Amelie Larade is the daughter of Mark and Donna Larade. She is 11 years old and has been dancing since the age of 5. In that time she has danced for Justin Trudeau and Roch Voisine. Amelie loves to dance and has been working for le Conseil des Arts since she started. Christopher Poirier is a grade 6 student at NDA School in Cheticamp. He has been dancing for eight years. Chris is also a member of a group called Conseil des arts with whom he performs in plays all summer long. This is his third year dancing at Celtic Colours.
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Growing up outside of St. Peter’s in a musical family, Cyril MacPhee was immersed in Cape Breton ceilidhs and heavily influenced by his father’s Scottish and Irish fiddling, Country and Bluegrass music, and Folk singers like Stan Rogers. His musical influences range from the Beatles to Harry Hibbs, and this shows through in his versatility as a songwriter and his unique blend of folk, country and Celtic music. A past Artist in Residence, Cyril has released five albums, three with the popular power-folk group Brakin’ Tradition and two as a solo artist.
Born and raised in Chéticamp, Cape Breton, Sylvie and Christine Doucet have been step dancing for as long as they can remember. They were both founding members of La swing du suête and have shared their love of dancing with many audiences over the years. Both sisters live in Cheticamp and are involved with the local arts council and dance troupe. They are happy to be reunited on stage to share their love of dance and celtic music.
Gervais has been performing since his teens. Mostly in a supportive role, he has played bass and/or rhythm guitar for many local bands as well as J.P. Cormier, Brakin’ Tradition and Cyril MacPhee, with whom he recorded an album. He has been writing music since a young age and has had music recorded by J.P. Cormier, New Brunswick group 1755, and for the local radio station CKJM fundraisers. Most recently, Gervais has been playing and recording with his son, Maxim Cormier.
Hilda Chiasson is one of the most sought after piano players of this generation and has played on more than 50 recordings in Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark and the US. A native of Cheticamp where she played for dances and recorded since she was a teenager, Hilda is also a very good step dancer and has played and recorded with a who’s who of Cape Breton fiddlers including Winston Scotty Fitzgerald, Donald Angus Beaton, Jerry Holland, Carl MacKenzie and J.P. Cormier. Hilda has performed throughout Canada, the US, Scotland, Ireland and Denmark as well as in Dubai, Bahrain, and Afghanistan.
Joël Chiasson is a veteran piano player from Cheticamp, Cape Breton. Citing Hilda Chiasson as his biggest influence, Joël has provided piano accompaniment on more than 25 recordings by artists including Natalie MacMaster, Ashley MacIsaac, Mary Jane Lamond, Buddy MacMaster and Andrea Beaton over the past 20 years. In the late 1990s, Joël toured extensively with Ashley MacIsaac and Natalie MacMaster. Today Joël lives in Sydney with his family and works as a school teacher, but thankfully he still manages to get out and play for concerts and dances in and around Cape Breton.
J.P. Cormier is a gifted multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter who reads the times with songs. He has released more than a dozen records including two career retrospectives, and a book of the tunes featured on his guitar album. J.P.’s impressive body of work has earned him a vast and loyal fan base and multiple award nominations and wins, including 12 East Coast Music Awards, Canadian Folk Music Award, 5 Music Nova Scotia Awards, Juno nominations, commendations from the Governor General of Canada and Premier of Nova Scotia.
La Swing du Suête initially came together in 1997 for the first annual Cape Breton Dance Festival in Cheticamp. Over the years, La Swing du Suête has presented itself across the Maritime provinces as well as in Quebec and Louisiana, USA. The troupe continues to enchant audiences with their music, their dances, and particularly their charm. This troupe is comprised of some 27 dancers ranging in age from 10 to 17 all students at École NDA in Chéticamp.