Queen of the Highlands Newsletter – issue 5

Ticket Sales are Strong

We’re really pleased with the way ticket sales have gone so far. Overall, sales are more than 35% ahead of this time last year. As many of you know, Celtic Colours offers many different types of venues ranging from community halls to arenas. There are 6 shows already sold out and another 10 with fewer than a hundred seats left at Select-a-Seat. I just want to alert you to the facts so as to avoid disappointment.

Lieutenant Governor to Attend Opening Gala

Celtic Colours Festival Society is pleased to welcome Her Honour the Honourable Myra A. Freeman Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia to the Opening Gala concert of the Festival.

– Max MacDonald – Producer

Tønder, 2001

I’ve just returned from attending our sister festival, the Tønder Festival in Denmark. Even though I’ve been to Tønder before, it was an amazing experience. I probably saw more, learned more and met more people than I could ever imagine.

In its 27th year, Tønder is one of the finest folk festivals in the world with a long history of presenting Celtic music which is very popular in both Denmark and neighbouring Germany. Cape Breton is always well represented. Natalie MacMaster, the Rankins, Ashley MacIsaac, the Barra MacNeils, and JP Cormier have all performed at Tønder. This year was no exception. Master fiddler Jerry Holland and the young traditional band Beolach were invited and very well received. Jerry discovered that he has a fan club on an island off the coast of Denmark where they spirited him away ( along with pianist Marion Dewar and guitarist Paul MacDonald) for a feast and a session. Beolach was surprised by a double encore at one of their shows and loud shouts of enthusiasm whenever Mac, Mairi or Wendy danced. I travelled with the musicians and was a guest of the festival Director, Carsten Panduro. It was a week of marvellous music and incredible hospitality.

What makes Tønder so special is not only that they invite the best artists in the world, it is also that they treat their performers and guests better than any festival I’ve attended. Every volunteer (and there are 1600 of them) maintains an attitude of respect and caring for the performers. The result is that the performers come to the stage ready to give their best and magic happens. And on Monday, when it is officially all over, the musicians who are still in Tønder play well into the night for a huge volunteer party. At several points there were over 25 musicians on stage from at least seven countries. There were no more “bands” or individuals, it was one huge ceilidh. New friends were made, old friends were reconnected and the music and the audience were the beneficiaries.

– Joella Foulds – Artistic Director

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