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CINDY DAY: Buy local for the music lover on your List

"Just another night at the Celtic Colours Festival Club," at the Gaelic College in St Ann’s Cape Breton, N.S. - Sean Purser.
"Just another night at the Celtic Colours Festival Club," at the Gaelic College in St Ann’s Cape Breton, N.S. - Sean Purser

I just got back from a quick visit to Cape Breton Island. The last time I crossed the causeway there was a little more colour around.

The weather was windy and wet, much like it was this past weekend. On a rainy Saturday morning, I wrote a column that stayed in my laptop. I decided it was time to share it with you.

It’s just before 11 a.m. I’m sitting in the lovely open space that connects Dalbrae Academy and the Strathspey Performing Arts Centre in Inverness County. It’s so quiet, all I hear is the sound of the ventilation system. Suddenly, the deafening quiet is broken by the sound of a fiddle, softly bowed at first, then the tapping of a toe and finally, the mournfully beautiful tone of a steal guitar. It’s Day 2 of the most important festival on Cape Breton Island – The Celtic Colours International Festival.

The beautiful music is coming from a room down the hall. There, some of the most talented musicians in the world are rehearsing for a sold-out show on Thanksgiving weekend. Many of the more than 50 shows were sold out before the leaves started to turn on the Mabou Hills. The popularity of this event is such that it promotes itself. Too well, perhaps.

During my four-day visit, I met people from everywhere; I chatted with a couple who came from Toronto, a group of women from Texas and a gentleman from Vancouver; I saw licence plates from Illinois, Ontario and Quebec.

I am blessed to have a connection to this musical family; I stand taller and a little straighter when I am around these folks. I know I am not the only one who is proud of this incredible crop of home-grown talent. I also know that many locals would like to attend the sold-out concerts but are not able to get tickets and that’s a shame. It is not easy, they sell out quickly; some people start dialing the minute they go on sale. So here’s a thought: wouldn’t Celtic Colours tickets make a great Christmas gift? The lineup for the festival will be announced on June 19, 2020 and tickets go on sale July 7 for the festival that will run from Oct. 9 to Oct. 17, 2020.

May I suggest a little note in a Christmas card with the promise of a couple of tickets to a show? Who or where would not matter… you really can’t go wrong. Buy local and support the amazing talent we are blessed with here in Atlantic Canada.


Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network

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