Dec 31, 2009: College of
Piping in the market for a new executive director again
Jul 28, 2009: MacGillivray
new College of Piping executive director
Jul 25, 2009: Charlottetown
fiddler takes over reins at college
Jul 24, 2009: Kendra
MacGillivray to head College of Piping
Jul 24, 2009: Kendra
MacGillivray new College of Piping director
Jan 21, 2009: Fiddler’s
latest disc well worth the wait
Jan 15, 2009: Kendra
MacGillivray-CD-Love O' The Isles-In Review
Oct 30, 2008:
MacGillivray siblings issue pair
of new CDs
Aug 25, 2008: Making music
again: Fiddler Kendra MacGillivray gets back into her musical groove
Aug 18, 2008: Fiddlers young
and old letting their fingers fly
May 8, 2008:
Ships' Company hosts fiddle
Celtic team raises funds for diabetes
Mar 12, 2007:
Seals telethon set for Monday night
Dec 20, 2006:
Christmas with Celtic Angels
Dec 18, 2006:
Charlie's Celtic Angels sing divine
Aug 26, 2006:
featured in "Celtic Angels at Christmas"
Aug 15, 2006:
Lunenburg folk fest keeps keeping it real
May 30, 2006:
Kelly, Gallant to help cancer survivors celebrate
May 18, 2006:
MacGillivray, Rainnie have a boy
Whycocomagh Gathering at the Whycocomagh Education Centre
Kendra MacGillivray &
Bruce Rainnie To perform concerts at Jubilee
Jul 09, 2005:
Kendra & Troy
Jun 29, 2005:
a traditional sound to the stage
Jun 29, 2005: Brother and sister act return to Lake Country
for Celtic performance
19, 2005: C.B. Ceilidh at the Cohn to
11, 2005: Transplanted: NS’s
award-winning fiddler Kendra MacGillivray enjoying life on P.E.I.
December 31, 2009
College of Piping in the market for a new executive director again
MIKE CARSON, The Journal Pioneer
SUMMERSIDE - The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada
is once again looking for a new executive director. Ken Gillis,
president of the college's board of directors confirmed Wednesday that
Kendra MacGillivray has resigned from the post for personal reasons.
"It was a
very amicable arrangement," Gillis said. "It was her decision alone.
We're sorry to see her go. I guess the hunt is on again for a
replacement. It's an overwhelming job and she has a young child and I
can appreciate her decision."
MacGillivray is the second executive director to leave the job this
In June, after a lengthy application process, Dr. Michael (Mike)
Paterson from New Zealand left the position less than four months after
being hired. Paterson was hired in March to replace the College of
Piping's first director Scott MacAulay following his death in September
wanted to take the college in a new direction expanding its musical
sphere to include not only Gaelic, but also English, Acadian and Mi'kmaq.
the college's board of directors nor Paterson would comment on the
reasons the New Zealand native left the job.
MacGillivray was hired in July to replace Paterson. MacGillivray, an
award-winning fiddler and music teacher, also brought with her teaching
experience in Highland and step dancing and business, having run her own
School of Celtic Music.
The board of directors unanimously endorsed the selection of
MacGillivray in hopes of settling the executive director situation.
said the board of directors will move immediately on selecting another
executive director. When applications were initially called to replace
MacAulay the college received over 20 applications locally, from across
Canada and internationally.
going to consider some of the ones who have already applied, then we're
going to consider a couple of new ones," he said.
said the board will have someone in place as soon as possible.
Kendra MacGillivray could not be reached for comment.
July 28, 2009
MacGillivray new College of Piping executive director
Connor MacEachern, The Casket, Antigonish, NS
MacGillivray of Antigonish has been named executive director of the
College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada in Summerside,
MacGillivray has operated her own music school, Kendra MacGillivray's
School of Celtic Music, for the past 20 years. Part of her
responsibilities will include integrating a fiddle program into the
college, which has focused on bagpiping, drumming, highland dancing and
interested in expanding what they teach,” she said.
the things they’re very interested in me doing is implementing a Celtic
fiddle program at the college.”
MacGillivray has been teaching fiddle and piano accompaniment out of her
home in P.E.I. since she moved there five years ago. She will begin
teaching those students at the college when the program is introduced.
“As time goes on, we’ll probably be offering more and more workshops in
different things such as Gaelic singing or maybe a summer school, those
kinds of things,” she added.
MacGillivray’s other responsibilities will include business and
financial planning, working with administration, public relations and
working with the board of directors.
MacGillivray – who graduated from St. F.X. with a degree in business
administration – said running a music school and Kenroy Music
Productions has prepared her for the job.
of wear a lots of hats in that role when you’re in the music business,”
performer, a teacher, a CD producer, CD distributor, booking agent and a
manger. I’ve definitely dealt with a lot of this stuff; it’s just going
to be on a bigger scale.”
addition to her business and instruction experience, MacGillivray has
managed her performing career for the past two decades. She's a two-time
East Coast Music Award winner (2002 Instrumental Artist of the Year,
2002 Female Artist of the Year), and recently released her 4th
full-length recording, entitled Love O' The Isles, which was nominated
for a 2009 ECMA and three Music P.E.I. Awards.
she was named the Young Alumna of the Year by the St. F.X. University
Alumni Association for her contribution to Celtic music and Scottish
culture in the Maritimes. She was also the 2003 recipient of Music Nova
Scotia's Educator of the Year Award.
been immersed in this culture and all these Celtic disciplines form the
day I was born,” MacGillivray said.”
“I can’t wait to meet all the new students.”
MacGillivray begins her position Aug. 3.
July 25, 2009
Charlottetown fiddler takes over reins at college
CARSON, Transcontinental Media
The board of directors of the College of Piping and Celtic performing
Arts of Canada didn’t have to go far to find a new executive director.
Charlottetown-based award-winning fiddler and music teacher Kendra
MacGillivray will take over the reins of the international college in
MacGillivray sees this opportunity as a perfect fit.
been steeped in Celtic music from the day I was born,” she said. “I took
Highland dancing as a young girl and I began fiddle lessons when I was
nine. I took piano lessons and I took step dancing. So my interests were
in Highland dancing and the fiddle music, step dancing and piano from a
very early age.”
MacGillivray said it’s been something she’s done her whole life and not
only from the performing side.
“One angle of it is I’ve been performing this music for my whole life
and another side of that is that I’ve been teaching most of it,’’ she
taught Highland dancing. I teach step dancing at workshops but my big
thing is that I’ve been teaching fiddle for 20 years. So, basically,
I’ve been passing this music on and totally immersed in it my whole
MacGillivray said when the opportunity came up, she felt it was a
“I think she’s a great addition to the college team,’’ said Ken Gillis,
chairman of the board of directors of the college.
Gillis said MacGillivray brings a wealth of experience to the college.
she’s a great addition to the college team,’ Gillis said. “She has a lot
of experience not only in music but other Celtic performances and well
known throughout the community. She’s pretty well known throughout the
Celtic community. We think she’s just going to be phenomenal there.”
college had been in discussions with MacGillivary for about two weeks
and made their decisions earlier this week. Gillis said the decision to
offer MacGillivray the position was unanimous by the board.
- Owns and operates Kenroy Music productions
- Owns and operates Kendra MacGillivray’s School of Celtic music
- First Canadian to teach at Southern Hemisphere International School of
- 2002 east Coast Music Award for Instrumental Artist of the Year
- 2002 East Coast Music Award Female Artist of the Year
- CD Love O’ The Isles nominated for 2009 ECMA and three Music P.E.I.
- 2002 named St. F.X. Young Alumna of the Year for her contribution to
Celtic Music and Scottish Heritage
- 2003 recipient of Music Nova Scotia’s Educator of the Year Award.
July 24, 2009
Kendra MacGillivray to head College of Piping
College of Piping in Summerside, P.E.I., has gone with a local talent as
its new director. Kendra MacGillivray is a Charlottetown-based fiddler
and music teacher. She replaces Mike Paterson, who left after only three
months on the job.
