Symphony Nova Scotia opens the Celtic Colours 20th Anniversary Festival


The Symphony teams up with conductor Scott Macmillan, fiddler Ashley MacIsaac, and more in this epic Celtic music celebration

Halifax, NS – Symphony Nova Scotia joins forces with Scott Macmillan, Ashley MacIsaac, Howie MacDonald, and more for the Celtic Colours Festival opener on Friday, October 7, 2016 at 7:30 pm at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.

To open this milestone celebration, the Symphony, along with many special guests, will pay tribute to those who are no longer with us: Buddy MacMaster, Jerry Holland, John Allan Cameron, Raylene Rankin, and Rita MacNeil.

The concert will be conducted by Scott Macmillan and will feature the musical stylings of the Carlos Núñez Band, Ashley MacIsaac, Mary Elizabeth MacInnis, Howie MacDonald, Marian Dewar, Stuart Cameron, Joella Foulds, Sarah MacInnis, and Margaret MacPherson.

“We can’t wait to return to Cape Breton for this epic collaboration,” says Symphony Nova Scotia CEO Chris Wilkinson.

“As Nova Scotia’s Symphony, it is our honour to celebrate some of this province’s finest Celtic musicians. Over the years, we have collaborated with many local Celtic artists, including many on this program, and we are very excited to bring the Symphony back to Cape Breton for the Festival’s 20th anniversary.”

Reserved seating for this performance is sold out! Tickets for standing room are available for $33.25 per person and can be purchased through the Celtic Colours website.


For nine days in October, Cape Breton Island is home to a unique celebration of music and culture as the Celtic Colours International Festival presents dozens of concerts all over the island, an extensive line-up of community events, and a nightly Festival Club. Over the years, artists have traveled from Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales, Brittany, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Germany, and Cuba as well as from across the United States and Canada to join the finest of Cape Breton’s musicians, singers, dancers, storytellers and tradition-bearers for the annual autumn celebration.

Since its introduction in 1997, Celtic Colours has grown to become one of Canada’s premiere musical events, and a cultural highlight of Nova Scotia’s tourism season, collecting accolades from regional music awards to national and international tourism awards. The festival has also been successful in extending Cape Breton Island’s tourism season well into the autumn, and introducing the musical culture of Cape Breton to tens of thousands of visitors from more than two dozen countries.

With Celtic Colours’ ambitious schedule (as many as six concerts a day), it is simply impossible to see and hear everything. The organizers of the Festival realize this and take special care in the programming of each show so that it is possible to get a taste of all that the Festival has to offer on any given day. Whether it’s Gaelic singing, Cape Breton fiddling, local dance traditions, or an afternoon of world-class bagpiping, Celtic Colours festival-goers can tailor their musical experience to suit their tastes. And if listening to the music inspires a desire to go deeper, to learn more about the music and the culture it comes from, Cultural Experience Workshops and Community Events are offered in communities all around the island in association with Celtic Colours. To learn more, and to get tickets, please visit


Symphony Nova Scotia is Nova Scotia’s orchestra. Each year more than 50,000 audience members (including 15,000 young music lovers) join us in communities across Nova Scotia for performances of the music they love – from baroque and classical to pop and rock and folk. Under the inspirational leadership of Music Director Bernhard Gueller, Symphony Nova Scotia is one of the most broadcast orchestras in the country, with over 20 commercial releases and multiple East Coast Music Awards. Visit to learn more, listen online, or get tickets today!


For more information, please contact:
Heidi MacPhee
Director of Communications and Marketing, Symphony Nova Scotia