Dara MacDonald, born and raised in Antigonish, has been playing the fiddle for more than 20 years and now resides in Port Hawkesbury. With family roots in Inverness, she quickly developed a strong, lively, traditional style and has played at concerts, festivals, ceilidhs, and dances throughout Cape Breton, the Maritimes, Ontario, and the U.S. In 2019, she traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland to perform in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo with the Shetland-based fiddle group Hjaltibonhoga. Dara is a musical director and a member of the Board of Directors with the Cape Breton Fiddlers’ Association with whom she has traveled to Boston and to Maxville, Ontario. Dara can often be found on stage with Adam Young, a sought-after piano player from Marion Bridge. Dara and Adam released their first CD together, The Lake Sessions, in June of 2017 and released their second album, Island, along with Brent Chaisson, in the summer of 2019. Together they were nominated for the 2018 and 2019 Music Nova Scotia, Traditional Roots Recording of the Year award for The Lake Sessions and in 2019 were nominated for ECMA Gaelic Artist of the Year. And they’ll be on the stage together again at the Festival this year.