24 COBURG ST, Saint John, NB
A Full Weekend of Celtic Music, Dance, and Culture!
The Festival Story
There are annual festivals of traditional Celtic music in various locations around the Maritimes, but ironically, until recently there has not been one here - in Saint John - "Canada's Most Irish City." So in the fall of 2014, Saint John branch Comhaltas members, Adam McIntyre and Eileen Costigan decided to change that, adding Saint John as a destination for those looking for traditional Celtic workshops in music, dance and camaraderie. James Patrick Collins was a young Irish doctor who tended the sick on Partridge Island until he died there himself. This fact is not a common one amongst New Brunswicker's so as a homage to his work, his name was chosen for this new festival.
The first JP Collins festival was a great success - several well-attended musical instrument and dance workshops were presented and an evening ceili was the highlight. The 2nd festival was held in the award winning venue, The Sanctuary Theatre, again in uptown Saint John, but we found as our festival gained more popularity we needed an even larger venue the following year!
In 2017 with the festival in it's 3rd year, we invited the multi-award-winning Celtic/Acadian group, VISHTEN, to entertain us and lead many of our workshops - the most well-attended yet!
This, along with our new venue, The Kent Theatre complex, The JP Collins Celtic Festival was able to increase the level of Celtic Cultural awareness in our community and beyond.
In 2018, we are going back to our Irish roots by introducing 'Clan Hannigan' to Saint John. Adding to the excitement, we are pleased to introduce a new Irish/New Brunswick band, 'Ceangal', for your entertainment. Both groups will be featured on Friday, May 4 in concert. Saturday & Sunday, May 5 & 6 we are offering 2 full days of workshops in a variety of musical instruments, demonstrations, Irish language, dance styles, cultural events, children's activities and an all-ages Ceili - always the highlight of the festival! We are extremely proud in 2018 to introduce our newest cultural event - POETRY OUT LOUD. This writing competition is being offered to children from grades 3-12 in the Saint John area - giving them a chance to explore their Irish heritage and an opportunity for the finalists to perform at our All-Ages Ceili! Prizes will be awarded.
Please join us for what we believe will be the most exciting JP Collins Festival to date. Explore our website, ask questions on our CONTACT page, and make your travel plans to join us in Saint John, NB from May 4-6, 2018!