April 2013 Newsletter

Cape Breton Mourns the Passing of Rita MacNeil (1944-2013)

The Cape Breton music community was saddened this month by the passing of one of the Island's well-known singers, Rita MacNeil. Rita was well-loved as a singer and songwriter, and her music inspired fans across the country. Despite her quiet personality, she reached out to people from all walks of life through her music. Many of the songs she performed, including, "Home I'll Be" and "Working Man" powerfully reflect the lives of ordinary working people, especially those of Cape Breton and the Maritimes. She will be remembered for her warmth, talent, and her willingness to encourage others to follow their passion in music.

Rita was a native of Big pond and grew up in a family of eight children and always felt passionately about music and singing. Although she began writing, singing and performing at a young age, it was at the '86 Expo in Vancouver that she started to gain national recognition. Shortly after, she released the album, "Flying on Your Own" and won her first Juno award in 1987 at the age of 42. She later went on to win two more Junos. In her lifetime, she recorded over 24 albums. She was also well known for her collaborations with Cape Breton's Men of the Deeps. Rita MacNeil passed away on April 16th at the age of 68 and will be greatly missed.

CMIC Welcomes New Staff

As the CMIC prepares for the 2013 season, we welcome our new Executive Director, Cheryl Smith to the team. A former board member of 3 years, Cheryl has been part of CMIC for many years now. She has also been a long-time supporter and contributing member to the Canadian music community from an early age as both her parents were involved with music. She is passionate about the island's traditional music and has worked with numerous Cape Breton musicians through her work as a percussionist and through her career as a graphic designer. Over the years, she has provided designs for the albums and websites of numerous Cape Breton musicians. Also joining the CMIC staff this spring is our new accountant, Misty MacDonald from Port Hood. They are both looking forward to a busy and successful season at CMIC. 

Upcoming Events at the CMIC

April 28:  Sunday Ceilidh 3:00-6:30pm
Featuring: Doug Lamey with Johnny MacDonald (piano), Sandy MacDonald (guitar). $8

May 5:  Sunday Ceilidh 3:00-6:30pm
Glenn Graham. $8

May 12:  Sunday Ceilidh 3:00-6:30pm
Kinnon and Betty Beaton. $8

May 15:  Wednesday 1:00-3:00pm.
Gaelic tea and Ceilidh hosted by the CMIC and Judique School of Gaelic

May 19:  Sunday Ceilidh 3:00-6:30pm
Rachel Davis - CD Release. $8.

May 26:  Sunday Ceilidh 3:00-6:30pm
Rodney MacDonald. $8.

For more events, visit our Events page


Reminder, May is Gaelic Awareness Month in Nova Scotia

Next month, classes, workshops, and other events will be taking place throughout the province to celebrate the role of the Gaelic language in Nova Scotia culture. A listing of Gaelic events for the month can be found at http://www.gaelic.ca/calendar.php.

On Wednesday, May 15th at 1:00pm, the CMIC and the Judique School of Gaelic will be hosting a Gaelic tea and ceilidh featuring Cape Breton tunes, as well as songs with members of the Gaelic community. The afternoon is open to the public, all ages are welcome, and tea will be provided. This event is made possible through support from the Office of Gaelic Affairs


Karen Lynn MacDonald Allergy Awareness Society

On March 17th, the CMIC's Sunday ceilidh was sponsored by Roy C. MacDonald in memory of his daughter, Karen Lynn MacDonald. Karen Lynn was a fiddler and teacher from Pictou County. She graduated from St. Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Science in 2000 and a Bachelor of Education in 2002. In 2005, Karen Lynn passed away as a result of anaphylactic shock after accidentally ingesting peanut oil.

To honour her memory, Her family and friends formed the Karen Lynn MacDonald Allergy Awareness Society with the goal of providing health information to those with allergies. Their other goal was to ensure that everyone in Pictou, Antigonish, and Guysborough counties suffering from a serious allergy has access to an EpiPen. If you would like more information or would like to become involved with the society, please visit the society's website: http://karenlynnmacdonald.webs.com/