Joyce Beaton

Ceilidh is pronounced ‘kay-lee’ and it’s loads of fun

Local band Celtic Chaos highlights Winterfest with ceilidh dance Nov. 23 at PCCC

Nothing gets you into a celebratory mood quite like a party and that’s exactly how Parksville’s WinterFest & Craft Fair plans to close it’s third annual event this year. On Nov. 23, Parksville Qualicum Beach band Celtic Chaos will once again break out their instruments and strike up good times with a ceilidh dance.

“To bring that energy and fun to a larger group is an important part of what we do,” said Celtic Chaos’ accordion player Dave Barta.

According to the band’s fiddle player Joyce Beaton, a ceilidh (pronounced “kay-lee”) is a Scottish and Irish tradition in which people gather to play music, tell stories, recite poetry and generally have a good time. Another vital part of the party — and the main focus of this month’s event — is high-energy traditional dancing in which groups of partners dance in set patterns.

“It’s a Scottish barn dance with Celtic music,” explained WinterFest organizer Bobbie Garnons-Williams.

“It’s a kitchen party,” Barta added, describing the type of atmosphere a ceilidh creates. “It lends itself well to family and community events.”

This is second year WinterFest has ended with a ceilidh. Last year, Garnons-Williams said around 200 “very active” people of all ages attended. “Hardly any people were sitting,” said the organizer, who attended ceilidhs in Scotland when she lived there for five  years. “It was amazing.”

Celtic Chaos also played the ceilidh last year. According to Barta, the band’s repertoire includes new and traditional music from different Celtic traditions such as those found in Ireland, Scotland, Quebec, Cape Breton and Appalchia. The group, which has five musicians from Parksville, Qualicum and Nanaimo, has played this music together for about 12 years. “We really enjoy playing when we get together,” he said. “We’re really good friends.”

This year, June Cannon from Hornby Island will also join Celtic Chaos on stage to help even more people get into the spirit. Her job is to come up with dances that are tailored to beginners and then walk participants through each dance’s steps before the music starts.

“She’s very good at getting people up and running,” said Beaton. “If they were able to walk into the hall, they’ll be able to dance.”

Of course, it’s perfectly OK if you mess up. Beaton and Barta both emphasize that the ceilidh is about having fun and meeting people, not your footwork.

WinterFest & Craft Fair runs Nov. 21-22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m at the Parksville Community & Conference Centre. There will be food vendors, artisans, non-profit booths and live Celtic entertainment. Entrance on any day is $4.

The ceilidh dance will be held at the end of WinterFest on Nov. 23 at the same location, with doors opening at 6 p.m. and the dance going from 6:30 – 9 p.m. A concession will be available, but no alcohol will be served. Tickets are $15 for adults, $7.50 for youth ages 5-18, children under five are free. There is also a family package deal, which is two adult and two youth tickets for $40. Tickets can be purchased at the door or during WinterFest, as well as at Mulberry Bush Bookstores, Soak Essentials Marketplace, or call Garnons-Williams at Island Highlander (250-240-1233).

 

Just Posted

Pole-climbing thieves pilfering wire in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Repairs are costly and thefts jeopardize public safety

Green Party leader Elizabeth May talks eliminating fish farming in open ocean pens

May stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

Qualicum Beach council discusses helping out Orca Place residents

Town considers offer of temporary jobs in the future

Winter preparation underway for mid-Island highways

Drivers reminded to ready vehicles for changing conditions

‘Dirty Money’ in Nanoose Bay: Dr. Peter German to speak at ElderCollege

‘This is an evolving study’: presenting up-to-date information on B.C. organized crime

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Scooter rider suffers life-threatening injuries in crash in Nanaimo

One person airlifted to hospital in Victoria after collision on Wall Street on Thursday

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Talk to your kids about vaping, B.C.’s top doctor says

B.C. health officials have discovered the first vaping-related illness in the province

Alberta truck convoy plans counter-protest at climate rally with Greta Thunberg

United We Roll organizer says similar protest planned for Swedish teen’s event in Edmonton

Green Party leader Elizabeth May rolls through Vancouver Island to boost a party stronghold

Mocks media, evokes Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and promises change

With $4M investment, Camosun College offers first sonography program on Vancouver Island

Starting in May 2020 students from Vancouver Island can pursue a career in sonography

Most Read