Find Us On Facebook Follow CelticFestVan on Twitter

CelticFest Performer Bios

Click on one of the 7 categories below to view all performers.

Feature Artists

Artists - Music

Workshops

Family Entertainers

Music & Dance - Pubs/Restaurants

Scotch Tasting Educator

 


Good for Grapes

Good for Grapes

Good for Grapes are a six piece Folk/Harmonies band from Surrey BC. Their early British Columbian tour successes has seen them impressing crowds with their upbeat performances, solid displays of harmony, and dedication to the live performance beyond their years. Influences for the band range from the European Mumford & Sons to the Celtic Spirit of Eastern Canada, and their music entertains both young and old, winning over even the most genre defined music fan (your feet will not be able to stay still). For the Grapes, every show is an occasion, every musical note has a tale, and every movement has spirit - you must catch their live show at the earliest opportunity.

Times & Venues

March 10
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Celts on the Creek

March 18
3:30 pm
Music Stage
Celtic Village (Georgia & Granville)


Ivonne Hernandez and Jeremy Walsh

Ivonne Hernandez and Jeremy Walsh

Some people are just born to play music. Jeremy Walsh and Ivonne Hernandez are two people who do just that.

By the age of three, fiddler Ivonne Hernandez started playing everything from her mother’s favourite Maritime reels to her father’s Chilean folk music roots. A child prodigy, Ivonne has honed her craft over the years, and is now the reigning 5 time Grand North American Fiddle Champion, and frequently performs with fiddle virtuoso Mark O'Connor in his American String Celebration concerts.

With his expressive vocals, multi-instrumentalist talents and energetic stage presence, award winning singer-songwriter Jeremy Walsh is winning his way into the great Canadian folk music legends. Jeremy has fronted the Canadian Celtic band Scruj Macduhk as well as many solo tours and is a sought after accompanist for many Celtic musicians.

Together, Jeremy and Ivonne have toured around the world and have received rave reviews of their performances and talents. They finally combined forces and recorded a new CD Live off the Floor, a representation of the duo's long time musical partnership. Their new release showcases the duo's winning chemistry and enthusiasm that studio recordings rarely can convey. The virtuosity and interplay between Ivonne & Jeremy makes their album and live performances a winning combination. From the singing, fiddling and step dancing both live and on record, Ivonne and Jeremy are a force to be reckoned with in the folk music world!

www.ivonnehernandez.com

www.jeremywalsh.ca

Times & Venues

March 15
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Free Lunch Time Concert
Music Stage – Plaza @ Pacific Centre

March 15
9:00 pm – 11:30 pm
Ceili's Irish Pub & Restaurant


Brian Kidd (Unipiper)

Brian Kidd

For Brian Kidd, the answer to the age old question "What's under your kilt?" is easy - it's a unicycle.  Over the last 5 years Brian, better known as The Unipiper, has become a local celebrity in Portland, OR by sharing his love of the bagpipes in a most unique way - powered by pedals on one wheel.  On any given Saturday, The Unipiper may be found roaming the streets of downtown Portland, performing at micro-breweries, or playing at any of a number of local farmer's markets.  In addition to appearing on the local news, sightings of The Unipiper have been picked up by scores of blogs and websites including Neatorama and Conan O'Brian's Team Coco, and in the process have raked in hundreds of thousands of views.  YouTube commenter kjun13 calls The Unipiper "the most internet-y thing on the internet."  During the holiday season the Unipiper takes to the streets dressed as Santa Claus becoming a one-wheeled kilted harbinger of festive cheer.  "People are always smiling when they see me, and as long as that doesn't change," Brian says, "The Unipiper will always be there to help Portland live up to its unofficial motto: 'Keep Portland Weird.'

on the web: www.facebook.com/theunipiper

video:  https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=750590488496

Times & Venues

March 18
Keep an eye out for him in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and, after, around the Celtic Village


Mairi Rankin with Adrian Dolan and Jenny Ritter

Mairi Rankin

Born in Mabou, Nova Scotia, Mairi Rankin has been influenced by some of the best Cape Breton traditional musicians and instructors on the island. She has developed her own unique style by being immersed in such a rich musical culture. Mairi has been fortunate to tour nationally and internationally as a performer and educator in both fiddle and step dance.

