Covid 19 update

During the pandemic, Ottawa Swordplay is offering the following alternatives to our regular program:

  • Indoor and outdoor physically distanced classes: Fall Classes
  • Digital memberships with Online Drill classes: Memberships
  • Increased online content: YouTube
  • An online Store with delivery within the Ottawa area: Store


  • 4 Nov 2020 9:36 PM | Marla Desat (Administrator)

    Indoor classes are back as of Tuesday, November 10th!

    The schedule is the same as before the shutdown, with two small changes. First, if you and someone from your household would like to sign up for the same class, you will now be allowed to do paired drills together. Second, we've replaced our Saturday classes with a single Longsword Solo Drill class. While targeted at intermediate students, novice students are welcome to join in! 

    Indoor at the Swordhall:

    • Tuesdays at 7 pm: Longsword Solo Drill
    • Wednesdays at 7 pm: No Contact Novice Longsword
    • Thursdays at 7 pm: Rapier Solo Drill
    • Saturdays at 11:30 am: Longsword Solo Drill 

    Outdoor Classes Continue

    While the weather permits, our Saturday outdoor classes continue! Join us for the great weather this weekend in the west end or east end.

    Updates to Covid-19 Precautions

    Following the latest advice from Ontario, we have adjusted the student training rings in the Sword Hall so that each fencer is 3 metres apart. We continue to require non-medical (cloth) masks to be worn for all indoor classes, and we will continue to regularly sanitize high-touch surfaces and shared equipment. To minimize contact, we're also asking students to avoid arriving too early or lingering too long after class.

    Your safety is always our top priority. If you are feeling ill, stay home, and we will gladly switch your registration to another class once you are well. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know

  • 12 Oct 2020 7:18 PM | Marla Desat (Administrator)

    In accordance with the latest restrictions announced on October 9th for Ottawa, we have cancelled all indoor classes for at least the next 28 days. We will continue to offer physically distanced outdoor classes, online classes, and local delivery of store purchases.  Check the website for all the latest news, and you can always reach us by email at if you have questions. 

    Take care and stay safe!

  • 4 Sep 2020 4:30 PM | Marla Desat (Administrator)

    New Fall Schedule

    Fall is almost here, and evening classes in the parks are getting a little dark! So, we’re adding a small selection of indoor classes at the sword hall on weeknights, and moving our outdoor West End longsword class to Saturday. Just like our Summer Swordplay classes, we’re offering all these classes on a drop-in basis. This makes it easy to skip a class if you’re busy or if you need to stay home because you’re ill. Our new schedule starts September 8th. 

    Indoor at the Swordhall:

    • Tuesdays at 7 pm: Longsword Solo Drill

    • Wednesdays at 7 pm: No Contact Novice Longsword

    • Thursdays at 7 pm: Single Sword Solo Drill

    • Saturdays at 10 am: No Contact Novice Longsword

    • Saturdays at 11:30 am: Paired Longsword Drill (sign up with a partner from your household/bubble)

    Outdoor at Andrew Haydon Park:

    • Saturdays at 11 am: Longsword Solo Drill

    Drop In Classes for Novices Now Available

    Brand new to swordplay? Join us for our no-contact novice longsword classes on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings.

    These classes are offered on a drop-in, physically distanced basis. You’ll learn all the basics of longsword. All you need is comfortable clothes, a cloth face mask and a water bottle.

    Workshop: Making and Using a Pell

    Join John and Jacques on Friday, September 25th at 7 pm for a pell workshop! You'll make a pell to take home, and learn the do's and don'ts of pell work for training at home. Your registration fee includes all the materials to make your pell. 

    Sign up for the pell workshop today to secure your spot! 

    Latest Covid-19 Precautions

    Following Public Health guidance, we’ve updated our Covid-19 Policies to reflect the measures needed for indoor classes. All participants in indoor classes must wear a mask or face covering. We’ve taped out training space in the sword hall so students and instructors can maintain at least a 2 m distance while training. Loaner swords will be sanitized after each class, and hand sanitizer will be available for all students.

    All of our instructors are using the Covid-19 Alert App  and we encourage all students to also use the App. 

    Click here to view our full policies.  
  • 9 Jul 2020 3:22 PM | Craig Shackleton (Administrator)

    Ottawa Swordplay is introducing Outdoor Solo Drill Classes on Tuesday evenings starting July 14th.

    These classes will be physically distanced and will expand upon the video drill classes we offer on Saturday afternoons. Classes will be limited to 8 students and two instructors. We have established specific Covid-19 Policies that students must follow if they attend these classes.

    In addition to a class led by Craig and Matthew at 1760 St Laurent Blvd (our Sword Hall), Sean and Marla will lead a second class at Andrew Hayden Park, and John and Jacques will lead a class focusing on Single Sword at Britannia Park. Click the button below for more details and to register. 

    Summer Classes

    These classes are offered weekly on a drop-in basis, and credits will be given in the event of cancellation due to inclement weather. Attendees will be given access to the Ottawa Swordplay Discord server, including access to the Saturday drill classes.

    As with our online memberships, we are offering scaled pricing. Our base price is $25 per class. If you are struggling financially, you are welcome to pay our subsidized price of $10 per class. If you are willing and able to help us offset the subsidy prices, we invite you to pay the generous price of $40 per class.

    We are excited to be able to offer these new outdoor classes and hope you will join us for some summer swordplay! 

