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HEATHER RANKIN (Cape Breton) - After over twenty-five years of performing with her siblings Heather Rankin comes into her own with A Fine Line, her debut solo record. This is Heather Rankin like you have never heard her before, breaking away from The Rankin Family’s signature sound, and forging her own musical legacy with her poetic, intimate original songs, and an eclectic mix of others. Perhaps the most dramatic sense of balance in A Fine Line is Rankin’s own graceful sense of balance between her own musical past, present and future. She harkens back to her childhood in Mabou, Nova Scotia and honours her roots in that community, and in her family, but she does so in her own authentic voice.

HEATHER RANKIN (Cape Breton) - After over twenty-five years of performing with her siblings Heather Rankin comes into her own with A Fine Line, her debut solo record. This is Heather Rankin like you have never heard her before, breaking away from The Rankin Family’s signature sound, and forging her own musical legacy with her poetic, intimate original songs, and an eclectic mix of others. Perhaps the most dramatic sense of balance in A Fine Line is Rankin’s own graceful sense of balance between her own musical past, present and future. She harkens back to her childhood in Mabou, Nova Scotia and honours her roots in that community, and in her family, but she does so in her own authentic voice.

KEVIN BURKE (Ireland) - Kevin Burke is an Irish master fiddler considered one of the finest living Irish fiddlers. For nearly four decades he has been at the forefront of Irish traditional music and Celtic music, performing and recording with the seminal groups The Bothy Band, Patrick Street, and the Celtic Fiddle Festival. In 2002, Burke was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honour given in the United States for folk and traditional arts.

KEVIN BURKE (Ireland) - Kevin Burke is an Irish master fiddler considered one of the finest living Irish fiddlers. For nearly four decades he has been at the forefront of Irish traditional music and Celtic music, performing and recording with the seminal groups The Bothy Band, Patrick Street, and the Celtic Fiddle Festival. In 2002, Burke was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honour given in the United States for folk and traditional arts.

GOITSE (Ireland) - The popular and multi-award-winning quintet Goitse was forged in the white-hot creative crucible of Limerick’s Irish World Academy. Named Live Ireland’s “Traditional Group of the Year”, Chicago Irish American News’ “Group of the Year”, as well as winning the prestigious “Freiburger International Leiter 2016” award in Germany, Goitse have become a leader of the new generation of traditional Irish ensembles. Together, the quintet Goitse makes what Irish Music Magazine calls “Music that’s brimming with energy and creative zeal.”

GOITSE (Ireland) - The popular and multi-award-winning quintet Goitse was forged in the white-hot creative crucible of Limerick’s Irish World Academy. Named Live Ireland’s “Traditional Group of the Year”, Chicago Irish American News’ “Group of the Year”, as well as winning the prestigious “Freiburger International Leiter 2016” award in Germany, Goitse have become a leader of the new generation of traditional Irish ensembles. Together, the quintet Goitse makes what Irish Music Magazine calls “Music that’s brimming with energy and creative zeal.”

THE GOOD LOVELIES (Ontario) - You hear it a lot these days – the idea that something is greater than the sum of its parts – and yet there’s really no better way to describe the musical essence of the Good Lovelies. Kerri Ough, Sue Passmore, and Caroline Brooks – immensely talented vocalists and songwriters in their own right; however, it’s their voices interwoven in harmony – powerful and pure, organic and inspiring – that elevates the Good Lovelies from impressive to peerless.

THE GOOD LOVELIES (Ontario) - You hear it a lot these days – the idea that something is greater than the sum of its parts – and yet there’s really no better way to describe the musical essence of the Good Lovelies. Kerri Ough, Sue Passmore, and Caroline Brooks – immensely talented vocalists and songwriters in their own right; however, it’s their voices interwoven in harmony – powerful and pure, organic and inspiring – that elevates the Good Lovelies from impressive to peerless.

