A new Cape Breton Heritage Festival, including a military-themed weekend and a multicultural-themed weekend, was announced today at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre. The inaugural event will be held from June 3 to 11, 2011 at venues around the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
“We are excited to celebrate both our strong military heritage and our rich and diverse cultures of Cape Breton,” said John Fraser, Event Manager. “This festival will provide a kick-off to our tourism season, while honouring our roots.”
The festival begins with “Show of Force Weekend – Cape Breton Air Show” from June 3 to 5. On Friday evening, there will be a Mussels Fest with a performance by The Privateers at the Louisbourg Volunteer Fire Department. Events continue in Louisbourg the following day with horse-drawn wagon rides, costumed animators and other community events throughout the community.
On Saturday, June 4, the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion on the Sydney Waterfront will host the HMCS Moncton and HMCS Summerside navy vessels for public viewings, a mini tattoo event, and a free concert featuring the Stadacona Band.
Also on Saturday, and again on Sunday, June 5, the air show at the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport will include demonstrations by the Canadian Forces Snow Birds, the Canadian Forces SkyHawks Parachute Team, a CF-18 aerial demo, a Search and Rescue demo (with Hercules, Cormorant and SAR Techs), aircraft displays, weapons displays, a WWII re-enactment, free rides to the public on Light Armored Vehicles, and more.
One of the highlights of the weekend will be a Hero’s Hall, where current and past members of the Canadian Forces will be gathering to share stories.
The following weekend, attention will turn to the “Roots and Food Festival – A Multicultural Celebration” on June 10 and 11, at Centre 200 in Sydney. These festivities will kick-off on Friday evening with a cultural extravaganza concert featuring African Nova Scotian Music Association’s Artist of the Year – Shelley Hamilton, along with Colin Grant, Awakening Souls youth choir, and much more.
On Saturday, Centre 200 will turn into Cape Breton’s version of the United Nations, with cultural performances and displays from the various communities represented within the Multicultural Council of Cape Breton. A highlight of the day will be the wide array of delicious foods of the world that will be available for sale and sampling.
“The economic impact of these events on the local economy will be substantial as we boost the June shoulder season,” states Fraser. “We welcome visitors and local residents to come out and witness an unforgettable event and to show your pride in our heritage.”
Cape Breton’s Heritage Festival is made possible through the generous support of a number of sponsors, including Mark’s Work Wearhouse, Community of Membertou, CTV, 101.9 The Giant Radio, 103.5 The Eagle Radio, and The Cape Breton Post.