Enjoy traditional Cape Breton fiddle music, song and dance

Welcome to our "Ceilidh". The Gaelic word, pronounced "kay-lee", for a gathering of people.

As a fan of Cape Breton music long before it gained fame internationally, I knew exactly what to do when tiny St. Michael's Hall in Baddeck became available. I would see to it that the location would be used to promote the music and the musicians that make Cape Breton Island and its music unique.

The village of Baddeck springs to life each summer when tourists and summer residents come to experience the beauty and to enjoy the culture in an area that holds tight to its Scottish roots.

In 1999, with the encouragement of like-minded friends, and with a lot of trepidation, I rented the hall. Then I found local up-and-coming musicians and hired them to perform. Established musician friends often dropped by to entertain as well. The Baddeck Gathering Ceilidh was an immediate success.

A ceilidh is a kitchen party where everyone is welcome to perform if they wish. From the very beginning, teachers and students from the nearby Gaelic College dropped by to play the fiddle or the bagpipes, to dance or to tell stories. Visitors from as far away as Australia have come back night after night to enjoy the music and to perform. Tourists who never thought they could, have found themselves mastering the art of the square dance or sharing a particular talent with the audience.

The name "The Baddeck Gathering" Ceilidh came from a popular fiddle tune of the same name that was recorded by many Cape Breton musicians including Winston Fitzgerald, Howie MacDonald, Johnnie Wilmot and the late Charlie MacCuspic to whose memory the Baddeck Gathering Ceilidh is dedicated.