The Frank “Big Sampie” Sampson Award grants recording studio time to a young up-and-coming artist in the Celtic Arts. The sponsorship program is named in honour of Frank Sampson, an inaugural member of the Festival Volunteer Drive’er Association. Frank was a dedicated volunteer driver for the Celtic Colours International Festival for 10 years.
This award is also supported by East Coast Music Award-winning Lakewind Sound Studios which has partnered with the Drive’er Association since 2006.
The 2010 recipient of the “Big Sampie” is Kenneth MacKenzie of Mabou Mines Road. Kenneth has been playing the pipes and fiddle for over 15 years. A home-grown Gaelic speaker, the CD features his brothers Calum and Angus MacKenzie. Kenneth joins previous winners Colin Grant, Jason Roach, Dawn & Margie Beaton and Rachel Davis.
The Festival Volunteer Drive’er Association is an incorporated not-for profit society. Formed in August 2004, the Association’s membership is made up of individuals who volunteer as drivers with the Celtic Colours International Festival. Drivers further their volunteer time by selling performing artists’ and the Celtic Colours compilation CD at each of the venues during the Festival. A portion of these sales are directed to the Association and sustain the sponsorship programs.
The Celtic Colours International Festival will honour the dedicated work of its volunteer drivers by featuring MacKenzie and past “Big Sampie” award winners in the October 14th concert Drive’er at the Cape Breton Highlands Academy, Terre Noire at 7:30PM.