Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Almonte Celtfest

Earlier, I posted some pics and a vid of drummer extraordinaire, Catherine Hauke, of the Rogues. Now it's time to post more general photos from the event. I have to pick and choose here because the festival goes for 10 hours on Saturday and 6 on Sunday. So, these are just a few pics, mostly from the leading acts, even so with much omitted.

Before we go there, however, let me say that there are any number of fine local acts too. However, they tend to repeat from year to year, so I won't post much of them for now.

Another note: I may put together a video compilation at some point, but I am just passing along a few stills today.

Alrighty then, here we go.

↑ I mostly want to post in order, but I love the Celtfest stage at night, and I especially love seeing the Rogues in their kilts. Unfortunately, the lead singer/musician, Nelson Stewart, misplaced his kilt. The lady he is singing with is his wife, Jeania, who just joined in for one number on each day.

There is a unique form of step dancing in the Ottawa Valley as well as other pockets in Canada. The daughters of fiddler, Louis Schryer, Chelsey and Kaitlyn, are keeping this exuberant genre alive. ↓

Salty Dog is an English, Montreal-based group that specializes in Maritime music. They are a lively group that interchanges fiddlers at times. This was their fiddler for the Celtfest event (sorry, I don't recall her name and can't find it on their site), but I have seen two others in times past.

We were also treated to three beautiful Irish dancers this year from the SFH Irish Dance Studio in Ottawa. In their rehearsal costumes ↑ and in their presentation costumes ↓ .

Le Vent du Nord,which translates to Northwind in my mind, is a French speaking group from the adjacent province of Quebec. They are absolutely fantastic, both singing and playing extremely well. They travel all over and are worth the experience if they come to a place near you. Check out their website. Their sing in French but patter very well in English in their delightful accents. They really got the audience up and dancing.

↑ Réjean Brunet is on the left and fiddler, Olivier Demers, on the right.

↓ Nicolas Boulerice plays the hurdy gurdy. I am glad they named the instrument at some point in the performance because we were all scratching our heads. You can see his left hand turning a crank in the photo.
Nicolas Boulerice

Réjean Brunet
Réjean Brunet

My final photos for now are a collage of five of the fiddlers of celtfest ↑ and the concluding song The Parting Glass ↓ sung by two local young ladies.

The collage ↑ features two local and excellent fiddlers at the top: Matt Pepin on the left and Kyle Felhaver on the right. Below are Corey Walden of The American Rogues and Olivier Demers of Le Vent du Nord. The fellow in the centre is Louis Schryer and Canadian fiddling champion many times over. For the background, I used the photo of the rogues which I used to begin this post. I used it for the sake of continuity and atmosphere but blurred it to minimize distraction. May I brag a bit by mentioning that all of the fiddlers are Canadian, including Corey Walden of The American Rogues. In fact, three of the five performers with the Rogues were Canadian.

For awhile Celtfest always concluded with a song called The Parting Glass. That tradition got lost in the last few years, but was brought back this year by these two lovely young ladies ↓ who were accompanied by The American Rogues who just learned the tune.

Celtfest is a great festival that we have attended every years since our move here to the Ottawa Valley. So ... until next year.


ADRIAN said...

Some excellent pictures. It's never easy competeing with stage lighting and trying to catch musicians when they aren't pulling ridiculous faces.

TexWisGirl said...

love the dancers.

Tabor said...

I really enjoy this style of music because it is somewhat rare here. We do have a Celtic festival and I went once a few years ago. Must get off my butt.

Ginger said...

Looks like so much fun. Would love to attend a festival like this!

Donna said...

Looks like a hoppingly fun affair!

Hilary said...

That looks and sounds like it was a wonderful event. I love how you did the collage and I can't say that I even knew there was an instrument called the hurdy gurdy.. but I do remember the song by Donovan.

Shammickite said...

I love this kind of music, I wonder if there is a similar event near here. If there is, I want to go!
Collage is great, you are very clever!!!

Mage said...


EG CameraGirl said...

Sounds like a festival I would very much enjoy.