One of the things that sets Celtic Colours International Festival apart from the vast majority of festivals around the world is that it isn’t fixed in one location. Communities around Cape Breton Island host concerts and workshops at a time when the fall leaves are at their most brilliant and traveling around the Island offers one breathtaking view after another. These communities have nurtured the culture for over 200 years, providing context for the roots of the music and celebrating each community’s contribution to the Island’s living Celtic culture.
Each year, in January, the Festival advertises for expressions of interest from community organizations interested in hosting Celtic Colours concerts and in May, the venues and communities are announced.
“We are elated to have the L’Ardoise Community Centre chosen as a venue for this year’s program,” says L’Ardoise Men’s Club President Blair Mombourquette of the announcement that the Community Centre has been included as a concert venue for the first time this year. “It brings in tourist dollars and increases awareness of our county for return visits.”
Venues for Celtic Colours concerts in 2011, taking place October 7-15th, include an 18th Century reconstructed French chapel, state of the art performance facilities, and community halls, churches and schools in 33 communities around the Island. While the venues vary in primary function and size—from the 127 seat North River Community Hall to the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre and Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion with a capacity of over 1000 each—they share in common the prominent place each holds in the community it serves. The Celtic culture of music, dance and story-telling lives on in these communities and provides the foundation for the celebration of living culture that is the Celtic Colours International Festival.
The Celtic Colours International Festival will open this year with a concert in Port Hawkesbury on October 7 and close with a concert in Sydney on October 15. In total, there will be 45 concerts taking place in Albert Bridge, Aspy Bay, Baddeck, Belle Cote, Boisdale, Boularderie, Cheticamp, Christmas Island, D’Escousse, Glace Bay, Glendale, Ingonish, Inverness, Iona, Judique, L’Ardoise, Louisbourg, Lower River Inhabitants, Mabou, Main-a-Dieu, Marion Bridge, Membertou, North River, Orangedale, Port Hawkesbury, Port Morien, St. Ann’s, St. Peter’s, Sydney, Sydney Mines, Sydney River, Wagmatcook and Whycocomagh.
For the full list of concert venues and the communities where they will take place, as well as photos and highlight videos from 2010, visit celtic-colours.com. The lineup for the 15th Celtic Colours International Festival will be announced June 27th. Tickets go on sale July 11th.