Yes indeed, our carefully planned weekend of fantastic dancing in September, 2021 has yet again been derailed by the pandemic but fear not for we are hard at work planning an even more stunning event in 2022!
The new dates are April 14-17, 2022 and we are making it a Canadian caller extravaganza where you will get to dance to Don Moger, Barry Clasper, Dave Hutchinson, Wendy VanderMeulen, Brian Crawford, Marge Coahran and Mark Benoit all in one action packed weekend!
We have secured a special rate of $139 per night at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown which is right in the heart of the beautiful Byward Market and close to just about anything you might want.
All dancing will take place at Arts Court Theatre which is a short two block walk from the host hotel.
Check out our Ottawa page to begin planning your adventure in Canada’s capital city.
We can’t wait to see you again!
– the Veer North team.
We are pleased to welcome some very talented callers to headline our fly-in and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us on the dance floor. They’re all Canadians eh? Goes with our theme of ‘Oh! Canada!’ quite nicely don’t you think?
Don and Avena live in Montreal and call for clubs that dance Mainstream thru C2. Don started dancing in 1975, and began his calling career by teaching a group of teens to square dance in the same year. About a year later when a well known caller relocated to the U.S., Don’s calling jumped from one to five nights a week. In 1988 a dream came true when he opened a square dance hall, which he operated and called at seven nights a week for many years. In June 2004 he retired from his job as a Technical Advisor in a lithography company after 36 years, which allowed him even more time to travel and call square dances, an activity he loves so much.
In addition to his club activities, Don has called at events throughout Canada, many U.S. states, and England, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, France, Austria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Norway. He has also appeared on four television shows to promote Square Dancing. Don is a member of GCA and CALLERLAB, and he has held executive positions on MASDA, CVCA, and MACA. He is delighted to be calling his third IAGSDC Convention in Ottawa 2023.
Dave Hutchinson first started square dancing in 1965 with his parents and learned the basics. At the age of 7 he called his first singing call, Tie Me Kangaroo Down. A few years later he started traveling to National conventions across the U.S. where he gained a lot more experience.
After a teenage hiatus he started dancing seriously in 1977 and took up calling in 1978. After a year under the tutelage of John Park he started his first club, the Star Promenaders. At its height they were dancing 15 squares on a regular basis. They danced from basics up to C2. In those days he did a lot of traveling both in the U.S and Canada and called at most National Conventions in both countries.
Two of the major highlights of his calling career were being on staff for T & D’s International convention and the Triangle Squares Fly In, both more than once. They must have liked him.
In 2008 he left his job and calling to fulfill a dream of working on a cruise ship. He spent three years as a scuba instructor and head of sports for the Star Clippers cruise line.
Since coming back, he has rediscovered his love of dancing and now calls regularly for 4 clubs in Eastern Ontario. He calls regularly from basics to C2 and is known mostly for always keeping the fun in dancing. With his Life Partner Mary, they dance as often as possible, at any level, and enjoy every second they are on the floor. This will be his first time calling at an Ottawa Fly in and he is looking forward to it tremendously.
Barry lives in Toronto, Ontario with his wife Pam. They started dancing in 1973 and immediately got hooked. Barry started calling in 1984 when a local C2 tape group asked for help with some things they couldn’t find on teaching tapes. He figured if he was going to write material to help them, he might as well call it. Since then he has expanded in both directions and now calls from Basic through C4.As a dancer, Barry loves choreography that is smooth and flowing yet also provides some mental stimulation and the occasional surprise. When calling, he strives to create this effect through smooth danceable choreography flavoured with a bit of unusual positioning to create a dance experience containing both physical and mental elements.
Barry changed careers in September 2007. He retired from IBM after 30 years and is now a full-time caller and able to travel more than he has in the past. He’s called at weekends and conventions in 8 provinces, DC, and 27 states, as well as Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, England, the Czech Republic, Taipei, Beijing and New Zealand. He’s also a staff caller with the Academy for Advanced and Challenge Enthusiasts (AACE).
Barry is a member of CALLERLAB and the Gay Callers Association. Within CALLERLAB he is a past Chairman of the Board (2013-2015), has served on the Executive Committee (2011-2017) and has been a member of the Board of Governors since 2009. He has written articles for Zip Coder, The Call Sheet and American Square Dance Magazine. Barry and Pam were honoured with the Golden Boot award in 2018 for their exceptional contributions to our activity.
