get in for 1/2 price.  More people equals more fun.  More dancing equals stronger dancers.  Encourage new dancers to get active by visiting other clubs.

Check out our Visit page for more information.

Local Caller Hanging up the Microphone

Keith Watters retires after 56 years

Keith and Rita Watters have been calling to Ottawa dancers for the past 56 years.

In recent times, Keith has been calling for the Spinning Spurs (Mainstream), Spinettes (Basic) and Sunshine Squares (Plus).   In 1977, these 3 clubs were merged into a tri-level club under the supervision of Sunshine Squares.

Click the link here to read more about Keith & Rita's 56 years of calling.

EOSARDA is Sixty

2015 is EOSARDA's 60th Anniversary

2015 marks the 60th year for EOSARDA.  The organization has gone through a lot of changes over the years. To check out the list of past presidents and the different names that EOSARDA has had over the years.  ... click here..

Must have had a "senior moment" when we previously quoted 65 instead of 60 :-)

Don Cowan Sadly Missed

Don Cowan succumbs to cancer

After a couple weeks of difficult breathing, Don Cowan died at home Tuesday 30 September, 2014..

Don opened his eyes the previous Saturday afternoon, when his family was around his bed, and he whispered “who called this meeting?” – that was the last time he opened his eyes.  If you knew Don, you'll remember this is his great sense of humour.

Having worked at Nortel, he was a master of electronics, willing and able to fix any caller or cuer turntable or amplfier for only the cost of parts.  He was kind and loving to his family and dedicated to the round dance world. He would give his shirt off his back to anyone in need.

Rest in peace, Don




Festival 2014 -- A Great Success

We did it!

Festival 2014 is over.  After 4 years of hard work and planning, over 1000 dancers enjoyed a great party with 4 days of dancing.  Congratulations to Wendy and all the committee members and volunteers that helped to pull off this great event.

Thank you to all the callers, cuers and other leaders for sharing their expertise to make this possible. This is even more appreciated knowing that leaders register like any other dancer, give up their dance time to call or cue, and receive no remuneration.

And the final registration count for Basic-level dancers was --- are you ready for it, -- 64!  According to the callers, the Basic hall was the liveliest and most fun of all the rooms to be in.  Congratulations to all the Basic dancers for taking such a leap of faith to attend your first convention after only one year of dancing.

Check out David Owen's collage of pictures of dancers on Parliament Hill.

Here`s CTV news video of dancers having fun on the Hill


A new look for EOSARDA

EOSARDA has a New Website

This is EOSARDA's new website. While new to EOSARDA (and to many dancers), this website has been in existence since January 2013 when it was first made available to clubs and dancers in eastern Ontario as eoDance.ca.

This site was originally developed in the fall of 2012 as a possible face-lift for the venerable eosarda.ca site. Since then the website has evolved considerably, adding new features and information to address the needs of all clubs and dancers in the area.

All existing domain names now point to the same site so you can use eosarda.ca or eoDance.ca to get to this website.

We hope you enjoy your new site.

A Trio of Trillum Awards

EOSARDA members win Trillium Awards

Local dancers have won two Merit Awards and one Long Service Award this year. The Ontario Federation has approved 3 submissions proposed by EOSARDA.

Bruce & Linda Warner received a Merit Award for their contribution to Square and Round dancing at the 2013 Fall Fest dance.

Anne Graham will receive a Merit Award at the Meri Squares 45th Anniversary Dance for her dedication.

Alfie Marin will receive a Long Service Award at the Harbour Lites Food Bank Dance.

Caller Update

Caller Update

Bob Brown of the Canton Skirts 'n Flirts square dance club had some unexpected heart repairs during September. Although he's having to take it easy, he's managed to find his way back to the mic again. His timing wasn't the best 'though; he went in for his "surprise" surgery just days before the scheduled surgery of his wife Linda.

Keith Watters of the Sunshine Squares is sitting out in pain, waiting for his second hip surgery in late October. With this surgery, Keith will officially be out of body parts to replace; he's already replaced one hip and 2 knees -- and doesn't look a day over 50. Unfortunately, there was a complication during his surgery - his pelvis was broken -- so Keith is out for a bit longer.  Keith hopes to return Feb 5.

Graham Ingram (Mississippi Squares and Kanata Squares) is also away from the mic until after Christmas, chasing some elusive medical issues. He might not be busy calling, but his itinerary is crazy: "He is currently awaiting notification from the medical establishment of dates and times for tests and consultations numbering between two and 12 or more in number, depending on the results of each one." Whew! Sadly Graham feels he will be sidelined for the remainder of the 2013/2014 season.

Various other callers have been helping fill the void in their absence.

OACA Honours Bob Cathcart

OACA says THANK YOU to Bob Cathcart

On Sunday, Apr 7, 2013, the Ottawa Area Callers Association (OACA) honoured Bob Cathcart with a dinner and a plaque.

See the pictures and tribute