Celtic Music


For a detailed schedule of Celtic Music during the festival, please look at the Schedule Table for Celtic Music Tent.

Joe Higgins

Joe Higgins is a solo Scottish singer/songwriter,who immigrated to Canada in the mid 90’s and has performed locally ever since. Prior to coming to Canada, Joe performed in Glasgow, London, Germany and Austria. Joe has performed at past Highland Games and his Celtic songs have been played on CFUV and CBC radio stations.


Coastline is a Victoria based string ensemble comprised of BC’s top young musicians coached and mentored by renowned fiddle phenomenon, Ivonne Hernandez. This award-winning band has already been making a name for themselves since their inception in January 2013. With fiddles, cellos and guitar, the group of talented teens plays a diverse and exciting repertoire of fiddle tunes from around the world. Their debut album was a 2 time Canadian Folk Music Award nominee and they just released their highly anticipated new album called ‘The High Drive’. www. coastlinefiddle.com



Kailyarders love the music of Canada’s East Coast, Ireland and Scotland.  There is so much life to it, from dancing, romancing to reminiscing over great stories. So rather than move 4 to 8 time zones away, we’ve saved you the airfare and jet lag and brought it to you. They play high-powered, fun and thought-provoking original and cover songs.  With airplay worldwide, and featuring the award winning originals of Collin Wade and Bruce McKillican, and their beaty rhythm section of Chris Williscroft and Paul Fowles, they always get crowds moving. www.kailyarders.com

Black Angus

Black Angus means good songs, good humour, good friends, and good whiskey. Gareth Hurwood is the voice, the guitar, the passion and the poetry. Alex MacCuaig is the driving force on upright bass and high lonesome harmonies. Sarah Tradewell on fiddle brings traditional fire and grace. Their performances take listeners from Vancouver Island to Ireland and back, fueled by their collaboration, and enjoyment of the music. Black Angus has great presence, is devoted to great songs, and is near-impossible to pigeon-hole. Come hear for yourselves. www.blackangusmusic.com

Crikey Mor

Hailing from Victoria, BC, Crikey Mor delivers a tightly arranged whirlwind of traditional Irish reels, jigs, polkas, and songs that will keep your spirit moving. The group consists of Nancy Grossert on fiddle, Tasia MacKay on flute, Eric Reiswig on uilleann pipes, Jeremy Walsh on guitar, Andrew Morris on bodhran, and all on vocals—and hopefully a bunch of wild dancers in the audience. Crikey Mor have performed in Victoria and all around Vancouver Island, including the Victoria Highland Games Festival, Providence Farm Islands Folk Festival, Folkwest, Read Island Beach Fest, many of the neighbouring Gulf Islands, and have even brought their foot-stomping music to the small Malcolm Island town of Sointula, BC. Crikey Mor also performed in Harrison Hot Springs, BC with the Harrison Festival Society, as well as CelticFest Vancouver 2014 and 2015. www.facebook.com/crikeymor


Blackthorn features four talented musicians, three of whom share lead vocals, bringing a refreshing diversity of character to the group’s polished sound and all four contribute a mastery of a colourful variety of instruments. Blackthorn’s extensive repertoire is rooted in the musical traditions of Scotland and Ireland as well as the folk music of English and French Canada. Their repertoire has expanded to include creative original compositions that reflect the influences of these traditions. From lively jigs and reels, to songs with rousing choruses and heart-wrenching airs and ballads, they bring the music to life with their luscious harmonies and complex instrumentation. http://blackthornband.com

Pipe Band Salute

Join us under the tent for what will sure to be a highlight event. Come and enjoy as multiple pipe bands show off their prowess.  Purchase a beverage and throw in your support for the best with rounds of applause. A classic pipe band after-party! Don’t miss it!


If it’s a kitchen party yer after…you’ve come to the right place. Cookeilidh are a four piece Celtic band from Victoria comprised of a twelve string guitar, fiddle, wooden Irish flute, bodhran and vocals. Noted for their high energy performances, fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be the craic! www.cookeilidh.com

Tom Morrissey

Tom Morrissey hails from Mt. Pearl Newfoundland the son of the late Joan Morrissey, Newfoundland’s first lady of song. Playing east coast music all over the world he is joined by Ian Todd from Ottawa on bass guitar, John Paul Kelly from Fort St. John on mandolin and Levi Lawson from Smithers  on drums. The band plays a blend of Celtic high energy music guaranteed to get your toes tapping. www.reverbnation.com/tommorrisseyband

Sarah Tradewell

Award winning fiddler Sarah Tradewell is a Victoria-based musician whose middle name should be versatility. Not only a fine fiddler, you may have seen her performing with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, with singer Ken Lavigne, in shows with Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre, or at the Irish Times Pub with Black Angus. Sarah is well known to fiddlers and folkies as a fixture in the fiddle community: equally comfortable playing old time, country and Celtic music. Sarah is a two-time BC Fiddle Champion and has competed at the invitational Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Championships. Sarah has performed at the first Victory Ceremony at BC Place for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, in professional theatre productions (Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, My Fair Lady, Pride and Prejudice, Animal Crackers), and at the Sydney Opera House with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011. Visit www.sarahtradewell.com

Nellie Quinn and Charlie Gannon

Charlie Gannon is recognized as one of the best young guitarists in Victoria, playing a wide range of styles from Celtic to Rock. His playing is highly technical yet sensitive, with inventive harmonies and chord voicings he has learned from many years of playing jazz.

