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13th Celtic Colours International Festival begins Friday, October 9th!

Several venues sold out but seats remain at many exciting shows.

Despite this year’s economic slowdown tickets to Celtic Colours shows remain in high demand with 15 shows already sold out. If you are interested in attending one of our other 29 shows act fast to ensure yourself a seat.

Master Cape Breton Fiddler – A Tribute to Jerry Holland – Saturday, October 17th

Jerry HollandAlthough he was born in Brockton, MA, Jerry Holland’s name has become synonymous with Cape Breton fiddle music. Jerry’s father was a fiddler and from earliest childhood Jerry Sr. put his young son in the company of many of the greatest Cape Breton musicians of the last generation–Winston Fitzgerald, Bill Lamey, Angus Chisholm, and many others including his father. By age 10 he was playing at Bill Lamey’s dances in Massachusetts and by the age of twelve, he played guitar for Angus Chisholm and Bert Foley on a regular basis. Jerry’s family made annual summer visits to Cape Breton when he was a boy, and eventually, he made up his mind to move here in the fall of 1975. Life in Cape Breton surrounded him with people who know and love the music. Digesting those experiences, a mature musician and composer evolved. Jerry took his music to many parts of the world and his compositions have gone even further. He has fan clubs in Denmark and hundreds of people playing his tunes all over the world. For the last 40 years Jerry Holland was a continual inspiration to the younger generation of fiddlers. As a teacher, his generosity was unparalleled; as a performer, recording artist and composer his influence penetrated all of the Celtic world. In July, the world lost Jerry after a two year battle with cancer. Together with a host of Jerry’s friends, this multi-media show will chronicle the life and music of an inspirational figure, known the world over for his immense contribution to Cape Breton fiddle music. It will be an emotional evening and a great celebration of an inspirational artist.

Tickets still available for some of our most exciting shows

Liam Ó Maonlaí

Island to Island – The Cape Breton Musical Bridge – Explore the musical links and extraordinary friendships that began in 1993 when a group of 16 Cape Breton musicians, singers and dancers were invited to Ireland to create a Cape Breton festival in Cork.

A Taste of the Festival – A glimpse of what to expect for the rest of the Festival. This year you’re going to notice the strong Irish flavour right away with many of our 24 visiting Irish artists offering up a fine selection of piano, fiddle, harp, Irish songs and sean nos singing.

A Touch of the Irish – This concert is in one of the areas of Cape Breton that was settled and built by Irish immigrants. The wave of Irish folk landing in Lower River Inhabitants on this night aren’t coming to stay, but their music will surely leave just as lasting an impression.

United Steelworkers of Montreal

Thanksgivin’er - With so many of the Island’s young people coming home for the Thanksgiving weekend from University and off Island jobs, we decided to have a party to celebrate! The licensed, nightclub-like setting of this event offers a change of pace from most Festival events which are typically sit-down affairs.

The Piano Summit – This concert will showcase some of the best piano players local tradition has produced along with two of Ireland’s foremost pianists. The unique architecture of Our Lady of Fatima Church will be a perfect setting for pianos grand and small.

Mentors and Musical Minds – Five years ago Féis Mhàbu started a mentorship program and many of our top fiddlers and culture bearers jumped on board. The program uses house sessions to bring talented young performers together with the masters. You will see how the youth performers’ individual styles are being nurtured under the influence of the mentors.

The Fiddle Tree – Luthier Otis Tomas has built a few hundred instruments for musicians in the US, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark and even Japan. In 1997 Otis was awarded a Nova Scotia Arts Council grant to build a complete family of stringed instruments using a single maple tree that grew adjacent to his property. Follow this link to a wonderful video that tells the story of the fruit borne from the tree – the instruments, compositions and now, a Celtic Colours International Festival show.

Please visit our show description page for more information on all our performances.

Pack your fiddle, paintbrush or bicycle and join in the fun!

Le Vent du Nord Working closely with hosting community organizations, Celtic Colours International Festival is able to offer plenty of opportunities for folks who are itching to experience our living Celtic culture firsthand through music, visual art, workshops and outdoor events.

For musicians looking to be part of the racket there will be daily Participatory Events that range from traditional, all-join-in tune sessions to song sharing sessions and open-mic style events.

For those looking to hone their skills with some of the masters there are many Learning Opportunities offered through the week for all skill levels and a variety of different disciplines.

Tempting as it might be to spend the entire nine days of the Festival inside enjoying our world class artists, Cape Breton’s beautiful fall scenery and spectacular landscape are not to be mised. Be sure to check out some of our Outdoor Events and take in some fresh air.

And in the unlikely event of a rainy day you can take shelter at one of the exhibits that make up our dazzling Visual Arts Series.

Once the exploring is done and you are preparing for a big night of music, be sure to seek out some traditional Cape Breton fare at a Community Meal. From pancake breakfasts to seafood feasts and even Thanksgiving dinner, our community partners will be hard at work making sure everyone is ready for the evenings’ high energy sessions.

Purchase tickets by phone, online or at our box office!

Purchase online 24/7

By Phone: 1-888-355-7744 (toll free in North America)

At the Box Office: Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion, 74 Esplanade, Sydney (head for the Big Fiddle). Our Box Office and phone lines are open Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm ADT.

If phoning to reserve tickets, we ask that you have your wish list and a valid credit card handy. We accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express for all phone and internet orders.

If you are an avid Twitter or Facebook user be sure to follow us and interact with other fans and friends of the festival. Also be sure to preview some of the world class artists coming to the festival on our YouTube Channel.

Also be sure to to visit our Community Forum to meet with and talk to other like minded folks. Many of the good people there are regular attendees of the festival and are always willing to share their experiences and answer any questions you may have about the event.

Call toll free for more information +1(877) 285-2321