By Chris Connors – Cape Breton Post
The combination of vibrant autumn hues and top-notch entertainment continues to spell success for the Celtic Colours International Festival.
The eight-day celebration of everything Celtic wrapped up Saturday with the World’s Biggest Square Dance at the Victoria Highland Civic Centre in Baddeck. And though final figures weren’t immediately available, organizers said they were on track to surpass attendance and financial records for the fourth straight year by the time Judique fiddler Buddy MacMaster closed this year’s show.
“It’s been very successful, we expect to have the same economic impact, if not better than last year,” said spokesperson Kerrianne MacKenzie, adding that as of Friday the festival had a 95 per cent sell out rate on all tickets.”
Last year, Celtic Colours sold more than 14,000 tickets to 8,000 people. With nearly one-half the audience made up of off-island visitors the 1999 show also generated more than $4.4 million in economic spin-offs. Celtic Colours 2000 is on track to meet those same economic and cultural goals.
A large part of the festival’s success is the ability to gather more than 200 of the Celtic world’s best performers and attract sold-out audiences to 35 performances in 29 Cape Breton communities. While Canada, Brittany (France), Scotland, Ireland and the United States were represented on stage, MacKenzie noted the Celtic Colours International Festival also boasts a diverse audience.
She recalled looking at the ballots for a promotional draw at a recent festival event and discovering ballots filled out by patrons from England, Ireland, Scotland, Japan, nine American states and seven provinces.
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