Ray Mattie

ANTIGONISH: After its inaugural festival in 2019, the Nova Scotia Summer Fest is hitting the road this summer.

Based in the heart of Antigonish, the festival’s first year featured such acts as Classified, Alan Doyle, Good Lovelies, Heather Rankin, Christine Campbell and many more.

As public health guidelines limiting outdoor capacity ease, Nova Scotia Summer Fest has announced an alternative to their usual large-scale event with a Kitchen Party Tour set for August 17 to 21.

The tour is a moving stage show with a cast and crew of 13; the event will be recorded and filmed for a fall 2021 release.

“The concept was simple,” Nova Scotia Summer Fest Executive Director Ray Mattie said “If we can’t have our normal large-scale event in Downtown Antigonish, then let’s pack it up and take it across the province.”

The Nova Scotia Summer Fest Kitchen Party Tour is a new musical collaboration between eight musicians with extensive international touring resumes.

The lineup features Anna Ludlow, Decota McNamara, Cassie MacDonald, Maggie MacDonald, John Chiasson, Pete Davison, Scott Ferguson and Mattie himself.

”All the artists involved were already contracted for the 2021 festival,” Mattie said. “Making putting together the musical aspects of this project easier.”

The Kitchen Party set will include original songs from the artists, it will pay homage to Maritime artists, to Scottish instrumentals and more.

The absolutely free concert series will kick-off on August 17, in Cape Breton at the Inverness Arts Centre grounds.

Downtown Antigonish, which is the new home of Nova Scotia Summer Fest, will host the tour at Columbus Field on August 18.

The tour will continue August 19 and August 20, with two performances at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg in conjunction with the Bluenose II 100th Celebrations.

The tour will wrap with a performance in Downtown Halifax at Parade Square on August 21.

Mattie advised he sees this tour as a great opportunity to leverage new public funding to create a new and unique project that helps promote their 2022 festival, the Town of Antigonish and local businesses in each location.

“Not to mention, various businesses in each community are set to benefit from this tour,” he said. “I’m happy to say all community hosts were very welcoming of this concept.”

Local duo and sisters Cassie & Maggie are only one of the countless groups across the province whose performances have been cancelled over the last 18 months throughout the pandemic.

“Just the thought of having this tour to look forward to this summer lifted our spirits,” the sisters said in a written statement.

At the time of publication, all concerts are limited to 250 people per public health guidelines.

For full details on the Nova Scotia Summer Fest Kitchen Party Tour, visit www.nssummerfest.ca.

Nova Scotia Summer Fest is presented by the East Coast Credit Union, and is in partnership with Heritage Canada, Town of Antigonish, Province of Nova Scotia, Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax Regional Municipality, Municipality of Inverness, Develop Nova Scotia, FACTOR, Atlantic Lotto and Homeward Inns.