Skip to main content

Smokey Sessions - Songwriters' Circle

38696 Cabot Trail, Ingonish

902-517-0371



Smokey Sessions - Songwriters' CircleCape Smokey presents a marquee musical event this summer.

Smokey Sessions Songwriters’ Circle: Gordie Sampson & Jimmy Rankin, Dave Sampson and Breagh Isabel.  The first of the three concerts in the Smokey Sessions series, on Friday, July 29, is shaping up to be the biggest concert in Ingonish history.
All tickets including gondola rides.

All ages show.  Rain or shine.  Concert ticket includes a gondola ride day of the show between 10am – 6pm.  Return bus from Sydney to Cape Smokey can also be purchased here.  Please show emailed proof of purchase at gate to redeem for your concert wrist bands.

General Admission/Lawn Tickets $65 +HST
Please bring your own blanket, cushions or low chairs- please note lawn concert seating is on the hill so it will be a sloped service

VIP Tables (up to 6 people) $999+HST 
-includes complimentary appetizers (choice of local Cape North Mussels & Hand cut fries or beef sliders and fries*), access to VIP hospitality tent, VIP bar, indoor washrooms
*vegetarian substitution requests must be made one week in advance and emailed to [email protected]

Platinum Seating Front Row Adirondack Chairs $200 +HST
-includes complimentary appetizers (choice of local Cape North Mussels & Hand cut fries or beef sliders and fries*), access to VIP hospitality tent, VIP bar, indoor washrooms
*vegetarian substitution requests must be made 1 week in advance and emailed to [email protected]

Cape Smokey presents a marquee musical event this summer.  Smokey Sessions Songwriters’ Circle: Gordie Sampson & Jimmy Rankin, Dave Sampson and Breagh Isabel.  The first of the three concerts in the Smokey Sessions series, on Friday, July 29, is shaping up to be the biggest concert in Ingonish history.

Songs will shine with this all-Cape Breton lineup of iconic songwriters. Gordie Sampson and Jimmy Rankin will headline the show, joined by Breagh Isabel and Dave Sampson representing the next generation of Cape Breton song-writing powerhouses for the ultimate Cape Breton Songwriters Circle.

Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter and producer Gordie Sampson, who is no stranger to the Ingonish area having run his Songcamp program from 2010–2019, a retreat that gave young songwriters the opportunity to develop their skills and build relationships with their peers, has many great memories and songs that were born in Ingonish. In fact, Dave and Breagh were just budding songwriters when they first attended the camp in the early days.  Dave attended every year and Breagh even came back to help as mentors later on. A brilliant writer, an innovative producer, a dynamic on-stage presence, and a mentor to emerging writers, Gordie’s musical genius will be on full display.

Fan favourite Jimmy Rankin, who wrote Cape Breton’s unofficial anthem “Mull River Shuffle”, joins the circle with a career that boasts multi-platinum sales and numerous industry awards for his work with The Rankin Family, as well as his five critically-acclaimed solo records. Jimmy has recently moved back to Nova Scotia from Nashville and has released his first album in four years, Moving East, a pure, East Coast homecoming album that guarantees to “bring the party to the kitchen”.

Sydney-native Breagh Isabel has recently won ECMA Song of the Year for her debut single, “Girlfriends”, a pop-leaning coming-of-age story. She has the kind of voice that stops you in your tracks and draws you in with her melodious tone and seemingly effortless delivery of heart-breaking lyrics.

Dave Sampson, who also comes from Sydney, is known for his heart-on-your-sleeve songs, delivered with a captivating and authentic voice that could blow down a brick house. His knack for crafting simple ear-worms and his high-energy shows have been winning him fans across Canada. His song “No Pressure” went gold in 2016 after hitting the Billboard charts by way of his collaboration with hip-hop artist Classified, which also featured a vocal contribution by Snoop Dog. The song won ECMA Song of the Year in 2017 and his most recent single and video, “All My Friends”, has turned into a viral hit.

The opening act will be rock singer-songwriter and four-time Music Nova Scotia award winner Carmen Townsend. Carmen has toured Canada with rock legends Heart and also shared the stage with INXS.

The night will close with an after-party jam performance by the Brian Cathcart Trio that features three members of the well-known local band Pretty Archie. They will be showcasing a genre-bending mix of folk, bluegrass, country, and rock—all underpinned by their East Coast roots which results in a relentlessly hooky set of high-energy songs.

The concert is outdoors, rain or shine.
The show starts at 7pm. Be sure to come early because the ticket will also get you a ride on the gondola to take in the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Highlands before heading down for a night of Cape Breton music that will be one for the books!

Gates open at 6pm; Gondola running 10am – 6pm.  There will be a return bus service from Sydney to Ingonish which can be purchased with Concert Tickets.

Related Stories