CASSIE & MAGGIE (Cape Breton) - Nova Scotian sisters Cassie and Maggie have been lighting up the world with their unique blend of traditional and contemporary Celtic instrumentals and vocals. Appearing on stages across North America, the UK, and Europe the sisters have enchanted audiences far and wide with lively fiddle, piano and guitar arrangements, stunning sibling vocal harmonies in both English and Gaelic, all complemented by their intricate and percussive stepdancing style. 

CASSIE & MAGGIE (Cape Breton) - Nova Scotian sisters Cassie and Maggie have been lighting up the world with their unique blend of traditional and contemporary Celtic instrumentals and vocals. Appearing on stages across North America, the UK, and Europe the sisters have enchanted audiences far and wide with lively fiddle, piano and guitar arrangements, stunning sibling vocal harmonies in both English and Gaelic, all complemented by their intricate and percussive stepdancing style. 

UNION DUKE (Ontario) - Sweat flies and floorboards tremble – Union Duke is a Toronto folk quintet with an explosive live show. Bridging soulful indie rock with bluegrass and country, the group belts out soaring harmonies with three, four and even five voices. The songs are irresistible, the perfect fit for the heatwave of the dance hall or the cool breeze of the park.  Union Duke is two fifths city, two fifths country, and one fifth whiskey.

UNION DUKE (Ontario) - Sweat flies and floorboards tremble – Union Duke is a Toronto folk quintet with an explosive live show. Bridging soulful indie rock with bluegrass and country, the group belts out soaring harmonies with three, four and even five voices. The songs are irresistible, the perfect fit for the heatwave of the dance hall or the cool breeze of the park. Union Duke is two fifths city, two fifths country, and one fifth whiskey.

THE FITZGERALDS (Ontario) - A family group consisting of fiddling and step dancing siblings - Tom, Kerry & Julie Fitzgerald. These siblings, from just outside of Canada’s renowned Ottawa Valley, have come a long way from their small town roots. Featuring 3-time Canadian Grandmaster Fiddle Champions and Ontario Open Step Dance Champions, this unique act features high-energy fiddling and mind-blowing step dancing.

THE FITZGERALDS (Ontario) - A family group consisting of fiddling and step dancing siblings - Tom, Kerry & Julie Fitzgerald. These siblings, from just outside of Canada’s renowned Ottawa Valley, have come a long way from their small town roots. Featuring 3-time Canadian Grandmaster Fiddle Champions and Ontario Open Step Dance Champions, this unique act features high-energy fiddling and mind-blowing step dancing.

MAMA'S BROKE (Nove Scotia) - Mama’s Broke is a powerful folk duo that deliver a compelling performance with heart and raw energy. Although highly influenced by their Canadian roots, Lisa and Amy are based out of nowhere and everywhere.  Their two strong voices blend to create haunting harmonies, while they artfully juggle fiddle, banjo, guitar and mandolin, and incorporate traditional dance and foot percussion into their performance.

MAMA'S BROKE (Nove Scotia) - Mama’s Broke is a powerful folk duo that deliver a compelling performance with heart and raw energy. Although highly influenced by their Canadian roots, Lisa and Amy are based out of nowhere and everywhere. Their two strong voices blend to create haunting harmonies, while they artfully juggle fiddle, banjo, guitar and mandolin, and incorporate traditional dance and foot percussion into their performance.

THE DOUGLASTOWN PROJECT: GLENN THE DOUGLASTOWN PROJECT (Laura Risk, Glenn Patterson, Brian Morris).  The Douglastown Project pays homage to the fiddle music of Douglastown and surrounding parishes at the eastern edge of Quebec's Gaspé Coast. Melodies at once hypnotic and driving call forth the sounds of parlours, parish halls, and picnic dances that were part of the rich multi-cultural tapestry of the 19th and early 20th century Gaspé  Coast, a place and time where both the codfish and the fiddle shaped the rhythms of everyday life.

