St. Ann’s, NS – Celtic Colours International Festival is much more than a series of concerts highlighting traditional music. Celtic Colours is also one of the world’s premier promoters of Celtic culture- from fiddle music to Gaelic singing, from weaving to milling – this year’s festival celebrates Celtic culture from its roots as a traditional lifestyle to its rebirth as a living culture of song and story.
A diverse schedule of workshops, lectures and displays offers something for every taste. Each session is accessible and geared toward many varied interest and ability levels. Hector MacNeil, of the Gaelic College in St. Ann’s, says this year’s workshops represent an intriguing approach to uncovering and understanding traditions, “For Celtic Colours 2000, we’ve challenged ourselves to go further in exploring many aspects of the living culture. More communities will host events, and our topic fields are expanded to offer the participant a truly interactive experience.”
St. Ann’s, Iona, Englishtown, Baddeck, Sydney, D’Escousse, Johnstown, Christmas Island, Dingwall, Glendale and Port Hood will all host workshops this year. While travelling the island participants can learn about Gaelic language in Iona or add their voice to a Gaelic song in Englishtown. If you admire Scottish weaving and spinning, witness the magic of the south Haven Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers at the Gaelic College in St. Ann’s. If you are already a capable musician, you can “Learn from the Masters” in Baddeck.
Workshops and lecture series offered by Celtic Colours also help to define the similarities and differences between the Celtic cultures practised on both sides of the Atlantic. “The Music of the Gael” lecture series planned for the University College of Cape Breton will offer a more theoretical approach to the study of the Gaelic traditions.
The Celtic Colours International Festival’s mandate is to preserve and promote the heritage and Celtic cultures of Cape Breton. That culture is expressed through the Gaelic language, music, arts and crafts, and is practised in communities the island over. The workshops and lectures planned combine to create a unique festival that reaches beyond the concerts and ceilidhs into the heart of the Celtic tradition alive on Cape Breton Island. The festival organizers hope everyone will take in the concerts, and join in the dancing, but will also be sure to be a part of a workshop and experience the colours of Celtic culture in person.