Monday, July 19, 2010

Montreal Celtfest – July 31

Montreal Celtfest, a new Celtic music festival produced by the folks at Hello Darlin’ Productions and Hyperbole Music – the same folks that have been producing the Folk Festival on the Canal for the past three years – in association with the Montreal Highland Games and McAuslin Brewery is set to take place, July 31, noon-8:00 pm, on the grounds of the George Springate Sports Centre (behind Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School) in the Montreal West island suburb of Pierrefonds in advance of the Montreal Highland Games which happen the next day at the same location.

The festival has a very promising line-up that begins with pipers and highland dancers and will include sets by Belfast Andi & Swift Years, who did a fine set at the Canal festival last month; Ennis, a sister duo from Newfoundland whose harmonies are thrilling; The Once, a Newfoundland trio that I’ve not yet heard myself but about whom I’ve heard great things; and Sarah Burnell, one of Canada’s finest young fiddlers, who was in a fiddle workshop I hosted a few years ago at the Ottawa Folk Festival.

There will also be two sets featuring flute and whistle virtuoso Dave Gossage, probably Montreal’s Celtic music MVP. One set has Dave fronting his own group and the other features him as part of Solstice. Dave’s set at the Canal festival in June absolutely blew me away. It was the first time I’d heard him since his days in Orealis with the late Kirk MacGeachy and everything about his set was world class.

Speaking of Kirk MacGeachy, the stage at Celtfest will be named in his memory.

There will also be on-site rugby and hurling games. Hurling, BTW, is a game and does not refer to the activity that happens in Irish pubs when the denizens have had too much to drink.

Tickets are available at the gate or by calling Hello Darlin’ Productions at 514-524-9225.

--Mike Regenstreif

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