Civic Centre to host Celtic Colours kick-off

SYDNEY: Although the list of performers for the 2018 Celtic Colours International Festival has yet to be finalized, organizers have released the lineup of venues for the week and Port Hawkesbury is back on the schedule to host the opening concert.

Last week, Celtic Colours announced the 49 concert halls, community centres, churches, and fire halls across Cape Breton Island that will host performances during their 22nd annual festival this fall. This year’s events will run from October 5 to 13.

“This year’s festival is now in place and we’re just so pleased that we’re going to be opening the festival once again at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre,” said Mike MacSween, executive director of Celtic Colours.

MacSween said the opening concert was moved to Centre 200 in Sydney last year due in part to scheduling concerns.

“It worked very well, but we’ve been opening the festival for many years in Port Hawkesbury, and we certainly find it to be an appropriate place to start the festival as a gateway to the island. It’s a natural gateway at the Causeway for many folks who are travelling here for that opening Friday,” he said.

“This year the closing of the festival will happen at Centre 200 as it has in the past.”

The festival released the venue schedule earlier than usual this year. MacSween said this information is usually not available until March. Organizers began the process of scheduling the 2018 venues through a call for expressions of interest in December.

“We’ve worked to confirm our venues as early as possible this year for the benefit of people who want to plan to be part of the festival so that they understand where we’re staging our concerts, and have an opportunity to plan around them in terms of booking accommodations and planning their week,” said MacSween.

MacSween hopes releasing the schedule early will also help locals who want to enjoy all the festival has to offer.

“We’ve got shows all over the island including many shows in Inverness County and Richmond County, and we certainly encourage people on the island to get out to some shows in their own back yard,” he said adding that locals have been strong supporters of the festival over the years.

The 2018 festival will feature events in 34 communities across the island. Most communities that were included in last year’s festival will be hosting events again this year including D’Escousse, Judique, Inverness, Mabou, St. Peter’s, Lower River Inhabitants, L’Ardoise, Glendale, and Whycocomagh.

For a full listing of this year’s venues, visit www.celtic-colours.com.