Celtic Colours curtain call less than a week away

Laura Jean Grant –The Cape Breton Post

englishtown_thumb.jpgSYDNEY — The leaves are quickly changing colour and that can only mean one thing — the Celtic Colours International Festival is just around the corner.

The nine-day festival of Celtic music and culture held in communities across Cape Breton kicks off in less than a week with the ‘Common Ground: Carlos Núñez’ Celtic Journey’ show, Friday at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre and concludes Oct. 18 with a tribute to Cape Breton’s own Rita MacNeil at the Sydney Marine Terminal.

“It’s a lot of details at this point,” said festival artistic director Joella Foulds, from Celtic Colours office headquarters in Sydney. “Everything seems to be falling into place. We’re just putting the icing on the cake at this point, finalizing the details of some of these big shows.”

Foulds explained that the biggest shows of the festival — particularly the opening and closing concerts — require a lot of rehearsal time between the main artists and the guest artists who are coming together for those events only.

“There’s definitely really good, good shows left and a variety of different shows that there’s ticket left to . . . so people should get out there and get’em.”

“The Carlos Núñez show has people from Cuba, people from Brittany, people from Cape Breton, people from Scotland, people from the other side of Canada and they’re all trying to come together and get enough rehearsal time in the day before and the day of so we have to plan all this with a great deal of precision,” she said.

This year’s Celtic Colours festival has attracted artists from across Canada, the United States, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Denmark, France, Spain and Cuba and while a few will begin arriving today, the bulk of the performers will land on the island next week before the music starts Friday. Thousands of visitors and fans of Celtic music will also begin to descend on Cape Breton in the coming days.

Meanwhile, Foulds said everyone involved with the festival will spend the next few days making sure they’re as prepared as possible to host 47 shows and a mind-boggling 265 community events associated with the festival.
“There’s no end to the details and the devil is in the details but that’s also the joy because if you don’t see a problem and it looks seamless than we’ve been successful with the details,” she said.

Tickets for Celtic Colours are moving well and 15 shows have already sold-out but Foulds said there’s still lots of great options for people looking to take in some great music.

“In the past, we’ve had a lot of sold-out shows and locals who put it off weren’t able to get tickets but locals, if they move now, should be able to get tickets for quite a number of shows,” said Foulds, noting, as examples, that tickets are still available for the opening night show, the Ceilidh at the Big Fiddle, the Coming Home: A Songwriters Concert, Thanksgivin’er, and Pan-Celtic Voices.

“There’s definitely really good, good shows left and a variety of different shows that there’s ticket left to . . . so people should get out there and get’em.”

A complete Celtic Colours schedule, information about shows, artists, community events and tickets are available at

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