Joanne MacIntyre and Rita Rankin with Niall, Stephen, and Cameron MacIntyre

Cape Breton

Joanne MacIntyre and Rita Rankin with Niall, Stephen, and Cameron MacIntyre

Sisters Joanne MacIntyre and Rita Rankin come from Mabou Coal Mines, Inverness County, where they were raised in a culture-rich environment of Gaelic music, dance, and language. Together with their sister Mary, they have sung on stages around Cape Breton since their teen years, incorporating many Gaelic songs in their repertoire, and  bringing warm harmonies and the Island’s distinct style and “swing” to appreciative listening audiences. In 1997, Rita and sister Mary released their debut album, Lantern Burn, followed by Home in 2006. Joanne received the 2012 “Big Sampie” award, presented by the Celtic Colours Drive’ers Association, and released an album of Gaelic songs, Craobh a’ Mhathain, during Celtic Colours 2013. Joanne continues to be a regular performer at Highland Village as a Gaelic singer, step dancer, and story interpreter. She teaches Gaelic language and Gaelic Studies at Dalbrae Academy in Mabou, passing on her knowledge and passion for the language and its attendant culture to younger generations. Joanne is often joined on the stage by her sons, three of whom—Niall, Stephen and Cameron—will be performing with her and Rita this year.

Festival Performances

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