The numbers are in and Celtic Colours International Festival continues to make a significant and growing contribution to Cape Breton Island’s economy.
Held in 53 communities throughout all four counties, the 2014 Festival attracted visitors from 48 US states, all Canadian provinces and territories, and 20 other countries. More than 20,000 tickets were sold to concerts, representing 87% of available tickets, while thousands attended the 229 Community Cultural Experience Events all around the Island. Selected concerts were streamed nightly, and were viewed 32,081 times by people in 18 countries. With the increase in ticket sales and more than half of the audience coming from off-island, audience expenditure increased from $8.3 million in 2013 to $10.4 million in 2014—that’s more than $1 million spent per day on Cape Breton Island during the festival last year and more than $103.4 million being spent over the past 18 years.
“We’re not surprised that our audience spent more than a million dollars a day in Cape Breton,” says Joella Foulds, Executive Director of Celtic Colours. “We conducted a new audience survey this year with help from Cape Breton University and asked audience members how much they spent and where. While the spinoff and overall economic impact for 2014 is much greater than the $10.4 million, the increase in actual dollars spent by the audience this year shows that our contribution is growing.”
The Island-wide event partnered with 109 non-profit organizations and venues to present more than 400 performers, 74% from Cape Breton, in 46 concerts. The Celtic Colours in the Schools program, sponsored by TD Bank Group, was presented to 5,804 students in 23 schools throughout Cape Breton and more than 1,900 volunteers contributed 28,758 hours toward making the event a success.
Celtic Colours was pleased to welcome several new sponsors this year including the first-ever Presenting Sponsor, the Chronicle Herald, as well as Nova Scotia Tourism Agency, Seaside Communications Inc., Vibe Creative Group, TD Bank Group, and Enterprise Rent-a-Car. These partners join the festival’s ongoing sponsors who graciously support the festival year after year.
The 19th Celtic Colours International Festival will take place October 9-17, 2015. The lineup will be announced June 22 with tickets going on sale July 6. For more information please visit celtic-colours.com.