Experience It All: Celtic Colours, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Ciad Mile Failte!

For the past 9 days, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, was home to a unique celebration of music and Celtic Coloursculture called the Celtic Colours International Festival. Celtic Colours promotes, celebrates, and develops Cape Breton’s Celtic culture through concerts, outdoor events, visual art series, participatory events, community meals, and learning opportunities. You may have physically missed the 2012 Celtic Colours, but you can experience it all through my 7 days in Cape Breton at The Celtic Colours.

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Two Rivers Diverged into the Wildlife

With over 50 species of native and non-native animals and birds, a petting zoo, hiking and cross-country ski trails,Two Rivers Wildlife Park Cape Breton, Nova Scotia wagon and sleigh rides, a “U-fish” pond, and a children’s playground, Two Rivers Wildlife Park is one of my favorite place to go with my brother and sister, and now Athena, when I’m in Cape Breton. Two Rivers Wildlife Park offers a unique experience to everyone from the avid nature lover to the casual observer. The petting zoo still holds my attention even in adulthood and we can’t help but smile at the otters as they splash and play in their habitat. It may be a little difficult to find, but two roads, and rivers, diverge into the wildlife and we’ve made them the path to be followed. Continue reading

Highland Village in Iona, Cape Breton Hosts a Milling Frolic

I hail from a Gaelic area (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia) but that doesn’tMilling Frolic Celtic Colours exactly make me Gaelic. I’m ignorant when it comes to my heritage and my culture. I wish I could say otherwise, but it would be untrue. This week, I’ve been learning about my roots and my “Celtic Colours”; I’ve become a tourist in my hometown and I’m catching up on a few things that I’d been blind to as a youth. I’ve attended The Cape Breton Fiddlers at the Gaelic College, Our Gaelic Kids in Christmas Island, and a Traditional Ceilidh in Iona (the video is to follow within the next few days). Today, I took one more step into learning about the Gaelic community by attending a Milling Frolic at the Highland Village in Iona. Continue reading

Our Gaelic Kids: Ar Clann Ghàidhealach

Gaelic wasn’t offered in the Cape Breton school system when I attended, but after years ofOur Gaelic Kids - Celtic Colours Nova Scotia effort in homes, communities, and organizations, it is on the rise again. Today, in Christmas Island, I witnessed the evidence of a thriving Gaelic culture and community. Three generations of Gaelic signers performed at the Christmas Island Fire Hall. There wasn’t a seat left in the house as students from the Core Gaelic Program in two schools joined with their elders for an afternoon of song and dance. Continue reading

What Happened to My Gaelic?

Jumping right into the Celtic Colours Festival, I drove to Cape Breton this morning and Celtic-Colours-Cape-Breton-Fiddlersarrived at the Gaelic College in enough time to experience The Cape Breton Fiddlers. I was instantly inspired by fiddlers of all ages and already felt an overwhelming desire to learn how to play an instrument. They moved in unison and harmoniously performed island songs from local artists. But it was when I saw Leanne Aucoin lead the group in musical perfection that I started to wonder, “What happened to my Gaelic?” Continue reading

Nova Scotia, Eh?

After 6.5 hours of flying, Athena and I arrived at the Halifax International Airport and I still halifax_airportthink it took us longer to pick up the rent-a-car than the entire flight time combined. It’s all well worth it though. My senses were delighted as we arrived “home”. (At least my Canadian home; Charlotte is definitely my real home where Darren and I are continuing our beautiful life together.) The smells, the sounds, the sights, the tastes… all uniquely Nova Scotian.  Continue reading

Back to My Stompin’ Grounds – Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

We are an Island, a Rock in a stream
We are a People, as proud as there’s been
In soft summer breeze, or in wild winter winds
The home of our hearts, Cape Breton…

No matter where I go, when I go, or how long I go, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia will always beCeltic Colours Cape Breton Nova Scotia my home. I’m returning with my daughter, Athena, from October 6th-14th for the Celtic Colours International Festival, the ultimate taste of Cape Breton culture, music, and dance. For nine days in October, the Celtic Colours International Festival presents an extensive line-up of community events and concerts all over the island. Cape Breton is home to a unique combination of music, culture, and tradition; I want to become a tourist in my home town and soak up the island’s living Celtic culture. With an ambitious schedule and an open heart, I can’t wait to become part of the action and revel in Cape Breton’s spectacular Autumn scenery and entertainment. Continue reading