In light of the current state of the world, and with the uncertainty of what lies ahead regarding travel and public gatherings, we will not be hosting this year’s Festival as planned.
Instead, we’re excited to announce that we are working hard to bring you Celtic Colours International Festival At Home. We hope that you’ll tune in and enjoy the Celtic Colours experience online—in the comfort and safety of your own home—featuring performances as well as some local flavour to keep you connected with Cape Breton Island and the Celtic Colours community.
While we will miss hosting artists and guests from around the world and sharing our world-famous hospitality and scenery, it is our top priority at this time to keep our audience, artists, volunteers, and partners safe.
Celtic Colours International Festival begins on the Friday of each Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.
2020 – October 9th to October 17th
2021 – October 8th to October 16th
2022 – October 7th to October 15th
While we won’t be celebrating the Festival as usual this year, this is the Festival that we celebrate!
The Celtic Colours International Festival is a unique celebration of Cape Breton Island’s living traditional culture. For nine days in October you’ll discover hundreds of events and activities taking place in communities across the Island.
World Class Concerts
At one of the many concerts you’ll find some of the world’s finest musicians sharing the stage with Cape Breton’s best singers, dancers, players, story-tellers and culture bearers in venues that range from community halls and churches to modern schools and theatres. With Celtic Colours’ ambitious schedule (as many as six concerts a day), it is simply impossible to see and hear everything. The organizers of the Festival realize this and take special care in the programming of each show so that it is possible to get a taste of all that the Festival has to offer on any given day. Whether it’s Gaelic singing, Cape Breton fiddling, local dance traditions, or world-class bagpiping, you can tailor your musical experiences to suit your tastes.
Community Cultural Events
The Learning Opportunities series will entertain and enlighten you with a variety of workshops, presentations, demonstrations and lectures on Celtic history, music, dance, art, craft and community heritage.
At Participatory Events you are welcome as a spectator or to immerse yourself in the action and join in on a Square Dance, session or milling frolic.
Get outside and enjoy the spectacular scenery at one of the Outdoor Events. Guided walks, hikes, and boat tours put you in the fresh air.
The Visual Art / Heritage Craft series offers a wide variety of fine art and heritage craft events. Exhibitions, demonstrations and workshops celebrate the creative spirit that thrives on Cape Breton.
Break bread together and share a home-cooked meal at one of the many Community Meals or visit one of the Farmers’ Markets where you’ll find locally grown food, honey and handmade goods.
Late Night Festival Club
One of the most popular features of Celtic Colours is the Festival Club, brought to you by Big Spruce Brewing. Located at the Gaelic College in St. Ann’s, the Festival Club opens as the evening concerts are closing, offering an opportunity for Festival artists to perform in a more informal setting, or to get a session in with friends and colleagues from near and far. Hosted by well-known singer-songwriter Buddy MacDonald, from the nearby North Shore, performance is by invitation only and depends upon artist availability on any given night. The Festival Club runs each night from 11pm-3am and is for those aged 19 years and older. Photo ID required.
Colaisde Na Gàidhlig / The Gaelic College canteen is open and all night breakfast starts at 2:00am. A free shuttle service runs throughout the night between The Gaelic College and select Baddeck area accommodations.
Cape Breton’s Autumn Beauty
The festival is held during Cape Breton’s most spectacular season when the leaves are turning colour and the vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges bring the breathtaking scenery to life as you travel from event to event. These travels may take you around the pristine Bras d’Or Lake, Canada’s largest saltwater lake, or around the Cabot Trail, often called North America’s most scenic drive. Wherever you go in Cape Breton at this time of year, you are bound to find amazing scenery around every turn.
Sales & Venue Manager
Box Office Supervisor
Box Office Staff
Vibe Creative Group
Festival Branding & Communication Design
Cape Breton Music Industry Cooperative
Presenters and Media Program
Marcato Digital Solutions
Video and Live-Stream Production
Board of Directors
Bill Vokey – Chair
Amanda Mombourquette – Vice Chair
John MacNeil – Treasurer
Pauline Davis – Secretary
Bob MacEachern – Past Chair
The Late Hon. Allan J. MacEachen