The spotlight is on Nova Scotia this weekend at the world’s largest celebration of Irish music and culture with nine Nova Scotian artists scheduled to perform at Milwaukee Irish Fest.
Cape Breton artists the Barra MacNeils, Sprag Session, Buddy MacDonald and Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac will be joining mainland acts Dave Gunning, Old Man Luedecke, Evans and Doherty, the Modern Grass, and Cassie and Maggie MacDonald at the festival, which draws over 130,000 music fans and dozens of Celtic festival organizers from across the United States.
The 2013 Nova Scotia Showcase is a partnership between the Province of Nova Scotia, Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation, FACTOR and Music Nova Scotia. The partnership serves to promote the export of Nova Scotian music and showcase the province as a music tourism destination. Artists taking part in the Nova Scotia Showcase this weekend were selected by Milwaukee Irish Fest talent bookers attending Nova Scotia Music Week last November in Liverpool, Nova Scotia.
“We travel the world in search of the finest in Celtic entertainment,” said Patrick Boyle, executive director of Milwaukee Irish Fest, who visited Ireland and Nova Scotia this year. “After seeing many phenomenal bands perform in their home towns, we cannot wait to share their talent with our guests.”
In addition to the Nova Scotia Showcase, representatives from Cape Breton Music Industry Cooperative, Cape Breton Island: The Celtic Heart of North America, and Music Nova Scotia are attending to participate in various business-to-business cultural trade and training opportunities.
The Celtic Heart booth will be in the Nova Scotia Cultural Tent, located next to the Celtic Roots stage, where most of the Nova Scotia artists will be performing.
“Our aim is to complement our Celtic musicians by introducing audiences to their home – Cape Breton Island: the Celtic Heart of North America – and inviting them to come and visit,” says Terry Smith, Project Manager for the Celtic Heart of North America Co-operative. “We’ll be educating people on the Celtic cultural experiences available on the Island, from community square dances and ceilidhs to cultural attractions like Highland Village or the Gaelic College to the highlight of the year, the Celtic Colours International Festival.”
Smith will be attending along with Rhonda MacKinnon-Shaw, a Celtic Colours board member and experienced tourism industry visitor services professional and Burton MacIntyre, one of the Island’s most sought after square dance callers and a founding member of the Cape Breton Fiddlers’ Association.
“We’ll be showing videos that highlight our individual Celtic Heart members and the overall Celtic experience, and will be distributing brochures that invite people to see our musicians perform and invite them to find out more about Cape Breton by visiting the Celtic Heart website.”
“Given our history and unique cultural experiences, Nova Scotia has become one of the major international centers for traditional Celtic music,” says Brian Doherty, President of Music Nova Scotia, who is partnering with Milwaukee Irish Fest on the showcase. “We’re delighted once again for the opportunity to bring some of our finest performers to Milwaukee Irish Fest and we will continue to foster our long-term relationship with one of the most important and largest events of its kind in the world.”