Next month, KitchenFest! Féis a’ Chidsin! returns bigger and better for its second year. Presented by Colaisde na Gàidhlig/The Gaelic College, the island-wide, summer music festival starts June 27 and runs to July 4.
An annual celebration of Cape Breton-based traditional music, locals and visitors alike are given up-close and personal insight into this distinct and vibrant living culture, bringing the kitchen-ceilidh feel to the forefront.
This year KitchenFest! encompasses eight days, 18 venues, 100+ events, and over 150 performers showcasing music, food, stories, and warm hospitality. Each of the more than 70 live performances will feature a Gaelic-speaking host or hostess and will happen all over Cape Breton. Fiddles and bagpipes, concerts and ceilidhs, Gaelic language and song, cheering and dancing, informality and hospitality all take the floor. Over 95% of the musical lineup is island-based and includes such performers as Howie MacDonald, Gordie Sampson, Evans and Doherty, J.P. Cormier, Còig, Wendy MacIsaac and Mary Jane Lamond, The East Pointers, Dwayne Cote, Dave MacIsaac, Andrea Beaton, Troy MacGillivray, Mairi Rankin, and many more.
With additional venues, different time slots, new events, and more opportunities for youth, Kitchenfest! 2015 offers more variety than last year. An Eat Local program has also be added, as island restaurants and eateries are encouraged to feature dishes made with locally-grown ingredients during the week. Within the mix of venues, both private sector and community-run, entertainment can be found at the Red Shoe Pub in Mabou, Governors Pub and the Old Triangle in Sydney, the Doryman Pub and Grill in Cheticamp, the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre in Judique, MacBouch Beverage Room and Grill in St. Peter’s, the Keltic Lodge in Ingonish, Highland Village Museum in Iona, the Frolic and Folk Pub in Iona, Cabot Public House in Inverness, the Baddeck Legion, the Waterfront Centre in Whycocomagh, the Louisbourg Playhouse, Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre, West Mabou Hall, Brook Village Hall, and the Inverness Firehall.
On-site events at Colaisde na Gàidhlig/The Gaelic College throughout the week include an opening concert, community meals, daily lunchtime ceilidhs, cultural demonstrations, a milling frolic, Scottish heavy events display, and a large outdoor variety concert and finale pub night to close out the festivities. The St. Ann’s Bay Players celebrate 35 years in the performing arts and will feature nights of comedy and storytelling throughout the week and summer at the College. Nuallan, the Gaelic College piping ensemble, will also launch their first album during the finale pub night in the Hall of the Clans.
Sponsors include ACOA, the Province of Nova Scotia, the Chronicle Herald, Victoria County, Cape Breton University, Richmond County, Inverness County, Cape Breton Radio, 101.5 The Hawk Radio, Marcato Digital Solutions, Labatts, and NovaStream.
To view the complete schedule, visit gaeliccollege.edu/kitchenfest.