As the 24th Celtic Colours International Festival draws to a close, it seems only fitting that we look on the bright side, an album title nod to one of tonight’s performers. We’ll start off with Cape Breton fiddler Howie MacDonald, who comes from just across the harbour from tonight’s venue in Membertou. Always in demand for dances, concerts, and recording sessions, Howie never fails to entertain with his inventive playing, thoughtful selection of tunes, and irrepressible humour. Mary Beth Carty and Mac Morin will be right there with him, driving the accompaniment on guitar and piano. With members from Prince Edward Island’s Evangeline region and the most remote reaches of Québec—the windswept Magdalen Islands—Vishtèn has been recognized worldwide as an ambassador of Acadian culture. Their fiery blend of traditional French songs and original instrumentals fuse Celtic and Acadian genres with modern rock sensibilities and indie-folk influences. Tight vocal harmonies, layered foot percussion, and virtuoso acoustic instrumentation define this powerhouse trio’s sound and make them a hard act to follow. Topping off the night will be The Barra MacNeils whose latest album, On The Bright Side, was released in 2018. After more than 30 years on stages all over the world, the venerable family band from Sydney Mines is as fresh and culturally-rooted as they have been since the day they started. Stay tuned after the concert for one final blast of tunes from the Festival Club.