Here are some of our favorite websites. To suggest or amend a link, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

Contributors

Martin Barry Photography
Martin is a funny and talented cinematographer who has an eye for beautiful photos. We are grateful to be able to use his work on our website.

 

 

Montreal Area Irish & Trad Organizations

Comhrá - Montréal Irish Language Study Circle
The name speaks for itself! The website gives key contact info for those seeking Irish language classes and events in the Montreal area, as well as a useful list of sources for learning more about the language.

Concordia School of Irish Studies
You can get a minor undergraduate degree or an adult education certificate. Plus, if you email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., they will put you on their notification list for all kinds of local Irish events, lectures and shows.

Danseurs et Musiciens de l'Île Jésus
Laval group offering Quebecois and international traditional dance workshops with live music, plus music workshops. Sounds like fun! The site also has tons of Quebec sheet music with recordings.

MGill
Prof. Sean Ferguson presents The traditional music session: Irish group therapy

Société pour la promotion de la danse traditionnelle québécoise (SPDTQ)
The SPDTQ is a local organization that promotes the traditional dance of Quebec. It organizes numerous activities, notably the "École des arts de la veillée" music school, the "Veillées du Plateau" dances every third Saturday of the month, and the "Vendredi trad lib" sessions of traditional Quebecois music and singing.

St. Patrick's Society of Montreal
Our chief patron. Lists events and membership information. Subscribe to their newsletter, Nuacht or read it online.

United Irish Societies of Montreal
The UIS features extensive information on the Montreal St Patrick's Day Parade including history. The UIS's Celtic Website Links is an excellent list of Celtic and Montreal Irish websites.

 

 

Music & Dance resources

The ABC Notation Homepage
Explains ABC notation, an alternative to standard music notation which is very popular in traditional music.

A Guide to the Irish Flute
Great information compiled by former SIamsa teacher, Brad Hurley. The site includes advice for obtaining a suitable flute, a directory of flute makers, and a list of recommended players to listen to.

Ardglen Bodhráns & Bones
Hand-made instruments for discerning drummers. These bodhráns are skillfully produced by local maker Fred Graham. Fred is also a talented performer and teacher.

Brother Steve's Tin Whistle Page
A wealth of material for whistle players, including tips and tricks for students of all levels and the meditations of "Brother" Steve Jones, a longtime Siamsa teacher and our céilí band leader.

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann
This is the largest international traditional Irish music organization, with branches all over the world. Notable on their website are contacts for every branch, musical archives, schedules of sessions, and biographies of important musicians who have moved on to the next world. Check out the video archive section

Cranford Publications
All publications from this Cape Breton Island publisher are of the highest quality. Selected first-rate recordings of Cape Breton, Irish, or Scottish styles are for sale online. The site offers an introduction to ABC notation, a 'tune of the month', many high-quality sound clips, and more.

Les Danseux
They are a group of amateur dancers who are devoted to sharing their passion for traditional Quebecois dance. Their aim is to awaken your interest in Quebec traditional music and dances, and promote these traditions as an important, vibrant, and living part of our culture.

Ottawa Irish Music Blog
This webpage provides links to primarily Ottawa Valley, and Irish Traditional Music activities in, or within a few hours to a day's drive, of the Ottawa / National Capital Region of Canada.

Roger Millington Publishing
The web home of Packie Manus Byrne, traditional singer, whistle player and storyteller from Donegal, Ireland. You can learn all about Packie and sample the various books about him, including A Dossan of Heather, a collection of his tunes published by Steve Jones & Jean Duval.

 

 

Music & dance events

March

The Chris Langan Weekend
Excellent weekend in Toronto featuring first-quality pipers and fiddlers brought in from Ireland and elsewhere, ensuring a very high musical standard. Local members of the Langan Gorman Comhaltas branch provide a warm welcome to visitors.

 

June

CAMMAC
CAMMAC is a music camp for serious amateurs that goes on all summer. It mainly focuses on classical, baroque, and early music. CAMMAC is the perfect gathering point for music lovers of all kinds—the ideal place to make and listen to music, no matter your age or your skill level.

Carolan Festival
In Worcester, Vermont, this festival is a gathering of people who play, listen, sing, or dance to the music of Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738), Irish harper and composer.

 

July

Catskills Irish Arts Week
This is one of the best quality Irish music and dance week you'll find on this side of the pond. You get a full week of classes at a reasonable price. First class line-up of teachers, with every skill level accommodated. The locale is a Catskills town where the NY Irish have summered since the 1920s called East Durham. Tip: try to get lodgings with a swimming pool.

Festival Mémoire et Racines
Action-packed weekend at Parc Bosco in Joliette, QC, featuring numerous local and imported artists.  Friendly, fun atmosphere, sessions in every corner and dances.

