Two stages, two stairways, two varieties of soup…That is how the Cape Breton Contingent rocked O’Reilly’s in an ever so entertaining adult contemporary kind of way. Singer-songwriters such as Buddy MacDonald, Angelo Spinazzola, Wally MacAulay, Craig Mercer and Tom Fidgen took turns enlightening the crowd while master instrumentalists such as Jennifer Roland, Slainte Mhath, and the dynamic duo of Gordie Sampson and Natalie MacMaster drove their sound through the roof.
The pub was packed with an eager audience that was in for a small teaspoon of what will be ECMA 2000. The wheels are already in motion to make next year’s ECMA one for the record books. The Cape Breton Regional Municipality will have to pull up its boot straps in order to accommodate the influx of visitors and entertainers, but with a dedicated volunteer group anything is possible.
Expect every inch of performance space to be occupied and every hotel room to be booked. It is essential that everything be close enough to walk or grab a cheap cab, but I am not sure how that will be pulled off. Music of all shapes and sizes should be emphasized in order to represent the East Coast as a diverse region, not a tourist’s playground.