By Laura Jean Grant – Cape Breton Post
Celtic Colours expands. Festival introduces visual arts series
SYDNEY, NS – Celtic Colours officials are hoping to paint a broader
picture of the local arts community with the addition of a visual arts
series in the annual festival.
The seventh annual Celtic Colours International Festival begins Friday
with the Gala Opening Concert at Centre 200 and will feature 44
concerts in 33 Cape Breton communities before wrapping up with the
World’s Biggest Square Dance in Baddeck, Oct. 18.And for the first
time, the nine-day event will feature a visual arts component, with
exhibits and workshops taking place at locations across the island.
Spearheaded by local artist Catherine Moir, festival officials
partnered with the Cape Breton Artists’ Association and the Cape Breton
Centre for Craft and Design to produce the series.Moir – an oil painter
and a member of the Cape Breton Artists’ Association – proposed the
idea of a visual arts series to festival organizers, who embraced the
concept. Once approval was given, Moir began the task of organizing and
collecting the artwork of hundreds of island artists.
Reached at her home in Rear Big Hill, Baddeck, Wednesday, Moir said
she’s been having a busy week helping the various venues set up their
exhibits and making last-minute arrangements. She said she’s confident
the new visual arts series will be well received by both the local
community and visitors to the area.
“I think it’s going to be great,” she said. “The idea is that now
people from all over the world will be able to see the great Cape
The series will feature seven separate exhibits and six workshops. The
exhibits will showcase a wide range of visual arts including paintings,
quilts, rug hookings, photography and much more.
“We’re quite proud of what we’re showcasing,” said Moir.
Moir said she’s particularly excited about an exhibit which will be hosted at the Wagmatcook Cultural Centre.
“For the very first time in Cape Breton, we’re having a show of Aboriginal artwork,” she said, noting, “It looks beautiful.”
Workshops will be also be a big part of the series and festival goers
will have a chance to learn more about topics such as quilting,
painting, photography, carving and drawing from professional local
artists in those fields.
Moir said the workshops are an important aspect of the series, as they
will give participants basic knowledge in specific areas of the arts
and will also draw people in to see the exhibits – as many of the
exhibits and workshops will be held in the same venues. Fees for the
workshops are $20 and Moir said several have already sold out.Joella
Foulds, Celtic Colours festival director, said they’re thrilled to add
a visual arts component to the festival, which has focused mainly on
music and language up until now.
“From our perspective, we think it’s a wonderful addition to the
festival,” she said. “We have a strong visual arts element to our arts
community and this is a perfect opportunity to show people what we’ve
Foulds said festival organizers really appreciate all the hard work
Moir and other artists have put in to making the new series a reality.
“We’re really excited about it,” she said.
Moir noted the visual arts series fits in perfectly with the theme of
Celtic Colours, as colours and Celtic and Aboriginal histories remain a
big influence of local artist’s work.Moir said she’s hoping the
exhibits are well attended and is encouraging all area residents and
visitors to view the creations of the talented pool of local artists.
For more information and to register for a workshop call the Cape Breton Artists’ Association at 563-1437.
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