April 28-May 3, 2015

owensoundmapWe're going on the road to celebrate the CDSS Centennial! Each Tour stop will be a community residency, an opportunity for each participating group to use its existing strengths to focus on their longterm resilience and growth, create a “pipeline” of new talent, or reach out to new audiences. We’re very excited about these partnerships, and are looking forward to kicking off the Tour next spring!

The second stop in the tour is Owen Sound, Ontario. With a population of just under twenty-two thousand people, the once rowdy port town of Owen Sound on Georgian Bay is just two hours north of Toronto. It was a terminus of the Underground Railroad, and earned a Cultural Capital of Canada award in 2004 for its active artistic community. Owen Sound is home base for the Fiddlefern Country Dancers.

About the Fiddlefern Country Dancers

Since the mid 1990s, Fiddlefern Country Dancers (FCD) have hosted contra dances on first Saturdays, September through May, at St. George’s Anglican Church Hall. Doors open at 7:30, with a warmup and dancing from 8 to 11 pm. The annual Spring Fling Dance Weekend, the first in May, wraps up the season with a three-day celebration of dance and music, with gourmet food options. The Fling has featured such highly-regarded callers as Carol Ormand, John Krumm, Nils Fredland, Ron Buchanan, Pierre Chartrand, Bev Bernbaum and Becky Hill, along with terrific contra dance music from Hot Point, Crowfoot, The Groovemongers, Domino, Genticorum, Sheesham and Lotus, and the Andre Brunet Trio. The relatively small weekend is a friendly, welcoming gathering, offering billets for out-of-town dancers and numerous opportunities to socialize and discover the community. The Owen Sound Fiddlefern Country Dancers also help promote traditional music and dance at the annual Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival’s dance area, and at other festivals and community events throughout the Grey-Bruce region of Ontario.

Fiddlefern Country Dancers Spring Fling Dance
(photo by Will Henry)

FDC believe social dance weaves together people and music to create community. The group eagerly anticipates CDSS’s Centennial Tour Stop in Owen Sound as an opportunity to host in Owen Sound some exceptional musical talent and exemplary dance leadership to invigorate the local community. See the Fiddlefern Country Dancers website for more information about Fiddlefern and dance events in the region.

Staff for Owen Sound

The staff for the Owen Sound stop are musicians Sam Bartlett, Eric Schedler, Ben Smith (all from Indiana), and caller Louie Cromartie (from North Carolina). Sam, Eric and Ben are exceptional musicians, performers, and tradition-bearers, with an ability and willingness to respond to new ideas with creativity, enthusiasm and respect. Louie brings decades of experience to the caller’s role, with a dance repertoire to meet any crowd, and the teaching skill to bring everyone on the dance floor together in a supportive and successful experience. I chose this staff to head to Owen Sound because of their skill to support local teachers and performers. It’s a perfect match of Tour community and Tour staff, and I can’t wait to see what happens when they all come together in April of 2015!

~ Nils Fredland, CDSS Centennial Tour Manager