July/August 2013 Newsletter

Lewis MacKinnon Discusses Language and the Gaelic Identity at CMIC

In August, the CMIC hosted the latest in a series of cultural presentations by members of the Gaelic community. Gaelic singer, songwriter and poet Lewis MacKinnon led a discussion on the ways in which the Gaelic language represents the cultural identity of the people. The Gaelic language incorporates a variety of idioms and expressions that reflect the values and traditions of the Gaels. In his talk, Mackinnon discussed his findings on the topic as gathered through research and through observations of Nova Scotia Gaelic speakers.


Lewis Mackinnon was born and raised in Antigonish County, Nova Scotia. He learned much of his Gaelic from an uncle who also passed on a deep love of the language. Mackinnon continued his study of Gaelic at St. Francis Xavier University. He has been performing as a vocal artist since 1994.

Over the years, he has performed in Canada and the United states as well as Scotland and Ireland. He has performed on several recordings, including his ECMA nominated all Gaelic CD, "A' Seo." Over the years, Lewis Mackinnon has also become a respected poet. He released his first poetry book, Famhair agus din Ghidhlig eile - (Giant and other Gaelic poems), a collection of 89 Gaelic poems with English translations.

Mackinnon has also been very active in supporting the Gaelic language in Nova Scotia through his work as the executive director of Gaelic Affairs for the Province of Nova Scotia. In 2011, he was formally recognized for his contributions to Gaelic culture, language and literature at the Royal National Mod, Scotland's annual Gaelic cultural festival. It was there he was crowned as the festival's first ever transatlantic bard.

For more information on future Gaelic events at the CMIC, visit our calendar
of events at:  www.celticmusiccentre.com


The CMIC Enjoys a Visit from Musical Friends

In August, fiddler Shelly Campbell and renowned Irish singer and flute player, Nuala Kennedy dropped in after a visit to the beach to share a few tunes.

Nuala is originally from Dundalk in County Louth, an area known for its music. She has long been interested in Irish and Scottish music and language. In 2011, she completed a Masters Degree in Music Performance and Composition at Newcastle University. She has recorded extensively both on her own and with other musicians, including Cape Breton musicians and she always enjoys sharing a tune or a song.



Celtic Touch Dancers Perform at the CMIC

The Celtic Touch Dancers are a group of award-winning young dancers who have been studying highland and step dancing dancing under the instruction of acclaimed Antigonish dancer, Sabra MacGillivray. The Celtic Touch Dancers have won awards at the provincial and national level and have performed all over Cape Breton as well as Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Throughout August, the dancers were frequent guests at the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre, performing outside on the grounds for visitors and onstage during our lunchtime ceilidhs. They performed a variety of Scottish highland dances and traditional stepdancing that delighted visitors to the centre.
The Celtic Touch Dancers have been performing throughout Cape Breton this summer to raise funds for a trip to Scotland in late August. In Scotland, the dancers will have the opportunity to perform and learn about the history of their dance tradition.

More information on the Celtic Touch Dancers can be found at: www.sabramacgillivray.com

Scottish band Dimh Performs to an Enthusiastic Crowd

Last month, Gaelic supergroup, Dimh performed to a large and enthusiastic crowd at the CMIC. With members from across the Celtic diaspora, the award winning group has been travelling through Europe and North America blending a variety of Celtic traditions to create their own unique, high energy sound. Dimh recordings are available in our online store at www.celticmusiccentre.ca/shop/

Tickets Now Available for The Buddy MacMaster School of Fiddling Masters Concert

This year's Masters' Concert (formely the Grand Finale Concert) promises to be a performance not to be missed. This year's concert will be held on a new date and will be the opening event for the Buddy MacMaster School of Fiddling. The concert will feature the world class musicians that will be teaching at the fiddle school during the week. Performers will include Shelly Campbell, Colin Grant, Glenn Graham, Gabrielle MacLellan, Andrea Beaton, Rachel Davis, Mairi Rankin, Stan Chapman, Wendy MacIsaac, and Troy MacGillivray, with other special guests.

The concert will be held on Thursday, October 10th at 7:30pm at the Judique Community Centre
(Next door to the Celtic Music Centre).

Tickets are now available for purchase, both on site at the Celtic Music Centre and online. Be sure to reserve your tickets soon!


CMIC Welcomes Rachel Davis

The CMIC is pleased to welcome fiddler Rachel Davis to the team. Rachel will be our in-house fiddler for the months of September and October. She will be providing music demonstrations and performing daily during the weekday lunch Ceilidhs from 11:30am-1:00pm.

For more information on Rachel and her music career, please visit her website at www.rachel-davis.ca  



July Birthday: Dan Joe MacInnis

July marks the birthday of one of the 20th century's influential Cape Breton fiddlers, Dan Joe MacInnis. The Sydney fiddler began playing when he was eight years old. His first exposure to Cape Breton fiddle music was from Peter Campbell, who travelled throughout the area at the time selling vegetables and buttermilk. The young Dan Joe would listen intently whenever Campbell picked up the fiddle in the MacInnis household. Dan Joe was determined to learn to play. By the time he was fourteen years old, Dan Joe was playing regularly for dances throughout the area.

In 1947, he taught himself to read music. In the early 1960s he recorded three LPs, "The Cape Breton Fiddle of Dan Joe MacInnis" (1961), "The Scottish Canadian Fiddle of Dan Joe MacInnis" (1965) with Doug MacPhee, and "Scottish Fiddle Music" (1965) with Loretta Beaudry. Four of Dan Joe's children became involved with music and his playing has continued to influence future generations of players.

Upcoming September Events

Sept 1:   Sunday Ceilidh 3:00-6:30pm. Glenn Graham & Jackie Dunn. $8
Sept 4:
   Wednesday Ceilidh 7:00-9:00pm. Ian MacDougall & friends. $6
Sept 8:
   Sunday Ceilidh 3:00-6:30pm. Shelly Campbell & friends. $8
Sept 11:
  Wednesday Ceilidh 7:00-9pm. Kinnon & Betty Beaton. $6
Sept 15:
  Sunday Ceilidh 3:00-6:30pm. Mike Hall & Allan Dewar. $8
Sept 18:
  Wednesday Ceilidh 7:00-9:00pm. TBA. $6
Sept 22:
  Sunday Ceilidh 3:00-6:30pm. Andrea Beaton. $8
Sept 25:
  Wednesday Ceilidh 7:00-9:00pm. Troy MacGillivray. $6
Sept 29:
  Sunday Ceilidh 3:00-6:30pm. Kinnon & Andrea Beaton. $8 

For more events, visit our calendar of events at: www.celticmusiccentre.com