College of Piping is one of only two highland arts schools in the world
that operates year-round. It was founded in 1990 and MacGillivray is
just its third director.
up in Antigonish, MacGillivray has been steeped in the Celtic tradition
since she was a child. She told CBC News on Thursday that one of her
priorities is to offer instruction in more instruments.
the things that I would love to bring to the college is my love of
fiddling. I'm sure I'll be teaching in some capacity," she said.
could be Gaelic singing, any kind of accompanying instrument. That's
looking down the road and saying OK, once we've got piping and drumming
and highland dancing and step dancing and fiddle taken care of, then you
can start branching out."
MacGillivray also hopes to expand the number of public performances by
the college, something on which it built an international reputation,
and increase the music camps held during the summer months.
July 24, 2009
Kendra MacGillivray new College of Piping director
The Journal Pioneer
of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada has announced the
appointment of Kendra MacGillivray, B.B.A., to the position of Executive
MacGillivray is a native of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and holds a
Business Administration degree from St. Francis Xavier University. For
the past twenty years, she has owned and operated her own business,
Kenroy Music Productions and her own music school, Kendra MacGillivray's
School of Celtic Music. Over the years, she has provided expert fiddle,
piano accompaniment, Highland and Step dancing instruction to hundreds
of children and adults. She's also been a featured instructor at Celtic
summer schools all over the globe. This past spring, she became the
first Canadian ever invited to teach at the Southern Hemisphere
International School of Scottish Fiddling in New Zealand.
thrilled at the opportunity to pass my love of Scottish music and
culture on to the students who attend the College of Piping," says
MacGillivray. “Thanks in large part to my predecessor, the late Scott
MacAulay, this institution is one of the best of its kind anywhere in
the world. To have the chance to play a role in leading it into the next
decade is a dream come true."
addition to her considerable business and instruction skills,
MacGillivray has managed her own very successful performing career for
the past two decades. One of the best known Celtic musicians in North
America, she's a 2-time East Coast Music Award winner (2002 Instrumental
Artist of the Year, 2002 Female Artist of the Year), and just recently
released her 4th full-length recording, entitled "Love O' The Isles”,
which was nominated for a 2009 ECMA and three Music PEI Awards. In 2002,
she was named the Young Alumna of the Year by the StFX University Alumni
Association for her contribution to Celtic music and Scottish Culture in
the Maritimes. She was also the 2003 recipient of Music Nova Scotia's
Educator of the Year Award.
Gillis Chairman of the Board of Directors stated “We are very pleased
that Kendra has accepted the position of Executive Director. We believe
that with her background she will bring a wealth of experience to the
college. On behalf of the board I want to welcome Kendra to our team as
we look forward to building on our success with her.”
MacGillivray assumes her new duties on Tuesday, Aug. 4. For interview
opportunities, please feel free to contact her directly at email@example.com.
Alternately, you can reach Ken Gillis at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Michelle Askew at email@example.com, Manager of
Marketing & Business Development.
January 21, 2009
Fiddler’s latest disc well worth the wait
By Doug Gallant, The Guardian, PEI
Kendra MacGillivray has ended her studio hiatus with a sterling new
collection of tunes called Love O’ The Isles. It was an album long
overdue. Over The Waves, the CD that earned the Antigonish-born musician
East Coast Music Awards for both female artist of the year and
instrumental artist of the year is now eight years old.
long time for a player of this calibre not to record. Then again, she’s
had other responsibilities to attend to, not the least of which are a
husband and a young son. But, as Love O’ The Isles clearly demonstrates,
MacGillivray has not lost anything to time.
at Lakewind Sound Studios in Cape Breton, the new record features 12
tracks, nine of which are medleys comprised of anywhere from three to as
many as six pieces. The three stand-alone tracks are all slow airs,
including the title track, Love O’ The Isles, a hauntingly beautiful
piece composed by William Hunter.
reels, hornpipes, strathspeys, polkas, marches and airs that populate
this set include both the traditional and the contemporary, with works
from such diverse sources as legendary Scottish fiddler James Scott
Skinner and Canadian fiddle champion Ned Landry. There’s also an
original reel from MacGillivray, written and named for her son, Mark
very solid effort from MacGillivray, who also utilized the talents of
brother Troy, who played both piano and fiddle, Tracey Dares, who played
some piano, Elmer Deagle, who played guitar and banjo, and Cheryl Smith,
who added drums.
moments here include MacGillivray’s renderings of Love O’ The Isles,
Dugald McColl’s Farewell To France, Skinner’s The Brig O’ Potarch and
Waters of Northumberland.
January 15, 2009
Kendra MacGillivray-CD-Love O' The Isles-In Review
Nominated for 1 ECMA 2009 Award and 3 Music PEI Awards
By John Gavin, Atlantic Seabreeze
Fiddler, KENDRA MACGILLIVRAY living in Charlottetown, P.E.I., released
her fourth album entitled, LOVE O' THE ISLES in July 2008 and as a
result she has received an ECMA 2009 nomination for Instrumental
Recording of the Year, as well Kendra received 3 Music PEI nominations
for, Entertainer of The Year, Roots/Traditional Recording of the Year
and Instrumental Recording of the Year.
roots are in Nova Scotia, where she comes from a very musical family.
She is married to Bruce Rainnie, a CBS TV announcer and has a son named,
on this outstanding fiddle album are Kendra on fiddle accompanied by
Celtic musicians, Troy MacGillivray (brother) on piano and bass, Tracey
Dares on piano, Elmer Daigle on guitar and banjo and Cheryl Smith on
drums. The CD was produced by Toronto musician/producer, Delcan
O'Doherty (Rita MacNeil, Barra MacNeils and Terry Kelly). The CD was
recorded at Lakewind Studio Sound, and mixed/mastered at Soundpark
Studio, both in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
features 12 tracks, from beautiful slow airs to upbeat marches,
strathspeys and reels, jigs, clogs, hornpipes and polkas. Most tunes are
traditional/scotttish with a few originals including the lively reels,
Jolene Sonier by Marie Livingstone from Summerside, PEI and Mark
AnthonyRainnie by Kendra. Here are some sample tracks:
Woodshoppers (Ned Landry)
Jig: Miss Ann Munro (Robert Mackontosh)
Slow Air: Love O' The Isles (William Hunter)
Strathspey: Little John's Home (James Scott Skinner)
Hornpipe: Democratic Rage
March: Dugald McColl's Farewell to France (John McColl)
and several other tunes within each title.
is a well put together and well produced and Kendra gives an outstanding
performance on each piece. Atlantic Seabreeze gives this CD high marks
on is rating list and welcomes this outstanding CD to its fiddle music
October 30, 2008
MacGillivray siblings issue pair of new CDs
By DAN MACDONALD, Cape Breton Post
recently received a pair of recordings that come from Antigonish Countys
MacGillivray family. Kendra and Troy are very talented siblings, both
primarily fiddlers and both East Coast Music Award winners. In the past
few months they have both released new CDs, Kendras solo effort
Love O The Isles and Troys duet recording with Shane Cook
When Here Meets There.
Kendra has lived in Prince Edward Island for the past few years,
continuing to play while raising her young family. Love O The Isles
gives us a dozen cuts that range from tranquil slow airs to traditional
Antigonish polkas, to boisterous and rollicking hornpipes and reels.
Recorded at Lakewind Sound Studios in Point Aconi, Kendra doesnt have to
stray far to gather up some excellent backup.
piano chores are shared between her brother Troy and Tracey Dares, Elmer
Deagle plays guitar and a bit of banjo, Cheryl Smith handles the
percussion and Troy adds bass on a few cuts, a nice compact combo of
very talented people.
Kendra has selected the music well. She leans heavily on traditional
tunes and some of the Scottish masters such as Skinner, Mackintosh and
Grant, but she has also included local and regional composers as
diverse as Wilfred Gillis and Ned Landry, even including one of her own
expected, Kendras playing is spot-on, and she has laid out some great
personal favourite is the second cut that starts with a jig and moves on
to a pair of lively reels, including Mark Anthony Rainnie, a reel
composed for her son.
Meanwhile, When Here Meets There gives us a different slant on
traditional music with a pair of young players who are among the best in
their individual fields. Troy is well known around here as an incredible
fiddler and pianist, a favourite for dances and concerts and this years
winner of the ECMA for Instrumental Recording.
