GODERICH – For two decades, Celtic music, dance, craft, art and culture has been celebrated on the shores of Lake Huron during the Celtic Roots Festival.
The festival, which began as a memorial concert for a local teacher and musician, has grown into a three-day outdoor festival. It now encompasses the Celtic College and Celtic Kids Day Camp, which offer educational and participative opportunities for all ages in everything Celtic, as well as the Rural Roots Concert Series, which takes world-class Celtic musicians into the small halls and rural venues of Huron County.
This year, the Celtic Roots Festival is bringing the best of Celtic music to Goderich once again. Artists include the Tannahill Weavers of Scotland, Genticorum of Quebec, The Once of Newfoundland (2012 JUNO nominees for Best Roots/Traditional Album), and Niamh Ni Charra of Ireland (formerly of Riverdance). The Festival also celebrates local heritage with a number of regional acts, and the world-premiere of a local harp school, which was founded as a result of the cultural impact of the Celtic Roots Festival.
The 2011 tornado that devastated so much of Goderich also had a huge impact on the festival venue in Lions Harbour Park, with the loss of almost all the tree cover. Through generous donations, some of the remaining tree stumps have been carved into public sculptures and new planting has begun. Thousands of musicians, artists, and lovers of Celtic music and culture will flock once again to the park in Huron County in August to rediscover the community. In fact, as the Festival is providing sun and rain cover on four out of five stages this year as a result of the loss of tree cover, the events will be more weather-proof than ever before.
The Festival takes place Aug. 10 – 12 in Lions Harbour Park in Goderich. It is preceded by the Celtic College and Celtic Kids Day Camp, from Aug. 6 – 10, at Goderich District Collegiate Institute (GDCI). Information on all Celtic Roots events can be found at www.celticfestival.ca, or by calling the office at (519) 524 8221.