If you missed the Celtic Colours International Festival this year, or if you just want to relive the great time you had, tune in to CBC Radio One’s program Atlantic Airwaves this weekend, or go online for a variety of performances on demand.
Saturday, November 5, Atlantic Airwaves will be broadcasting a performance by BeauSoleil Quartet avec Michael Doucet, recorded at the Whycocomagh Gathering concert on October 9. The Grammy award winning band—who take the rich Cajun traditions of Louisiana and blend elements of Zydeco, New Orleans jazz, Tex-Mex country, blues and more—was playing in Cape Breton for the first time during Celtic Colours, as part of the Festival’s focus on “our Celtic cousins to the south” which also included performers from the Appalachian region and traditions.
The Whycocomagh Gathering is one of two concerts recorded this year by the CBC, who have been recording Celtic Colours concerts every year since the Festival started in 1997.
“Fifteen years ago CBC Radio decided to take our mobile recording unit to Cape Breton to record a couple of concerts at a fledgling festival called ‘Celtic Colours International Festival’,” recalls Glenn Meisner, Music Producer for CBC Maritimes. “We were mightily impressed with the number, and quality of the musical performances held in towns and villages all over the Island, so much so that we returned year after year in what has become an annual pilgrimage of sorts.”
That pilgrimage has proven to be beneficial for all involved, from the Festival and the artists, to the CBC and its listening audience. These concerts are broadcast, in whole and in part, throughout the year, regionally and nationally, bringing year-round attention to Celtic Colours and the artists presented in the concerts.
“This festival has offered us a unique opportunity to share with our audiences some of the best music made by musicians and singers in the Celtic World,” says Meisner. “From Scotland and Ireland to Galicia, North America and all places in between, we’ve been able to sample and share aspects of an ancient culture that has diversified but still retains at its core the love of artistic expression. And over those years our audiences have agreed with our decision.”
Atlantic Airwaves is a program dedicated to the music and music-makers in Atlantic Canada. Each week the program features a new CD release or studio session by an Atlantic Canadian artist and a live segment featuring an artist or group recorded in concert in the Maritimes. Atlantic Airwaves can be heard on CBC Radio One each and every Saturday afternoon from 5:05 to 6pm (AT). If you can’t tune in Saturday afternoon, you can listen anytime online. Past Celtic Colours performances are also available on demand.
CBC Cape Breton is also offering performances from Celtic Colours on their website. These performances were recorded at Knox Presbyterian Church in Baddeck during CBC Mainstreet Live, a series of day-time concerts featuring Festival artists performing and being interviewed for CBC Cape Breton’s daily program Mainstreet, and include Rachel Davis & Buddy MacDonald, Crowdis Bridge, April Verch Trio, Ashley MacIsaac & Barbara MacDonald Magone, the Alan Kelly Gang, and Blazin’ Fiddles.