Shane Cook has garnered a sack full of awards for his playing, including
being a Canadian Open, Canadian Grand Masters and U.S. Grand National
Individually, they are terrific. Together they are better than the sum
of the two parts, a powerful combination that is eclectic in tastes and
astounding in virtuosity. Their music blends together seamlessly, the
different styles weaving in and out, bubbling to the surface only to be
overtaken by something newer, greater and even more pleasing.
Produced by Ray Legere, who also plays mandolin on the recording, the CD
was mainly recorded at Troys home in Lanark with additional bits and
pieces added in at studios as far away as Scotland. The backup musicians
are just as diverse, with the most familiar names being Skip Holmes and
This is a powerful CD with some amazing playing with a wonderful variety
of music. It would be hard to pick out a favourite, but I lean towards
Bovaglies Plaid that features Troy on piano, backed up by several layers
of strings on violin and viola.
am also quite taken by the final cut The Reprobate which
mixes jigs, strathspeys and reels with incredible ease, showcasing
fiddles and piano weaving in and out and around throughout the piece.
suggest that you look for these CDs and dont be shy about adding both to
your collection. Or put them on your Christmas list. Its not that far
August 25, 2008
Making music again: Fiddler Kendra MacGillivray gets back into her
after taking time off to be with her young son
COLE, The Guardian
taking a break from most performing gigs to spend time with her young
son, fiddler Kendra MacGillivray is going back to work.
Mark Anthony is two, I’m starting to focus on my career again,” says the
ECMA award-winner who picked up female artist of the year and
instrumental artist of the year in 2002.
the first steps in making this happen is the release of her new album,
Love O’The Isles. Recorded at Lakewind Sound Studios in Cape Breton, the
CD contains 35 fiddle tunes, woven together in 12 different medleys.
It’s her fourth recording and, she thinks, one of her best.
months researching and recording it. I was hoping to release the CD in
2005 but sadly it didn’t happen. So I’ve been thinking and planning it
from 2004 to 2008, trying to find the little diamonds in the rough,
those little gems that other people may not know about,” says
believes she has found them.
hope that people will like these tunes because I love them. I really did
a lot of work on this CD, more than any other.”
on the CD is the Jolene Solnier reel, written by Marie Livingstone of
Summerside, along with traditional tunes like Miss Ann Munro, Waters of
Northumberland, Love O’ The Isles, Dugold McColl’s Farewell to France
and many others.
MacGillivray also composed a tune for her son, Mark Anthony Rainnie.
is very musical. He loves to take my hand, take me to the piano and hear
I needed a tune in the key of E and this tune came out. Because he
inspired me to sit down and play the piano, I named the reel after him,
the Mark Anthony Rainnie Reel.
perfect speed for him because the little guy is such a ball of energy,”
she says, with a laugh.
release also features her brother, Troy MacGillivray, on piano and bass,
Tracey Dares on piano and Islander Elmer Deagle on guitar.
keeping busy with her new CD, MacGillivray and her husband, Bruce
Rainnie, have been doing some performing with Kevin “Boomer” Gallant at
the Harbourfront Theatre in Summerside. A show earlier this summer was
so popular that the trio’s Aug. 30 concert is already sold out.
great knowing that people enjoy our music,” says MacGillivray, who also
taught at two fiddle camps in Parsborough and Inverness, N.S., this
being away from it for two to three years it was great to get back in
the teaching mode. At the camps, I gave fiddle workshops which was
exciting because you get students from start to finish. You take them
from not knowing the tune to doing a recital at the end of the week. I
hope to incorporate these workshop techniques into my classes in the
fall where everyone can come together,” says MacGillivray, who will
resume teaching in September.
are five fiddlers playing the melody, you can have five fiddlers playing
the harmony and you put them all together, it’s amazing to hear. So I’m
thinking how I can incorporate these strategies with my students,” says
MacGillivray, who also plans to teach keyboard accompaniment this fall.
material: Scottish and Cape Breton repertoires. Most tunes are very old,
traditional melodies and/or compositions of Scottish fiddlers. Other
tunes are more contemporary compositions.
Fiddle teacher Stan Chapman, classical violin, Bob Murray, piano with
Sr. Rodriquez Steele and Highland dancing with Janice Macquarrie, all
dates: Sept. 28, A Night of Stories and Songs with Bruce Rainnie, Kevin
“Boomer” Gallant and Terry Kelly at the Dayboat Restaurant, a fundraiser
for the QEH Cancer Treatment Centre; Oct. 17, Celtic Colours concert in
Westmount, Cape Breton.
August 18, 2008
Fiddlers young and old letting their fingers fly.
Thirty musicians gather in Parrsboro to learn from some of the very best
TOM McCOAG Amherst Bureau
PARRSBORO — Fingers were flying and toes were tapping as 30
musicians played jigs, reels and strathspeys during a fiddle camp on
to play every kind of music, but right now it’s the fiddle that I’m
concentrating on," Pat Haliburton, 73, of Digby, said while taking a
break at the camp, put on by the Ship’s Company Theatre.
because I like learning something new all the time, and playing
fiddle is very different from the classical style I learned to play
when I learned to play a violin as a young girl."
difference is the way the musician uses the bow, Ms. Haliburton
you do fiddle music, you use the middle of the bow and short strokes
so your fingers can move more quickly," she said. "In classical
music, you use long, slower strokes."
beside her was 12-year-old Evan MacLean of Truro. He took up the
fiddle a year and a half ago after listening to a young boy in P.E.I.
play the instrument.
to the camp to learn new skills and to learn from people who are
very experienced," he said. "It’s been better than I thought it
would be because the instructors make it fun. I’ve learned six or
seven new songs."
PHOTO: Susan Vitale, of
Halifax, concentrates as she learns a song while participating in
The Ship’s Company Theatre’s fiddle camp on Saturday. (TOM McCOAG /
classmates helped make it fun.
like going up on stage but after playing with the people here, I think I
can do that now," Evan said.
really helped me and that’s made me feel great inside."
and Ms. Haliburton said the personal instruction from some of Canada’s
master players of the fiddle, mandolin, guitar and piano was
quality of instruction from Gordon Stobbe, Sherryl Fitzpatrick, Kendra
MacGillivray, Geoff Horrocks, Greg Simm and Skip Holmes is what brought
Ellen Kearney back to the camp for the third year in a row.
instructors are just fabulous," the Halifax woman said. "Learning from
people of such high calibre is a treat. Not only can they show us a
variety of different fiddling and mandolin playing styles, but they have
such a vast knowledge of fiddle music history that they’re eager to
share with us as well."
Kearney, who plays the mandolin for her own enjoyment, said she was
working to get her tunes up to speed and the camp was helping.
thing to be able to play just the notes, but to really play, you have to
get to the feeling behind those notes," she said.
instructors are helping me find the feeling behind the notes."
comment made Mr. Simm smile. He and Mr. Stobbe launched the camp three
years ago so that players of all skill levels could focus on both their
technique and their repertoire.
we started this camp three years ago, there was no weekend fiddle camp
anywhere on mainland Nova Scotia," Mr. Simm said.
built it along models we saw in Western Canada and Ontario and are
exposing the participants to a variety of techniques, from that used in
the British Isles, to French-Canadian fiddle music, to Ottawa Valley
fiddle music, to Cape Breton fiddle music."
started Friday night and is to end tonight with a free concert featuring
all the musicians who took part in the camp.
concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on the Ship’s Company stage.
May 8, 2008
Ships' Company hosts fiddle camp
Ship's Company Theatre is holding its
annual fiddle camp in Parrsboro on May 16, 17 and 18.
by master fiddler and music educator Gordon Stobbe, the camp is for
individuals of all ages and varying levels of musical experience.
Award-winning instrumental artist Kendra MacGillivray joins the
contingent this year, which includes teachers and performers Sherryl
Fitzpatrick, Geoff Horrocks, Skip Holmes and Greg Simm.
There will be an instructors' concert Saturday, May 17, 7:30 p.m.,
during which time Ship's Company Theatre's complete 2008 season
offerings will be revealed. On Sunday evening, camp participants will be
showcased in a 7:30 p.m. public performance at the theatre.
