The Barra MacNeils are on tour with An East Coast Christmas

Cape Breton siblings bring holiday cheer

Barra MacNeils are returning to Vernon to perform their favourite holiday songs, Wednesday.

With a bodhran, piano, various stringed instruments,  a penny whistle or two and five voices blended in perfect harmony, the Barra MacNeils are returning to Vernon to perform their favourite holiday songs.

The siblings are bringing An East Coast Christmas to the Performing Arts Centre Wednesday, and guests will be treated to some holiday magic.

Deeply rooted in Celtic music, culture, dance, language and history, this year marks more than 27 years for the Sydney Mines, Cape Breton Island-based family group.

Their live concerts have become legendary, with the MacNeils trading lead vocals and combining harmonies, along with top drawer instrumental prowess on a wide variety of acoustic, stringed, percussion and wind instruments. Blend that with dancing, storytelling, comedy, Gaelic songs and a journey through an ancient culture, and it is family entertainment at the highest level.

The Barra MacNeils are also known for celebrating the holiday season. They have released three Christmas albums, featuring their original arrangements to classic carols and traditional Celtic fare such as Oh Holy Night, Ave Maria, A Christmas in Killarney and Auld Lang Syne.

The latest, O Christmas Three, was released last year and their live Christmas shows in support of the albums have continued to tour Canada, as well as in the U.S. and overseas, to sold-out houses.

Profits from the Vernon concert and a silent auction will be shared between the Kindale Developmental Association and Teens Count Too “because people with diverse abilities and young adults are often forgotten during the holiday season,” said Kindale executive director B Elliot.

Kindale provides services to more than 450 adults with diverse abilities in the North Okanagan.

Teens Count Too provides gifts distributed through the Salvation Army to hundreds of teens in Vernon, Armstrong, Enderby and Salmon Arm at Christmas time.

“I’m so proud to be involved with this 100 per cent volunteer organization and we cannot thank you enough for your support of Teens Count Too and teens in our community…. What can be better than enjoying the sounds of the holiday and holiday shopping with the silent auction,” said Kindale development officer Cindy Masters.

The Barra MacNeils take the stage at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 (all seats) and are available at the Ticket Seller box office. Call 549-7469 or order online at


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