Toronto English Country Dancers

A Weekend with Joseph Pimentel
and Childgrove

Friday, June 17 -
Sunday, June 19, 2005

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

with special guest
*Mark Sullivan*
for the Friday night contra dance



Joseph Pimentel   Joseph Pimentel
Childgrove   Debbie Jackson
Anne Ogren
Martha Stokely
of Childgrove
Mark Sullivan   Mark Sullivan

Quick Links
Overview Schedule
Locations Where to Stay and Eat
Registration Registration Form (pdf)


We’ll kick off the weekend with a contra dance on the Friday night played by Debbie Jackson and Canadian fiddle champion Mark Sullivan, and follow that with two days of special events in one of Toronto’s finest dance halls. There will be workshops, special classes and a Saturday night English ball, all held on the Danforth, one of the city’s liveliest neighbourhoods.

  Friday Night Contra Dance with Debbie Jackson and Mark Sullivan
Saturday Workshops
Saturday Night Ball (all dances taught)
Sunday Advanced English Workshop

Callers’ Workshops with Joseph Pimentel
Musicians’ Workshop with Childgrove
Traditional Dance Demonstrations
and more!

Joseph Pimentel

Joseph Pimentel, one of the best-loved callers on the contra and English circuits today, is known, not only for his teaching and programming, but his wonderful sense of fun. He is based in Ohio, and calls all over North America as well as in Europe. Joseph has recently brought out his first book of dances, entitled The Cardinal Collection.


Childgrove is the hottest new band on the North American English scene. It consists of Debbie Jackson on piano, Anne Ogren on fiddle and viola and Martha Stokely on oboe, pennywhistle and recorder. With backgrounds as diverse as classical, Celtic, jazz, bluegrass and klezmer, these musicians have a richly textured, energetic and original sound.

Mark Sullivan

At only 22 years, Mark is an astonishingly accomplished fiddler: he has won 12 championships, including the 2001 and 2004 Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle competition, has appeared on the BBC, PBS and Bravo, has toured throughout Ireland and Scotland as well as North America, and has four albums to his credit. He performs solo as well as playing with Tramp Steamer and The Brian Pickell Band.


 5.45 Registration begins
 6.00 -  7.25  Callers’ Master Class I: The first segment of a two-part workshop spanning the weekend. Contra and English callers welcome; some calling experience necessary.
 7.30 - 10.30  Contra Dance: Joseph will call cool, fun dances to the sizzling music of Debbie Jackson and Mark Sullivan.

11.00 -  1.00  English Dance Workshop I: How to Enjoy English. An excellent workshop for both English and non-English dancers alike.
 1.00 -  2.30 Lunch break
 2.30 -  5.00 English Dance Workshop II: Joseph will explore with us the richness and fun of English dance.
 5.00 -  8.00 Dinner break
 8.00 - 11.00 English Ball: Featuring the music of Childgrove. Evening, festive or period attire encouraged, but not required. All dances will be taught.

11.00 -  12.30  Musicians’ Master Class: Childgrove will lead a hands-on workshop for both aspiring and accomplished musicians. While this is a special treat for English musicians, players of contra music are also welcome! It will be held at the Ralph Thornton Centre in the basement meeting room. Doors open at 10.30 am for anyone who wishes to set up equipment, warmup, etc. Please bring music stands. We will be providing one keyboard only for the band. Please note: space may be limited and some music will be pre-assigned, so we urge you to pre-register for this workshop if possible. Tunes to be prepared for the workshop include Indian Queen (D major), Childgrove (d minor), and Ashford Anniversary (G major).
 12.30 -  1.30  Short lunch break
 1.30 -  4.00 English Advanced Workshop: Super duper, industrial-strength seriously difficult advanced English dance workshop (we mean mind-benders, folks!) A special treat for the very advanced dancer.
 4.00 -  4.30 Setup break
 4.30 -  6.00 Callers’ Master Class II: Space for active (i.e., calling) participants is limited, so please register early to avoid disappointment. Non-calling participants (dancers or observers) need not pre-register. Please note: spaces for active callers have been filled as of June 3rd, but if you haven't yet registered and would like to call, you may wish to prepare a dance in case there is enough time during the class to fit in some extra callers.


St. Barnabas Anglican Church hall, 361 Danforth Avenue

St. Barnabas is located along the Danforth in one of Toronto’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. The church is at the corner of Danforth and Hampton Avenues, near Chester subway station (entrance on Hampton Avenue). The hall has an excellent sprung wooden dance floor and great acoustics.   Click for directions.

St. Barnabas hall has a strict shoe policy. Street shoes will NOT be permitted on the dance floor at any time. Please bring non-marking, preferably soft-soled dance shoes, with broad heels.

Ralph Thornton Centre, 765 Queen Street East (Musicians’ master class)

The Ralph Thornton Centre is 2 blocks east of Broadview Avenue, easily accessible by TTC. Google map of area.

Getting to Toronto
There are frequent flights from most major cities into Toronto’s Pearson International airport. Toronto is also well-serviced by VIA Rail trains and Greyhound and Voyageur bus lines. Public transportation (the TTC) is available from the airport, train, and bus stations. Taxis, limos, GO, and Airport Express are also available from the airport.
New Rochester-Toronto ferry service
The ferry service between downtown Rochester and downtown Toronto has been rescheduled to start later in June 2005.

Where to stay and eat

Toronto is a wonderful, safe, and clean city with many vibrant downtown neighbourhoods and an excellent public transit system. The subways run until about 1:30 a.m., and there are streetcars and buses that run 24 hours a day, so getting around is easy without a car, and quite convenient for many hotels and tourist attractions, as well as the church hall.

Accommodation (including billeting) information

Dining information
The Danforth area has a large and diverse array of restaurants. Note that all restaurants and bars in Toronto are now non-smoking. Only some of the closest restaurants to the dance site are listed here. The City of Toronto and are two of many sites with more information.


Weekend package (13 hours of dances and workshops) includes:

Saturday package (7½ hours of dances and workshops) includes:

Package prices :
advance rate    after June 3rd
  CDN   US   CDN   US
Saturday package   $40 / $34   $42 / $36
Weekend package   $65 / $55   $70 / $59
Individual event prices at the door:
    CDN   US
Friday Contra $15 / $13
Saturday English Workshop I $14 / $12
  English Workshop II $14 / $12
  Night Ball $18 / $15
Sunday Advanced English Workshop $14 / $12
Master Classes:
Friday Callers I
Sunday Callers II
Sunday Musicians
  CDN   US
Any one master class $12 / $10
Any two master classes $22 / $18
Any three master classes $30 / $25

Price of master classes not included in either package.

Single session tickets will be available at the door, space permitting.

Registration form  (PDF file).

Last updated June 16, 2005.