SUMMER 2017 / VOL. 17 ISSUE 1
Celtic Colours Celebrates Canada’s Heritage, Oct 6-14
The Celtic Colours International Festival, Oct. 6-16, 2017, is a unique celebration of Cape Breton Island’s living traditional culture. For nine days in October, numerous events and activities take place across the Island.

Some of the world’s finest musicians sharing the stage with Cape Breton’s best singers, dancers, players, story-tellers and culture bearers in venues that range from community halls and churches to modern schools and theatres. Check out the festival lineup at

Celtic Colours International Festivals features
dozens of Canada’s top performers.

Photo courtesy of
Celebrating its 21st year, Celtic Colours offers an ambitious schedule with as many as six concerts a day. Whether it’s Gaelic singing, Cape Breton fiddling, local dance traditions, or an afternoon of world-class bagpiping, guests tailmake their musical experiences.

An opening night concert on Oct. 6 includes such performers as Heather Rankin, Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker & John Doyle, Còig, Cathy Ann MacPhee & Patsy Seddon, La Swing du Suête and IVA

A popular feature of Celtic Colours is the Festival Club at the Gaelic College in St. Ann’s, which opens as the evening concerts close. Festival artists perform in informal settinsg, or hold a session in with friends and musical pals.. Hosted by singer-songwriter Buddy MacDonald, performance is by invitation only and depends upon artist availability on any given night.

The Festival Club
runs each night from 11 p.m.-3 a.m. for those aged 19 years and older. Photo ID required. In addition Colaisde Na Gàidhlig / The Gaelic College canteen is open and all night breakfast starts at 1:30 a.m. A free shuttle service runs throughout the night between The Gaelic College and select Baddeck area accommodations.

According to festival organizers, guests have plenty of things to in addition to hearing marvelous music. Celtic Colours also offers five types of community cultural events.

The Learning Opportunities series will entertain and enlighten you with a variety of workshops, presentations, demonstrations and lectures on Celtic history, music, dance, art, craft and community heritage.

At Participatory Events, you are welcome as a spectator or to immerse yourself in the action and join in on a Square Dance, session or milling frolic.

Get outside and enjoy the spectacular scenery at one of the Outdoor Events. Guided walks, hikes, and boat tours put you in the fresh air.

The Visual Arts Series offers a wide variety of events for art enthusiasts, skilled artists, hobbyists, and collectors. Exhibitions, demonstrations and workshops celebrate the creative spirit that thrives on Cape Breton.

Break bread together and share a home-cooked meal at one of the many Community Meals or visit one of the Farmers’ Markets where you’ll find locally grown food, honey and handmade goods.

They point out that the festival is held during Cape Breton’s most spectacular season, autumn, when the leaves turn color. Tour around the pristine Bras d’Or Lakes, Canada’s largest saltwater lake, or meander along the Cabot Trail, often called North America’s most scenic drive, to find amazing scenery around every turn.

For tickets and information: 1 (888) 355-7744;

Looking Ahead: 
Celtic Colours International Festival begins on the Friday of each Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.

2018 – Oct. 5-13
2019 – Oct.11-19
2020 – Oct. 9-17

While in the area, drop in at Baile nan Gàidheal (The Highland Village), North America’s only living history museum for Gaelic language and culture. The 43-acre site features unbelievable views of the Barramens Strait, 11 historic buildings, including three frame houses (c1830-1900), a store, a carding mill, a church and a forge.

Visitors take part in a traditional céilidh, hear Gaelic singing, learn to speak Gaelic phrases, and become captivated by the spirit of the pioneering Scottish Gaels. Costumed animators demonstrate traditional skills such as weaving, quilting and rug hooking. The rural setting that features a Hebridean style blackhouse, a 19th-century wooden church, period farmhouses, and rare farm animals such as Soay sheep and Highland cattle.

The facility is open from June to mid-October. An admission fee is charged. Parking on site. Bus tours are welcome. A genealogical service, Roots Cape Breton, is also available. 
For more information: 902-725-2272;

For more fun, visit the Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design
Craft and art often mirror the heritage, lifestyle and geography of the region where artisans live and work – nowhere is this more evident than on Cape Breton Island. Artful surprises can be found tucked in the nooks and crannies around the Island. Potters on the North Shore, galleries in the Highlands, rug hookers in Chéticamp and jewellers everywhere in between. They present fascinating blends of traditional and cutting edge, functional and aesthetic, simple and sophisticated craft.

A friendly greeting area invites guests to the
Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design
Photo courtesy of

For other Celtic events in Canada, visit New Brunswick’s Irish Festival on the Miramichi in late July (
and the province’s Highland Games Festival at the end of July in Fredericton (


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Phone: 414-540-6636

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