19th Annual Gaelic Concert Series

Tuesday evenings

July 18, 25 & August 1, 8 | 8pm
Admission: $15     Children 14 & Under $5
Tickets must be purchased at the door on a first come first served basis.

Doors open 7pm

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Some of Cape Breton’s finest musicians gather at the Christmas Island Fire Hall to share the stage with emerging talent and local tradition bearers in bilingual Gaelic-English concerts. A traditional tea with oatcakes and tea biscuits is served.

While working in the lumber camps, local bard Hugh F. MacKenzie lamented leaving his home. “Christmas of 1927 overtook me in Northern Ontario, eighty miles from civilization. My thoughts of home and Cape Breton I tried to voice in the following verses vowing:“Bu Deònach Leam Tilleadh” (“I would willingly return”). Some of Cape Breton’s finest musicians gather at the Christmas Island Firehall to share the stage with emerging talent and local tradition bearers in bilingual Gaelic-English concerts. A traditional tea with oatcakes and tea biscuits will be served.

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We dedicate this year’s Gaelic Concert Series to three individuals who have made a significant contribution to Féis an Eilein’s efforts to preserve Gaelic language in our community. Father Francis Cameron, Janet Cameron, and Florence MacIsaac participated in our original session of Gaelic language classes using the new TIP methodology. Since that time they have organized weekly Wednesday morning Gaelic céilidhs at The Beaver Cove Take-Out. Their enthusiasm and generous giving of their time has provided an opportunity for native Gaelic speakers and learners to visit and converse in the Gaelic. We are very much obliged to them and we thank them for their commitment.

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July 18

A’ Ghàidhlig Anns A’ Cheòl

“Gaelic in the Music”

Fear an Taighe Goiridh Dòmhnallach will welcome you to the first concert of the summer series. Goiridh is a renowned Gaelic speaker, singer and composer of Gaelic songs. He will enlighten us on the deep rooted connection between our Gaelic language and our traditional Cape Breton music. Fine examples of the “Gaelic in the Music” are tonight’s guests: accompanist and soloist Dougie MacPhee (piano), Howie MacDonald (fiddle), and Kevin Dugas (pipes). The evening will also feature traditional step dancing by our Féis instructors Maggie MacNeil and Andy MacMullin.

July 25

Oichche Nam Ban-Uasal

“Ladies of Music”

This concert features an all- female line-up of performers. Bean an Taighe Beth MacNeil will be joined by her daughter Jenna Morton and granddaughter Clara for some Gaelic songs. Sisters Helen MacKenzie (fiddle) and Dawn MacDonald-Gillis (piano) will be getting our toes tapping in preparation for Dawn’s daughter Brenley to join them on the dance stage. The strathspey’s and reels for the synchronized step dancing of this talented trio will be provided by Shelly Campbell (fiddle) and Loretta MacDougall (piano). Home from British Columbia, Ryan MacDonald (pipes) will round out the cast for this evening. A show not to be missed!

August 1

Puirt O’n Chòlaisde Ghàidhlig

“Tunes from the Gaelic College”

Bean an Taighe Stacey MacLean will welcome this evening’s performers all of whom are fellow staff at Colaisde na Gàidhlig -The Gaelic College in Saint Anne’s. Featured musicians are CEO Rodney MacDonald (fiddle), Kenneth MacKenzie (pipes), and the MacDonald brothers, Colin (piano), Keith (pipes), and Kyle (fiddle). This high energy show will have the fire hall rocking with the Inverness County style of traditional playing and close to the floor step dancing. Our Féis instructors will also perform for us tonight.

August 8

Bho Ghlùin gu Glùin 

“From Knee to Knee”

This expression is used in Gaelic to describe how songs and stories are passed from one generation to the next. This sharing of knowledge by tradition bearers, in kitchens and parlors, is how Mary Jane Lamond learned her songs. More recently, through the Office of Gaelic Affairs and Féis Cheap Breatainn, mentorship programs have been set up to continue this tradition. We now have two more generations of singers and musicians sharing songs, tunes and stories. Join Mary Jane, along with award winning fiddler Troy MacGillivray for a musical evening that explores those relationships. East Margaree fiddler and dancer Haillee Lefort will represent the latest musical generation. Tonight’s featured singers include Rod C. MacNeil and Hannah MacNeil, Mickey MacNeil, Colin Watson, and Stacey MacLean. They will be joined by Féis instructors Maggie MacNeil, (piano and dance) and Andy MacMullin (dance).