Throughout the week of the Antigonish Highland Games, there is no lack of musical talent! Check out our event schedule to see the various concerts and ceilidhs happening! 

Here, we will feature our enterainment for the on-field events such as the Concert Under the Stars, Saturday Afternoon Ceilidh Tent, Saturday Night Ceilidh Tent and Sunday Closing Ceilidh Tent!

We are excited to announce the addition of a Celtic Comedy Show on Friday, July 12th! This year we will welcome local legend Darryl Purvis for some great laughs and stories of his life as a comedian, a highlander, and a resident of Antigonish.

Stay tuned as we announced the performers who will grace the stage at the Antigonish Highland Games! 

2024 – Concert Under the Stars Lineup

Anna Ludlow

Anna Ludlow hails from Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and has been rocking the Canadian Celtic and folk scene for the past two decades. Entertaining with her fiddle and vocals, she captivates audiences, giving a true kitchen party experience. Having collaborated with some of Canada’s most renowned artists, lead her to become the principal fiddler for the Juno nominated critically acclaimed production DRUM, and In 2018 she became the inaugural fiddle player for the hit and Tony award-winning show ‘COME FROM AWAY’. Outside of theatre work Anna is influenced by her working-class Celtic ancestry, and fuses the traditional Cape Breton music of the Scottish Gàidhealtachd with a modern percussive vibe. With over 8 multi-award nominations, multiple performances on The Marilyn Denis Show, a feature on Bell Fibe TV featuring her original music you won’t want to miss her perform. She is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and song-writer and uses her dynamic performances to give listeners a modern taste of history and culture. You can also find her touring and recording with multiple bands across Canada.

Heather MacIsaac

Heather MacIsaac of Antigonish began piano lessons at the age of 5. At 12, after following in the Highland dancing footsteps of her sisters, she turned her attention to bagpipes.  It was then that music became a major influence in her life.  She has been privileged to be able to study with some of the world’s top pipers. By 16 she had won many of the amateur prizes, began teaching and joined the Grade 1 pipe band in Halifax. While completing degrees at both St.FXU and Dalhousie, she continued to play with the 78th Highlanders Halifax-based band including competing in the final at the World Pipe Band Championships and winning the North American Championships.  She is currently taking a break from competitive piping to explore different styles of traditional music and composition.  In addition to being a piper, she also plays whistles, accordion, small-pipes, piano and sings. MacIsaac works as a pharmacist at the local hospital and plays at local concerts, sessions, and events


Bill & John Pellerin

Bill and John Pellerin are brothers who were born and raised in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Bill started dancing at six years of age and John at four. They were instructed by Margaret Dunn, the late Rev. Angus MacDonnell, Ellen MacPherson and Gary (MacPherson) Fiddler. John began playing fiddle at the age of ten under the direction of Stan Chapman. Bill and John acquired a great wealth of music through family. Their father Kenneth is a fiddle player who has played for dances for years in the Antigonish area. Their roots go deep in Cape Breton tradition as well. Their grandmother on their mother’s side is a Beaton from the Mabou Coal Mines. Dancing and fiddling has brought both Bill and John throughout Canada, USA and Ireland. Both have had the opportunity to demonstrate fiddle and dance alongside Buddy MacMaster, Winnie Chafe, the late John Morris Rankin, Natalie MacMaster, and Ashley MacIsaac, among others.

Dara Smith MacDonald

Dara Smith-MacDonald, born and raised in Antigonish, has been playing the fiddle for more than 20 years and now resides in Port Hawkesbury. With family roots in Inverness, she very quickly began to develop a style that is strong, lively and traditional. Dara has played for concerts, ceilidhs, and dances throughout Cape Breton, mainland Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Ontario and the USA. She has performed at the Antigonish Highland Games, the Acoustic Roots Festival, Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival, KitchenFest!, and Celtic Colours. In the summer of 2019, she traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland to perform in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo with the fiddle group Hjaltibonhoga based out of Shetland. For the past 16 years, she has been teaching fiddle at Colaisde na Gàidhlig / the Gaelic College and to students in her home and around the world via Skype. Dara is a musical director and a member of the Board of Directors with the Cape Breton Fiddlers’ Association with whom she has traveled to Boston and to Maxville, Ontario. Dara can often be found on stage with Adam Young, a sought-after piano player from Marion Bridge. Dara and Adam released their first CD together, The Lake Sessions, in June of 2017 and released their second album, Island, along with Brent Chaisson, in the summer of 2019. Together they were nominated for the 2018 Music Nova Scotia, Traditional Roots Recording of the Year award for The Lake Sessions and in 2019 for Island.

Junior Fraser

Junior Fraser is a guitarist who grew up in Ohio, Antigonish County and now lives in Pomquet, Antigonish County. He started playing guitar at the age of 14, learning by ear, and hasn’t stopped since. He’s a regular on the concert and ceilidh scene in both Antigonish and Cape Breton performing alongside many musicians over the years.

