Celtic Colours & The Maple Project

Posted: May 23, 2018

Oh how we love this!!!

One of our favourite festivals has launched a lovely program to ensure their beautiful backdrop continues to grow long into the future.

What follows is the official press release from the Celtic Colours team. Read on and sign up! SABS

A Sweet Release...

Celtic Colours makes more than 20,000 maple trees available for planting on Cape Breton Island this fall

In commemoration of Canada 150 celebrations in 2017, Celtic Colours International Festival partnered with the Province of Nova Scotia: Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage—through the 150 Forward Fund—to develop The Maple Project.

The basic idea behind this project is to plant a tree for each concert ticket sold for Celtic Colours in 2017. The Maple Project is both symbolic and practical—symbolic in that maple trees are being planted to commemorate Canada’s sesquicentennial, but also practical as the brilliant colours of the Island’s fall foliage are an important part of the Celtic Colours experience.

“This came from some thinking on my part regarding the Festival,” explains Artistic Director Dawn Beaton, who has worked at Celtic Colours since 2009, and been performing in the Festival since it started in 1997. 

“At Celtic Colours we have focused a lot on the 'Celtic' part of the Festival, through the artists and programming, obviously, but also through youth initiatives, the sustainability of the culture, tradition, etc… But we haven’t paid as much attention to, or taken as active a role in, sustaining the setting of this wonderful event, where the scenery and hospitality come together as the perfect backdrop for this unique celebration of music, culture and tradition.”

Beaton also points out that the Festival operates on a decentralized model, making it necessary to drive around the Island in order to take it all in. It is felt that helping to plant some new trees across the Island will help in some measure to offset the impact this travel has on our environment.

“We are always aware of our carbon footprint so planting trees seemed like a great solution,” she notes.

And planting maple trees, in particular, makes a lot of sense as they are extremely hardy and grow very well in our climate.

“There are various trees within Gaelic folklore that would have also made a good choice,” says Beaton, a native of Mabou, “but in light of Canada's 150thanniversary, and the colours they provide to the landscape, not to mention the soil retention qualities of their roots, maple trees were the right choice.”

Working with the Strathlorne Nursery in Inverness, the Department of Natural Resources, and community partners across the Island, the Festival will be making 22,107 maple tree saplings available to be planted, helping to ensure that the beauty of our fall foliage will continue for generations to come. They have been cared for through winter and spring at the Strathlorne Nursery and now its time to make plans for planting, which should take place in late August / early September.

Non-profit organizations, community groups, educational facilities, and individuals are encouraged to participate in planting these iconic maple trees across the Island.

If you or your group would like to participate, please visit celtic-colours.com/mapleproject to complete the application form.

The deadline for applications is Friday, July 27, 2018.


The 22nd Celtic Colours International Festival is scheduled for October 5-13, 2018 in communities all over Cape Breton Island.

The full line-up and schedule will be announced June 22 at the Alexander Graham Bell Museum National Historic Site in Baddeck, with tickets going on sale July 10 at 10am AST. For all of the latest Celtic Colours information, visit celtic-colours.com.

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