This week, venues are bouncing with sounds of musical talent from around the East Coast as Sydney plays host to the 2016 East Coast Music Week (ECMW) from April 13-17. At the same time, Cape Breton University (CBU) is pleased to announce that internationally-acclaimed Cape Breton fiddler, Ashley MacIsaac, will be recognized next month during its Spring Convocation with an honorary Doctor of Letters.
Last night, thew East Coast Music Association held its annual Awards Gala at C200, with co-hosting duties given to MacIsaac, alongside another Cape Breton Island musical icon, Heather Rankin. Today, CBU President, Dr. David Wheeler, is very pleased to announce that MacIsaac will soon be able to add “Honorary Doctor” to his long list of recognitions.
“The creative contributions that Ashley MacIsaac has made to Cape Breton Island and indeed the world have been very impressive,” says Dr. Wheeler. His talent has helped strengthen the musical reputation of Cape Breton Island and his success will inspire generations of students who come to study at CBU from all over the world. It is most fitting that he be honoured in this way.”
MacIsaac, born in Creignish, Inverness County, has had international success and notoriety from an early age and grew up under the spotlight as one of the most dynamic fiddlers from Cape Breton Island. One of the most celebrated Canadian roots musicians of all time with multi-platinum album sales, MacIsaac has garnered international acclaim by playing the fiddle in a hard-nosed, traditional Cape-Breton style, while adding his own spin, mixing genres and updating Celtic music to appeal to a broader spectrum of fans.
“To receive such an honour from a university that brings people together from home and abroad and teaches them what it means to be a Cape Bretoner, and a Canadian, is truly an honour,” says MacIsaac.
Notably, MacIsaac has received three Juno Awards – One for Best New Solo Artist, the second for Best Instrumental Artist, and the third in 1996, for Best Roots & Traditional Album – Solo. He has appeared on the Conan O’Brian Show, the Today Show and has been a spotlight at international festivals, theatres and halls all over the world. He has also been featured in the 2010 Winter Olympic opening ceremonies, Bravo’s celebrity series Star Portraits and CBC’s acclaimed series Life & Times.
CBU’s Spring Convocation Ceremony is set for Saturday, May 14 at 2pm at the Canada Games Complex.