CeltFest Celebrates 12th Anniversary Season, 7/14-20

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CeltFest Vancouver Island has taken place in numerous Island communities over the past 11 years. This year marks CeltFest's 12th anniversary and the festival's first time in Greater Victoria. From July 14 to 20, 2012, Celtic performing artists from around the world will present a series of concerts, offer public workshops and participate in ceilidhs (Celtic "jam sessions"). All performances and activities take place at the Canadian College of Performing Arts, 1701 Elgin Road.

The CeltFest concert series kicks off on Monday, July 16, with Lori and Innes Watson: Scots Kith & Kin. Siblings Lori (fiddle, vocals) and Innes (guitars, vocals) from Birgham in the Scottish Borders, tour extensively throughout the UK, Scandinavia, Spain, Austria, Germany and Nova Scotia playing folk clubs, arts centres, theatres and festival stages to great acclaim. Their collaboration of Lowland and Highland styles varied European and popular influences result in a sound brimming with personality. Opening for the Watsons will be the Strathspey Fiddlers, a group of youth musicians visiting from the Scottish Highlands. Also appearing will be Bard John Beaton, and Victoria's Gaelic Choir.

On Tuesday, July 17, Ottawa fiddler/step dancer Stephanie Cadman, takes the stage with former World Champion Irish Dancer, Owen Barrington. Appearing together for the first time, Cadman and Barrington are acclaimed for their mastery of both dance and instruments and will present their own unique musical styles.

The Festival's Wacky Jig and Hornpipe Contest Family Night is held on Wednesday, July 18. Everyone is invited to join students and faculty from CeltFest's Summer School in a good-natured contest adjudicated by a "panel of distinguished judges". The competition is open to individuals and groups of any size and the only criteria are to play, sing, or dance to a Jig and/or Hornpipe. Join in, or just come to be entertained! Note: Entries should be submitted at the CeltFest office on site at the Canadian College of Performing Arts.

Celtic cultures merge in the Festival's finale, the Sunset & Stars Gala, Thursday, July 19, when champion fiddlers, dancers, pipers, and drummers, including Juno Award nominee Eileen McGann and Master pipers Rene Cusson and Jamie Troy, take the stage! This year's headliner is The Niamh Ni Charra Trio from Ireland. A former Riverdance cast member, Niamh and her band are making their first Vancouver Island appearance at CeltFest 2012.

All concerts begin at 7:30 pm at the Canadian College of Performing Arts auditorium, 1701 Elgin Road, and the audience is invited to remain after each concert to participate in the ceilidh (musical party) that follows. Prices for individual concert tickets range from $10 to $34 and CeltPasses (providing access to all concerts) are also available. For tickets, passes and more information visit www.CeltFest.ca.

Tickets for the Sunset & Stars Gala, July 19, will sell out quickly as space is limited. They are available on line or at Ivy's Bookshop, 2188 Oak Bay Avenue, ph. 250.598.2713

Note: Each Sunset & Stars Gala ticket provides free admission to CeltFest ceilidhs at 9:30 pm on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights.


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