Overwhelming community response has led the Celtic Colours Festival Society to approve an increase in venues for the upcoming festival. Each year the Board of the Society advertises for expressions of interest from community groups who wish to host a Celtic Colours Event. This year twelve new organizations applied. Eight were accepted. The number of shows for the 2002 festival will increase from 38 to 44. Three venues have been added in Richmond County and three on the northside.
”We are especially pleased to include North Sydney, Sydney Mines and Bras d¹Or as these are communities that have not applied before and each has a strong tradition in the culture. We wish we had the resources to say “yes” to everyone, but we¹ve accepted as many as we can handle this year”, says Board Chair Wayne MacIntosh.
Richmond County is another area that has made very few applications in past years. On the list this year will be St. Peters, Arichat and Lower River Inhabitants. While La Picasse in Arichat has been a venue in some previous festivals, the combination of three venues from Richmond County is their best showing ever. “This will allow both visitors and locals in that area to get a real taste of Celtic Colours without having to leave the county”, said Max MacDonald, operations manager.
Another interesting trend is an increase in the use of churches as venues for Celtic Colours. In 2002 there will be several churches including Holy Redeemer Church in Whilney Pier, St Matthew Wesley Church in North Sydney, St. Matthews Church in Inverness and St Peter¹s Church in Ingonish. The complete venue schedule is now available on the Celtic Colours web site (www.celtic-colours.com). Artists will be announced in June.
The 5th annual Celtic Colours International Festival in 2001 was the most successful to date. The festival had more performances (38), tickets sold (15,389) and off Island visitors (51%) than ever before. Celtic Colours is able to create a positive story for Cape Breton , lengthen the tourism season and result in an economic impact of $5.4 million last year alone.