Visit <http://www.shipscompany.com>www.shipscompany.com for a printable
brochure featuring instructors' biographies, weekend agenda,
registration form and payment and contact information.
All-star Celtic team raises funds for diabetes
MACLEAN, The Guardian
you’re in need of raising funds for a cause, it pays to have a brilliant
Celtic musician as an older brother who’s connected to some of the best
names in Celtic music on P.E.I. This is the truism that was brought to
life last Friday night at The Guild in Charlottetown as Lisa Deagle and
her older brother, well-known guitarist/mandolin player/fiddler Elmer
Deagle, put together one boombastic barn-burner night of Celtic music.
the cause of raising money for Lisa’s participation in the Brazilian
marathon this June with Team Diabetes for the Canadian Diabetes
Association, the show was a sell-out. And by its end, the high dollar
figure raised for the cause was only exceeded by the height of spirits
in the house.
the poor weather that hovered about the Island that day, which actually
kept a couple of performers from getting to the show, the turnout was
spectacular. And it’s safe to say that all in attendance must have been
quite proud that they made the trek out in the elements, as soon as they
heard the beginning act that night.
broke out the big guns first — J.J. Chaisson on fiddle, Kevin Chaisson
on piano and Elmer Deagle on guitar and fiddle. They played a fiery
opening 20-minute set that probably shook all the snow off the roof of
The Guild. Commencing with a slow air and then moving into a barrage of
strathspeys and reels, complimented by the addition of young Summerside
piper Harley Peters (playing Scottish Soldier and Amazing Grace), their
set was thoroughly enjoyed by the appreciative crowd.
Cheverie of The Celtic Ladies then took over the stage, with accompanist
Jon Matthews on guitar, to perform several heartfelt tunes. Through
songs like Stan Rogers’ Tiny Fish for Japan, and Francis James Child’s
Sweet William’s Ghost, Cheverie performed passionately, eyes perpetually
closed, as her smooth voice echoed throughout the theatre.
Ford was the host of the night, and at the beginning of the second half,
we were treated to a couple of vocal performances from him, including
Fields of Athenrye and Leaving on a Jet Plane, which the crowd sang
along with (particularly my Aunt Muriel sitting next to me ...)
on the bill was Emmanuelle LeBlanc of Vishten. The group has been
touring the world for the past while and is up for two ECMA nominations
in a few weeks. With accompaniment from Elmer Deagle on guitar (who has
also been a member of Vishten for about a year now), LeBlanc began with
a lovely, sweeping, sliding tune on the tin whistle, written by Deagle.
Following it up with a couple of reels and a jig played on a higher
whistle and then a bodhran performance (complete with some Acadian chair
step dancing) as Deagle played some fantastic fiddle, their set was one
of the most impressive of the night.
your hair, Elmer!” yelled an audience member at the shaggy-mopped Deagle,
as he prepared the stage for the next act of the evening, his three
sisters, Lisa, Donna and Rhonda.
haven’t combed it in five years,” he replied, as the audience hollered
songs such as I Told You So by Randy Travis and Goodbye is All We Have
by Alison Krauss, the sisters sang in a pleasant blend of harmony and
were given an encore for their performance. Kendra MacGillivray was the
much-anticipated final act of the night. And where the first act blew
the snow off the roof, in her commanding fiddle power, accompanied by
Kevin Chaisson on piano and Elmer Deagle on guitar, MacGillivray then
proceeded to tear that roof off.
cutting, cutting into the notes like a friggin’ Ginzu knife through
honey dew melon, MacGillivray just ripped through a set of reels to
begin (The Messer Medley), followed by a dreamy, beautiful air called
Love of the Isles (the name of her new CD) and then finished off the
tremendous set with a few raging reels, as rosin dust soared up in
clouds above her head.
that wasn’t enough, we were all then treated to a magnificent finale of
all the performers from the night up on stage, led by J.J., Elmer and
Kendra on fiddle, complete with step-dancing and non-stop clapping and
stomping from the fired-up crowd. All in all, it was certainly one of
the best Celtic music shows I’ve seen in a long time. And if you’re sad
you missed it but would like to make a donation to Lisa Deagle’s Team
Diabetes cause, check out www.teamdiabetes.ca.
special thanks to Ward MacDonald and my Aunt Muriel Jay, for the favour
of saving a seat for me.
What: Team Diabetes Celtic Night.
Where: The Guild, Charlottetown.
When: Last Friday, Jan. 18.
Who: A group of some of the Island’s best Celtic entertainers.
Why: To help Lisa Deagle raise $6,100 for Team Diabetes and the Canadian
March 12, 2007
Easter Seals telethon set for Monday night
Easter Seals Telethon will air live on CBC Television from the mainstage
of Confederation Centre of the Arts on Monday, March 12, 7-10 p.m.
year's Easter Seals ambassador, Anthony Comeau, will be joining CBC News
Compass host Bruce Rainnie and CBC Radio's Mainstreet host Matt Rainnie
for the three-hour fundraiser for the P.E.I. Easter Seals Society. CBC
Television producer Claire Nantes says it's a wonderful opportunity to
showcase some of the most talented entertainers in Prince Edward Island.
stage will come alive with music and dancing from a wide variety of
performers. We will also share stories about children who benefit
directly from the donations people make to the telethon." The
entertainment lineup for this year's telethon includes pianist Doug
Riley, Celtic fiddler Kendra MacGillivray, singer/songwriter Angèle
Arsenault, Eddy Quinn and Fiddlers' Sons, Ian Toms, Celtic Ladies, the
College of Piping Dance Company, The Hustlers, Edge and the house band
with Wayne Dunsford, Perry Williams, Alan Dowling, Darren Ings and Dave
sponsors for this year's telethon are ADL, Atlantic Turbines
International, Superior Sanitation and Credit Unions of Prince Edward
Island. Volunteers from Confederation Centre of the Arts, Aliant and CBC
will be combining their talents and resources to produce the three-hour
event with support from the Charlottetown, Summerside and Montague
Television viewers can call in their pledges for this year's telethon to
a toll-free number, which will be visible throughout the broadcast. The
P.E.I. Easter Seals Society will use the funds raised during this year's
campaign to provide programs and equipment for people with disabilities
is invited to join the live show at Confederation Centre of the Arts.
Free tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and may
be reserved by calling the box office at 1-800-565-0278, Monday through
Saturday, noon-5 p.m.
December 20, 2006
Christmas with Celtic Angels
came in August for the Celtic Angels. Fiddlers Gillian Boucher and
Kendra MacGillivray, Kendra's sister Sabra
MacGillivray, a champion highland dancer, vocalists Stephanie Hardy and
Patricia Murray and Maggie MacInnes of Scotland, a Gaelic singer and
master of the Celtic harp, gathered at St. Matthew's United Church in
Halifax to film a
one-hour special featuring Celtic-style Christmas music.
Celtic Angels at Christmas premieres on VisionTV tonight at 9 p.m.
(it also airs Thursday at 7 a.m., 4:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.)
hard initially to get into the mindset, but as soon as we walked onto
the set with the candles, sparkles and white trees we got into the
mood," says Sabra MacGillivray, who grew up in Antigonish, but now makes
her home in
Creignish, with her husband, Ian MacDonald.
didn't use the sanctuary, but built a set separate from the church. It
was all white and beautiful."
dances a solo to the music of Winter Wonderland, sporting a skirt of
white tulle with sparkly snowflakes and a green velvet bodice. "I felt
like a ballerina," she laughs.
brought along six of her students from the Celtic Touch Dance Studio.
The girls, aged 10 to 12, join Sabra for an upbeat strathspey reel.
Brother Troy, an accomplished pianist, and Kendra play on the set.
