Festival Workshops 2019

     Acoustic Roots Festival - Workshops


Hosted by: Acoustic Roots Festival and Two Rivers Wildlife Park

Venue: Acoustic Roots Festival, on the grounds of Two Rivers Wildlife Park located
 on the banks of Cape Breton's picturesque Mira River - just 28 km outside of Sydney at 4581 Grand Mira North Road, Huntingtion, NS

Fiddle workshops will be held on the mornings of September 1st  at following times:  10 -11am  beginners, 11am - noon am intermediate/advanced  

Songwriters workshop will be held September 1st beginning at 10 am

Guitar workshop will be held August 31st beginning at 10 am

Workshop Registration: 

Please fill-out a registration form found HERE and email to tworivers@seasidehighspeed.com or call Two Rivers Wildlife Park at (902)727-3153.

Payment options include credit card over the phone, PayPal, or mail cheque to:
Two Rivers Wildlife Park
4581 Grand Mira North Road
Marion Bridge, Nova Scotia
PO BOX 6270     B1K 3T8


Acoustic Roots Workshops

Guitar Workshop Aug 31st


James MacLean

Hailing from East Lake Ainslie, Cape Breton, James MacLean has been playing music for over 15 years. He started from a young age taking piano lessons from the late Marianne Jewell, but then migrated towards guitar. It was in his late teens when he began lessons with Cape Breton guitarist, Brian Doyle, that his love for traditional Cape Breton music began to blossom. After high school, James decided to pursue a degree in music, and under the tutelage of Scott MacMillan, earned his Bachelor of Music from Dalhousie University in 2015. James recently released his debut self titled album with the help from The Frank “Big Sampie” Sampson award. His new album is comprised of all traditional Cape Breton music played on a flat picked guitar and is accompanied by some of Cape Bretons finest musicians such as Mac Morin, Patrick Gillis, Kenneth MacKenzie and his aunt Karen Beaton.

Fiddle Workshop Sept 1st


Colin Grant

Hard-driving but clean, lively and passionate, traditional yet original; Colin Grant’s fiddle playing has stepped to the forefront of the East Coast traditional music scene. Although most at home with traditional Cape Breton fiddle music, his versatility as both a lead and side musician has given him experiences in a variety of traditional styles, in addition to folk, rock and country genres. Besides having received an ECMA nomination for Roots / Traditional Solo Album of the Year for his self-titled debut album, Grant  has preformed  with contemporary Celtic instrumental group Sprag Session and is a former member of the band Còig. Colin has  performed at festivals in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and Tasmania. He maintains a busy recording and  performance schedule .
The year 2014   brought exciting new collaborations with composers Scott Macmillan and Mary Ann Kennedy (UK) for ‘Aiseag’ (The Ferryboat) project, one of twenty commissions for the first UK-wide 2014 New Music Biennial Celebrations. Other highlights have included the release of Còig’s debut album and in 2016 Colin and Scott Macmillan release their new CD " GOOD2GO"

Beginners :
For players with no experience to those with a few  tunes  in their repertoire and who learn by ear easily and want instruction on advanced techniques
Intermediate/ Advanced :
For fiddle players with basic competency of the fiddle, including techniques. Also a good observer's workshop for players of other instruments interested.

Songwriters Workshop  Sept 1st 

 An introduction to  song forms, melodies, the interaction and use of rhythm, harmony and lyric writing.

Jason MacDonald
Jason has released three full length CDs of original material since 2002.Jason has performed at several festivals  during his music career  such as, the Milwaukee Irish Festival, Celtic Colours International Festival, Maritime Acoustic Festival and Acoustic Roots Festival  to name a few. Jason has been recognized for his song writing by receiving Top Honours in the Indie International Songwriters Contest plus an Independent Singer-Songwriter Assoc. nomination. Jason has showcased at Nova Scotia Music Week, the East Coast Music Awards and the Canadian Country Music Awards.

Catherine MacLellan

Catherine MacLellan has become one of Canada’s finest and favourite singer-songwriters on her own merits. She’s kept away from the media circus and celebrity scene, preferring to live at home in rural P.E.I. She’s worked diligently at her craft, releasing a series of remarkable, creative albums, culminating in the Juno Award-winning The Raven’s Sun from 2014, to go along with multiple East Coast Music Awards, Canadian Folk Music Awards, and Music PEI Awards. 

Laura Smith

A singer-songwriter with four, full-length recordings, Laura has lived and worked in Nova Scotia since August of 1984.Her 1989 debut album, Laura Smith, was recorded after her demo was chosen from those submitted to the Variety Recordings competition at CBC in 1988. It opened the doors into the world of concertizing. After being selected for a Canada Council maintenance grant to continue composing in 1990, she began work on a second album, B’tween The Earth and My Soul. It was released in 1995 and garnered two East Coast Music Awards for Album of the Year and Female artist of the Year . She was also nominated for a Juno Award in 1997 her third album, It’s A Personal Thing, received seven nominations for East Coast Music Awards. A series of debilitating injuries curtailed my ability to compose, perform or record until she was able to release her first recording in 16 years, Everything Is Moving, on Canada’s premier folk music label, Borealis Records. She co-produced this record with the uber-talented Paul Mills at his studio, The Millstream. . http://www.laurasmithmusic.com/