July/August 2013 Newsletter
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 dàin Ghàidhlig 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
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.
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
More information on the Celtic Touch Dancers can be found at: www.sabramacgillivray.com.
Last month, Gaelic supergroup, Dàimh 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. Dàimh recordings are available in our online store at www.celticmusiccentre.ca/shop/
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
Tickets are now available
for purchase, both on site at the Celtic Music Centre
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.
Sept 1: Sunday
Ceilidh 3:00-6:30pm. Glenn Graham & Jackie Dunn. $8
For more events, visit our calendar of events at: www.celticmusiccentre.com