World Routes In Canada


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Mary Ann Kennedy explores the rich folk traditions of Quebec at the annual Chants de Vielles Festival in the tiny village of Calixa La Vallée. Its main stage, set up in a barn, hosts a performance by star acapella group Les Charbonniers d'Enfer; Les Chauffeurs a Pied play for a barn dance; and trio Serre l'Ecoute lead the audience in some rousing anti-English songs from the eighteenth century.

The Chants de Vielles Festival takes place in the local village showground, and one of the tasks of festvial volunteers is to clear the main barn of 'dirt' to prepare for the concerts. Local people house the artists, put up the marquees and feed the festival-goers, but it's also an international event which attracts performers and audience from Europe as well as across North America. It's a festival where top performers mingle freely with amateurs, and there are improvised music sessions starting up throughout the day, and well into the night.

First broadcast in December 2011.

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Mary Ann Kennedy makes a musical tour of Canada's Cape Breton Island, where three distinct cultures are embraced in one community. She visits a session at the celebrated Red Shoe Pub, with music from the island's Celtic tradition of folk fiddling; some of the island's Scots Gaelic speakers sing traditional songs; there is music from the Mi'kmaq aboriginal people; and she joins in a kitchen party with some home-grown music from the island's French Acadians.

Featured artists include Glenn Graham, who also talks about Cape Breton's folk history; Chrissy Crowley, one of the young generation of folk fiddlers; singer Mary Jane Lamond, who invites the local Gaelic community to a 'milling frolic', a traditional Scots work-party with music; Beverley and Joel Denny, who sing in the Mi'kmaq village of Eskasoni; and French Acadians Celeste, Weldon and Delores Boudreau - none of whom are related.

First broadcast in December 2011.