Con­nec­tion to com­mu­nity

56th an­nual High­land Vil­lage Day set for Saturday in Iona

Cape Breton Post - - News | Cape Breton/Province - BY JEREMY FRASER jeremy.fraser@cb­post.com Twitter: @CBPost_Jeremy

A tra­di­tional con­cert fea­tur­ing var­i­ous as­pects of Gaelic cul­ture will take cen­tre stage this week­end in Iona.

The 56th an­nual High­land Vil­lage Day is set for Saturday from 2-6 p.m. at the High­land Vil­lage, lo­cated on a 43-acre site over­look­ing the Bras d’Or Lake.

The event fea­tures fid­dlers, step-dancers, pipers and high­lander dancers.

Rod­ney Chiasson, di­rec­tor of the High­land Vil­lage, con­sid­ers High­land Vil­lage Day a com­mu­nity-wide event.

“High­land Vil­lage Day is one of the old­est Scot­tish con­certs on the is­land,” said Chiasson. “It’s very much one of our key con­nec­tions to the com­mu­nity and we have a good vol­un­teer base that sup­ports it along with the peo­ple who at­tend each year.”

The High­land Vil­lage opened on Aug. 4, 1962. To mark the spe­cial oc­ca­sion an out­door Scot­tish con­cert, known as High­land Vil­lage Day, was held on the site fea­tur­ing tra­di­tional mu­sic, song and dance.

To­day, High­land Vil­lage Day con­tin­ues to be suc­cess­ful, show­cas­ing the mu­sic, song and dance of Gaelic Nova Sco­tia.

“High­land Vil­lage Day started out as a way to raise money for the de­vel­op­ment, con­struc­tion and main­te­nance of the High­land Vil­lage,” said Chiasson. “The pro­ceeds from the con­certs over the years have helped the vil­lage de­velop the way it has — it re­ally has stayed a com­mu­nity event with many peo­ple plan­ning their va­ca­tions around the week­end.”

Chiasson be­lieves the day of­fers visi­tors a wide-range of ac­tiv­i­ties.

“You’re get­ting a re­ally good in­sight into the cul­ture and for those that are coming home from away, they get to catch up with fam­ily and friends,” said Chiasson. “It’s a great at­mos­phere of en­ter­tain­ment and com­mu­nity.”

This year’s head­line per­form­ers are Dave Gun­ning and Al­lie Ben­nett. The per­for­mance will in­clude trib­utes to the late John (Jimmy Mal­colm) Gil­lis and John Gil­lis.

Other per­form­ers will in­clude the Iona Gaelic Singers, Joanne MacIn­tyre, the Camp­bell sis­ters from Mabou, Shelly Camp­bell and Al­lan De­war, Joe MacMaster, Donna Marie DeWolf, Buddy MacDon­ald, Don­nie Camp­bell and Jinx O’Neil, The Town­House Play­ers, Shan­non MacKay, Kyle, Mal­colm and Maryanna MacNeil, Jerry De­veau, and Kyle and Sheumas MacNeil.

The Cape Breton Univer­sity pipe band as well as the Iona Le­gion Le­gends will also per­form dur­ing the day.

Along with the musical en­ter­tain­ment, chil­dren’s games will also be on site and can­teen ser­vice will be avail­able.

Or­ga­niz­ers are ex­pect­ing be­tween 1,000 and 1,500 peo­ple to at­tend this year’s event.

Ad­mis­sion for High­land Vil­lage Day is $15 per per­son. Chil­dren 12 and un­der are ad­mit­ted free when ac­com­pa­nied by an adult. The cost will also in­clude ac­cess to the mu­seum through­out the day.

“I think it’s a great op­por­tu­nity to hear some great per­form­ers and to hear some won­der­ful parts of the cul­ture as well as meet­ing some com­mu­ni­ty­minded folks,” said Chiasson.

Chiasson said the money raised from the event con­tin­ues to sup­port the op­er­a­tion of the site.

For more in­for­ma­tion on High­land Vil­lage Day visit the vil­lage’s website high­landvil­lage.no­vas­co­tia.ca.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO/HIGH­LAND VIL­LAGE

Visi­tors to the High­land Vil­lage in Iona are shown dur­ing last year’s High­land Vil­lage Day. This year’s event will take place on Saturday.

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