HISTORY

The Goderich Celtic Roots Festival is an annual celebration of the music, craft, and culture of the seven Celtic nations, immigrants of which form a strong historic background to Huron County. From a single memorial concert held in 1993 to honour the life of a local teacher, the Celtic Roots Festival has grown to include a week-long school of music, dance and craft art for children and adults, known as the Celtic College, and a parallel school for children called the Celtic Kids Camp, a series of rural outreach mini-concerts, and a three-day traditional outdoor festival held in beautiful Lions' Harbour Park on the shores of Lake Huron, in Goderich, Ontario, Canada. 

The mandate of the Goderich Celtic Folk Society, our parent organization and a CRA registered charitable organization, is to produce events which foster awareness, participation, and education in the world of traditional Celtic culture. 

 


 

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

The Celtic Roots Festival is a three-day outdoor festival showcasing the world's best of Celtic music, dance, and art all in the beautiful setting of Goderich, Ontario.  With five stages, varying from small intimate performances to the high-powered Main Stage, the Festival is a unique musical experience in Canada and on the world-wide stage. Fresh local food, high-quality craft artisans, art demonstrations, children's activity area, an evening market – and over 60 hours of live music – make this an unmissable weekend in Goderich.  A visit to the Festival is also a great way to experience Goderich, "the prettiest town in Canada", with the stunning beaches of Lake Huron and downtown shopping all within minutes' walk of the park.

"Goderich is a town of spacious avenues, haunting generosity, wide smiles and open doors ... come walk the walk at the friendly festival." ~ Irish Music Magazine

"Quite simply, the best folk festival on the planet." ~ Discover Magazine

 


 

ABOUT THE COLLEGE

The Celtic College is a four-day immersive event the week before the Celtic Festival that teaches the ins and outs of many types of Celtic music, dance, and craft art, taught by the artists who will be appearing at the Festival on the weekend.  There are four 80 minute classes per day, which repeat throughout the week.  For example, you will have the same class from 9:00 to 10:20 every day.  Classes cover a broad range of instruments, styles, focuses, artistic mediums, and levels of experience: anything from beginner fiddle tunes to advanced Irish harp technique, from ceilidh dancing to Ontario step dance, or from blacksmithing to illuminated letters, and everything in between.

A college student’s day might look like this:

1) 9:00-10:20 - Scottish Song

2) 10:40-12:00 - Advanced Cape Breton Fiddle Style

LUNCH 12:00-1:30 - at the College or at a local restaurant

3) 1:30-2:50 - Irish Ensemble

4) 3:10-4:30 - Quebec Style Dance

In the evenings, the experience goes on to include evening teacher concerts in the town square, and everyone can put their skills to practice at the ceilidh dances and sessions that often run into the night at local venues.  The week wraps up with a Celtic College Showcase at the Festival on Friday afternoon, which kicks off the weekend!

 


 

KIDS CAMP

The Celtic Kids Day Camp runs Monday to Friday morning.  Like the College, it concludes on Friday afternoon with a Showcase at the Festival, where the kids show off their new skills to their parents and guardians.  The camp is divided into three age groups: 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12.  There are eight 40 minute classes per day, which include tin whistle, song, drama, rhythm, dance, art, and recreation, with options for students aged 7-12 to take classes on different instruments, which could include harp, fiddle, guitar, or ukulele.*  

A day at the Kids Camp might look like this:

1) 9:00-9:40 - Drama or Harp

2) 9:40-10:20 - Dance

RECESS 10:20-10:40

3) 10:40-11:20 - Recreation or Fiddle

4) 11:20-12:00 - Rhythm or Ukulele

LUNCH 12:00-1:30 - students can bring a packed lunch or parents can come pick them up.

5) 1:30-2:10 - Drama

6) 2:10-2:50 - Tin Whistle or Guitar

RECESS 2:50-3:10

7) 3:10-3:50 - Song or Harp

8) 3:50-4:30 - Art

*Tin whistles are provided and harps are available to borrow, but students taking fiddle, guitar, or ukulele classes must bring their own instruments.