The Pipes, The Drums and The Dancers of the Beach Celtic Festival !
Submitted by Sandy Graham
It wouldn’t be a Celtic Festival with bagpipers and we are so pleased to have a grand showing of Pipes and Drums. We start off with the opening ceremonies on Sept. 8 with the Scarborough Pipes and Drums. Always a favourite with the Celtic Crowd. This seasoned and award winning band has been performing at the Celtic Festival for years and we hope they will be with us for years to come.
This year we are pleased to feature the wonderful bagpiping skills of Rory Sinclair. Not to be missed, Rory combines traditional songs with a hip look and is definitely a wonderful listen for all bagpipe fans. Also joining him with be the lovely and talented Stephanie Miletic on fiddle.
Close to the heart of the Beach Celtic history, on both Saturday Sept, 8 and Sunday Sept. 9, The Toronto Black Watch Pipes and Drums will be appearing on stage, and once again playing the slow march written by the Graham’s grandfather, Pipe Major Donald Sutherland of the BWR, ‘The Red Hackle’.
The Dancers !
This renowned Celtic dance troupe is The Bold Step Dancers is the creation of the effervescent and dazzling Meghan Bold. Bold has performed on stages all across the world as a feature performer with the MacCulloch Dancers and brings a wealth of experience to the Bold Step Dancers. The studio opened in 2007 with just ten students and has since become established as one of the foremost in Toronto in offering both Step and Highland dance courses. This year marks the third consecutive appearance at the Beach Celtic Festival by the Bold Step Dancers and based on past appearances, expect a high-flying, exuberant display of traditional Step and Highland techniques and dashes of bold stepping. Also loads of audience participation; when the Bold Step Dancers take the stage, young and old alike are moved to get up and get down.
Always a welcome The Gilchrist-Canavan School of Irish Dancing, a group of polished and professional dancers, with Patricia Gilchrist at the helm. The school welcomes girls AND boys to learn the wonderful traditions of Irish dancing, With the school nestled in the heart of Leslieville, these world class competition dancers are well known in the Beach and beyond. With many competitions (and winning placements) on their agenda we are always honoured when they come to the Festival and perform. You can see them on Saturday September 8.
Maureen Mulvey-O’Leary has been bringing her dancers to perform from the very beginning of the Celtic Festival, and are as much of a tradition as the event itself. With her daughter, Colleen, Maureen’s Reel Irish Dancing teach step dancing in Toronto and Whitby, Irish ceili and set dancing in Toronto, Whitby and Mississauga, as well as performing all over Ontario almost every weekend. Maureen loves to come out and dance herself, and I personally have even seen her and Colleen do the Irish jive on occasion. She believes dancing should be fun and it shows when you see her students !
A few years ago this lovely woman names Pat Beaven offered to teach Scottish dancing at the Beach Celtic Festival. She always kicks off our day with a demo and dance lessons and it is amazing to see all types get up and learn their steps. Don’t be shy – come and learn – Pat is patient and makes you feel great about dancing. If you don’t want to learn in public she does lessons in the neighbourhood as well. Just come to The Beach Celtic Festival and ask her!