Some of our favorite websites

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If you're looking for something in particular, we highly recommend searching in Google.

Montreal area Irish and trad organizations

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

Centre for Canadian Irish Studies  at Concordia. You can get a minor undegraduate degree or an adult education certificate. Meas!! Plus, if you email them at'; they will put you on their notification list for all kinds of local Irish events, lectures, shows.

Danseurs et Musiciens de l'Île Jésus ( Laval group offering Québecois and international traditional dance workshops with live music, plus music workshops. Sounds like fun! The site also has music recordings, for which you must register to get access. 

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.

Comhrá - Montréal Irish Language Study Circle (MILSC) ( ) The name speaks for itself! The newly updated 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.

La Société pour la promotion de la danse traditionnelle québécoise (SPDTQ)  (
est un organisme qui oeuvre à la diffusion des arts de la veillée : la musique, la danse, la chanson et le conte.  The SPDTQ is local organization for the promotion of the traditional dance of Quebec. It organizes numerous activities, notably the L'École des arts de la veillée music school ,  Les Veillées du Plateau dances, and the les viellées trad sessions of traditional quebecois music and singing. 

Music and Dance resources

A Guide to the Irish Flute ( Great information, including advice for obtaining a suitable flute, by Siamsa teacher Brad Hurley.

Ardglen Bodhrans & Bones  ( Hand-made instruments for discerning drummers. These bodhrans are skillfully produced by Fred Graham. Fred teaches the advanced bodhran class at Siamsa. 

Brother Steve's tin whistle page ( A wealth of material for whistle players, including photos and tips for Siamsa whistle students, by whistle teacher Stephen Jones. Sign the guestbook!

Ceolas celtic music archive ( Claims to house the largest online collection of information on celtic music, including hundreds of links. Here you will find include profiles, links and discographies of hundreds of musicians and groups, tour schedules, festivals, sessions and places to hear the music around the world, books, magazines, mail-order sources, radio shows, and links, links, links, reviews & sound clips of new and classic recordings, information on celtic-style instruments, hundreds of traditional tunes in different formats, along with software and tune indexes, and celtic dance related sites.

Chris Walshaw's The abc musical notation language ( Explains ABC notation, an alternative to normal music notation which is very popular in traditional music.

Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Eireann ( This is the largest international traditional Irish Music organization, with branches all over the world. Notable in their website are contacts for every branch, information about central and regional musical archives (in Ireland), a schedule of sessions in Ireland, and biographies (billeog) of important musicians who have moved on to the next world. Check out the downloadable mini-videos 

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. Many hidden delights, eg, the home page and several articles by Siamsa's first fiddle teacher, David 'Papper' Papazian.

Les Danseux  ( un groupe d'animation en danses traditionnelles québécoises composé de danseurs amateurs passionnés voulant éveiller votre curiosité,susciter votre intérêt pour notre musique et nos danses en redonnant une place de choix à notre culture.

Ottawa Irish Music Blog This webpage provides links to primarily Ottawa Valley, and Irish Traditional Music (ITM), activities in, or within a few hours to a day's drive, of the Ottawa / National Capital Region of Canada. Music is a shared experience between musicians and the audience.

Roger Millington Publishing Multi-talented Stephen Jones, a former Siamsa teacher, produces this web home of Packie Manus Byrne. You can learn all about Packie and sample the various books about him.

Whistle & Drum ( Good-quality online vendor of whistles, Irish, flutes, bodhrans, banjos, celtic jewelry, music books, and more.


Music and dance events

The Chris Langan Weekend ( Cyber-home of this excellent Toronto weekend, First-quality pipers and fiddlers are brought in from Ireland and elsewhere, ensuring a very high musical standard, and locals of the Langan Gorman Comhaltas branch provide a warm welcome to visitors.

La Grande Rencontre   . An exciting line-up is planned. Consult the link for the latest news.  May event

Carolan Festival  June event - Worcester, Vermont - a gathering of people who play or listen to the music of Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738), Irish harper and composer. The spirit of the day will be to share our appreciation of the music.

Willie Clancy Week  July event . This is the granddaddy of Irish music summerschools, now in its 38th year. We cannot praise it highly enough, for amount and quality of music and teaching. It can be overwhelming because of the crowds, however.

The Irish Arts Week, East Durham, NY  July event. This is the best quality Irish music and dance week you'll find on this side of the pond, and it gets better every year!(webmasters' opinion, of course!). You get a full week of classes at a reasonable price. The locale is a Catskills town where the NY Irish have summered since the 1920s. Check the website for the line-up of first-class teachers. Every skill level is accomodated. Tip: try to get lodgings with a swimming pool.

Festival Mémoire et Racines  July Event- Action-packed weekend at Parc Bosco in Joliette featuring numerous local and imported artists.  Friendly, fun atmosphere, lots of sessions, dances.

CAMMAC, Lac MacDonald ( CAMMAC, a summer music camp for serious amateurs, goes on all summer. It mainly focuses on classical, baroque, and early music.

Pipers Gathering  August event Musicians playing every conceivable kind of pipes, flute and whistle. Fun dances, great sessions. 

Montreal Highland Games  August event. Note - New Venue in Parc Angrignon Lots of Scottish piping (mostly highland), some fiddling and Scottish Dancing.

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

Quebec City Celtic Festival   August event  The presence and traditions of communities of Celtic origin are an integral part of Québec's culture. Come celebrate this unique heritage during the 6th edition of this Celtic festival, featuring music, dance and numerous workshops.

East Coast Tionól (  October Event.  The  Northeast Tionól will be held at Gavin's Resort in East Durham, New York. 



Tune sources

Fiddler's Companion ( Since 1996 the Fiddler's Companion has been a popular internet resource for those interested in the body of traditional music usually associated with the violin, generically called 'fiddle tunes'. Primarily dance music, the genre also encompasses listening music and music written for specific occasions. The Fiddler's Companion is used by musicians, investigators and writers as a research aide, a source for information and lore, for general interest and just for the fun of browsing.

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, encompasssing 'way more than Irish music. Apparently, it all happens more or less automatically, with a 'web explorer' program that looks for the tunes in ABC, a self-updating database, and conversion programs that kick into action upon request. 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 it in the desired format, your choice of 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).

Mick's Virtual Whistle Sound Files ( Sound files of nice tunes.

Montreal Session Tunebook  (  This website is a resource for traditional music with a particular 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.  

O'Regan's Tune Book  see Montreal Session Tunebook

Virtual Session ( See above in 'Music and dance resources'.

Wild Dismay Tunes (


Musicians & Bands

Cats in the Kitchen is 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.

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.

Bombadils -  ( The  Bombadils from Montréal, Québec captured attention with their energetic playing, catchy melodies and interesting combination of styles. From classical, jazz, bluegrass and celtic; the mix will keep listeners engaged until the last tune is played.

Dragún Bán   ( 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.

Tarcolen  is a 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.