Mairi has performed as a solo artist, a sideman and was a member of the Cape Breton Celtic group Beolach. She has performed with the Rankin Sisters, Unusual Suspects and Bruce Guthro to name a few. She has appeared on the television broadcasts of DRUM!, the East Coast Music Awards, Rita MacNeil’s Christmas special and MNE’s Togaidh Sinn Fonn in Scotland. Her festival credits internationally include Celtic Connections, Chicago Celtic Festival, Milwaukee Irish Festival, BLAS, Tonder Festival. In Canada she has performed at all the major folk and Celtic festivals including Winnipeg Folk Festival, Calgary Folk Festival, Edmonton Folk Festival, Dawson City Folk Festival and the internationally renowned Celtic Colours Festival.

As an educator Mairi has taught at Universities, schools, festivals and workshops. Some of these include Newcastle University, England; Augusta Heritage Festival, West Virginia; Ohio Scottish Arts School, Ohio; Buddy MacMaster School of Fiddling, Cape Breton; Montpelier Fiddle Camp, Vermont.

Mairi is currently living in British Columbia and is teaching at the Sabir Sister's Music Studio in Abbotsford. She is also part of The Outside Track, a 5 piece Celtic band with members hailing from Scotland, Ireland and Canada.

Jenny Ritter is a well known Canadian folk musician from a big island off the rainy West Coast. After ten years of ping-ponging back and forth across North America with a couple of different indie-folk bands (The Gruff/Nicely Nicely), Jenny has finally settled herself right back in Vancouver. Jenny is in the process of putting together her first solo album, to be recorded in early 2012. Her past collaborative albums have received critical acclaim, and a great deal of airtime on national radio. In her spare time, Jenny directs the renowned East Van rock-and-roll-cover-songs choir, The Kingsgate Chorus.

Adrian Dolan is one of BC's busiest musicians. His mastery of the fiddle, accordion, and piano keep him in high demand. When not on tour with such acts as The Bills, Ruth Moody or the Rankin Sisters, Adrian can be found engineering, recording and producing many musicians albums at his studio in Victoria.

www.theoutsidetrack.com

Times & Venues

March 17
4:30 pm
Music Stage
Celtic Village (Georgia & Granville)


North Shore Celtic Ensemble

North Shore Celtic Ensemble

A "no boundaries" music experience

Founded twelve years ago by Claude Giguère and Jay Knutson, the North Shore Celtic Ensemble is a whole new kind of musical experience. What began as Celtic is now a spirited no-boundaries repertoire that reflects a wide range of musical influences - Celtic, jazz, classical, folk, and more - creating an exciting genre-spanning experience for the players and the audience. Far more than just a performing group, the North Shore Celtic Ensemble is committed to inspiring youth to use music to engage and connect with communities, to live well, and to make a difference.

www.nsce.ca

Times & Venues

March 17
3:00 pm
Celtic Transformations
Tom Lee Music Hall


Nellie Quinn and Lea Kirstein

Nellie Quinn and Lea Kirstein

Canadian folk fiddler Nellie Quinn is quickly gaining attention as an outstanding musician, captivating performer and versatile interpreter of Canadian traditional music.  At the age of 20, Nellie belies her young years through the depth and maturity of her music, no doubt a result of traveling across Canada, the US, and the UK to study under some of the best fiddlers of today.

Hailing from a musical family, Nellie inherited her great Grandfather’s fiddle on which she has explored and become proficient in many different genres. As an active musician in the Canadian folk scene, Nellie has had the great opportunity to compose and perform with some of the nation’s most influential fiddlers and has performed on stage with Gordon Stobbe, Oliver Schroer, Daniel Lapp and Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) and learned from luminaries such as Mark O’Connor, Ashley MacIsaac, Darol Anger, Catrional MacDonald, Shane Cook, John Arcand, to name but a few.

Nellie has strong roots in Canadian folk music traditions such as Cape Breton, Quebecois, Métis and Old Time music, which puts her in high demand as a fiddler.  Through her understanding and awareness of these genres, she has developed and nurtured an individual style of playing which draws and shows respect for all of these traditions whilst creating something vibrant, exciting and different.  Nellie in concert is an experience not to be forgotten and is guaranteed to get your feet tapping!

Lea Kirsten is a creative and resourceful string player from Victoria, BC.  She holds a BMus specializing in music education and classical viola performance from the University of Victoria.

Her appetite for a wide variety of styles on the viola and cello is evident in her involvement with many new music groups.  Lea has toured the US and Canada as the current violinist of the Boston-based Folk Art Quintet, a groundbreaking new folk chamber ensemble based out of Berklee College of Music.  Armed with her pickup and looping pedal, she also adds bluesy and funky viola to D’va, an original R&B/jazz duo. She has collaborated on a CD with Juno award-winning fiddler Oliver Schroer and on CDs and music videos with several independent rock bands, and has even dabbled in jazz and electric cello with the Hypatia Creative Women’s Jazz Orchestra.