"Christmas wouldn't be the same without a Christmas ceilidh," says Sabra,
recalling that at house parties, part of the family tradition was
getting together to make music.
middle child of three was immersed in Celtic music. Her grandfather on
her mother's side, Hughie A. MacDonald, was a well-known fiddler, her
mother fiddled and played piano and her grandmother was also a pianist.
side was also musical and at every house party people would pick up
banjos, mandolins and guitars and add to the music.
who now lives in Prince Edward Island with her broadcaster husband Bruce
Rainnie, brought her son, Mark Anthony to the set. Born April 19, the
tot sat in a Jolly Jumper and became a little jumping bean when Kendra
was seven-and-a-half months pregnant during the filming of Celtic
Angels. Looking radiant after the birth of Rowan Marie five weeks
ago, the Gaelic songstress says the show will be a permanent memento of
her daughter's first
public appearance. Rowan is a tree found in the Highlands of Scotland.
"They would plant a Rowan tree in front of their homes for protection,"
Murray says, adding Marie is a nod to her husband's Acadian ancestry.
Prince Edward Island and now living in Halifax, Murray sings the Holly
and the Ivy and the Wexford Carol in the show.
Wexford Carol is one of the oldest Irish carols, it tells the story of
the birth of Christ, it's a haunting tune," she explains, noting it's
one of her favourite seasonal tunes.
was also pleased to sing with Hardy, who hails from Cape Breton, and
MacInnes, on an English/Gaelic version of Silent Night.
three different voices and they blend in so well," adds MacGillivray.
whose husband Michael McNeil, a medical student at Dalhousie University
plays the bagpipes, has been singing Gaelic songs to Rowan since before
she was born. "She really responds to the music, she finds it soothing."
headed home to Summerside, P.E.I. for the holidays. Because of her love
of the season she was thrilled when producer Charlie Cahill on
Halifax-based New Scotland Pictures Inc. approached her to be part of
the music of the season, the meaning behind the songs, the beauty of all
the melodies," she says. MacGillivray plans to watch the show Wednesday
with her family in Creignish.
watch it again when she, Kendra and Troy are home in Antigonish for
Christmas. Asked about her favourite carol, MacGillivray says anything
that talks about angels.
reminds me of my mother, she's our angel now." (Janice MacGillivray
passed away in 2005).
December 18, 2006
Charlie's Celtic Angels sing divine
Dean Lisk, Halifax Daily News
Cahill said from day one, the obvious jokes about him and his angels
"Absolutely, it had to happen," said the producer of Celtic Angels At
Christmas. "I am so proud to be associated with these angels."
VisionTV this week, the show features a collection of six women -
singers, step dancers, and fiddlers - sharing a selection classic Celtic
carols. "They do like Christmas music specials," said Cahill about
VisionTV, explaining they approached him about putting together a
holiday special in late 2005.
Halifax-based New Scotland Pictures was also behind the Barra MacNeils
Christmas special in 2000.
said their audience did like Celtic music," he said "We sort of came up
with the idea of making it female stars, and call them Celtic Angels."
Cahill, along with musical director Declan O'Doherty, spent the winter
and spring developing the show and casting his angels. Singing in the
special are Prince Edward Island's Patricia Murray, Cape Breton's
Stephanie Hardy, and Scottish vocalist and harpist Maggie MacInnes.
joined by fiddlers Gillian Boucher and Kendra MacGillivray, dancer Sabra
MacGillivray, and a group of "wee angel" step dancers. "We were able to
start shooting in August," said Cahill. "So, it was Christmas in August
though it was the middle of summer, Hardy said she didn't find it hard
getting into the yuletide spirit.
"Everything on the set was Christmas, so as soon as you got there it
felt like Christmas," she said, adding her favourite part was getting to
sing I Wonder as I Wander.
the versions I've heard are slow ballads, which are beautiful. But I
wanted to do something with this song to make it more upbeat," she said.
"It also sounds more pop modern, rather then classic. "Christmas songs
are done all the time, so it is nice to see a new spin on the classics."
the reason for the spin, says Cahill, was that his angels were asked to
suggest songs they would like to sing.
He and O'Doherty then shortened the list, dealing with song tempo
issues, music rights, and working out the arrangements.
part of doing these things is getting to watch the talent work
together," Cahill said. "To some extent, it is a recipe for disaster or
a recipe for success, and we have been pretty lucky."
once everyone got together in Halifax to rehearse, all the angels
suggested other ways they could work together and help each other with
their songs. "There were no divas on this one, they were just great,
talented people," he said
August 26, 2006
Kendra featured in "Celtic Angels at Christmas"
fiddler, Kendra MacGillivray will be featured in an upcoming television
show, called "Celtic Angels at Christmas". The special is being produced
by New Scotland Pictures and will appear on the Bravo TV station. Other
performers include highland and step dancer, Sabra MacGillivray
(Kendra's sister), fiddler, Gillian Boucher and vocalists, Patricia
Murray and Stephanie Hardy. The show is being taped in Halifax, Nova
Scotia from August 26-30, 2006 and will air in December 2006.
August 15, 2006
Lunenburg folk fest keeps keeping it real
Stephen Pederson, Halifax Herald
IT HAS BEEN
a great weekend in Lunenburg at the Folk Harbour Festival. The four
mainstage shows, which began a little after 7 p.m. and finished a little
before 11:30 p.m. Thursday to Sunday, each introduced at least one or
two new and
outstanding groups or individual performers. On Thursday, the best
surprises were Shtreiml's mix of klezmer and Turkish folk music and the
hot Acadian band Vishten.
Friday, it was British folk-vet Brian Peters, Alberta songwriter John
Wort Hannam and the evergreen Marigolds. On Saturday, it was
master-guitarist Andrew White and the inimitable Joel Plaskett.
Sunday it was the energetic fiddle playing of Kendra MacGillivray and
the silken vocal/instrumental arrangements of Susan Crowe and the
Tenderlies in their inaugural concert appearances. What makes Lunenburg
live, however, is the festival's willingness to take a chance on new and
sometimes, perhaps regretfully, untested performers. No need
to go through the list except to mention Sunday's mysterious Minnikins.
Gabe Minnikin used to sing with the Guthries, we were told. But what
they were on about Sunday night puzzled more than just me, to judge from
the audience reaction. Barely intelligible lyrics sung by Gabe in so low
his vocal chords scarcely vibrated. Giddy melodies from Ruth which kept
bouncing up at the ends of phrases as though booby-trapped, abetted by
her marking the rhythm so lethargically with a kind of maraca that it
was nearly inaudible, caused more shaking of heads than pounding of
surprises serve to remind us all that getting up on stage before 800 or
900 people is not as easy as the veteran performers make it seem. Even
the unprepared or the not-yet-ready for prime time contribute to the
excitement of Lunenburg. You get to practice patience and restraint, and
your reward is sheer, out of context jubilation.
emotion is never absent from the Sunday Morning Gospel concert on
Blockhouse Hill. The tent cannot contain the crowds who spill out on the
wings on the grass and share the mayhem caused by the vocal fire-power
on the stage. The Johnson Girls, The Marigolds, The House of Doc, a
variety of soloists, guitarists, bass players and keyboardists launch
themselves into the up-beat repertoire, much of it old-time, all of it
road-tested for decades in communities and churches and sing-outs, and
none of it resistible. One gets born again and again and again.
night's finale in the tent began with the relatively new Western
swing/honky-tonk quartet Flat Fifth with pianist Paul Buchanan,
violinist Eilidh Campbell, double-bass player George Barkhouse and
drummer Geordie Comstock.
four-to-the bar with a jazzy inflection paced by Buchanan's jazzy breaks
and warmed by his strong, lyric baritone voice. Their energy and style
are somewhat compromised by their astonishingly heavy bass lines.
pounds it out in double octaves with the bass playing the same notes an
octave below that. It's a bit much of a good thing. Jeff Davis came on
to remind us with his laconic/ironic commentary and Appalachian voice -
the musical equivalent of a Walker Evans black and white back country
photograph - of how truly deep the roots of folk music go into the
unspectacular but no less vibrantly alive dailiness of ordinary people
transcending hard times.
included the rhythmic volubility of a peanut vendor's spiel, an audience
participation slurping-song about watermelons, a fine ballad with Matt
Large about "cruisom" (not "cruisin' ") down the coast of Barbary, and
marvellous a capella back-up of the five Johnson Girls, a taste of the
gospel concert with a reprise of Where The Flowers Bloom Forever.
