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Irish dancers entertain the crowds at CelticFest Vancouver 2011

The 9th Annual CelticFest Vancouver brings dance, music and culture to the streets

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Irish dancers entertain the crowds at CelticFest Vancouver 2011

The 9th Annual CelticFest Vancouver, March 9–17 delivers its best celebration of Celtic music, dance and culture to date, with a jam-packed schedule of more than 70 free and ticketed concerts and events over nine days. The festival is thrilled to again call the downtown Vancouver Entertainment District home, but is excited to be branching out again this year with a special FREE kick-off celebration event on March 9 at The Village on False Creek called Celts on the Creek.

For lovers of all things Celtic (and who isn’t?), CelticFest 2013 is already looking to be one of the most amazing festivals yet.

Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store.

“This year we celebrate our Celtic roots with a special March 14 double-bill at the Vogue Theatre. This concert features the acclaimed musical partnership of two brilliant artists from Cape Breton, Gaelic singer Mary Jane Lamond and fiddler Wendy MacIsaac, as well as a rare visit to Canada by the stunning vocalist Maeve Mackinnon, twice-nominated Scotland’s "Gaelic Singer of the Year”.  An audience favourite, our ever-popular CelticFest Ceilidh is back at the new Vancouver FanClub on Granville St. (March 16), and folks can dance the night away at the Venue on March 15 at St. Pat’s Rocks with The Town Pants, with the band performing their own unique brand of high energy ‘West Coast Celtic,’” said Director of Programming, Ross Powell.

And there’s more! The festival features the popular annual Whisky Kiss Scotch-Tasting (March 13 at The Cellar), our traditional CelticFest Sunday Session, a range of fascinating (and free) music workshops at Tom Lee Music, a Celtic Comedy Night featuring one of Ireland's best-loved comedians, Brendan Grace, at the Vancouver FanClub (March 9), and other exciting events and activities. 

Returning for its second year by popular demand is our rree kick-off Celebration Event on March 9 at The Village on False Creek called Celts on the Creek. Celts on the Creek is a family-friendly afternoon of Celtic music, roving characters in costumes and lots of other fun activities.

The wildly popular 9th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, presented by Pacific Centre takes to the streets on Sunday, March 17. This massive, fun and colorful spectacle starts at 11am in downtown Vancouver. Over 200,000 people come out each year to see almost a hundred parade entries with upwards of 2,000 participants, including award-winning pipe and drum bands, marching Colour Guard, Celtic musicians, the Vancouver police motorcycle drill team and fire brigades, acrobats, vintage cars, Irish & Scottish youth dance and music groups, multi-cultural organizations and much more. To be part of this grand procession, enter by January 31, 2013 (entry forms at www.celticfestvancouver.com)

 On March 16 & 17, the Mahony & Sons Celtic Village and Street Market fill Granville Street with laughter, fun and all forms of free entertainment. It’s a big St. Pat’s weekend street fair offering an array of Celtic treasures, food and fare, gifted artisans, stories, continuous free music performances and interactive activities for people of all ages. Friends and families gather to soak in that special Celtic ambiance all weekend long. CelticFest Vancouver would like to welcome back our charitable community partner Coast Mental Health, whose volunteers will be offering information and collecting donations to support CMH as it works to improve the lives of people with a mental illness.

Participating pubs in downtown Vancouver’s Entertainment District will also be rocking throughout the festival, with great music and dance groups on tap to perform.

CelticFest’s new Executive Director, Ian McAteer says, “As someone who is extremely proud of his own Celtic heritage, I am thrilled to be a part of CelticFest Vancouver, excited to play a role in this much-loved event as we look toward its 9th year. From the workshops to the concerts to the parade, we’ve got a great festival in store with something for everyone – I can’t wait! I look forward to seeing everyone there.”

CelticFest Vancouver is the proud recipient of the DVBIA’s 2007 Annual Appreciation Award, and in 2005, was recognized with Vancouver’s BEST Special Event Award by the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Spirit of Vancouver.

For full information and to purchase tickets for all events, visit: www.celticfestvancouver.com

Tickets are also available at: Tickets Tonight (604.684.2787, and in-person at the Tickets Tonight new temporary outlet, Harbour Concourse, Vancouver Convention Centre - East (999 Canada Place) and the Tourism Vancouver Satellite Visitor Centre (800 Block Robson – beside the Vancouver Art Gallery).

Tickets for the March 14 Vogue Theatre double-bill concert featuring Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy MacIsaac, with Scotland’s Maeve Mackinnon are available at the Vogue Theatre Box Office (604.569.1144, and in-person at 918 Granville Street) and at www.celticfestvancouver.com

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