Willie Clancy Summer School
This is the granddaddy of Irish music summer schools. We cannot praise it highly enough for the sheer amount and quality of music and teaching. It can be overwhelming because of the crowds, however.

 

August

Festival Celtique de Québec
The presence and traditions of communities of Celtic origin are an integral part of Québec's culture. Come celebrate this unique heritage during the biggest francophone Celtic festival in North America.

Goderich Celtic Roots Festival
A week of classes in Celtic arts and music in Goderich, Ontario, a scenic town on southern Lake Huron.

The Montreal Highland Games
Over the past 40 years, the Montreal Highland Games has become one of the premier events on the North American highland games circuit. ​Every year, the Games bring together Montrealers of Scottish and all other backgrounds to celebrate Highland games, music and culture.

The Pipers Gathering
The Gathering is North America’s most comprehensive alternative bagpipe event. Musicians playing every conceivable kind of pipes, flute and whistle meet for lessons and sessions.

 

September

La Grande Rencontre
This Montreal institution features a whole weekend of traditional music from Quebec, Canada, the USA and Europe. Don't forget the evenings of dancing and the sessions that go on into the night!

 

October

East Coast Tionól
Held every year since 1986, the Northeast Tionól is a weekend of classes, workshops, and concerts focusing on the Irish uilleann pipes and fiddle.

 

 

Tune sources

BBC Virtual Session
All alone but you still want to play with other musicians? The Virtual Session is there for you!

Henrik Norbeck's ABC Tunes
A free online tune book of mostly Irish and Swedish traditional music. Sheet music and lyrics for more than 2800 tunes in ABC format, collected over more than 25 years by Henrik Norbeck, Stockholm, Sweden.

Identitairs Québécois
Start your journey into Quebec traditional music by visiting this site. You will find tunes old and new, with sheet music and excerpts from recordings.

Irish Flute Tunes
Flute tunes for flute players with gorgeous recordings and sheet music. What more to ask for?

John Chambers' ABC Tune Finder
This site is truly one of the wonders of the Web. It's a huge index of tunes in ABC format, encompassing way more than Irish music. As a user, you search by fragments of the name or of the 'contours' of the tune - the pattern of the notes. For most tunes, you get a list of all the entries for that tune, then you ask for the result in the desired format: ABC text, ABC-plugin-readable, several forms of regular notes (gif, png, and PostScript) or MIDI file (horrible but useful computer-rendition of the raw notes).

Montreal Session Tunebook
This website is a resource for traditional music with a focus on music played in the Montreal sessions. This includes music in the Irish and Quebecois traditions as well as music from England, France and elsewhere. It is the brainchild of concertina player Robin Beech and Gord Fisch, Siamsa's guitar teacher.

The Session.org
This is one of the best resources for tunes on the Internet. You can search the database by tune name and type, or by artist name and album title. You can also create an account and start collecting tunes in your very own tunebook. You can also use the site to find a session just about anywhere on the globe.

Traditional Tune Archive
The Semantic Index of North American, British and Irish traditional instrumental music with annotation, formerly known as The Fiddler's Companion.

Tunepal
Tunepal is a search-by-playing search engine for traditional Irish, Welsh, Scottish, Breton, American marching band and Canadian tunes. By playing a 12 second extract from a traditional tune on an an instrument such as the flute or fiddle you can retrieve score matches from a database of over 24,000 music scores; view and playback, share and download the score; find and play other recordings of the tune from a collection of over 30 million recordings 

 

 

Local Musicians & Bands

The Bombadils
Canadian maritimer Luke Fraser and prairie-girl Sarah Frank share a love of folk songs and fiddle tunes. Drawing from the Canadian, American, and Celtic traditions, the two pour the spirit of story-telling and kitchen parties into their own writing.

The Cats in the Kitchen
A small acoustic group from Montreal. Their music is a blend of traditional music from Ireland, Scotland, England, Cape Breton, and little bit of Quebec thrown in for good measure.

Corsaire
It is initially a common passion for traditional music that animates the crew of Corsaire. It is also the pleasure of perpetuating an oral tradition by interpreting an electrifying amalgam of sailor's songs, Breton lamentations, bawdy melodies and Celtic sounds.

Dragún Bán
Dragún Bán (“white dragon” in Irish) is a five-person band based in Montréal that plays traditional Celtic and Celtic-inspired music. The ensemble’s innovative musical settings explore the many possibilities resulting from the members’ backgrounds and wealth of musical experiences.

Sarah Burnell Band
A mix of lively jigs and reels, rhythmic marches and strathspeys, bouncy hornpipes, and haunting Celtic airs. Her repertoire comes from Cape Breton, NS, Scotland, Québec, and Ireland, often with world-influenced percussion accompaniments.

Tarcolen
Montreal based Celtic music trio formed by composer Laurence Beaudry on violin, composer and english concertina player Robin Beech and arranger Richard Lupien on guitar.