MacLeod School of Highland Dance

A collection of incredible dancers from the MacLeod School of Highland Dance performing several traditional dances.

St. Ninian Cathedral Choir

Coming off their tremendous show at the Cathedral’s 150th Anniversary Concert, the beauty, harmony, and sheer magnitude of their voices is sure to move you and leave you feeling swept off your feet!

Mary Beth Carty

Accordionist, guitarist, and player of pocket-sized instruments, Mary Beth Carty of Lanark, Antigonish County, possesses a magical voice and a stage-presence known to rouse audiences to sing and dance along. Her new album Crossing the Causeway reached No. 1 on the Folk DJ-L radioplay chart. It fuses traditional song, instrumental tunes, & songwriting to create a multilingual tour-de-force that reflects the diverse yet unified roots of Eastern Nova Scotia. Her debut solo album, Les biens-nommés, earned an ECMA nomination and for her duo album Voici… Bette & Wallet she was nominated Traditional Singer of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. With a unique live show that is itself a journey of emotions, times, & places, she has had the opportunity to tour in North America, Europe, and Africa. “She got the crowd singing along. It was something else!” – Bill Roach, CBC Radio.

Maureen Fraser School of Dance

Antigonish County native, Maureen Fraser, has been step-dancing most of her life. She began taking lessons from Margie Dunn, in early childhood and continues to attend seminars and workshops to this day. She has danced at various concerts and festivals throughout the Maritimes including the Broad Cove Concert and the Celtic Colours Festival. She’s appeared on ASN-TV’s Breakfast Television, has adjudicated step dancing festivals in PEI and was the director of the Antigonish Highland Games “Concert Under the Stars” for over six years.  Maureen has been teaching dance for over 30 years and has performed in, and choreographed for, local theatre productions, including “Music of the Night” and “Women of Antigonish”. Maureen currently resides in Antigonish where she runs her dance school, “The Maureen Fraser School of Dance” as well as her dance supply store.

Natasha MacKinnon, Lisa Colton, Haley Van de Weil, and Katie McKenna, Ships of 1801 Productions

A select group of the performers from Ships of 1801 Productions performing a number of classic celtic songs, as well as originals from their most recent production, “Home from the Boston States”!

Marion Dewar

A pianist with a resume that spans decades and includes performances with some of the best fiddlers, pipers, and dancers that Nova Scotia has ever produced! Marion’s steady timing and seamless play is sure to get your toes tapping.

Keppoch Tenors

The individual members of the Keppoch Tenors featuring Peter Rawding, Lewis MacDonald, Bill Murphy and Grayson Hudson all have vast experience with either solo performances or singing with others at various community events. However it was not until five years ago during a production of The Keppoch Wake that they got together and it was exactly the harmonized sound the production team was looking for.

Since becoming the Keppoch Tenors they have performed in four more Keppoch shows and will return again this year in the Bochans and a Birthday production. Accompanying the Tenors will be Gerald Benoit on guitar who also has many performances to his credit both as a solo artist and a band member.

Antigonish Highland Games: Highland Dance

Smith School of Highland Dance

A collection of incredible dancers from the Smith School of Highland Dance performing several traditional dances.

July 12th, 2024 – Celtic Comedy Night

Darryl Purvis

Darryl originally hailed from Antigonish, Nova Scotia, but his audience has grown far and wide! After graduating from St.FX,  Darryl moved to Toronto, called Yuk Yuks and went to an amateur night. The rest, as they say, is history. Since then, Darryl has recorded a television special, performed across North America, in the UK, even in Iceland. Fresh off a UK tour, Darryl is going to leave the ceilidh tent in stitches!

Dan Hendricken

Originally hailing from PEI, Dan Hendricken is one of the top comics from the Maritimes. He cut his teeth in comedy at the Yuk Yuk’s Club in Halifax and in just a few short years was featured on CBC TV as part of the Halifax Comedy Festival. Dan has since gone on to tour all over the country as a headlining comic, even performing at the flagship Yuk Yuk’s in downtown Toronto. Dan has been seen on CBC TV and heard on CBC Radio (with CBC’s LOL) and has performed at the Halifax Comedy Festival and Hubcap Comedy Festival. Fans find Dan charming and hilarious. He draws the attention of every audience he performs in front of with his charm and likeability, keeping them laughing and entertained the whole time.

Clare Belford

Clare Belford is a comedian and a very nice person. Born and raised in the most blue collar parts of oil-country Alberta, she cut her teeth early on by forcibly telling deeply personal jokes about womanhood to drunk tradesmen. Nowadays she is a veritable fixture of Canadian comedy.

Clare has performed at festivals including Just For Laughs, the New York Comedy Festival, the Halifax Comedy Festival and she appears on CBC’s New Wave of Stand Up. She writes for This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and her debut album, The Entire Cabbage, plays regularly on SiriusXM and was named one of the Best of 2021 by Bullseye on NPR.


