Celtic Colours International Music Festival on Cape Breton

Interested in Celtic Music?

(Discover Great Music Festival on Cape Breton–Celtic Colours)

by Dr. Paul of Cabot Shores (first appeared www.ezinearticles.com)

Late Night at Festival Club/Gaelic College

Celtic Colours International Festival happens every fall for 9 days and nights on Cape Breton Island. The Festival manages to combine great scenery and great Celtic music in over 40 concerts and 250 community events. Add to that Cape Breton hospitality and Nova Scotia seafood and you have got yourself a winning combination.

Cape Breton inns, bed and breakfasts and vacation homes open their doors to guests and relatives from all over the Maritimes and all over the world. Especially celtic musicians from Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia itself are featured in nightly concerts in some all over the Island. Celtic music is increasingly popular, but not everyone knows that Cape Breton offers such a great festival, or even knows about Cape Breton Island.

Where Is Cape Breton Island, anyway?

Cape Breton Island is on the eastern coast of Nova Scotia, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Bay of St. Lawrence on the other. A spectacular road called the Cabot Trail weaves along the coast, offering great views of the ocean and Bay with views of the occasional whale or seal, rugged beaches and a variety of spruce and maple and birch. Quaint villages with community center and churches meet you along the route. The people are almost universally friendly, helpful and hospitable, often descended from the Celtic, French Acadian and native Mi’kmaq people who live on Cape Breton Island.

What Is so Special about Cape Breton Island?

The scenery is so beautiful that Cape Breton is usually rated among the 10 ten Islands in the world. Last rating, Travel and Leisure rated it #4 in the world and #1 in beauty of continental North America. The Cabot Trail itself is rated the #1 drive by Reader’s Digest and thousands of people from all over the world arrive each season to drive the Cabot learn about Celtic, French Acadian and Mi’kmaq culture, and eat fabulous Nova Scotia seafood—especially lobster, mussels and Digby Scallops.

The Home of Great Musicians & Traditions

Cape Breton has always been the home of great musicians, including families such as the Rankins, the Barra Macneils and of course the MacMasters. The most famous Cape Breton musician today is the fiddle playing, step-dancing and beautiful Natalie MacMaster.

Some say there is something in the Cape Breton water that nourishes fiddlers who preserve a unique tradition of music, in some ways like the old Scottish and Irish Celtic music it was derived from. Natalie is part of the famous MacMaster family; Buddy, her uncle, being a well-known fiddle playing predecessor.

Natalie herself tours the world and is a great ambassador for both music and the family/community spirit that nurtures great musicians on Cape Breton. In fact, during the off season, it can be argued that music keeps everyone going. There are kitchen parties and celebrations that go on and on, with more and more food and music in the mix.

Celtic Colours Began in 1997 and it happens every October (October 8-16, 2011)

Two Cape Bretoners, Jouella Foulds and Max MacDonald, took these hallmarks of Cape Breton, the music and the scenery, and made them the basis for an annual Festival that takes place every October, usually the second week. The Festival is in its 13th year.

Celtic Colors happens at the peak of the fall foliage, which you can see driving around the Island by day. By night, there are concerts all over the Island. Great musicians come from Scotland, Ireland, the USA and CanadaEUR”in short anywhere where the Celtic music is present. Visitors come from all over the world.

After the concerts, there is a super concert/jam session at the Festival Club. Each night from 11pm to 4am the musicians convene at the Gaelic College on the Cabot Trail and you never know what combination of fiddles, piano, bagpipes, singing and step-dancing you will witness on any given night (or very early in the morning).

By day there are workshops in art and acoustic music and cultural. There’s even free concerts sponsored and broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Company. To top it off, Canadian Thanksgiving usually happens during this span. This year the dates are October 9-17 and the focus is Irish music.

Says Joella Foulds, Artistic Director, and Celtic Colours International Festival: “We are always learning and growing in our understanding of Celtic cultures around the world. This year we plan a major focus on Ireland throughout the festival. We want to compare and contrast the musical traditions that we share with our Irish cousins.”

No predicting the exact foliage schedule, but the great Celtic music, scenery, Nova Scotia seafood and hospitality are a sure thing.