SYDNEY: Faced with the uncertainty of travel and restrictions on large gatherings continuing into the fall—and in consultation with public officials—Celtic Colours International Festival will be doing things differently this year.

With the safety of audiences, artists, volunteers, and staff in mind, the festival will not be presenting a series of concerts around Cape Breton Island this October as they have done since 1997.

Instead, organizers are excited to be working with long-time livestream partners Novastream to bring the spirit of the festival on-line. From October 9-17, Celtic Colours International Festival At Home, presented by TD Bank Group, will celebrate the Island’s music and culture with a series of nightly performances and stories from Cape Breton, to be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home.

“We will certainly miss hosting guests and artists from around the world and sharing our hospitality, scenery, and culture as we have done for the past 23 years,” says Mike MacSween, executive director of Celtic Colours. “And we recognize that this situation has far-reaching impacts on the Island’s tourism and economy, but we will struggle together to make the best of our circumstances. With the expertise of our team in delivering a world-class festival and high-quality livestream content, I am confident that we will deliver a great experience to our many fans at home, no matter where home is. We can build new audience this year, and excite them about the possibility of returning to our Island for the festival next October.

“It will be a different kind of experience than we are used to,” MacSween notes, “but we know how important music and the arts are to people in difficult times. And as a festival built on culture and tradition, we feel it is important to maintain that connection.”

Stay tuned over the summer months for more details, and until then, mark the calendars for Celtic Colours International Festival At Home, October 9-17.