The 23rd season of Granville Green opens in Port Hawkesbury on July 2nd. Presented by NuStar and Bear Head LNG, in conjunction with KitchenFest!, the free concert features Cape Breton favourites The Barra MacNeils, with special guests Nuallan, Sarah MacInnis and Change of Step.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest live concert acts in the Celtic world, The Barra MacNeils have enjoyed an outstanding recording and touring career for close to 30 years. Hailing from Sydney Mines, the Barra MacNeils’ live concert experience brings so much to the stage—multiple lead vocalists, beautiful sibling harmonies, top drawer instrumental prowess on a wide variety of acoustic, stringed, percussion and wind instruments blended with dancing, storytelling, Gaelic songs; it’s a magical journey through an ancient culture. This is family entertainment at its highest level. Steeped in Cape Breton tradition with strong Celtic roots and musical artistry, this diverse and talented family group continues to wow audiences around the world with their captivating vocals, harmonies and extraordinary musicianship. Multi-award winners, the Barra MacNeils have released no less than 17 recordings. As Cape Breton’s Celtic Music ambassadors, The Barra MacNeils continue to do what they love to do best, and that is playing their music for the fans.
Presented by Exxon Mobil, this week’s special guests are, traditional favourites Nuallan, Sarah MacInnis, and Change of Step.
Comprised of three Cape Breton pipers – Keith MacDonald, Kenneth MacKenzie, and Kevin Dugas – and formed by the Gaelic College, Nuallan seeks to represent, promote and explore the style of piping brought from Scotland by Highland Gaels and developed over the past two hundred years here in Cape Breton Island. This rich style of playing had a strong focus on rhythm and musicality and an inherent link with the song and dance traditions of Gaelic culture. Nuallan’s members are well-known individually for their rhythmic, musical playing and bringing them together to celebrate the importance of these connections was a natural fit.
Sarah MacInnis, from West Mabou, was exposed to traditional Cape Breton music since her earliest days. She comes from a musical family–mom Mary Elizabeth is a triple threat on fiddle, piano and dance, and grandfather Buddy MacMaster was a world renowned fiddler with humble roots in Judique. A gifted Gaelic singer, a lovely step dancer, and piano player, Sarah embodies the Gaelic way, as she aspires to maintain the rich traditions and culture of her ancestors.
Formed by world-class dancers from Nova Scotia and Ontario, Change of Step came together with a shared vision to breathe new life into traditional highland dancing. This dynamic dance company performs original choreography that is rooted in Scottish tradition, yet shaped by modern influences. Change of Step’s dancers have won numerous provincial, national, and international championship titles and have performed at diverse prestigious events, including Parliament Hill on Canada Day, the Vancouver Olympics, the Dollywood Festival of Nations in Tennessee, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and the finals of So You Think You Can Dance Canada. Change of Step’s inspiring performances showcase the musicality, grace, and power of highland dancing.
Granville Green is a free outdoor concert series, overlooking the Strait of Canso, produced by the Town of Port Hawkesbury. Each concert begins at 7pm and concertgoers are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs for comfort. In case of inclement weather the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre will be used.Other Granville Green Concert Series sponsors include: TD Bank, Port Hawkesbury Paper, Nova Scotia Power, Destination Cape Breton, Province of Nova Scotia, Canadian Heritage, Maritime Inns, SoundSource, Atlantic Lottery, KitchenFest, K & A Electric, The Reporter, and 101.5 The Hawk.