  • 1 Apr 2020 5:08 PM | Craig Shackleton (Administrator)

    We are working hard behind the scenes to bring some swordplay to you and keep our community connected.

    Today we opened our online store. We only have a few items currently, but we will add more soon. We will be doing porch drop-off delivery on Tuesday every week.

    We also have added a new video from our Virtual Open House to our YouTube Channel. Please watch and subscribe! More videos will be added regularly.

    We've created a new Online-only membership, with three levels. We know that many people are in a pinch, so we are giving you the opportunity to support us and each other at level that makes sense for you. The subsidized membership is $10/month for those who are in a tight financial situation. The regular price is $25/month, and if you are in a position to help a little more, and offset the subsidized rate of others, we have a "generous rate" of $50/month. All three levels give the same access, so sign up at the level that is right for you.

    The online memberships will give access to a new Discord server and extra video content. Additionally, if you are an online member in the Ottawa area and don't have a practice sword, let us know and we will porch-drop a wooden training sword for you to borrow. We will also hold weekly video chats and/or tournament video watch parties.

    If you've already pre-paid for a membership for when we re-open, you automatically get all of the benefits of an online-only membership. If you prefer to switch to online-only, let us know and we will set that up.

    We have more on the way soon, so watch this space!

  • 12 Mar 2020 8:00 PM | Marla Desat (Administrator)

    The only thing we take more seriously than fun at Ottawa Swordplay is safety.  As Ottawa recorded our first cases of Covid-19 we wanted to share with you the steps we are taking to help keep our students and our community safe.

    1. We ask that all students who have an active cough or cold or who have had a fever in the past 24 hours stay away from class. As directed by public health, you should also be contacting your doctor to see if you need to be checked for Covid-19 and consider self-isolation.
    2. If any instructors have an active cough or cold or has had a fever in the last 24 hours, they will not come to the Swordhall and will contact their doctor to see if they should be checked for Covid-19. If a replacement instructor cannot be found, that class will be cancelled and students will have the option to make up that class at another time.  
    3. All students who do attend classes are encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water for 20-30 seconds before class or use a hand sanitizer if available.  Wearing gloves throughout class is encouraged. Generally speaking we should all be washing our hands thoroughly five times a day according to public health experts.
    4. Sharing of fencing masks is strongly discouraged.  Please don’t buy or wear “surgical” masks. They don’t help you and you will be taking them from the frontline health care providers who really need them.
    5. All shared equipment will be regularly cleaned.
    6. Ottawa Swordplay plans to remain open throughout the Covid-19 crisis unless we are directed by any level of government to close.  We will update you if any of our plans change.

    If you have any questions or concerns regarding our health and safety expectations, please feel free to reach out to Matthew at

  • 10 Oct 2019 7:00 PM | Anonymous

    We are pleased to announce a new course on Stage Combat. This 10 session course will run on Sundays, 1 pm to 5 pm, beginning October 20th. It's great for aspiring actors, directors, and anyone with a theatrical flair!

    Chris McLeod of Ottawa Stage Combat will lead this course on systems and techniques for making choreographed fights safe and realistic. 

    For more details and to register, visit the Stage Combat course page.

  • 18 Aug 2019 4:13 PM | Craig Shackleton (Administrator)

    We've been working hard getting our new Sword Hall at 1760 St Laurent Blvd ready for the past few months. Even though we've been running classes during the summer, it's really been our set-up phase. We are proud to announce that our official Grand Opening will be Saturday September 7th!

    At Noon we will have a ribbon cutting ceremony and cake to celebrate. Then, from 12:30 to 4:00, we will run an open house with free introductory lessons, clay target cutting, reproduction armour and swords to handle and learn about, and more! Our instructors will be on hand to tell you about our classes and curriculum, or answer your questions about swords and swordplay.

    We offer classes for adults and youth aged 8 years and up, and all ages are welcome at the Grand Opening. Drop in any time from 12:00-4:00, but if you want to try a free lesson, it is best to reserve a timeslot to avoid disappointment!

    We invite you to join us in celebrating the opening of our fantastic new Sword Hall!

    Register Here!

  • 5 Aug 2019 3:12 PM | Craig Shackleton (Administrator)

    We've had a very busy week preparing for and hosting Points North Longsword Tournament. It was a huge success, and a ton of fun!

    But that doesn't mean we get to slack off! Today we posted our schedule of courses for the fall! We have a few more to add that we need to confirm details on, but the majority of fall classes are open for registration! 

    Don't forget, if you sign up for a paid membership, you get discounts on all of our classes and workshops, including free access to all of our fight nights and open training nights. And starting this fall, all paid memberships give you free access to our Lunchtime Longsword and Conditioning for HEMA classes!

  • 23 Jun 2019 8:26 PM | Craig Shackleton (Administrator)

    We've added some new features for our members!

    We've created some discussion Forums, and we will adapt those as we find out how to make them best serve you! Right now there are forums to discuss class material, organization/administration, and just to socialize and chat.

    For the time being, we are reserving these forums for our active members only.

    In addition, we've added an "event" which is actually the opportunity to rent a bin to keep your gear in. We will also provide a place to put your sword. Just remember to take your jacket home and wash it from time to time!

    All of these things are only visible to registered members, and only if you are logged in. If you have any difficulty, contact us and we will sort you out!

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