Place, Culture and Community: The Irish Heritage of the Ottawa Valley



The Ottawa Valley is a region of Canada straddling the Ottawa River in Ontario and Quebec that is well known for its rich singing, storytelling, fiddling and step dancing traditions. Settled largely by the Irish, Scots and the French over the past two hundred years, it had largest concentration of people of Irish origin in Canada by the late 19th century. Travelling through the Valley one gets the sense of coming face to face with the past. While its dramatic history is filled with incidents of extreme hardship and tragedy, the overriding impression is of a triumphant survivalism associated with its strong men of the past; the voyageurs, the coureurs du bois and the lumbermen. The legacy of this unique heritage-from fiddling and step dancing to tales of priests, lumberman, and Orange and Green rivalries-is explored in this book through the voices of Valley people themselves. The author reveals the importance of place and history in the transmission of this vibrant regional culture down to the present day.

Product Details

Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Publish Date
October 01, 2009
6.0 X 1.2 X 8.2 inches | 1.32 pounds

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About the Author

Johanne Devlin Trew, PhD, is a Research Associate in the Institute of Ulster Scots Studies, School of English, History and Politics, University of Ulster, Magee. Previously, she held the post of Research Fellow (2004-08) in the School of History & Anthropology, Queen's University Belfast, jointly based at the Centre for Migration Studies, Ulster American Folk Park, where she was awarded significant funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council for her oral history work on contemporary Northern Ireland migration. She has published in the areas of migration and Irish studies in several journals including Ethnologies, International Journal of Canadian Studies, Immigrants & Minorities, Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies and Irish Studies Review.