“Let nature soothe your soul. Let the music feed your imagination.”
These are words to live by. Conveniently for this story, they also represent the resonant credo of the fourth Celtic Harmonies International Festival, set for Knowlton, Mansonville, Waterloo and Bromont, Sept. 30 to Oct. 8.
Some of the world’s finest musicians and dancers from the Celtic heartlands of Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and the huge disapora in the U.S., Quebec and Canada’s east coast will
descend on our corner of the Townships for concerts and workshops every night. It begins with Ireland’s Michael
“Blackie” O’Connell and Cyril O’Donoughue and Quebec’s Jean-François Berthiaume, with opening act MacIsaac and Mackenzie from Cape Breton, at the Lakeview Inn at
8 p.m. September 30th, and ends with 25 musicians onstage at the Maison de la Culture in Waterloo, led by thrilling Irish singer Naimh Parsons, and put together by legendary Montreal multi-talent Dave Gossage.
In between, shows, demonstrations, signs and wonders at venues like Theatre Lac Brome, Star Café, the Knowlton Pub and St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Mansonville.
“This is our fourth edition in the Townships,” said organizer April O’Donoughue from her headquarters in Mansonville in the hectic month leading up to the ambitious event.
“Every concert has two acts, so it is a big bang for the money. Because we have shows every night, we attract not only local fans of the music, but people from away as well. It will be good for the region’s restaurants and hotels.”
She estimates the event generated $450,000 during the last successful edition in 2015, and expects 3000 to attend this one, and lis- ten to the pipes, fiddles, flutes, tin whistles and bodhrans that can make O’Donoughue and us all “cry or want to dance.”
Tickets are on sale now online at celticharmonies.ca, or by call- ing 450-292-3456, ext. 227. Tickets cost between $5 and $50. A full festival pass is $278. A pass good for 5 shows is $135.