The Green Man, CelticFest 2011 Vancouver’s Irish Celebration (March 15-20) and St. Patrick’s Day Parade

CelticFest Vancouver is back for its eighth annual festival that will take place from March 10 to 18, 2012, including a full week of music, dance, family-friendly entertainment and a healthy dose of Celtic spirit.

“CelticFest has always been proud to celebrate the rich Celtic traditions”, says Executive Producer Rita Albano. “And we’ve also embraced a contemporary vision of Celtic music in the 21st century – one that includes both Celtic culture’s global influence, and inspires new cross-cultural collaboration and creation. The pioneering fusion that spawned Delhi 2 Dublin is one result, and we’re looking forward to two ticketed shows this year that make new connections. Over the six days of CelticFest Vancouver 2012, well-loved and familiar traditions are honoured and enjoyed side-by-side with new expressions. That’s what makes this festival a special part of Vancouver’s cultural scene.”

Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect at this year’s CelticFest:

CelticFest announces a new pre-festival free event on March 10 at The Village on False Creek. Celts on the Creek is a family-friendly afternoon of Celtic music and dance featuring Seattle’s fiddling, dancing, and singing sensations The Gothard Sisters along with Good for Grapes, The Jocelyn Pettit Band and The Streels, plus roving royal characters in costumes and lots of other fun activities.

From Texas to Tipperary, a hot-licks homage to the rich roots tradition of Celtic-Americana will take place on March 15 at the Stadium Club at Edgewater Casino. The night features an eclectic blend of Canada’s finest musicians including Jim Byrnes, Roy Forbes, Steve Dawson, Babe Gurr, Cameron Latimer, T. Nile, Fish & Bird, The Matinée and Farrell Spence, all backed by the CelticFest House Band.
The San Patricios Concert: From Galway to Guadalajara returns to the Stadium Club on March 16. This unique night of music traces the surprising connection between Ireland and Mexico. The lineup includes Mariachi Los Dorados, Locarno, The Paperboys and The CelticFest House Band. Expect both flying kilts and sombreros!

On March 15 and 16, CelticFest presents free weekday lunchtime concerts on the Plaza at Pacific Centre Mall (Georgia and Granville). 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.

Delhi 2 Dublin
[Delhi 2 Dublin]

Delhi 2 Dublin returns to celebrate their birthday at St. Pat’s Night Out! at the Vogue Theatre on March 17. Openers Dream Catcher from Luxembourg, whose multilingual (English, French, and Luxembourgish) performances captivate audiences, always receive an enthusiastic response. The concert is sure to be a hit this St. Patrick’s Day.
On March 17 and 18, the Celtic Village and Street Market fills Granville Street (between Georgia and Smithe) with laughter, music, and free entertainment. It’s a big St. Pat’s weekend street fair offering an array of Celtic treasures, food and fare, artisans, story telling, continuous free music performances and interactive activities for everyone. This year, the festival has adopted Coast Mental Health as its first ever charity of choice. Coast’s volunteers will be on location collecting public donations to further support its high quality services and housing for people with mental illness.

Parade crowd

The wildly popular 8th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, presented by Pacific Centre, takes to the streets on March 18. This massive, colourful spectacle (with over 2,000 participants and nearly 100 parade entries) will begin at 11 am at Drake & Howe Streets, and will continue north along Howe Street.

Award-winning pipe and drum bands, marching Colour Guard, Celtic musicians, the Vancouver police motorcycle drill team, fire brigades, acrobats, vintage cars, Irish and Scottish youth dance and music groups, as well as several multicultural organizations partake each year. To be part of this grand procession, enter online before January 31.

Irish Step-Dancers - St Patrick's Day Parade, KC
[Photo credit: Kansas Explorer 3128 on Flickr]

The festival also features a range of fascinating and free Celtic music workshops, the popular annual Whisky Kiss scotch tasting, a traditional Irish music session, a Youth Variety Show and an assortment of other events and activities. In total, over 50 events are scheduled, offering something for everyone. For lovers of all things Celtic, CelticFest 2012 is already looking to be one of the most exciting festivals on Vancouver’s event calendar. 

CelticFest Vancouver is the proud recipient of the DVBIA’s 2007 Annual Appreciation Award and was handed Vancouver’s BEST Special Event Award in 2005 by the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Spirit of Vancouver.
For more information and ticket purchases (on sale January 12) for all events, visit the CelticFest website, phone Tickets Tonight (604.684.2787), or visit the Tickets Tonight outlet inside the Tourism Vancouver Visitor Centre, Plaza Level, 200 Burrard Street.

Tickets for March 17’s BIG St. Pat’s Night Out! featuring Delhi 2 Dublin with special guests Dream Catcher are also available starting January 12 by phoning the Vogue Theatre Box Office (604.569.1144), in person at 918 Granville Street, and online.

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