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Celtic Colours ends on high note

By Chris Shannon – Copyright © 2005 Cape Breton Post

Like it began, the Celtic Colours International Festival went out with
fiddles ablazin’ on both sides of the island Saturday night.

Gaelic singing, guitar playing and toe-tapping beats at both the Sydney
Marine Terminal and Mabou’s Strathspey Place concluded the nine-day
festival that celebrates the best and brightest Gaelic musicians and
storytellers from Cape Breton and around the world.

Attention now swiftly turns to the festival’s 10th anniversary next
year and what audiences and performers can expect from organizers in
2006.

For those closest to the epicentre of activity surrounding Celtic
Colours, it’s already been the topic of small talk over coffee and
board room discussions for some time.

“We started about six months ago,” said co-founder and festival
director Max MacDonald with a laugh. “We’ve already contacted, months
ago, some artists, many whom are busy people with international
careers, and so we make sure we get the people we want to get.”

The blueprint for next year is still very much a work in progress.
However, MacDonald said expect the same number – 48 – or even more
concerts to keep the crowds entertained and coming back for more. Those
decisions will be made in February, he said.

He added that there will be lots of reminiscing during the week.

“We want to bring back a lot of the artists who have been with us over
the years and celebrate each of the nine years. It’s going to be fun to
do.”

There were more than 19,000 tickets sold during this year’s festival,
slightly more than last year. Billed as the biggest event of its kind
in North America, Celtic Colours attracts more than 6, 000 visitors to
towns and villages across the island, 4,500 of which come from central
and western Canada, the United States and Europe.

MacDonald
said the exposure for Cape Breton artists at Celtic Colours opens up
their marketability to other well-known Celtic celebrations such as the
Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow, Scotland, and the Tºnder
International Folk Music Festival in Denmark, enabling them to pursue a
full-time career in the industry.

Copyright © 2005 The Cape Breton Post All Rights Reserved.

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