Wendy started dancing in 1983 in Cobourg, Ontario. Over the years, she was urged to try calling many times because of her lovely singing voice, so in 2000 she participated in a new callers clinic, and as they say, the rest is history. She started her own club, Wendy’s Elegant Eights, in January 2001. She became the club caller for the Meri Squares (Basic) in 2002, the Charmin’ Promenaders (Plus) in 2012, and the Ottawa Date Squares in January 2020. She also calls for Saturday Squares, a once-a-month group that meets to improve their skills and be challenged with “tougher” choreography in the Mainstream and Plus programs. Wendy has called in 6 US States and 3 Canadian Provinces, including many US and Canadian Nationals.
Wendy began recording singing calls in 2015, and she feels honoured to have recorded five with Sharpshooter and one with Hipster Productions. Wendy also loves doing Party Nights, introducing people to Modern Square Dancing and giving them a fun time. She has conducted numerous party nights and workshops in the Ottawa and Montreal areas for company dinners, church socials, wedding parties, retirement parties, group picnics, Christmas parties, and so much more.
She is a member of CALLERLAB, where she serves on the Women in Calling Committee, Mainstream Committee, Plus Committee, and Application Review Committee. Since February 2016, she has been the Chair of the Public Relations Committee. She is also a member of the Ottawa Area Callers’ Association (OACA) and the New England Caller/Teacher Association (NECTA).
She wouldn’t do it if she didn’t love it!
Marge joined the Toronto Triangle Squares as a new square dancer in September 2014. She loved her first IAGSDC convention and her first GCA caller school, both of which were at Maple Leafs Regroup in Toronto, 2016. She has attended every IAGSDC convention since then (physical and virtual), as well as multiple caller schools (GCA and otherwise). She has been calling Mainstream and Plus for the Toronto Triangle Squares.
Marge has chaired Toronto’s fly-in committee since 2017, and feels privileged to have helped teach the club’s MS and Plus classes since 2019. At her day job, Marge is a technical project manager at a not-for-profit company that creates secure data environments for health research. In recent months she has also found some time for reading and basic yoga.
Here are some of the calling workshops she has attended:
2016: GCA Caller School, Toronto
2017: Joe Uebelacker school, Peterborough
2018: GCA Caller School, Seattle
2019: Women in Calling (WIC) Institute, Richmond VA
In 1991, Brian and his wife Amy joined Mississippi Squares Dance Club (named for the Mississippi River that flows through Carleton Place and nearby Mississippi Lake) in Carleton Place, Ontario as new Basic dancers. In 1995, after learning Plus, Brian attended his first calling workshop, and over the next few years he received mentoring from Mel Wilkerson, the Mississippi Squares caller at the time.
In 1998, Brian co-founded the Town and Kountry Kickers in Stittsville with another local caller. In 1999, his co-founder took over as full-time caller for the Kickers, and Brian started calling for the Mississippi Squares. Over the years, Brian has also called for the Dynamite Tay Dancers in Perth, the Bytown Squares and Shadowcasters in Ottawa, and the Swinging Saints in Brockville. By the early 2000s Brian was calling five nights a week, but work commitments made that unsustainable. Now he does lots of guest calling across Ontario, Quebec, and the United States, but the Mississippi Squares is his only permanent gig. Brian hosts a worksop each spring that helps dancers from across eastern Ontario develop their skills. He has called many square dance conventions across Canada, and he has donated his time calling for many, many fundraiser events.
Brian and Amy served on the Mississippi Squares club executive for three years. Brian has served as Chair of the Ottawa Callers Association and as a Representative to Eastern Ontario Square and Round Dance Association. By day, Brian is regional manager for Benson Auto Parts in Carleton Place. He has been in the auto parts industry for more than 30 years.
Mark Benoit has been calling for the Ottawa Date Squares since 2002 when he attended his first CGA caller school. He calls Mainstream through C1 and has been guest caller at several Ottawa fly-ins and club events as well as at several IAGSDC conventions.
In his spare time he enjoys video games and hanging out with the bear community.