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Festivals & Events

Here, music and laughter are always on tap. You’ll find it in the in the weekly Ceilidhs of our small communities. In the year round festivals that celebrate our culture and coastal seasons. In the live shows and song writer’s circles of our neighbourhood pubs. Attend one of the Baddeck Gathering Ceilish’s, watch a hilarious and musical performance with the Cape Breton Summertime Revue, or get moving by taking part in the Capes 100 race. Wherever you go, you’ll find unique experiences that celebrate our heritage and lifestyle.

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Please Note

Due to the gathering limits in response to reducing the spread of COVID-19, a number of festival & events have been cancelled. We encourage you visit specific event websites for updates.

Upcoming Events

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We encourage you to explore the many types of festivals & events
that our island has to offer when the time is right.

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    Must See Events

    Our Island is a place that needs to be embraced by all your senses to truly be understood. So come experience our coastal charm on full display in the signature culinary, musical, cultural events, and festivals that we’re known for.

  • A man and woman playing the fiddle

    Ceilidhs & Kitchen Parties

    It simply means social visit, but here, the Ceilidh is a perennial way of life. It’s a weekly family square dance. A community gathering full of food and music. A rousing kitchen party to warm the heart and body after a chilly winter’s day. A way to connect with our culture and heritage. Feel the rhythm of our Island through the pulse of music and warmth of our communities.  Your trip to Island would not be complete with taking in a Cape Breton ceilidh or a Kitchen Party! Experience celtic music like never before with one of these events and understand why we’ve been coined as Canada’s Musical Coast.

  • Festivals & Events

    Performing Arts & Culture

    Arts and culture don’t have an off-season here. From winter jam sessions along Canada’s Musical Coast and to sizzling summer festivals and Acadian celebrations along the Cabot Trail, you’ll inviting events across Cape Breton Island throughout the year. From winter jam sessions to sizzling summer festivals, you’ll discover culture doesn’t have an off-season here. Enjoy music and comedy productions live and experience the rich art and culture that exists across the Island.

  • A woman plays guitar onstage


    History, heritage, community—there’s always a reason to celebrate on our Island. You won’t have to travel far to find a fun festival, but with so many of them all year, you’re definitely going to want to.

  • Two pints of beer and a bowl of mussels

    Food & Drink

    A foodie heaven? More like a culinary cloud nine. The culinary scene on Cape Breton Island is truly unlike anything you have experienced and luckily, tasting your way around our Island has never been easier. Follow the Nova Scotia Chowder Trail to a famous lunch ceilidh. Plan your trip around a Highland lobster supper. Experience world-class shellfish, locally grown ingredients, and award-winning sips that connect our heritage to our land. Come for the leaves, but stay for the Celtic Oktoberfest.

  • An art installation of a large violin statue in front of a theatre


    Like the routes, trails, and waterways that bisect our Island, music connects our communities and cultures. Internationally renowned festivals. Weekly jam sessions. Time honoured traditions and ancient rituals. Hear our spirit in each fiddle reel, bagpipe biri, and drum beat.

  • Girls and boys in blue dance in front of a lighthouse


    Pay ode to the Island’s coal mining history with food, fun, and festivities. Discover the roots of our Acadian communities by guided hike. Run head-on into history though a 300-year-old fortress. Our heritage is easy to learn, but even more fun to live with each event.

  • aerial view of a festival in a green valley

    Community Events

    Over 100 communities. Hundreds of days a year to celebrate. From seasonal festivals and annual sporting tournaments to weekly dances, discover each pocket of our Island with our unique selection of community events.

Illustrated map of Cape Breton Island

Easy to Find. Hard to Leave.

There are direct flights to Sydney from Toronto and Montreal and from other North American and European cities via Halifax. If traveling by ground, the Trans-Canada Highway 104 leads to Cape Breton Island.

Getting Here and Around