Eighteen-year-old Jennah Barry, with an indescribably sweet and true
high soprano cast a spell over the crowd with her intensely felt
interpretation of her mother Leslie's song Where Harbour Meets the Sea,
the winner of the first
annual Folk Harbour Songwriting Competition.
MacGillivray brought the crowd back to life after the enervating
Minnikins set with the first note of her lively, bracing, richly played
Cape Breton tune set. Accompanied by pianist Darla Chaisson and
charismatic bodhran playing/step-dancing sister Sabra, MacGillivray
played clogs, hornpipes, reels, strathspeys and polkas and ended her set
with a spectacular performance of the difficult Tullochgorum variations,
topping that off with a couple of reels and gilding it with a
demonstration of step-dancing while fiddling - and all that from a young
mother barely four months out of the maternity ward.
Andersen finished the show, but I caught him earlier in the day singing
the blues on the Wharf stage like an old-timer and ripping out riffs
from his guitar like a young firebrand. Second last came Crowe with the
Tenderlies (Lisa MacDougall and Cathy Porter), the trio backed up for
the occasion by "Tenderloin" James Logan on very jazzy guitar.
lot of feisty femininity and their urbane mix of tunes like I Fell Up
Again (a Crowe evergreen), La Vie En Rose, Bye and Bye (gospel song),
Bound Shackled and Chained and Love's Pure Gold arranged to take
advantage of the
varied colour of the trios voices and their new-born energies, made for
a set that seemed much shorter than the 35 minutes usually allotted to
the final two performers on the mainstage concerts.
this festival a good deal. All of it. Even the times my ear
involuntarily cringed. It was, as it always is, real. And that's rare
May 30, 2006
Kelly, Gallant to help cancer survivors celebrate
patients and families from across Nova Scotia will gather at Pier 21 in
Halifax on Sunday, from 2 to 4 p.m. to celebrate National Cancer
Kelly, a cancer survivor and honorary event chair, will headline the
afternoon's entertainment and will perform the recently launched song,
Celebrate Life. It was written and performed by Kelly, to honour those
lives have been touched by cancer.
performers include Lennie Gallant, Floyd King, LeMarchant St. Thomas
Elementary Choir and Kendra MacGillivray. CBC TV's Bruce Rainnie will be
afternoon will include a message of inspiration delivered by Carly
a 23-year-old student athlete and cancer survivor.
May 18, 2006
MacGillivray, Rainnie have a boy
Congratulations to ECMA-winning fiddler Kendra MacGillivray and her CBC
broadcaster husband Bruce Rainnie on the birth of their son, Mark
Mark was born on April 19 at 3:29 p.m. at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital
He weighed 7 lbs. 14 ozs. and was 20 inches long, with blue eyes and
light brown hair.
He's named after his grandfathers (Bruce's dad is Mark and Anthony is
Kendra's dad's name.)
"We're getting along great,"" said MacGillivray from her P.E.I. home.
watching hockey and basketball games already with daddy and we'll have
him on the fiddle in no time!"
October 22, 2005
Whycocomagh Gathering at the Whycocomagh Education Centre
by Tom Knapp - Rambles.NET
Our arrival in Cape Breton
was heralded this year by thick grey clouds and torrential downpours, a
bout of nasty weather that followed us from the Maine border, across New
Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and settled in for a spell.
But the swollen skies
and puddled streets couldn't dampen day two of Celtic Colours, our first
night on the island for a week's splendid music.
singer-songwriter David Francy got things going with a selection of his
expressive stories and songs. Coupled with singer-guitarist Shane
Simpson, Francey brought the eager Whycocomagh crowd into his world with
songs including "Tonight in My Dreams" (which Francey described as "the
one happy song in the set") and "Torn Screen Door," which laments the
loss of a viable farm and lifestyle to debt.
Next up, the formidable
MacGillivray clan -- talented siblings Kendra, Sabra and Troy --
demonstrated the power of Nova Scotia traditions. Beginning their set
with Kendra on fiddle, Troy on keyboard and Sabra on bodhran, they led
the audience through an animated, lively, wonderful program.
Kendra, center stage,
is a firecracker when she plays, legs pumping madly with the beat.
Sharing in the family tradition, she first introduced a polka set
learned from her grandfather, who first recorded it in the 1930s. Next,
Troy -- with a flurry of fingertips -- played the "Mary Queen of Scots"
set on keyboards; the set was previously recorded on fiddle on his
latest CD, but built to an amazing climax in this arrangement.
Sabra leapt to her feet
and, with fellow dancer Kelly MacArthur, showed how Cape Breton footwork
looks with practiced professionals in the tap shoes. Arms relaxed and
swaying, legs loose and precise in their movements, backs and shoulders
in a perfect line, long ponytails bobbing in time and grinning broadly,
the two young women moved in perfect unison, tirelessly beating out a
mighty rhythm as Troy and Kendra pounded out the melody. Then, Sabra
(only slightly winded) took over the keyboard (her first public
performance on the instruments, her siblings quickly pointed out to
Sabra's embarrassment) while Kendra and Troy worked into a perfectly
matched fiddle duet of strathspeys and reels -- Kendra looking
completely relaxed, the music an effortless extension of her arms, while
the equally gifted Troy played with a look of focused concentration and,
for a brief portion of the set, showed his own skill at dancing.
For the final set, the
MacGillivrays returned to their original positions and launched into a
stately melody, building -- as, of course, it must -- into a fast,
heel-pounding set. Kendra's smile was infectious as she (and her newly
styled, slightly reddened hair) bounced in time, Troy matched her beat
for beat on the keys and Sabra again demonstrated why she is one of the
island's leading proponents of the dance. Their standing ovation was
And the energy level
kept building. After a brief intermission, the twang of a jaw harp
signaled the beginning of Le Vent du Nord's display of Quebecois music.
The French-Celtic connection was full of frantic energy, a high-energy
and gravity-defying parade of tunes and songs about love, both comic and
tragic. The lyrics -- often presented a cappella, in a strong four-part
vocal arrangement or as a call-and-response -- were expressive even in
French (a language I sadly do not understand).
And let's not forget
the fantastic foot percussion that punctuated the music, primarily the
work of fiddler Olivier Demers who demonstrated freakish levels of
energy as he played. And of course there's Benoit Bourque, a giant
scarecrow of a man, all smiles and footwork as he showed off his own
brand of stepdancing and maybe even an extra joint or two in each leg.
Frankly, I'd hate to be on stage after that, if for no other reason than
the fear that every single supporting nail must have been shaken loose
under the foot-stomping barrage.
We looked to Nicholas
Boulerice for a lesson in the power, majesty and versatility of the
hurdy-gurdy, "the most beautiful of all instruments." And then Benoit
leapt from the stage to lead the audience in an arm-circling,
pinky-linking dance that snaked through the seated crowd.
For the finale, Kendra
and Troy got things rolling with a strathspey, tossed it to Francey for
a bit of "Rantin' Roarin' Willie" and then joined the full ensemble for
a fierce set of jigs and reels, featuring additional dancing by Sabra
and Benoit, plus a surprise from emcee Burton MacIntyre, a local
institution in dance, when he very nearly lost his kilt (twice) while
partnering with Lt. Gov. Myra Freeman. Burton took it all in good humor,
of course, blaming a recent diet for the garment's looseness.
The Whycocomagh crowd
was in high spirits as everyone filed from the building and back into
the rain. The week was just begun, and there was plenty of music still
August 10, 2005
Kendra MacGillivray & Bruce Rainnie To perform concerts at Jubilee
Celebrity couple and musical duo Kendra MacGillivray and Bruce Rainnie
will perform a pair of concerts at the Harbourfront Jubilee Theatre in
Summerside, August 13 and 27.
