Sunday 8 September 2013

The 10th Annual Beach Celtic Festival, Toronto, ON

Gord and I went to the 10th Annual Beach Celtic Festival this afternoon.

Steeped in tradition, The Beach Celtic Festival is held in the beautiful setting of Kew Gardens with lovely trees, woodland and Lake Ontario at the base of the Park. Traditionally held the weekend after Labour Day, Toronto’s only outdoor ceilidh started in 2004 by Sandy Graham – a first generation Scottish Canadian. When Sandy’s Mum was passing away, she asked not be mourned but to be celebrated. After the first year, the event has now grown into what is now a local tradition, celebrating the Scottish, Irish and Welsh diaspora who came to Canada to start a new life.

We've never been to this festival and I've wanted to check it out.  I'm originally from Nova Scotia and grew up listening to Celtic music.  We were going to head over yesterday but it was pouring rain.

There were lots of vendors ...

Gord love love loves hats and was tempted!
The blue one in the middle is the Nova Scotia tartan.

I love Walnut Whips but forgot to stop back when we left.
Alas, our office building doesn't use these guys :(
I wanted to try some but there was always a line-up.

The entertainment was great!  When we got there about 1:30pm, Bernie Jessome, a Roy Orbison impersonator, had just started.  He played a couple Irish tunes and finished with the Orbison classic Pretty Woman.

The emcee for the day was comedian and singer, Hugo Straney.  Here he is introducing Megan Bold of Bold Steps Dance Studio and her dancers.

The wee ones were cute!

Next up was John McDermott ...

This woman was drawing McDermott when he was on stage.
There was a big crowd for McDermott!
Eleanor McCain joined McDermott on stage.
They sang Song for the Mira together.
John finished with a moving a cappella version of Danny Boy.

The Toronto Black Watch Association Pipes and Drums came out and they sounded fabulous!  I love bagpipes!  They finished with a great rendition of Amazing Grace.

It was a fun festival to check out!


Masshole Mommy said...

Very cool! We have a big Irish festival around here every June, but I never go because I'm not Irish :)

Teresa said...

Now that looks like lots of fun.

Sandy Grh said...

Sandy Graham here - I am the person who started the festival for my Mum. I want to tell you Teena your comments and photos made some tears fall with happiness. Thank you so much ! Remember you don't have to be Celtic to enjoy the heritage. How lovely you came and enjoyed part of your own Nova Scotia background. Great photos!! Please contact me at to be on our free mailing list!!! Slainte, Sandy

Teena in Toronto said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sandy :)

Kat said...

We missed this this year, but DK and I have taken our dogs into this festival in the past.