THE DOUGLASTOWN PROJECT: GLENN THE DOUGLASTOWN PROJECT (Laura Risk, Glenn Patterson, Brian Morris). The Douglastown Project pays homage to the fiddle music of Douglastown and surrounding parishes at the eastern edge of Quebec's Gaspé Coast. Melodies at once hypnotic and driving call forth the sounds of parlours, parish halls, and picnic dances that were part of the rich multi-cultural tapestry of the 19th and early 20th century Gaspé Coast, a place and time where both the codfish and the fiddle shaped the rhythms of everyday life.

FARA (Scotland) - Fara brings together four leading musicians at the forefront of today’s Scottish folk scene – Jennifer Austin, Kristan Harvey, Jeana Leslie and Catriona Price’s three fiddles and a piano – to produce a fiery sound rooted strongly in their upbringing among the music of Orkney. Following a nomination for Up And Coming Act of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2015, the success of their debut album Cross The Line in 2016, lead to a nomination for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards’ Horizon Award.

FARA (Scotland) - Fara brings together four leading musicians at the forefront of today’s Scottish folk scene – Jennifer Austin, Kristan Harvey, Jeana Leslie and Catriona Price’s three fiddles and a piano – to produce a fiery sound rooted strongly in their upbringing among the music of Orkney. Following a nomination for Up And Coming Act of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2015, the success of their debut album Cross The Line in 2016, lead to a nomination for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards’ Horizon Award.

MICHAEL ROONEY & JUNE MCCORMACK -  Together as Draíocht, Michael Rooney and June McCormack have recorded two CDs:  ‘Draíocht’ and ‘Land’s End’. June Mc Cormack comes from Ballintogher, Co Sligo and was recipient of the TG4 Young Traditional Musician of the Year Award in 1998 and has  published two Irish flute tutorials in recent years. 'Fliuit' and 'Fliuit 2'. Michael Rooney is a prolific composer and is widely regarded as one of the foremost players of the traditional Irish harp. Michael is the 2017 TG4 Composer of the Year.

MICHAEL ROONEY & JUNE MCCORMACK - Together as Draíocht, Michael Rooney and June McCormack have recorded two CDs:  ‘Draíocht’ and ‘Land’s End’. June Mc Cormack comes from Ballintogher, Co Sligo and was recipient of the TG4 Young Traditional Musician of the Year Award in 1998 and has  published two Irish flute tutorials in recent years. 'Fliuit' and 'Fliuit 2'. Michael Rooney is a prolific composer and is widely regarded as one of the foremost players of the traditional Irish harp. Michael is the 2017 TG4 Composer of the Year.

ONE FOR THE FOXES (Dave Curley, Joanna Hyde, and Tadhg O Meachair) - An exciting trio of Celtic musicians featuring Co. Galway’s Dave Curley (Runa, Slide), Joanna Hyde (Denver, Colorado) and Dublin’s Tadhg Ó’ Meachair (Goitse). Weaving traditional Irish and American songs and instrumentals with new compositions and percussive step dancing, this dynamic trio has an incredible array of talents on display.

ONE FOR THE FOXES (Dave Curley, Joanna Hyde, and Tadhg O Meachair) - An exciting trio of Celtic musicians featuring Co. Galway’s Dave Curley (Runa, Slide), Joanna Hyde (Denver, Colorado) and Dublin’s Tadhg Ó’ Meachair (Goitse). Weaving traditional Irish and American songs and instrumentals with new compositions and percussive step dancing, this dynamic trio has an incredible array of talents on display.

ALYS HOWE - Award-winning Canadian harp player Alys Howe divides her time between classical pedal harp, Celtic lever harp, and explorations into the developing field of electric harp.  Alys has studied and performed on the harp throughout Scotland, Ireland, Vancouver, Toronto, and the East Coast of Canada.

