October 2016 will mark the 20th Celtic Colours International Festival. Since its introduction in 1997, Celtic Colours has grown to become one of Canada’s premiere musical events, and a cultural highlight of Nova Scotia’s colourful fall season. A unique celebration of music and culture, this highly anticipated annual event presents dozens of concerts all over Cape Breton Island, an extensive line-up of community events, and a nightly Festival Club.
This year’s Celtic Colours is a celebration 20 years in the making, and the Festival opens October 7 with a concert that looks back over the years and pays tribute to some of the wonderful culture bearers we have lost since Celtic Colours started. The legacy of their contributions will certainly be felt throughout the nine days of the Festival as we wrap up our 20th on October 15 with a look to the future—of the music, the culture and Celtic Colours itself.
Many international artists who have made their mark on Celtic Colours over the years will be back this year to help celebrate including Dougie MacLean, Carlos Núñez, Tony McManus, Tim Edey, John Doyle, Liz Doherty, Liz Carroll, Flook and Le Vent du Nord. And as always we have our own home-grown artists who have played such an important role in the festival joining us again including Natalie MacMaster, Ashley MacIsaac, J.P. Cormier, Mary Jane Lamond, Wendy MacIsaac, Howie MacDonald, Kimberley Fraser, Brenda Stubbert and so many more.
There have been many great bands grace the stages of Celtic Colours, and some very well-known to our audiences will be back including Beòlach, The Outside Track, The East Pointers, Còig, Mec Lir, The Once, and a special one-time reunion of Slàinte Mhath. To top it off, we are bringing back perhaps the biggest band we have ever had onstage, The Unusual Suspects of Celtic Colours. This 28-piece folk orchestra brings some familiar faces from 2004 and 2006, together with some new folks for a musical extravaganza that will leave you shaking your head in amazement.
This year is not only a special one for Celtic Colours, it is also the 50th anniversary of the Men of the Deeps and the Doryman Pub in Chéticamp, as well as the 60th anniversary for the Broad Cove Concert. We will celebrate these milestones together, in true Celtic Colours style.
In addition to the 49 concerts, there are more than 275 Community Cultural Events taking place in communities all over the island, offering a wide range of activities and experiences. One of the most popular features of Celtic Colours is the Festival Club which is open late every night following the evening’s concerts. Anything can happen at the Festival Club, and over the past 20 years, there have certainly been more than a few magical moments on that stage.
The 20th Celtic Colours International Festival is scheduled for October 7-15, 2016. Tickets go on sale July 5 at 10am ADT. Visit celtic-colours.com for more information and the full schedule of events.