Canadian fiddler Nellie Quinn is quickly gaining attention as an outstanding musician, captivating performer and versatile interpreter of Canadian traditional musics. Nellie belies her young years through the depth and maturity of her music, no doubt a result of touring across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Nellie has strong roots in Canadian folk music traditions such as Cape Breton, Quebecois, Métis (Indigenous first people of Canada) and Old Time music. Through her understanding and awareness of all these genres she has developed and nurtured an individual style of playing which draws and shows respect for all these traditions whilst creating something vibrant, exciting and different. An evening of music from Nellie is an experience not be forgotten and is guaranteed to get your feet tapping.

Women of the Celtic Fiddle

Vancouver Island is known for producing some of the best fiddlers anywhere. We are lucky enough to have brought Nellie Quinn, Sarah Tradewell and Brittany Iwanciwski together on one stage. This will be a special performance of fiddling artistry at its finest! Join us.

Bios for Nellie and Sarah are above in the program. Brittany Iwanciwski joins Women of the Celtic Fiddle at the Games for the first time and is also one of Victoria’s finest and most versatile Celtic fiddlers. Britanny was raised in Prince George on a blend of Classical and Canadian Old Time Music. Celtic music became her passion when she moved to Victoria in 2015 to study with Daniel Lapp. 
Brittany regularly plays with Fish in a Birdcage at the Irish Times pub, with the folk group Crystal Creek and as a hired gun for folk and jazz gigs around the island. brittanyi.com


McGillicuddys have been please Celtic rock audiences for the past decade. With their high energy stage shows and cool spin on traditional tunes, no listener is immune to a good time. They always dress the part and the swish of the tartan can be felt all the way to the back row of their concerts. Accordion with attitude and grinding guitars always push the good times to the limit. www.mcgillicuddys.ca

Celtic Reflections

Patrick and Patricia De Gabrielle have lived in East Sooke for fifteen years, and performed together as Celtic Reflections for concerts, weddings, house parties, and special community events, from Victoria to all over the Island and the mainland, to their recent stage debut in Jalisco, Mexico. They are both trained musicians and seasoned performers with a theatre background. In addition to performing full time, they also teach in their home studio, sharing their love of music with adults and children.

Calvin Cairns and Jeremy Walsh

Calvin Cairns and Jeremy Walsh are a high energy multi-instrumental duo featuring toe tapping tunes and heartfelt songs from our Celtic ancestry.  Calvin Cairns plays fiddle, concertina, and musical saw.  Jeremy Walsh plays guitar, whistle and sings traditional melodies plus his original songs.

Calvin Cairns has toured extensively, in Russia, Europe, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, the USA, and from coast to coast to coast across Canada including appearances at every major folk festival.

Jeremy Walsh is a seasoned musician and veteran performer of 20 years in the Canadian folk music scene.  His career canopy arcs from Ireland to Newfoundland to West Coast inspiration and innovation on Vancouver Island, B.C. A modern, Celtic/Folk/Roots singer/songwriter, his driving rhythm guitar and gut-driven troubadour voice embodies the soulful spirit of Celtic music.

Knacker’s Yard

Knackers YardHailing from Victoria, British Columbia (Coast Salish Territories), Knacker’s Yard has been arranging and performing traditional Irish, Scottish, English, Australian, and original music since 2013.

Comprised of Wolf Edwards (vocals, plectrum banjo), Bronwyn Churcher (fiddle, vocals), William Fitzgerald (uilleann pipes, fiddle, tin whistle), Stephen Johnson (accordion, tin whistle, vocals), Jon MacDonald(guitar, vocals), Cody Baresich (mandolins, vocals), Shaun McConnell (bodhran, bones, chimes), and Dexter Simpson (Irish tenor banjo), the group breathes new life into the Celtic ballad and shanty genres.

The energy of the band’s expansive repertoire ebbs and flows with drive and dynamism, as they pay tribute to, and take inspiration from, legendary predecessors like The Dubliners, The Pogues, Planxty, The Clancy Brothers, The Chieftains, and The Wolfe Tones. Intricate lead work, driving rhythms, finely crafted arrangements, and careful attention to slow airs and ballads makes for a listening experience that is both powerful and enduring.

Following the success of their first self-produced and independently released album, “The High Street Demo” in 2013, the group has unleashed a string of full length albums that include “Live at Dunsterville”(2015), “Songs of the Sea”(2016), and ”The Dram & The Fray”(2017). Currently, the band is working on their fifth studio album which was recorded by Joby Baker in April of this year. The new record, including a guest appearance from the legendary Australian ballad singer Mick Slocum, will be released this summer and broadcast worldwide by Maui Celtic Radio.

In addition to a busy recording schedule, the band has been performing nonstop for over four years. Regular appearances at the Victoria Highland Games, the British Columbia Highland Games, Vancouver Celtic Fest, and the Islands Folk Festival are combined with rowdy pub shows, family-friendly markets, as well as special city and private events. They are the house band at the world famous Irish Times Public House in downtown Victoria and perform hundreds of shows a year.

The group is on the road this summer and will be playing the Penticton Scottish Festival, the Canmore Highland Games and many more shows across BC and Alberta. Please check our website (knackersyard.net) for details.

May 21st, 22nd & 23rd 2016