Her passion for new music and education is combined in the Victoria portion of the National Youth Fiddle Project, the Twisted String, which she leads.  It is the innovative pedagogical and performance brainchild of fiddler and composer Oliver Schroer.  With Twisted String, Lea has performed on National CBC Radio Broadcasts, in folk festivals, clubs, and on stages in Toronto and Vancouver, and led educational workshops in Arts Schools in Toronto.  She has even been spotted instigating a Random Act of Violins or two in the Toronto subways!

With her classical roots and love for eclectic new music, Lea is convinced that on string instruments, anything is possible.

www.nelliequinn.com

www.myspace.com/leakygroove

Times & Venues

March 17
12:00 pm
Music Stage
Celtic Village (Georgia & Granville)

March 17
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Ceili's Irish Pub & Restaurant


Tim Readman and Jennie Bice

Tim Readman and Jennie Bice

Tim Readman (formerly of Fear of Drinking) emerges from the north-east English folk scene and has earned a reputation as an outstanding songwriter, guitarist, singer and interpreter of traditional and contemporary folk songs.  He has an infectious sense of humour and a real ability to engage an audience. His energetic and personable style makes him a superb MC, host and front man.

www.timreadman.com

Fiddler, violinist, singer, composer, educator Jennie Bice is at home in many musical genres. From frenzied boot-stomping Irish craic, country & eastern, roots and rhythm styles, to world fusion, rock, jazz and blues, Jennie shines on every stage she meets. Bice began playing fiddle at the age of four around the family piano, and never stopped. Currently recording and performing on the west coast of Canada with Boris Sichon, Back Door Slam,  Tim Readman, Copper Sky, The Streels, The Craic, and many others, Jennie also loves taking time out every once in a while to teach workshops at a few of BC's fantastic fiddle camps. A producer, engineer, and teacher at Annwyn Studios, Bice is devoted to musical exploration and artistic inspiration. An absolute delight to watch perform!

Times & Venues

March 18
2:30 pm
Great Big Session
Tom Lee Music Hall


Skellig

Skellig

Original Celtic Rock influenced by Irish Folk, Led Zeppelin, U2 and Muse. 2 generations from 2 continents. Picture the Partridge Family with violin, distorted guitar, talent and an accent.

Skellig was originally formed in South Africa, after Chris and Lisa moved to Cape Town in 1990. Returning to the UK in 1994, Skellig UK continued for several years, producing two CDs, In Another Time and Fragile. In 2005 the Burnesses decided to move to Canada. In 2006, Mike from Ladysmith BC joined, followed by his son Will. Skellig Canada was born and their EP Skellig was released in 2009.

Apart from being competent musicians, Skellig is a true family band and therein lies its great strength:  they have a sense of connection with people, young and old and their fans and fellow musicians are now our extended family on Vancouver Island. They support original music, enjoy playing some covers and organizing events for charity, but most of all having fun.

www.skellig.ca

Times & Venues

March 16
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Ceili's Irish Pub & Restaurant

March 17
1:30 pm
Music Stage
Celtic Village (Georgia & Granville)


The Gothard Sisters

The Gothard Sisters

The Gothard Sisters have been playing violin and dancing since a very young age, and grew up performing on stages in the Pacific Northwest. They started out with rigorous classical violin training and competitive Irish Dance, which garnered them leadership positions in the local Youth Symphonies and brought them to the Irish Dancing World Championships (held overseas in the UK) to compete in the solo championships for three years in a row.

The three sisters have also developed their talents on various other instruments including guitar, bodhrán and voice in the pursuit of creating a fuller, more compelling show. Their love for music, dance and storytelling is their inspiration for performing and recording.

The Gothard Sisters have recorded six CDs, beginning with their Christmas release and progressing to their most recent original and Celtic album, Story Girl in November, 2011, and their latest Christmas album, Christmas, which has gained terrestrial radio airplay and includes a well-loved version of "Little Drummer Boy," (renamed "Little Drummer Girl") which will be included on an upcoming Putumayo World Music compilation album of unique Celtic Christmas music arrangements.

