First-day ticket sales up for Celtic Colours

By Erin Pottie – Cape Breton Post

First-day ticket sales are up for the Celtic Colours International Festival.

Tickets for the festival went on sale a week ago Monday and by the
day’s closing, 1,900 tickets were sold – an increase of 25 per cent
compared to last year’s first-day sales.

“The festival is continuously gaining greater profile internationally
through its artists and attendees,” said Dave Mahalik, information
officer with Celtic Colours. Festival director Max MacDonald agreed.

“More and more people are becoming aware. The majority (of sales) are from outside of Canada – mostly the U.S.”

The tickets purchased on the first day of sales were also sold to
people across Canada and from many parts of Europe. International
ticket sales for the festival are mostly done through the festival’s
Web site at This is the third year the festival
has sold its tickets online and over 40 per cent of this year’s
first-day ticket sales were online.

“It makes it convenient. We make it easy for them, as easy as we can,”
MacDonald said. “Most people who come are from off Cape Breton Island,
many are interested in discovering more about their family roots. Also,
people come who have an interest in Celtic music. It’s a living Celtic
culture. An experience many of us take for granted.”

The festival, now in it’s eighth year, had a $5.9-million impact on the
economy of Cape Breton last year, putting money back into community
groups hosting Celtic Colours events all over the island.

“It’s an enormously important renewable resource,” said MacDonald. “I
think there’s been a tremendous resurgence in Celtic culture.”

The seventh Celtic Colours festival sold 18,000 tickets and festival
organizers expect to sell 20,000 this year. MacDonald says first-day
ticket sales for this year’s festival exceeded expectations and show
that the festival is growing.

Celtic Colours yields numerous events each fall, when the leaves of
Cape Breton Island show their rich, bright hues. The festival features
over 300 Celtic artists, playing six shows a night at over 30 venues
across Cape Breton Island.

Information on the festival can be found online at or by calling 1-877-285-2321.

(Erin Pottie is enrolled in St. Thomas University’s bachelor of arts
journalism program. She is on a summer work term at the Cape Breton

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