canada map vectorstock 1605047To serve our mission of encouraging thriving local communities throughout the continent of North America, CDSS undertook a study to learn how to best support local traditional music, dance, and song organizers in Canada. The study focused on local organizers as they are essential to fostering the communities of dance, music, and song traditions that we collectively value.

Whether it be Newfoundland traditional song, Métis step dance, or northern fiddle traditions - every folk tradition is culturally significant. They reflect the shared values and heritage and help to define a sense of identity and belonging. Shared among all of these traditions is the impact they have on individuals, the wider community, and society. Often, there is commonality between organizers of different traditions. For instance, organizers of a Cape Breton traditional square dance, contra dance in British Columbia, or a veillée de danse Québécoise often do similar work, share similar challenges and could benefit from similar supports. Thus, by sharing across traditions, we create more vibrant and resilient communities for all. CDSS hopes that this study is not only helpful for our work and for local organizers but that it is also useful to other umbrella arts organizations. We plan to take action on common interests that have arisen through the study and we will look at ways to address particular interests where we can, often in partnership with others.

POTD2 organizersAttendees from both Canada and the United States at Puttin' On the Dance 2 in Ottawa, Ontario in March 2015The report has two sections. The first ten pages contains the main report while the following 40 pages present the findings of each survey question for those who want to delve deeper into the findings. The report describes who is organizing what throughout Canada. It also goes into depth regarding the strengths and successes of various groups, the challenges that organizers face, and the supports organizers currently need. One particular survey question (question 34 in the appendices) is particularly inspiring as it highlights organizers' impressions of how TDMS positively impacts individuals, communities, and the wider society.

CDSS Canada Organizer Survey Report FINAL EN cov smClick here for the full survey report in English





CDSS Canada Organizer Survey Report FINAL Francais cov smCliquez ici pour le rapport d'enquête complet en français




Follow-up Survey of Organizers in the United States

We are launching a follow-up survey of U.S. traditional dance, music, and song organizers. If you are a U.S. organizer, we would love to hear from you. Follow this link for the survey and fill it out by April 13th.

New Organizer E-News

CDSS is launching a new CDSS email-news specifically for organizers. We will send out occasional e-blasts with resources and stories meant to connect, support, and inspire organizers. You can join the email list here.

Passport to Joy


Our Passport to Joy! program was a huge success! Throughout 2015 you brought your passport to all the great places you danced. You filled its pages with stickers, each representing an amazing memory. But, how can you share the joy now? And wasn’t there supposed to be something about prizes…?

What Did You Do and Where Did You Go?

passportsubmitbuttonThere is indeed some more to come. For this to happen, we need to learn about your “Passport to Joy!” experiences. So…

    1.    Send us a list of Passport Destinations you attended with dates and a final count. Please submit this list by Saturday, April 30th.
    2.    If you want, you can also send photos (of you dancing or smiling, or those Destinations you found, or some or all of your passport pages).
    3.    We’d love to hear any passport-related stories you’d like to share.
    4.    If you traveled a great distance to a Passport Destination, send us those coordinates.

Please do not send us your actual, physical Passport to Joy! We do not really have a way to process them, and – more importantly – you get to keep it as a memento of your CDSS Centennial year.


Yes, there will be entertaining prizes for:

    •    The passport with the greatest number of destinations
    •    Any passport with a whopping 40 stickers or more
    •    The passport holder who reports traveling the greatest distance
    •    Plus two entrants chosen at random. So send us your list - any passport can win a prize!

Prizes will be awarded and announced in May 2016 based on submissions received by April 30th, so send us your info ASAP. In the case of close or ambiguous information, we reserve the right to give out additional prizes.

Stories and photos we receive will become part of this page. Spread the Joy!

Submit your information by clicking the Passport Submission Form button at the top of this page.

If you prefer, you can email your info to And if for some reason you can't fill out the form or email us, send your info via US mail to:

CDSS Passports
116 Pleasant Street, Suite 345
Easthampton, MA 01027-2759

Links to other Forums

The Forum Extension will be on this page.

We're sorry for the inconvenience, but the CDSS Member Directory is currently being rebuilt. We hope to have it back up and running very soon.

The CDSS Affiliate Directory is current being rebuilt and is scheduled for a mid-January 2016 relaunch. Please stay tuned.


Join us each month in song!

CDSS designated 2016 our Year of Song. We chose it for two reasons: to honor the start of Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles’ prolific folk song collecting in southern Appalachia (1916-1918), and to look at how song serves CDSS's mission. This examination also begins a cycle of focusing on one or two genres at a time, as we identify community needs and allow for better use of our resources.

Our Song of the Month feature has been so well received that we decided to make it a permanent part of the website. You'll find an archive of these songs below as well as new ones being posted in the months to come.

CDSS’s song traditions are based primarily in the English and Anglo-American traditions — folk songs, ballads, sea shanties, rounds, songs with choruses. We also include spirituals, work songs, country harmony, African call and response, shape note and gospel, contemporary a cappella, and new arrangements of traditional songs. Our special emphasis is on community singing.

Lorraine Hammond, CDSS Board member and Song Task Group Chair, spearheaded our Year of Song efforts and oversaw 2016’s song selections. Judy Cook took on that role in 2017, and will be continuing through 2018. Our thanks to them both as well as to Lynn Nichols of the CDSS staff for shepherding them to our website.

Happy singing!

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