These days the girls can be seen making their way across the country visiting fairs and festivals to share their love of music, dance and live performance with the people that they meet. A live show with the Gothard Sisters includes fast fiddling numbers with lively choreography, Irish step-dancing used in a myriad of ways, and special songs and ballads.

www.ourdollsmembers.net/celticrainbow

Times & Venues

March 10
1:45 pm – 2:45 pm
Celts on the Creek


The Jocelyn Pettit Band

The Jocelyn Pettit Band

Canadian Folk Music Awards Nominee 2010: "World Artist of the Year"
Canadian Folk Music Awards Nominee 2010: "Young Performer of the Year"
France International 100% Music Songwriting Contest Nominee 2010:  Composing Award "World Music"
USA International Songwriting Competition Nominee 2010:  Composing Award

Blazing NEW-TRAD Celtic Fiddle with original, contemporary, and traditional music, mixed with funky rhythms and lots of groove.....music to move to, dance to, and celebrate!  Jocelyn Pettit is an outstanding young 15 year old fiddler, stepdancer, singer, guitar player, and composer from Canada's West Coast. With determination, passion, keen appreciation for tradition, and excitement to explore new ideas, Jocelyn has developed impressive musicianship well beyond her age. First inspired by the uplifting spirit and drive of Cape Breton tunes, Jocelyn has now created her own musical style, and is receiving widespread praise for her skills and innovation. With her natural presence and enthusiastic energy on stage, it is clear she loves to perform. From Celtic to Quebecois, she leads The Jocelyn Pettit Band, and has also performed with The BC All-Star Fiddlers, The North Shore Celtic Ensemble, The Jocelyn Trio, and The Vancouver Scottish Fiddles.

www.jocelynpettit.com

Times & Venues

March 10
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Celts on the Creek

March 17
3:00 pm
Music Stage
Celtic Village (Georgia & Granville)


Thereafter

Thereafter

Thereafter's Neil Hammond has a flair for writing songs that engage both the mind and feet. His fluid guitar style and whiskey voice provide the basis for the band, which features the roots flute and harmony vocals of Keona Hammond (Cleia, The No Shit Shirley's), the warm cello work of Shanto Bhattacharya (Fond of Tigers) and the inventive fiddle playing of Annie Brown (Toot-a-Lute and Fintan the Fish.) Come experience their mix of original songs, beautifully arranged instrumentals and a crafted take on traditional music.

Times & Venues

March 18
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Pre-Parade show
Music Stage
Celtic Village (Georgia & Granville)


Tiller’s Folly

Tillers Folly

With roots that stretch from the mists of the Pacific Northwest, across the sea to the British Isles, and now moving into the heartland of American music, Tiller’s Folly has tapped into something timelessly fresh and refreshingly sincere. They are the Pacific Northwest’s internationally traveled, virtuosic ambassadors of song. With seven studio CDs to the bands credit, Tiller’s Folly continues to expand and refine their potent mix of acoustic and electric based Celtic influenced Canadiana, Americana, Newgrass ‘and beyond.’

www.tillersfolly.com

Times & Venues

March 18
12:30 pm
Music Stage
Celtic Village (Georgia & Granville)


Vazzy

Vazzy

The duo VAZZY brings the audience traditional melodies and songs, from Acadia, Québec and France. From medieval sonorities with a hint of Arabic and Breton, to lively French-Canadian fiddle tunes and songs from the past and present… embark on a musical voyage in time through the ages, across two continents and an ocean.  VAZZY’s repertoire includes lively songs accompanied by infectious toe-tapping rhythms, and instrumental arrangements. VAZZY’s new CD "Dans Mon Chemin Rencontre" is a collection of traditional songs from French-Canada sometimes accompanied by instrumentals pieces from Brittany.  The two talented musicians offer a warm, authentic, dynamic and engaging performance... Vazzy has entertained audiences in British-Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, New-Brunswick, Newfoundland and the US.

www.vazzy.ca

Times & Venues

March 16
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Free Lunch Time Concert
Music Stage – Plaza @ Pacific Centre


Lorne Warr and The Streels

Lorne Warr and The Streels

A 'streel' is a slovenly person in Newfie-speak, but there's nothing shabby about this east-coast-on-the-west-coast of virtuoso musicians, who sing and play an eclectic repertoire of original, Maritime, and Celtic tunes. Their arrangements are fresh and innovative with a high energy performance that will make you want to dance, sing along and celebrate East Coast style. Lorne Warr, the front man of The Streels, originally hails from Lewisporte, Newfoundland. He has made music his career for more than a decade and is backed by multi-talented musicians. With guitars, mandolins, accordions, fiddles, and songs that will make you kick up your feet or want to hold your loved ones close, there is something in their music for everyone.    Comfortable on any type of stage and venue, The Streels always bring their East Coast charm to any event "it was a grand kitchen party Newfie style." With an album, A Night on the Marge, under their recording belts, The Streels continue to write, arrange, perform, and to follow the most important part of the Newfoundland musical tradition -- to have fun!

www.streels.com

Times & Venues

March 10
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Celts on the Creek

March 18
2:00 pm
Music Stage
Celtic Village (Georgia & Granville)


back to top Back to the Top