Beach Celtic Festival Turns 12 !


Submitted by Cashbox Canada

In the Beach Village of Toronto , it’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, not the kids going back to school, but the Annual Beach Celtic Festival, Toronto’s only outdoor ceildh in beautiful Kew Gardens. So sing along "At the 12th Celtic Festival: Sandy Graham brought to us; one pipe band piping, Bold Step Dancers dancing, Old Man Flanagan’s Ghost entertaining, Don Graham a-strumming, Caledon County singing, Métis Fiddlers fiddlin’, vendors selling cool stuff, adults and children smiling, and all at a great Scottish price..IT’S FREE.”

There now, you are in the mood to celebrate all things Celtic on September 12th and 13th in the park. Founder, creative director, organizer, talent manager, weather watcher and all around overseer Sandy Graham is all smiles when talking about this year’s presentation.

“Every year I get to honour and celebrate my Mum with this lively gathering that would make her proud. For two days every September Mum is walking the park with us and enjoying the fun, food and music that would remind her of her home in “the old country.” This year we are honoured to dedicate the festival to the loving memory of ‘Big’ Harry MacGregor our loyal and steadfast supporter for many years.”

Bold Step DancersBold Step DancersThis year’s lineup is to be filled with a wide variety of talent starting with choreographer Meghan Bold’s Bold Step Dancers, one of the finest Scottish Dance troupes in the city and a not to be missed experience. Bold by name and bold by nature, Meghan has never been shy about taking a big step and every year, we are so pleased to have her talented troupe of Highland Dancers who also present an amazing presentation of what is known as Step Dancing originally taken from the Ottawa Valley settlers. Bold Step Dance Studios is located in the heart of the Beach and accepts students of all ages. Bold Step Dancers are part of the Beach Celtic Festival Clan and help us to celebrate with the festival every year.

Old Man Flanagan's GhostOld Man Flanagan's GhostOld Man Flanagan’s Ghost,while several generations Canadian, Old Man Flanagan's Ghost (OMFG) has members with ancestry from both Scotland and Ireland (doesn't everyone?). Tracing back to Enneskillen, Ireland, and with a father who created a cassette tape of Irish music and who played with a group called the Molloy Show Band, the Lamb brothers (Stephen and Bryan) definitely had some Celtic influences growing up.Percussionist and Bodhran player Scot Allan has ties back to Kirkcaldy, Scotland and is primarily associated with Clan Ranald of the MacDonald Clan (i.e., Clan Donald), but also with Clan MacFarlane, Clan MacKay, and Clan Grant. Brooke Richardson, an accomplished violinist and fiddle player is sure to delight audiences, which she started doing at the age of nine. Her Great Grandparents hailed from both Belfast,Ireland and Aberdeen, Scotland. Matti Palonen is Finnish...but can play Celtic music like no other! 

Metis Fiddle TrioThe Métis Fiddler TrioThe Métis Fiddler Trio are a Toronto based group who love to share Métis music and culture. Born in Winnipeg with proud Métis roots, their goal is to spread awareness about their culture in a fun and exciting way! Traditional jigs and reels have no musical borders, and the Scots, Irish, Quebecois and the Métis all shared their songbooks in many a kitchen party. Chii-Migwetch to the Métis Fiddler Trio for sharing their musical gifts with us at the Beach Celtic Festival 2015.

Gilchrist-Canavan Irish DancersGilchrist-Canavan Irish DancersNothing is more Celtic than the offerings of the wonderful Irish dancers, and The Gilchrist-Canavan School of Irish Dance has been with us right from the very beginning of this Festival. Steeped in tradition, these young dancers show that heritage and history in dance do matter. Thank you Patricia for showing up year after year to give us our Irish flavour of dance!

Caledon CountyCaledon CountyCaledon County is a polished trio of accomplished musicians playing together with the united love for traditional Scottish music. They are a high-energy group, dedicated to crafting their music around ancient melodies merged with modern twists. Caledon County consists of Rory Sinclair: Bagpipes (highland and small pipes) Stephanie Miletic: Fiddle Gaye Zimmerman-Huycke: Acoustic Guitar. This is their second year performing at the Beach Celtic Festival and we are thrilled to have them back with us! A thousand welcomes!

Don GrahamDon GrahamDon Graham is Sandy's brother and although he is an established country recording artist and singer/songwriter in his own right, Don never misses the chance to come out and share his love of his heritage and the songs that he loves to sing in celebration of his family roots. Don will be performing some of his own tunes, some classics and some Celtic favourites! (you might even catch him a kilt!)

The Beach Celtic Festival is a great way to end the summer and the warmth of   the two day event will keep you warm as the nights are fair drawn in and winter lays it’s cloak of darkness on the country side. Here’s to you Big Harry.

Lang May Your Lum Reek.