Sydney, N.S. — “The lineup looks AMAZING!!!” was just one of
the comments posted in a community forum on the Celtic Colours
International Festival website last week, following announcement of the
artists and schedule for 2004.
In its eighth year now, the
internationally acclaimed festival has attracted a loyal following
around the world. Many of these music-lovers frequent the festival
website to keep in touch with each other, to participate in online
discussions about the event or the artists performing, and to post
travel tips or stories about their experiences at the popular Cape
Breton festival. And although summer is just hitting its stride here on
Cape Breton Island, this announcement has people already looking
forward to October and another nine exciting days and nights of music
and dance at the eighth annual Celtic Colours International Festival.
Celtic Colours gets underway October 8 at Centre 200 in Sydney with
some familiar faces. The Gala Opening Concert will welcome back
legendary Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean after a four-year absence. Dougie will be joined by Cape Breton’s Barra MacNeils, the brilliant Haugaard & Høirup from Denmark, the Gaelic College Pipe Band and members of the Forrester School of Celtic Dance. This show will also introduce the Artists in Residence for 2004 — Corrina Hewat and David Milligan, from the Scottish group Bachue, and Cape Breton’s Gordie Sampson — who will present their commissioned collaboration, The Unusual Suspects of Celtic Colours, later in the week.
Some other unique shows to look forward to this year are tributes to
Mi’kmaq fiddler Lee Cremo and Richmond County fiddler, guitarist and
piper Gordon Cote. These tributes, along with the annual tribute to
Winston “Scotty” Fitzgerald, will feature tunes and stories from
friends, family and proteges of these legendary Cape Breton players.
Pianos du Jour is another one of a kind concert that will showcase some
of the finest contemporary Cape Breton piano players, and Passing the
Bow will prove there is no generation gap in traditional music by
featuring players from four generations who span over seventy years.
By the time the Festival comes to a close, October 16 at the World’s
Biggest Square Dance in Baddeck, hundreds of artists from Scotland,
Ireland, Wales, Denmark, Norway, Germany, the U.S., and across Canada,
will have performed during 44 concerts in 33 communities all over Cape
This year’s performers include: Irish bard Tommy Makem; Scotland’s Dougie MacLean, Tony McManus, Bachué, Dòchas, Anna Massie, Angus MacDonald, GiveWay, Harem Scarem, and Rhona Lightfoot; Crasdant from Wales; Denmark’s Haugaard & Høirup; Norwegian sensation Majorstuen; Bruce Molsky and Chris Norman from the U.S.; and Pipeline, a duo whose members come from Ireland and Germany. Canadians are represented from coast to coast including Fergus O’Byrne & Jim Payne, Richard Wood, John Arcand, David Francey, James Keelaghan, Le Vent du Nord and Daniel Lapp. Among Cape Breton favourites featured this year are Rita MacNeil, Raylene Rankin, Buddy MacMaster, Barra MacNeils, Beolach, Slainte Mhath and Gordie Sampson.
Tickets go on sale July 12 and can be purchased by phone toll free at
1-888-355-7744, locally at 564-6668 or online. For Festival
information, phone 562-6700 locally or 1-877-285-2321 toll free. For
information about accommodations phone 1-800-565-0000.
The Celtic Colours International Festival greatly appreciates the
support of Nova Scotia’s Department of Tourism and Culture, the
Canadian government through ECBC/ACOA, the Department of Canadian
Heritage, Cape Breton Credit Unions and media sponsors CBC Maritimes
and the Cape Breton Post.