Celtic fiddler Kendra
MacGillivray was the 2002 ECMA "Female Artist of the Year" and
"Instrumental Artist of the Year", and has performed at festivals &
events around the world. From a square dance or Scottish concert in Cape
Breton to a main stage performance at the Glengarry Highland Games or
Harrison Festival of the Arts or to a corporate event in Japan or
Barbados, Kendra plays the music of her Scottish ancestors with energy
performed with Philip Glass & Friends in concert at the National Arts
Centre in Ottawa, Symphony Nova Scotia in the "Maritime Pops Series",
Atlantic Scene Festival in Ottawa, Villa Montalvo in California and was
a featured performer in DRUM!, the musical in Halifax. She was also
featured in a CBS movie called, "Heart of a Stranger", starring Jane
Seymour and presented awards on the 2003 East Coast Music Awards, a CBC
production and the 2002 MIANS Music Awards.
Kendra started taking
highland dance lessons at the age of six, followed by classical piano
lessons, fiddle lessons and then classical violin lessons. Musically,
she was influenced from the very beginning by her grandfather's fiddle
music, Hugh A. MacDonald, a pioneer recording artist and recipient of
the ECMA Stompin' Tom Award and a Nova Scotia Country Hall of Fame
Induction. Although she was much too young to learn fiddle tunes from
him while he was living, Kendra danced to his music at every chance and
his playing has inspired the music she plays today.
to perform her most requested selections, ranging from lively jigs, to
hauntingly beautiful slow airs and rousing sets of strathspeys and reels
- in theatres, festivals and corporate events - in venues nearby and far
away...'Over The Waves'.
Bruce Rainnie is the
host of Canada Now, the supper hour news program in Charlottetown,
Prince Edward Island. In addition, he is known as the voice of CBC
Sports in Atlantic Canada. He has broadcast 3 Olympic Games (2000, 2002,
2004), and had the honour of calling Daniel Igali's gold medal wrestling
performance in Sydney, Australia. More recently, Bruce teamed with Russ
Anber to bring Canadians coverage of boxing from Athens. In March of
2004, he researched, co-produced, and hosted "Great Expectations," a
half-hour primetime documentary on hockey sensation Sidney Crosby. Bruce
came to the CBC from CJLS Radio in Yarmouth where he hosted the morning
show from 1989 to 1995. He also hosted a one hour
information/entertainment program, "Rainnie at Noon".
Bruce has done
extensive emcee work for various organizations. He has hosted the
Progress Club Sports Celebrity Dinner, the QEII Hospital Research
Dinner, the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, the
P.E.I. Business Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, the Halifax Comedy
Fest, Pier 21 Heritage Day Celebrations, the Special Olympics Dinner and
Auction, and the CIAU All-Canadian Basketball Awards Dinner. He's also
been the featured speaker at graduations and athletics banquets all
across the Maritimes.
sportscaster has expanded his professional duties to include hosting CBC
News Morning, the Celtic Colours Music Festival, Tall Ships 2000, Spruce
Meadows Showjumping, Davis Cup Tennis, the CFL on CBC, the World Curling
Championships, the Pan Am Games, Hockey Night in Canada, and CBC Sports
As a host, master of
ceremonies or featured speaker, Bruce's quick wit, thoughtful insights,
and humorous, engaging style have entertained audiences all across
The combined talents of
these two Maritimers promise an evening not to be missed, and organizers
say from the buzz at the Jubilee box office, the pair is proving to be a
favourite of this year's Summer on the Waterfront Festival lineup for
August, which also includes performances by The Lazy Jacks, The Chucky
Danger Band, Sketch 22, and The Jubilee Players.
Tickets are now on sale
for all listed performances, and can be purchased at the Harbourfront
Jubilee Theatre Box Office, local 888-2500 or toll free 1-800-708-6505.
July 9, 2005
Kendra & Troy
By Andrea Nichol, Linear Reflections E-Magazine - Victoria, BC
For generations the
MacGillivray family has entertained Nova Scotia and Canada with their
extreme talent in Celtic music. Hugh A MacDonald, grandfather to Kendra
and Troy MacGillivray, was a well-known recording artist who was a
recipient of the ECMA Stompin' Tom Award. He was also inducted into the
Nova Scotia Country Hall of Fame. Antigonish, Nova Scotia is where
Kendra and Troy MacGillivray get some of their nspiration for the
music they perform from different artists such as Neil Gow, The
Rankin Family, and of course, their grandfather. In this performance,
Kendra and Troy MacGillivray not only entertained us, they made their
grandfather proud. It was a wonderful evening of music and dance. Kendra
and Troy haveperformed together for over 15 years, and throughout the
evening, it was clear that they were comfortable performing together.
The venue was the
Fairfield United Church; it was small, cozy and intimate. I felt like I
was sitting in a living room somewhere, a rather large living room, of
course, listening to people playing music. It was great. A large
armchair instead of a wooden pew would have been more comfortable
Throughout the concert
both Kendra and Troy addressed the audience in a friendly manner that
only increased the comfort level. They played a mixture of jigs, reels,
and laments, all of which were excellent. Several, however, deserve to
Medley," a group of pieces that incorporated jigs and reels, set all of
our toes tapping. It was spirited and fun, and echoed the many
celebrations experienced throughout the years by Celtic people on two
continents. "The Old Gray Goose" was also a wonderful piece.
"Neil Gow's Lament for
the Death of His Second Wife" was poignant and beautiful; a very fitting
lament for a loved one. The tune was very suited to the piano, its keys
giving it a delicacy that was required for a lament.
Near the end of the
first set, they played some of the pieces their grandfather had played
like "Polka No. 3 Medley." These pieces were more raw and earthy in
sound, but overall they had a charm that obviously lives on.
Also near the end of
the set, as his sister fiddled, Troy did some step dancing and showed us
his moves. It brought something extra to the fiddling and also continued
the theme of the cozy, intimate party. I was tempted to join him, but
would have looked extremely clumsy in comparison.
In the second set,
Kendra also step-danced for us and showed us that both she and Troy have
trained long for their talents. It was a fun addition to the evening.
"Arisaig Mist" was a
piece played by Kendra on the fiddle and it was absolutely amazing. She
prefaced her playing by tellingus a story of the mist that lowers along
the ocean on the coast of Nova Scotia and that this piece was an echo of
that imagery. I would have to say that this was my favourite piece of
the evening. The tune brought tears to my eyes. It was very beautiful.
The rest of the evening
was more of the same - solid, excellent playing that was highly
entertaining. I was impressed as they switched instruments and played
well at anything they attempted. I enjoyed their step-dancing immensely.
Troy and Kendra have
several albums available. Kendra has put out three recordings: "Over the
Waves," "Clear the Track" and "Antigonish's Own." Troy has recorded two
albums: "Boomerang," and "Musical Ties." I would suggest that they would
all be well worth purchasing.
Both Troy and Kendra
have been the recipients of several awards over the past couple of
years. Kendra was the 2002 ECMA "Female Artist of the Year" and
"Instrumental Artist of the Year." Troy was the 2004 recipient of the "Auleen
Theriault Young Tradition Award" from the Goderich Celtic Roots
Festival. It is clear from their performance that they both have
embraced tradition and their roots in their musical journey and I look
forward to watching the rest of their careers. It will be memorable.
June 29, 2005
Musicians bring a
traditional sound to the stage
Vernon Morning Star - Vernon, BC
Kendra and Troy
MacGillivray will bring a little Celtic inspiration to the stage when
they perform at the Creekside Theatre July 11.
Celtic Fiddler Kendra MacGillivray is the 2002 ECMA Female Artist of the
Year and Instrumental Artist of the Year.
She has performed at festivals and events around the world.
From a square dance or Scottish concert in Cape Breton to a mainstage
performance at the Glengarry Highland Games or Harrison Festival of the
Arts to a corporate event in Japan or Barbados, MacGillivray plays the
music of her Scottish ancestors with energy and passion.
In the past year MacGillivray has performed with Phillip Glass and
Friends in concert at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Symphony Nova
Scotia in the Maritime Pops Series, Atlantic Scene Festival in Ottawa,
Villa Montalvo in California and was a featured performer in DRUM!, the
musical in Halifax.
She was also awarded the Young Almuna of the Year from her alma mater,
St.Francis Xavier University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of
Business Administration in 1995. MacGillivray has been a guest lecturer
at the university's business of music course because she has been
managing her own career up to the present.
