On Saturday, February 26, the North Coast Performer’s Society presented the 14th annual Celtic Night that included Irish and Celtic dancing and fantastic musical artists at the Lester Centre of the Arts.
This year Celtic Night was different from the past because performers from outside of the region were brought up to join in the evening of excitement. Act one started off with some of these new faces when Sydney Tucker and Rex Anderson from the O’Brien-O’Connor School of Irish Dance performed “The 2 Hand Reel”. The pair have previously been considered for the event, but were busy last year being featured in the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Tucker and Anderson danced many times throughout the evening dancing to songs such as “St. Patrick’s Day”, “Light Jig”, “Acapella Hornpipe” and the lovely tunes of Shillelagh.
Local talents Frances Riley and Sarah Burgess took the stage twice during the evening performing a number of pieces including some of their own originals. The duo is known for their lovely harmonizing voices, and they made a prime example of why that is so on Saturday.
Carolyn Phillips, Elizabeth Basset, Theresa MacKey and Janet Gavinchuk from The Glengarry School of Celtic Dance also impressed the audience with their Celtic dancing to songs such as “Strathspey and Reel”.After intermission, Shillelagh took the stage. Shillelagh consisted of musicians from Prince Rupert and Terrace. The six-piece band was made up of Ray Leonard, Cynthia Pyde, James Powell, Brinn Powell, John Krisinger, and Rachel Webb. The group performed a number of songs that had the audience greatly enjoying themselves. The song “Mermaid”, an apparently traditional Newfoundland song, had the crowd cracking up with laughter because of its hilarious lyrics.
To wrap up the evening, the Glengarry School dancers, and O’Brien-O’Connor dancers came back on stage to dance to the sounds of Shillelagh. The audiences contributed to the finale as well with claps. Celtic Night organizer and North Coast Performers Society’s Ken Shaw also showed off his moves.
Celtic Night would not have been possible this year if it weren’t for the generosity of local businesses such as Hawkair, Eagle Bluff Bed and Breakfast, Traditional Indian Yoga, and groups like the Prince Rupert Community Arts Council.