CARTHAGE — Crossroads International Celtic Festival in collaboration with the Festival of Small Halls will present a promotional tour in the region as part of a cultural exchange between Maine and the Maritimes at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center in South Carthage on Wednesday April 30, and at Phillips Area Community Center in Phillips Me on Thursday, May 1. The Skye event will be an expanded three part mega-show featuring Richard Wood and Gordon Belsher; Cynthia MacLeod and Caroline Bernard; and Maine’s Gawler Sisters with Bennett Konesni. Curtain is  7 p.m.  at both locations. A pre-show jam session will start one  hour prior to curtain at Skye.

Crossroads founder Phill McIntyre has been working with the Festival of Small Halls in Prince Edward Island, Ca. over the past five years and now the two festivals have agreed to join forces as sister festivals and exchange artists at each others events. The Gawler Sisters will be traveling to PEI in June to perform at Small Halls representing Crossroads and Small Halls is in the process of selecting a group to come to Crossroads in September to represent them. McIntyre has made several trips to PEI over the past couple of years at the invitation of Music PEI and the East Coast Music Association. He attended the ECMA’s in Charlottetown the first weekend in April and was able to complete the collaboration at that time. “The shows will be a taste of both festivals and will be making several stops in New England and three in Maine including Calais at the start of the tour,” said McIntyre,

Featured are the legendary Celtic fiddler Richard Wood, who has impressed audiences all across Canada, as well as in the U.S., Europe and Japan. Highlights include TV guest appearances with Shania Twain on “David Letterman” and “Good Morning America,” Carnegie Hall with Irish legends The Chieftains, a featured performer on CBC’s Canada Day on Parliament Hill, “Rita MacNeil and Friends,” and with Jean Butler of Riverdance on “Celtic Electric.” With him is veteran sideman, singer/songwriter, Gordon Belsher (artistic director for Small Halls) who just received PEI’s highest musical honor the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Music PEI in January.

Also on the bill is one of PEI’s most gifted fiddlers Cynthia MacLeod. From her home base on Prince Edward Island,  MacLeod has built an international reputation that has taken her around the world. It’s a reputation founded in raw talent, nurtured by boundless energy, and polished to a gleaming finish by a rigorous touring schedule. Performing with Cynthia will be Acadian songwriter/keyboard player Caroline Bernard. Bernard transitioned to a professional music career performing with Acadian groups DBS, Chiquésa and Les Girls. She then toured internationally as a multi-instrumentalist and lead singer with folk-trad group “Gadelle”

Maine’s entry to the performance at Skye Theatre will be The Gawler Sisters with Bennett Konesni. Fun-loving, folk-singing, fiddle-playing sisters, Molly, Edith, and Elsie, bring beautiful songs and stories from their roots in the heart of Maine. Their extensive collection of tunes in the Scots-Irish, Franco-American and Scandinavian traditions is complemented by angelic three-part-harmony, gutsy work songs, folk-blues, and amusing odes to everyday life.

Additionally, Music PEI is being represented by PEI Fiddle Camp founder Ward MacDonald who is presenting workshops and performance at Skye Theatre on April 26 and 27, as well as other stops such as Acoustic Artisans in Portland.

Skye Theater is located 3 miles West of East Dixfield village at 9 Highland Drive off Winter Hill Rd and Route  2 in South Carthage. Phillips ACC is at 21 Depot St., Phillips. Ticket price is $20 at Skye Theatre and $15 in Phillips. For reservations (strongly recommended) at Skye Theatre call 207-562-4445, for Phillips ACC tickets are at the door. More information is available at:

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