Celtic Colours International Festival — in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia — is where I was able to envision my life in the music industry. This unique festival, now in its 20th season, knows how to bring people together with music, for the greater good of the people and the community it serves.
My first event of the week involved going to a square dance at a community hall. It was the night that Hurricane Matthew brought wind gusts of 100 km/hr, and 200+ mm of rain to the island. There was to be a square dance in the village that night, which I thought should have been cancelled. But no…not in Cape Breton. Square dances are local community events, and you can’t hold a community event if the community doesn’t come out and support it.
And so there we were, people of all ages, dancing up a storm – literally, until the power went out. Well, that didn’t stop the music, nor the dancing. When instruments couldn’t be “plugged in”, they went acoustic (thank goodness for the upright piano, fiddle and bagpipes), the emergency lights came on, and the dancing continued. When those lights went out, out came the flashlights! I’ve never seen anything like it.
The experience that night reminded me of the power of music. Music is all inclusive, no judgement, meant to entertain and bring together and support one another – to make a community. That night everyone was having fun, loving the music and enjoying each other’s company. You could see the musicians’ joy; they were obviously having a wonderful time playing with one another, but especially knowing that everyone was having a great time. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this?