– Carol Kennedy photo
Cape Breton’s Fall colors peak between the first and second weekends of October, and this year foliage tourists have four worthy festivals to chose from.
The Hike the Highlands festival offers 23 guided hikes in a variety of distances, difficulties, and locations around the Cabot Trail from September 11 to 20. The festival also features workshops on nature photography, GPS, and geocaching, together with various social and musical events.
The first annual inaugural Cabot Trail Writers’ Festival in North River, October 2 to 4, features readings and workshops by authors Donna Morrissey (Kit’s Law & What They Wanted), Douglas Arthur Brown (Quintet), Bill Conall (The Rock in the Water), and Susan Zettell (The Checkout Girl). The always lively and welcoming musicians who populate the St. Anne’s Loop, including Paul MacDonald, Otis Tomas, and Ed Woodsworth, will be out in force for a cabaret on the festival’s opening night.
Over nine days from October 9 to 17, the spectacularly successful Celtic Colours International Festival will stage almost 50 concerts across the island draws, together with literally hundreds of affiliated cultural workshops, seminars, and community events. Visitors from all over the world come to Cape Breton for Celtic Colours, but curiously few from mainland Nova Scotia.
Finally, modesty does not prevent us from mentioning the Cape Breton Island Film Series, which presents 13 great independent films on 13 consecutive Thursdays, starting tomorrow night and running through December 3 at the Empire Theatre, 325 Prince Street, Sydney. Highlights include The Hurt Locker (September 10), Food, Inc. (September 17), Goodbye Solo (November 12, the festival’s annual benefit for L’Arche Cape Breton), and In the Loop (December 3).