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Find Your Celtic Heart on Cape Breton Island

Step into a land that flings you into tradition and sends you reeling with every dance. Discover a place that pulls on your heartstrings with one hand and deftly plucks a fiddle with the other. Lose yourself in Highland mountain trails and find your way back by road signs written in a familiar tongue. The Scottish didn’t just settle here, they built a home out of the language, music, and dance that are so distinct to the Gaelic culture. Still looking for your Celtic heart? Find it on Cape Breton Island.

Stories about the Island, by Locals and Visitors

Celtic Heart of North America

Celtic Colours International Festival

Each October, Cape Breton Island comes alive with fiddle music and fall foliage. Discover hundreds of Celtic concerts, events, and activities scattered throughout our communities during this nine-day festival.

A green hill overlooking the ocean dotted with houses and a large church

Highland Village

Be captivated by the spirit of the Scottish Gaels at Baile nan Gàidheal. Part cultural centre, part living history museum, it’s the perfect place to learn the mother tongue and see tradition brought to life.

Colaisde na Gàidhlig | The Gaelic College 1

The Gaelic College

Colaisde na Gàidhlig is a champion of Gaelic culture dedicated to offering guests an immersive experience. Catch a concert, attend a ceilidh, join a class, or visit the Great Hall of Clans to get an inside look at the traditions of this region’s settlers.

Colaisde na Gàidhlig / The Gaelic College

Be sure to hop in on a traditional concert or céilidh at the Gaelic College every Wednesday from 12:15pm – 1pm & 7:30 – 9:00 pm!

  • Two circles of dancers hold hands

    Dancing

    Two feet and a heartbeat are all you need to enjoy a good ole fashioned ceilidh on Cape Breton Island. From the Highland Fling to a community square dance, find the Island’s rhythm between jigs and strathspeys.

  • A man plays bagpipes on stage for a room of people eating dinner

    Live Music

    One Musical Coast, an internationally-renowned music festival, and a giant fiddle—yeah, you could say music and Cape Breton Island go hand in hand. Experience it yourself from small halls to big stages.

  • Different coloured wool

    Arts & Crafts

    Celtic culture is not a spectator sport. It’s an open invitation to fully immerse yourself in the Celtic craft with both your hands and heart.

  • A smiling woman in period clothes speaks to two women

    Genealogy, History & Language

    Céad míle fáilte! Welcome to a place where weekly ceilidhs, milling frolics, and Gaelic road signs are the status quo.
    Find more than your Celtic heart—discover your roots. Explore the historical archives and genealogical records of Cape Breton Island’s many registered not-for-profit societies and museums dedicated to cultural research.

Go Gaelic

Celtic Colours International Festival

For nine days every October, our Island explodes with the world’s finest Celtic talent. Amidst the earth’s natural painting of vibrant fall colours, people visit the Island’s many communities for music, meals and learning.