Ottawa Date Squares

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Also known as: Les Carres aux Dattes d'Ottawa-Hull

Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada


Started: Feb 1995

Admitted to IAGSDC: 26 May 1995 as Full Member; 09 Apr 2009 changed to Associate Member; 03 Jul 2014 returned to Full Member

Status: Active

History: Founded by Jean-Marc Robichaud and Larry White when they moved to Ottawa. Larry had been dancing with Triangle Squares. The club became inactive in 2010, but revived in 2014

Timeline (from club website):
1995-2007: The club started up in February 1995 and continued until 2007

2006: We danced at the 2006 Out Games in Montreal, where square dancing was recognized as a cultural activity.

2007: In the fall of 2007 we had too few people and went into a “dormant” state.

2013: In the fall of 2013, former Date Square dancer, Richard Sharman, who was learning to call, started the club up again both as caller and hosting the club in his basement. We tried again, and had enough for a square… for a while. Then people left, and with some friends helping we managed to get a square.

2014: In January 2014, we tried again and this time were successful and had a full square. Most of these people stayed with us and danced in the Ottawa [straight] convention in the summer of 2014. In the fall of 2014 some more people joined us and got the square-dancing bug!

2017: We sadly said goodbye to our caller, Richard Sharman when he left us to relocate to BC and we moved the club out of his basement and over to the Jack Purcell Community Centre downtown where we took on a new caller, Dave Currie.

Classes: Basic, Mainstream, Plus

Club Caller[s]: Mark Benoit, Richard Sharman (moved to British Columbia in 2016), Dave Currie (2016-2018), Wendy VanderMeulen (2019- )

Levels: Basic, Mainstream, Plus

Dance Location[s]: Jack Purcell Community Centre

Fly-Ins Hosted:

Conventions Hosted:


  • first gay square dance club to dance on the floor of the House of Commons
  • first square dance club to incorporate legally recognized gay weddings in a weekend fly-in program


  • Radio Interview: a 1996 radio interview with Larry White discussing gay square dancing and the upcoming fly-in, Chase the Bunny. The interview aired on a weekly LGBT program on CHUO radio, the University of Ottawa radio station.
  • All My Lesbian and Gay Square Dancing Children: an old-fashioned radio soap opera that was recorded by club members to air on the University of Ottawa' radio station, CHUO, during the 1996 pride week programming.