It may not be on the performance calendar of her website, but that only means Rita MacNeil is back home bringing holiday cheer to her first fans and their families.
MacNeil visits the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre on Friday, December 23 (the day before the day before Christmas), 7:30 pm, for her annual Cape Breton holiday concert, Rita MacNeil And Friends Christmas.
MacNeil has just finished a highly successful concert tour of Maritime provinces and Ontario venues with the Von Trapp Children (young relatives of the original Von Trapp kids featured in The Sound Of Music).
For her Sydney show, MacNeil is joined by Ciarán & Fiona MacGillivray, Dave Gunning and Colin Grant.
The MacGillivray siblings are part of the successful traditional roots group, The Cottars, and were featured performers in this summer’s Cape Breton Summertime Revue. Ciarán also recently appeared in the Cape Breton University Dramagroup’s production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
Dave Gunning has earned a national reputation as an award winning country music influenced singer/songwriter. This is Gunning’s second visit to Sydney this season: he brought his own Christmas show, and promoted his holiday CDs, to Kiju’s, the restaurant located in the Membertou facility.
Fiddler Colin Grant can play straight up traditional Cape Breton fiddle tunes and he can rock out with his band or do both at the same. Grant also appeared in the Summertime Revue and revealed hidden comedic talents.
The show includes a blend of MacNeil’s own original holiday songs like “Now the Bells Ring”, “This Season Will Never Grow Old”, and “Christmas at Home” as well as plenty of traditional Christmas classic songs. MacNeil’s holiday CDs, including Now the Bells Ring, Once Upon a Christmas, and Late December, have favourite holiday listening for music lovers around the world.
The concert is presented with reserved theatre seating with doors open at 6:30pm. Tickets are $40 each and can be purchased at at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre box office or by calling 539-2300. Box office hours are from 10 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday.