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Mabou residents named recipients of Frank ‘Big Sampie’ Sampson Award

The presentation of the Festival Volunteer Drive’er Association’s Frank ‘Big Sampie’ Sampson Award recently took place at Lakewind Sound Studio. Fred Lavery, Lakewind Sound Studios, Flo Sampson, wife of the late Frank Sampson for whom the award is named, and Blair Brown, right, president of Festival Volunteer Drive'er Association, present the award to Margie Beaton and Dawn Beaton. Submitted by Blair Brown

The presentation of the Festival Volunteer Drive’er Association’s Frank ‘Big Sampie’ Sampson Award recently took place at Lakewind Sound Studio. Fred Lavery, Lakewind Sound Studios, Flo Sampson, wife of the late Frank Sampson for whom the award is named, and Blair Brown, right, president of Festival Volunteer Drive’er Association, present the award to Margie Beaton and Dawn Beaton. Photo submitted by Blair Brown

SYDNEY — The 2008 recipients of the Frank ‘Big Sampie’ Sampson Award are Margie and Dawn Beaton, of Mabou.

The award, presented by the Festival Volunteer Drive’er Association, will help the two performers produce their first CD.

The non-profit organization — whose goal is to promote, represent and support participation in Cape Breton arts, music, cultural heritage and hospitality — formed in 2004 and is made up of individuals who volunteer as drivers with the Celtic Colours International Festival held each year in October. Drivers further volunteer their time by selling performing artists’ albums and the Celtic Colours compilation CD during the festival. Proceeds from these sales are directed to the association and sustain their sponsorship programs.

The Frank ‘Big Sampie’ Sampson Award is named in honour of Frank Sampson, who was an inaugural member of our Drive’er Association, and provides funds to a young, up-and-coming artist studying or performing in the Celtic arts. The award is co-sponsored, by Lakewind Sound Studios and the recipients receive a total of six days of recording time.

Dawn and Margie Beaton have been dancing and playing fiddle since they were young girls. Over the years they have performed at concerts, ceilidhs and festivals all around Cape Breton, throughout the Maritimes and as far away as Washington, D.C. and Scotland. They have been featured internationally on television, radio and video. Dawn and Margie have performed in numerous Celtic Colours shows over the years.

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