Story by Meghan Lafferty
Calling all Celtic Ladies and Kilted Men!
Submerge yourself in Celtic culture this month at the Highland Storm!
What’s the Highland Storm you ask? It is a captivating and thrilling show that takes place at the College of Piping & Celtic Performing Arts of Canada in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. Visitors can expect to get caught up in a whirlwind of dancing, drumming, piping and much, much, more!
This year’s show is directed by the very talented Ryan MacNeil from the musical group, The Barra MacNeils. MacNeil’s production brings forth a dramatic force of musical energy that pumps through the body of his audience. When the members and cast of the Highland Storm take the stage, they demand attention, and rightfully so.
Even if you have attended the Highland Storm before, this year you can expect a completely new production. A cast, including the college’s students and staff oozing with world class talent, will present over 20 stunning scenes featuring original compositions and choreographies!
In addition to the Highland Storm, there are also mini concerts during the day, where you can see things such as drumming or bagpiping performances. However, let me warn you, although PEI only sees a few short months of summer, those months can get pretty hot. Try to dress for the weather, as most of these shows take place outside. Some shows will occur under tents that you can duck under for shade, but others will only be happening under the sun—in the hot, hot, heat.
In addition to wearing loose fitting clothing and bringing along your sunscreen, you may also want to bring a few extra dollars for the vendors! Yes ladies, there will be little vendors and gifts shops littered with cute, Celtic-cultured, gifts that you’ll love (and, trust me, your husband might not know it yet, but I bet that kilt would look dashing on him). There will also be food vendors with all sorts of goodies; such as hotdogs, burgers, drinks and sweets! I am told that these food vendors sell their goods for very reasonable prices, so dig in!
Now for the important part: tickets. Like the food vendors, tickets for these shows are all quite reasonably priced. The mini concerts are only five dollars and you can credit that money towards a ticket for the Highland Storm in the evening. And don’t forget to bring the kiddies along! All children 6 and under get into the daytime concerts (at 11:30 am, 1:30 and 3:30 pm) free of charge. (I don’t know if that’s enough reason to bring them along, but, hey, at least they aren’t costing you anything – for once.)
All tickets for the Highland Storm are under forty dollars; just $33 dollars for an adult pass, and for 5 dollars more, you can get yourself a VIP ticket, which will guarantee you a seat in the front row. (Tickets for youth under 16 are $22, for seniors are $28, and free for babes in arms or tots still young enough to sit on their caregivers/parents' knee).
These shows are all first come, first serve; so you’ll want to get there early to make sure you get the seat you want.
These shows will be happening throughout the week, all month along. Gather up the family, jump in the car, and head for an exciting experience that will have you clapping and toe tapping straight through ‘til the evening. After a long day at one of these events, you can relax under the beer tent with some bubbly brew. Who knew such fun could be found in Summerside, PEI?
The Mary Ellen Burns Amphitheatre
The College of Piping & Celtic Performing Arts of Canada (Summerside)
August 12 – 14 (7:30 pm)
August 19 – 21 (7:30 pm)
August 26 – 29 (7:30 pm)
For more information on daytime concerts, visit:
Meghan Lafferty is a creative writer, born and bred in Charlottetown, PEI, who spends her days writing and discussing story ideas with her cat, Sailor Soupie.