June Newsletter 2021
In This Issue:

Atlantic Flamenco is fundraising, support us!
 Feature: Jerez Horse Fair
This month: Flamenco Online Courses
Upcoming events

Spring has Finally Sprung!

The cherry blossoms have bloomed here in Nova Scotia.
Our events continue despite the ongoing covid restrictions.  Learn more about our fundraising efforts in association with Atlantic Flamenco (our non-profit organisation), to support our local artists and keep our students (both local and worldwide) connected to Flamenco.  Here in Nova Scotia, our Flamenco community is small, but mighty. Our province has a long history of devotion to music and art and Flamenco is no exception.Stay Strong, Stay Safe!
Photo Credit: Jon James Photography. 

Dancers: Karen Staples, Kiriam Thompson, Rachel James and Maria Osende.

Our Fundraising Efforts During the Pandemic

The unprecedented situation that we all currently find ourselves in, has drastically affected our usual activities.  All in-person dance classes in Nova Scotia have been cancelled off and on over the past several months, making it challenging for both our students and our teachers.  We also haven’t performed in over a year.  This has meant a monumental re-think of how we continue connecting with our supporters and community at large.  Through a variety of online workshops, classes and performances, we have been keeping up our fundraising efforts as best we can.

Maria Osende, in association with Atlantic Flamenco, began providing online dance classes through her school very soon after lockdown began. These included a free daily morning ballet barre and workshops with dancer David Romero (Seville) and singer Caridad Vega (Sanlucar, Spain). Rachel James provided free online rumba classes during the month of May 2020, as a community outreach activity and to help keep our students spirits lifted. 

We held our first online student showcase at the end of April. “Fiesta en Casa” was a great success, raising money and allowing Atlantic Flamenco to offer more online events.  In May of this year, the latest lockdown descended in Nova Scotia. So we offered free online weekly classes.  An open level flamenco fun class with Maria and a fan technique class with Rachel.  Our restrictions are still uncertain for at least the next few weeks, so we are extending the free classes through the month of June too.

On the Spanish cultural side, we offered an amazing Easter traditions workshop, allowing participants to cook torrijas along with Flamenco Singer Caridad Vega, direct from Spain, while she sang traditional Easter songs. Caridad also lead two Ponte Guapa workshops, where she gave tutorials on how to style hair and makeup for Feria season and flamenco events.

Our cultural newsletters are being released every several weeks. The content of which is provided by a team of dedicated volunteers, whose efforts maintain our continued existence.

This past year has been difficult for everyone all over the world, for many reasons, but we are very glad that we are still able to share our love and knowledge of Flamenco during this time.  We are also very grateful to all of you that donated, supported, attended and danced with us, despite the distance, language barriers and technical glitches!  Thank you to all of you. 

If you are interested in donating to Atlantic Flamenco, please click the donate button below.  Donations $20 or above are tax deductible.  Donations can be one time, or recurring.  Please visit our website for more information

Other ways to support us this month!

– Participate and donate through our free online class offering.

What is the Great Canadian Giving Challenge? From June 1-30, every $1 you raise through CanadaHelps* will enter you to win $20,000. 

Thank You For Your Support!

Photo credit: wikipedia commons

Jerez Horse Fair

The Jerez Horse Fair, known as the Feria del Caballo, is traditionally held during the first or second week of May. It is an exciting and lively event that brings the entire city to the Gonzalez Historia fairground, which covers an area of 52,000 square meters, giving ample space for the finest horses of Jerez, as synonymous with the city of sherry and flamenco, to show off to the crowds. 


The fairground, known as the recito, was opened in 1903, and in the same year it was agreed that individuals and societies could build their own casetas (showy tents). There are almost 200 casetas that make up the fairground, beautifully decorated with colourful paper lanterns known as farolillos. Unlike the Feria de Abril in Seville where most of the casetas are private, with access by invitation only, these in Jerez are mostly public for everyone to enjoy.

Photo credit: Robin Muller

Already during the day the Feria is a world of senses but as soon as the sun sets the fairground takes on a whole new dimension with a total of 1,360,000 lights including 206 archways and hundreds of garlands.

The history of the Feria del Caballo goes back 500 years to the commercial livestock fairs that were established during the months of April and September, when Jerez was just a small town during the reign of Alfonso X El Sabio (Alfonso the wise one reigned from 1252-1284).

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons

It was during the 1955 Feria, when the Domecq Sherry family initiated the idea of celebrating the working horse, used widely through cattle farms in the area.

To the outsider, this fair is similar to the Seville fair with portada and casetas, but it has its own equine flavour, and takes place in an entirely different venue – what is, essentially a park. It is known for its refined air, due to the many aristocratic sherry families with their beautiful horses. Each year the feria has a different theme.

A  program is designed with various equine events taking place throughout the week such as in-hand showing, carriage driving, doma vaquera ( traditional working horse discipline) and acoso y derribo (rounding up of cattle).


A highlight is to watch the informal horse and carriage processions which take place every day within the fairground from 1PM to 7:30 PM. At about 7 PM the horses leave the fairground when you can witness hundreds of riders and carriages of all styles, parade the grounds in a composition of elegance and majesty.

Reference: Andalucia.com

Photo credit: Robin Muller

Jerez is also home to the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art (Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre), which is one of the most prestigious classical riding academies in the world.  It is famed for the beautiful dancing horses and is a popular destination for travellers to visit from all over the world

Upcoming events!
We can’t wait to see you all and we are thrilled to announce some days for you to mark in your calendars:

  • Thursday, July 29, 2021 – Flamenco Summer Night at the Marquee Club (tentative!)
  • Tuesday, November 16, 2021 – free lunchtime program at Halifax Central Library, Paul O’Regan Hall in celebration of World Flamenco Day
  • Sunday, November 21, 2021 – Free Celebration of Flamenco featuring various performances at Halifax Central Library, Paul O’Regan Hall in celebration of World Flamenco Day

Maria Osende Flamenco Co. /Atlantic Flamenco is a charitable cultural organization committed to the appreciation and dissemination of dance, flamenco and Spanish arts and culture in the Atlantic region and beyond. The company is dedicated to the creation and production of new choreographic works, original music, and the presentation and preservation of its extensive repertoire. Atlantic Flamenco brings performances and outreach events to our city and province. In partnership with the Flamenco Dance School Maria Osende, we offer free outreach programs and masterclasses with guest artists.

Maria Osende Flamenco Co. /Atlantic Flamenco is generously supported by public funders, local partners and patrons. Thank you all, we could not do this without you ❤️