ALYS HOWE - Award-winning Canadian harp player Alys Howe divides her time between classical pedal harp, Celtic lever harp, and explorations into the developing field of electric harp.  Alys has studied and performed on the harp throughout Scotland, Ireland, Vancouver, Toronto, and the East Coast of Canada.

THE HUT PEOPLE (England) - Taking the audience on a musical journey around the World, English instrumental duo The Hut People (Sam Pirt and Gary Hammond) have firmly established themselves as one of THE most unique, entertaining and best-loved acts on the UK folk scene today. Mixing global rhythms with folk tunes from Quebec to Spain, Scandinavia to Sussex and everywhere in between, this is a quirky celebrationof our rich musical heritage – and it works so well!

THE HUT PEOPLE (England) - Taking the audience on a musical journey around the World, English instrumental duo The Hut People (Sam Pirt and Gary Hammond) have firmly established themselves as one of THE most unique, entertaining and best-loved acts on the UK folk scene today. Mixing global rhythms with folk tunes from Quebec to Spain, Scandinavia to Sussex and everywhere in between, this is a quirky celebrationof our rich musical heritage – and it works so well!

ANDY HILLHOUSE (BC) - Andy Hillhouse, perhaps best known as the founder and manager of the Celtic funk band Mad Pudding, Juno Award and Canadian Folk Music Award recipient with The McDades, also performs alongside fiddler Pierre Schryer, and Irish flute player Nuala Kennedy.  In the choral world, Andy is former director of Vancouver’s Universal Gospel Choir and the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach choir, and also was a member of the JUNO nominated vocal ensemble Musica Intima from 1994-2005. Andy recently obtaining a PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of Toronto and is currently the Artistic Director and Executive Director of the Harrison Festival of the Arts in BC. Andy will be performing with Cameron Wilson at the Celtic College and Celtic Festival!

ANDY HILLHOUSE (BC) - Andy Hillhouse, perhaps best known as the founder and manager of the Celtic funk band Mad Pudding, Juno Award and Canadian Folk Music Award recipient with The McDades, also performs alongside fiddler Pierre Schryer, and Irish flute player Nuala Kennedy.  In the choral world, Andy is former director of Vancouver’s Universal Gospel Choir and the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach choir, and also was a member of the JUNO nominated vocal ensemble Musica Intima from 1994-2005. Andy recently obtaining a PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of Toronto and is currently the Artistic Director and Executive Director of the Harrison Festival of the Arts in BC. Andy will be performing with Cameron Wilson at the Celtic College and Celtic Festival!

CAMERON WILSON (BC) - Cameron Wilson is an artist whose works showcase the many genres of music he has become associated with both as a composer and performer. He is primarily known as an arranger and composer of both musical parody and criss-crossing musical genres. His works have been performed by the CBC Radio Orchestra, the Vancouver Bach Choir, the Vancouver Cantata Singers, Art of Time Ensemble, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Louisiana Philharmonic, Victoria Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestras, the Firebird Ensemble and various ensembles and soloists across North America including violinists James Ehnes and Jonathan Crow. His compositions have been heard on CBC Radio, NPR, BBC and RTE Lyric FM in Ireland. Cameron will be performing with Andy Hillhouse at the Celtic College and Celtic Festival!

CAMERON WILSON (BC) - Cameron Wilson is an artist whose works showcase the many genres of music he has become associated with both as a composer and performer. He is primarily known as an arranger and composer of both musical parody and criss-crossing musical genres. His works have been performed by the CBC Radio Orchestra, the Vancouver Bach Choir, the Vancouver Cantata Singers, Art of Time Ensemble, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Louisiana Philharmonic, Victoria Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestras, the Firebird Ensemble and various ensembles and soloists across North America including violinists James Ehnes and Jonathan Crow. His compositions have been heard on CBC Radio, NPR, BBC and RTE Lyric FM in Ireland. Cameron will be performing with Andy Hillhouse at the Celtic College and Celtic Festival!