July 13th, 2024 – Saturday Afternoon Ceilidh Tent

Dawn Beaton

Dawn hails from Mabou, Cape Breton and has been playing fiddle, and step dancing for over 30 years. As a passionate advocate and supporter of the arts, it comes as no surprise that music has been at the forefront of her life, surrounded by it through an infusion from her parents, her relatives, and living in the vibrant community of Mabou. Her long standing involvement as both a Cape Breton Gaelic style fiddler and step dancer, and as Artistic Director of the Celtic Colours International Festival are proof of that. She credits many influences on her playing, but cites Natalie MacMaster, Stan Chapman and Fr. Angus Morris as having the greatest impact through their playing and teaching. Dawn is often seen performing alongside musical sister, Margie. Together they have performed and taught in various corners of the world, together or with fellow musical friends Kenenth MacKenzie and Jason Roach. Additionally, Dawn serves on volunteer boards and makes it a point to volunteer her musical skills to many worthwhile local charities.

Jackie Dunn-MacIsaac

Jackie Dunn MacIsaac grew up in Lower South River, Antigonish County. She has strong Cape Breton ancestral and musical roots. Since stepping on stage more than 50 years ago, Jackie has performed and instructed across North America and Scotland as a fiddler, pianist, and step dancer. Jackie’s music has been included on radio and television programs, commercial videos, a documentary film, and a movie soundtrack. She released her debut fiddle CD, Dunn to a T, in 1995 and has since recorded with Buddy MacMaster, Kinnon Beaton, Glenn Graham, Brenda Stubbert, Andrea Beaton and Wendy MacIsaac, co-produced a fiddling CD of her grand uncle Dan Hughie MacEachern, and is featured on a Smithsonian Folkways recording as well as many other compilation CDs. Jackie holds a Bachelor of Education degree as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with first class honours from St. Francis Xavier University and completed her undergraduate thesis on the strong connection between the Cape Breton fiddling style and the Scottish Gaelic language. She is a retired public school music teacher and continues to perform year-round.


The Mudmen

Always entertaining and definitely unique, Mudmen are a blast of Celtic energy whose members are known to be characters both on and off the stage.

As of 2024 Mudmen have been together for 26 years building a legion of fans from young to old. Mudmen have been selling out numerous prestigious theatres and Celtic festivals throughout North America with no signs of slowing down.

Beech Hill

Beech Hill is Neil MacQuarrie, Jesse Fraser, Jessie Ryan and Peter MacInnis.

Beech Hill is a wholesome slice of Indie-Folk with unexpected – yet welcome – moments of driving, grooving traditional Rock.

Their music is an introspective, folk-infused exploration of life, with equal parts celtic, folk, and rock elements coalescing into a sound that you simply need to hear for yourself.

July 14th, 2024 – Sunday Closing Ceilidh

howie Macdonald

Howie MacDonald is a well-respected fiddler from Westmount, Cape Breton County. He has been a performer as long as he can remember. Whether at a family gathering or an international concert hall, Howie’s job was always to entertain. Coming from a musical family, he has released 12 albums and a DVD, and spent many years touring and recording with the Rankin Family. Howie has expanded his talents and also gained popularity as a comedian for his roles in musical comedy revues Island Mania, Howie’s Celtic Brew, The Dance Last Night, and The Cape Breton Summertime Revue. An accomplished piano-player who has accompanied just about everyone on the Island, Howie is very much in demand for dances, concerts, ceilidhs and recording sessions. He takes great inspiration from the tunes and musicians from prior generations, like Winston “Scotty” Fitzgerald and Jerry Holland. In addition to his his music career, in the last few years, Howie has also been working as a clinical therapist for Nova Scotia Health along with Veterans For Healing.

Brennan MacDonald

Brennan, a native of Port Hood and now living outside Halifax, has played an active role in the East Coast music scene now for over 30 years. Starting young with both music and step dance, the oldest boy of Mary Janet and Cecil’s seven was often on stage dancing along side the family. He would go on to play large roles in the Celtic band Kilt, the family collaborates of Crossfire and Company Road, all the while working on his own songwriting and raising a family of his own.

Mac Morin

Mac Morin is a dancer and piano player from Troy, Cape Breton. Starting out as a talented dancer, Mac became interested in piano as a teenager. He has gone on to tour around the world with Natalie MacMaster and Beòlach while continuing to travel widely to teach Cape Breton step dancing, showcasing those talents as Celtic Colours Artist in Residence at the Festival in 2014. Mac has appeared on numerous artists’ recordings including Beòlach, Natalie MacMaster, Yo Yo Ma, The Rankins, Howie MacDonald, Ian MacDougall, and Buddy MacMaster. He has a solo album, and Beòlach’s third recording was released in 2019.