The flurry of feet, and flash of silk… it’s coming!

The Flamenco’s are coming! The Flamenco’s are coming!

Treasa O’Driscoll, her Irish lilt normally calm to the ear, gets pretty excited when she talks about Novalis Hall. This remarkable building is nestled among a forest of hardwoods in the depths of Camphill Community, south of Angus, off County Rd. 10. [Click here for more about Camphill)

Novalis Hall, designed by architect Neil Ironside, is a seven-sided acoustic delight, with domed roof and entry and welcoming space accompanied by fabulous performance amenities. Neil designed Novalis Hall with seven corners, to represent the seven arts which so contribute to our world.

There’s a corner to represent painting. There’s a corner for music. There’s one for sculpture. One for architecture. One for poetry. One for social art. And one for dance.

Treasa first came to Barrie in 2001 to perform at Trinity Anglican Church. It was an evening of Irish poetry, song and story. She sings traditional Irish songs in the Irish language and she and Barrie and the Camphill community felt in love with each other. Treasa’s husband started the Celtic studies program at University of Toronto, a program that continues to thrive. Leaving an urban, intellectual setting and moving to Barrie to embrace Camphill and the Novalis cultural performance centre has proven to be a terrific move for Treasa.

She devotes much of her time to attracting top flight talent to perform at Novalis, and she’s been extremely successful. It’s about the happen again.

When Esmeralda Enrique brought her Flamenco dancers here in 2004, she drew a full house audience.

Many of us think that Flamenco dancing started in Spain, but its origin is rooted in northern India. The Spanish culture has embraced it as a popular feature of its own. And Esmeralda Enrique brought it to Canada when she immigrated here in 1982. She has created a dance company renowned for its excellence. She’s a fascinating choreographer and her spanish dance company offers a program called “A Passion for Life.”

She’s bringing five of her dancers to Novalis at Camphill on Sunday, June 4 for a 3 pm performance. Treasa, as well as being thrilled at the prospect, is thrilled to have the local community enjoy two monuments to culture… the achitectural design of Neil Ironside AND the design and dynamic performance of Esmeralda Spanish Dance Company ( While Novalis is world class, ticket sales tend to occur along the gentle approach with which Camphill lives its life. Treasa is selling them by phone call at 722-5408, or through the Novalis website at or by emailing her at At $25 per ticket, it’s an excellent opportunity for dance students to see a professional production and meet the performers in the process… teacher gifts, birthday gifts, or just an opportunity to treat your senses from all corners of the world.

As Novalis takes its place in our performance community, Treasa is excited about its potential to bring people into the Camphill circle of family support, work and play.

Treasa sums up what happens to her, sitting in a chair, watching the Flamenco dancers at Novalis… “it touches part of my soul that has never been touched before. It gets you in your solarplexis. I’ve seen the dancers twice at the Toronto Dance Theatre, but it was more exciting at Novalis. It’s such an intimate hall and there’s such a connection between dancers and audience!”

Thanks, Treasa.