Musically, she was influenced from the very beginning by her
grandfather's fiddle music. Hugh. A. MacDonald, a pioneer recording
artist and recipient of the ECMA Stompin' Tom Award and a Nova
Scotia Country Hall of Fame Induction. Although she was much too
young to learn fiddle tunes from him while he was living, she
danced to his music at every chance and his playing has inspired
the music she plays today.
MacGillivray started taking highland dance lessons at the age of six,
followed by classical piano lessons, fiddle lessons and then classical
violin lessons. She has three recordings, Over the Waves, Clear
the Track and Antigonish's Own.
She is currently in the process of selecting, arranging and composing
tunes for a new 2005 recording. At the same time she continues to
perform her most requested selections, ranging from lively jigs, to slow
airs and rousing sets of reels.
Troy MacGillivray's musical prowess can be attributed to an especially
rare combination of commitment and bloodline. By the age of six, he was
already impressing audiences with his step dancing skills. By 13 he was
teaching piano at the renowned Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and
Crafts in St. Anne's, Cape Breton. He has completed grade seven of the
Toronto Conservatory of Music for classical piano, has spent four
years in a stringed orchestra and has earned a Bachelor of Arts
degree with a major in music from St. Francis Xavier University.
Troy's two recordings, Boomerang and Musical Ties, both received ECMA
nominations as well as Music Industry Association of Nova Scotia
nominations. Musical Ties is a blend of contemporary and original
compositions with 200 year old melodies played on the piano and
fiddle. A collection of uplifting strathspeys, jigs and reels are
complied by the graceful presence of tow beautiful Gaelic airs. Troy is
joined on the recording by his parents and sisters as well as
other noteworthy performers such as John Allan Cameron, Gordie Sampson,
Dave MacIsaac and Tracey Dares. Boomerang is a demonstration of
the piano and fiddle played in the purist stylings.
2004 was a busy year
for Troy. At the age of 24 he was the recipient of the Auleen Theriault
Young Tradition Award from the Goderic Celtic Roots Festival in
Goderich, Ont. This award is given to an artist who shows outstanding
talent and love for traditional and roots music.
He also embarked on a tour impressive for an independent artist. The
tour started in Toronto, took him as far west as Victoria and Back east
to the Maritimes.
Other performance highlights include Celtic Connections 2004 in Glasgow,
the 2004 ECMAs, Celtic Colours International festival n Cape Breton.
Troy will perform along with sister Kendra, July 11 at the Creekside
Theatre in Lake Country. Tickets are $18 for adults, and $16 for
students and seniors.
Advance tickets are available from Lake Country Municipal Office or by
calling 250-766-9309. Tickets are also available at the door.
June 29, 2005
Brother and sister
act return to Lake Country for Celtic performance
Penticton Western News - Penticton, BC
Canadian Celtic performers
and siblings Kendra and Troy MacGillivray will return to the Okanagan
this year for a July 11 concert in Lake Country.
Blending Celtic fiddle and piano, the pair will perform at 7:30 p.m. at
the B.C. Creekside Theatre.
Kendra - who is the 2002 East Coast Music Awards (ECMA) Female and
Instrumental Artist of the Year - has played gigs around the world, from
the Glengarry Highland Games to corporate events in Japan and Barbados.
She was featured in a
CBS movie called Heart of a Stranger starring Jane Seymour and was a
presentor at the 2003 East Coast Music Awards.
Having managed her own music career, Kendra has been a guest lecturer at
her alma mater, St. Francis Xavier University, for its Business of Music
Kendra has released three recordings and is currently working on her
With a family of musicians, younger brother Troy began teaching piano at
Gaelic College of Celtic Art at age 13.
He has recorded two CDs and performed at Celtic Connections 2004 in
Glascow, the 2004 ECMAs and Edinburgh Fiddle Festival, to name a few.
Tickets for Kendra and Troy MacGillivray's July 11 show are available at
Lake Country Municipal Office by calling
(250)766-9309. Tickets will also be available at the door.
C.B. Ceilidh at
the Cohn to aid IWK
A Cape Breton Ceilidh in
support of the IWK Health Centre will be held at the Rebecca Cohn
Auditorium on Wednesday, April 6 at 8 p.m. The evening features a stellar
lineup of traditional talent, including composer/conducter Scott
Macmillan, David Greenberg, St. Peter's fiddler Dwayne Cote, New Waterford
pianist Doug MacPhee, Judique fiddler Glen Graham, Antigonish's Troy and
Kendra MacGillivray, Beolach's Mairi Rankin and guitarist Pat Gillis, with
special guests Sugartime, the vocal group remembered from the
Halifax-produced TV show Up Home Tonight.
Transplanted - Nova
Scotia’s award-winning fiddler Kendra MacGillivray
enjoying life on P.E.I.
By Sally Cole, The Guardian
It’s been an exciting
year for Kendra MacGillivray.
The ECMA award-winning
fiddler packed up her belongings and moved to Charlottetown this past
January, after marrying CBC Canada Now anchor Bruce Rainnie.
"We’re very happy
to be here," says MacGillivray.
The couple met at the Old
Triangle in Halifax in 2000, the night she released her CD, Over the
"Bruce came to
interview me. A few days later he called me back, asked me out...Isn’t
that incredible? We’ve been together ever since," says MacGillivray.
And while she’s
thrilled about starting a new life with her husband, she is equally
thrilled to be living in Charlottetown.
"I’m very happy to
be here. People love music here, especially the fiddle. So it’s nice to
know that I’ve come to a place that embraces the traditions and the
culture of the music, " says MacGillivray, who performed this week at
the Easter Seals telethon.
The talented musician
will be giving a fiddle workshop Saturday afternoon and performing at a
concert/dance the same night at the St. Pius X Hall, accompanied by
Kimberley Holmes on piano from 9 p.m. to midnight.
Part of moving to Prince
Edward Island involved moving her business here.
In Halifax and Antigonish,
she taught students and sold her CDs from her website.
And that’s what she
intends to do here.
"By having a
telephone and e-mail, you can pretty much live anywhere and do business,
as long as people can get to your website. The key is having good delivery
options," says the 2002 ECMA female artist of the year and
instrumental artist of the year.
Now that she’s planted
in red Island soil, the next step is starting fiddle lessons.
teaching for 15 years, so I’m looking forward to continuing that
tradition with new students on the Island.
"I am already
learning faces and names, just from the concerts that I have done here
over the last five years, " she says.
No stranger to P.E.I.,
MacGillivray performed at Indian River Festival, Victoria Playhouse and
three times at the Easter Seals telethon. Just before Christmas, she
played in the CBC, A Christmas Carol concert with Rainnie and Kevin
"That was quite the
experience," she says, with a laugh.
Marriage has had a
settling effect on her.
"It’s nice to have
a home base. It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve been in the
same place for longer than six weeks," says MacGillivray, who
recently travelled to Quebec to perform.
Antigonish, MacGillivray was influenced from the very beginning by her
grandfather’s fiddle music, Hugh A. MacDonald, a pioneer recording
artist and recipient of the ECMA Stompin’ Tom Award and a Nova Scotia
Country Hall of Fame Induction.
Although she was much too
young to learn fiddle tunes from him, she danced to his music at every
chance and his playing has inspired the music she plays today.
"My grandfather was
one of my greatest mentors. He and Colin Boyd from Antigonish were the
first two fiddlers to record Celtic fiddle music in Canada in 1935, 70
years ago," she says.
A more recent mentor is
on air personality Eric MacEwen, who hosts a syndicated radio show.
"Eric used to host a
radio program that was on the Antigonish radio station (CJFX) every Sunday
for two hours. He played lots of great musicians and that’s where I
became very fond of the music of Howie MacDonald and Winston Fitzgerald.
"Winston played a
lot of tunes that my grandfather, Hugh A. MacDonald, played, so I think he
could have been influenced by him," says MacGillivray, who also
considers John Allan Cameron and Rita MacNeil as mentors.
Businesswise, she is
inspired by Celtic performer Loreena McKennitt.
"She is self-managed
and treats her music like a business, which inspired me not only to be
self-managed but to book my own shows, publicize them and produce
them," she says.
Anyone interested in
registering in the fiddle workshop can call 367-5606.
For more information
about fiddle lessons go to