ZIGUE with MÉLISSANDRE TREMBLAY-BOURASSA (dancer) (Quebec) - Since 1992, Claude Méthé and Dana Whittle have performed, composed and shared everything musical. Married in “real life” (for more than 20 years), they are both dynamic singers and prolific composers in love with the Québécois trad-inspired music they make together every day.  Claude’s raw, emotional singing and authentic fiddling is seamlessly matched to the accompaniment of his longtime partner, herself a rhythmic and vocal powerhouse. Claude and Dana will be performing with Méllisandre Tremblay-Bourassa: dancer, dance master, choreographer, dance caller, and expert in Quebec step-dancing (including performances with Cirque du Soleil!)

ZIGUE with MÉLISSANDRE TREMBLAY-BOURASSA (dancer) (Quebec) - Since 1992, Claude Méthé and Dana Whittle have performed, composed and shared everything musical. Married in “real life” (for more than 20 years), they are both dynamic singers and prolific composers in love with the Québécois trad-inspired music they make together every day. Claude’s raw, emotional singing and authentic fiddling is seamlessly matched to the accompaniment of his longtime partner, herself a rhythmic and vocal powerhouse. Claude and Dana will be performing with Méllisandre Tremblay-Bourassa: dancer, dance master, choreographer, dance caller, and expert in Quebec step-dancing (including performances with Cirque du Soleil!)

MÉLISSANDRE TREMBLAY-BOURASSA (Quebec) - A Jeune Ballet du Québec graduate, Mélissandre Tremblay-Bourassa has worked professionally as a dancer, a dance master, a choreographer, a dance caller and an entertainer since 2003. Her time spent as an expert in Québec step dancing with Cirque du Soleil (1000 shows in Macau) led her to participate in the creation of ZAIA, to develop her acting skills and to discover the art of clowning. She performed improvised step dancing in celtic band Wallop The Spot She has also danced or choreographed for several dance companies or events such as Les Sortilèges, Just For Laughs, Sans Temps Danse, Rapetipetam, Biennale de gigue contemporaine and Ballet Ouest. ln 2011, she co-founded Les Bordéliques danse et musique. These experiences exemplify her artistic process based on choreographic fusion (step dancing, ballet, contemporary) and integration of acting/clown work into choreography. Mellisandre will be performing and teaching dance with Claude Methe and Dana Whittle of Zigue!

MÉLISSANDRE TREMBLAY-BOURASSA (Quebec) - A Jeune Ballet du Québec graduate, Mélissandre Tremblay-Bourassa has worked professionally as a dancer, a dance master, a choreographer, a dance caller and an entertainer since 2003. Her time spent as an expert in Québec step dancing with Cirque du Soleil (1000 shows in Macau) led her to participate in the creation of ZAIA, to develop her acting skills and to discover the art of clowning. She performed improvised step dancing in celtic band Wallop The Spot She has also danced or choreographed for several dance companies or events such as Les Sortilèges, Just For Laughs, Sans Temps Danse, Rapetipetam, Biennale de gigue contemporaine and Ballet Ouest. ln 2011, she co-founded Les Bordéliques danse et musique. These experiences exemplify her artistic process based on choreographic fusion (step dancing, ballet, contemporary) and integration of acting/clown work into choreography. Mellisandre will be performing and teaching dance with Claude Methe and Dana Whittle of Zigue!

REYNOLDS, ROBINSON & LODGE (ON) - Reynolds, Robinson & Lodge is a trio who is always looking to have fun. The trio evolved from three good friends getting together on a regular basis and enjoying each others company. They come together with banjo, guitar, and voice to give you amazing music and an amazing time.

REYNOLDS, ROBINSON & LODGE (ON) - Reynolds, Robinson & Lodge is a trio who is always looking to have fun. The trio evolved from three good friends getting together on a regular basis and enjoying each others company. They come together with banjo, guitar, and voice to give you amazing music and an amazing time.

