The Ottawa Medieval Sword Guild (OMSG) hosted their 7th annual camping weekend, on the farms of John Woods and Matt McKee in Spencerville, south of Ottawa during the long weekend from Friday, July 31 to Monday, August 3rd. The weekend featured the usual activities archery, bonfires, large amounts of libations and a pig-roast banquet on the

Maestro Sean Hayes, Northwest Academy of Arms, Oregon, USA, wearing his armour worn at the armoured pas d'armes during the camping weekend.
Saturday evening. The event was attended by David M. Cvet (who came in from Nova Scotia), Ariella Elema, Igal Lelchuk, Brian McIlmoyle and Aldo Valente all from the AEMMA Toronto. Also attending and participating during this weekend, was Maestro Sean Hayes from NorthWest Academy of Arms, from Eugene, Oregon, USA.

This year's event included three new features. A Viking re-enactment and fighting group called "Scallagrims" from Toronto were on hand on Friday and Saturday. They participated in the class delivered by Sean, and also demonstrated their fighting Saturday afternoon. To add, they entertained all present during the evening after the banquet around the bonfire, a demonstration of fire acts, including fighting with swords in flames.

The appellants having been awarded their pas d'armes medalions. L-R: Sean Hayes, David M. Cvet, Brian McIlmoyle, Aldo Valente
Another feature was the pas d'armes organized by OMSG's Herald and armoured combatant, Mat Ravignat. The rules were based on the tournament rules employed by AEMMA in Toronto at the tournaments held at the Royal Ontario Museum. With some minor adjustments to the rules, the tournament was a huge success and will be integrated into future OMSG camping weekends as a new tradition. The appellants were David, Brian, Aldo and Sean Hayes. Sean demonstrated excellent armoured fighting skills and all spectators were suitably impressed with his abilities. The defendants included OMSG's Chris Penney, Dan Sellars, Matt McKee, John Woods and "Nic" from Scallagrims, who wore Anton's gear and fought on the defendants' side. At the conclusion of the pas d'armes, each of the appellants were awarded a pas d'armes medalion, as well as the defendants. All fighters had an excellent time crossing swords, daggers, spears, poleaxes during this armoured challenge.

To add to the events of the weekend, was a Free Scholler test for OMSG's Chris Penney. The test was scheduled on Monday, and the panel included David, Brian and Aldo from AEMMA Toronto, Anton from OMSG and a special guest member of the panel, Maestro Sean Hayes. Chris proceeded to demonstrate his knowledge and skills of Fiore dei Liberi's manuscript from beginning to end, clearly showing his intimacy with the works of Fiore. At the end of the 1.5 hour test, the panelists all agreed that Chris was worthy of the rank of Free Scholler. Chris was awarded the gold garter, the symbol of Free Scholler at AEMMA. By tradition, when a Chapter or Associate Group creates a Free Scholler, the founder of the group, in this case, Anton Cvet, is then conveyed the title of Provost by the Provosts of AEMMA.

Photos captured during the weekend
(All photos by David M. Cvet unless indicated otherwise)

A view of the stable for John Wood's horse "Sunny" and workshop for repairs. A view of the armory where the combatants prepared for the pas d'armes, and the lists. A view of the mess tent where most of the cooking was done during the weekend.
Sean Hayes demonstrating Fiore techniques during the "abrazare" portion of the class.
- photo Gwen Clarke
Continuing with Sean's class now working with "spada".
- photo Gwen Clarke
Another view of the "spada" class at the campsite.
- photo Gwen Clarke
The armoured combatants sitting in the armory awaiting the start of the pas d'armes.
- photo Gwen Clarke
David introducing his fellow appellants at the start of the pas d'armes. L-R: Sean Hayes, David, Brian McIlmoyle, Aldo Valente
- photo Gwen Clarke
The line-up of the OMSG defendants. L-R: Matt McKee, John Woods, Chris Penney, Dan Sellars, "Nic" (Scallagrims)
- photo Gwen Clarke
A shot of all of the armoured combatants participating in the pas d'armes.
- photo Gwen Clarke
David on the left fighting with Chris Penney with spear.
- photo Gwen Clarke
Brian on the left fighting with Dan Sellars with spear.
- photo Gwen Clarke
Sean Hayes on the left fighting with Chris Penney with longsword.
- photo Gwen Clarke
David on the left fighting with John Woods with longsword.
- photo Gwen Clarke
Brian on the left fighting with Matt McKee with longsword.
- photo Gwen Clarke
John Woods on the left fighting with Aldo Valente with dagger.
- photo Gwen Clarke
Brian on the left fighting with "Nic" (Scallagrims) with spear.
- photo Gwen Clarke
Sean on the left fighting with Matt McKee with spear.
- photo Gwen Clarke
The appellants having been awarded their pas d'armes medalion.
- photo Gwen Clarke
A demonstration of Viking fighting by members of Scallagrims.
- photo Gwen Clarke
Brian on the right trying out sword and shield with a member of Scallagrims.
- photo Gwen Clarke
Anton and John preparing to carve up the roasted pig at the banquet Saturday evening. A shot of the banquet tent, with Chris attempting to open his beer.
At the campsite bonfire pit after the banquet, awaiting the lighting of the fire.
The shooting of the flaming arrow into the fire pit, prepared with the usual recipe of gasoline and more gasoline. Shortly after the bonfire became an inferno, the ring of fire spreads outwards along the ground. During the bonfire after the tournament, one of the Scallagrims members demonstrated a fire act.
Another demonstration of playing with fire, with two Scallagrims members demonstrating sword fighting with swords aflame.
A shot of people enjoying the campfire. L-R: John Woods, Matt McKee, Chris Kovach, Mat Ravignat On Sunday afternoon, Yassar Arafat (a.k.a. Brian) holds a spear class in the lists area. A shot of Sean Hayes very intent during the spear class.
Father and son (John Woods and John Woods, Jr.) working the spear class together.
Chris Penney working with his "zugadore" John Woods during the first portion of his Free Scholler test, covering "abrazare". Chris demonstrating "daga" techniques during his Free Scholler test. Continuing with the next section of Fiore, Chris demonstrates "spada" techniques.
Chris demonstrating how one may use a baton (stick) and dagger from the Fiore treatise.
Chris demonstrating "azza" techniques with his "zugadore" John Woods. After the formal testing of the academic and skills portion of the test, Chris now faces challengers, the first being Aldo Valente who challenges Chris to "abrazare".. Maestro Sean Hayes challenges Chris to longsword during his Free Scholler test.
Anton challenges Chris with longsword during the test.
Brian challenges Chris to single-hand sword during his test. A closeup of Chris's protective head gear. To balance the table of images, here's a shot of full moon overlooking the harbour in Saint John, NB, around 10:30pm, Tuesday after the OMSG weekend.
The Saint John to Digby ferry, getting loaded up in preparation for the crossing of the Bay of Fundy.

AEMMA wishes to thank the OMSG folks for a great weekend, and their hard work for making this a great success and a great tradition. We look forward to the next year's weekend events!

Click here to view more photos of the March Break.

Copyright © All rights reserved   Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts (AEMMA)
Released: August 7, 2009