Each year Celtic College student musicians are invited to join The Goderich Irregulars to play for the evening Ceili dances in the Square. Fiddler Wil Macaulay and Maureen Keating on piano have taught the Ceili Band Boot Camp in the past, and are returning for their sixth year as dance organizers. The Festival weekend features fun and easy dance workshops, all led by Toronto caller Angela Bontje. Come and kick up your heels to the tune of lively jigs and reels!

Each year Celtic College student musicians are invited to join The Goderich Irregulars to play for the evening Ceili dances in the Square. Fiddler Wil Macaulay and Maureen Keating on piano have taught the Ceili Band Boot Camp in the past, and are returning for their sixth year as dance organizers. The Festival weekend features fun and easy dance workshops, all led by Toronto caller Angela Bontje. Come and kick up your heels to the tune of lively jigs and reels!

About Us

The Goderich Celtic Roots Festival is an annual celebration of the music, craft, and culture of the Celtic nations, immigrants of which form a strong historic background to Huron County. From a single memorial concert held in 1993, the Celtic Roots Festival has grown to include a week-long school of music, dance and craft art for children and adults, a series of rural outreach mini-concerts, and a three-day traditional outdoor festival held in beautiful Lions' Harbour Park on the shores of Lake Huron. 

It is the mandate of the Goderich Celtic Folk Society to produce events which foster awareness, participation, and education in the world of traditional Celtic culture. 

"Goderich is a town of spacious avenues, haunting generosity, wide smiles and open doors ... come walk the walk at the friendly festival." ~ Irish Music Magazine

"Quite simply, the best folk festival on the planet." ~ Discover Magazine
WHAT IS THE FESTIVAL LIKE?
The Celtic Roots Festival is a three-day outdoor festival showcasing the world's best of Celtic music, dance, and art all in the beautiful setting of Goderich, Ontario. With five stages, varying from small intimate performances to the high-powered Main Stage, the Festival is a unique musical experience in Canada and on the world-wide stage. Fresh local food, high-quality craft artisans, art demonstrations, children's activity area, beer garden, an evening market - plus the 60+ hours of live music - make this an unmissable weekend in Goderich.
A visit to the Festival is also a great way to experience Goderich, "the prettiest town in Canada", with the stunning beaches of Lake Huron and downtown shopping all within minutes' walk of the park.

ENTRY 
Gates open 11 am daily, music runs from 12 noon to midnight (10.30 pm Sunday). 
Day and weekend passes available; children 12 and under free. Purchase passes, or buy them at the gate. Rain or shine (4 covered stages). Guide dogs only. For directions to the Festival, click here.

PERFORMANCE STAGES 
There are five stages at the Celtic Roots Festival: 
Main Stage is a permanent band shell structure facing open grass; limited bleacher seating is provided, and patrons may bring their own chairs and blankets. 
Main Stage II is a covered performance stage with provided seating. 
Greeting Stage, Dance Stage, and West Stage are small covered workshop stages, with space for chairs and blankets. 

 FESTIVAL AMENITIES 

Fresh local food court (open noon - 10 pm, approximately) 
   2018 VENDORS: coming soon!
 
Supervised Children's Area (open 1-5, Saturday and Sunday). 
Storytelling area (Saturday and Sunday afternoons) 
Fully-staffed administration and First Aid area 
Permanent and temporary washroom facilities

TESTIMONIAL
"The best weekend of the summer? It sure is. The Goderich Celtic Festival is a cultural event like no other – from the finest artists and musicians in their class, to the local delicacies of the food market (mmm, that organic icecream is killer), this unique Festival is an extremely well-curated event that focuses on the fine details and truly celebrates the Celtic spirit. The breath-taking setting on the shore of Lake Huron, the welcoming local volunteers, and the world-class entertainment should not be missed. We keep coming back because we feel like we are part of something truly special."
- Robin and James Buchanan, Toronto (formerly of Fort William, Scotland)