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Celtic Fest to bring ‘céilí’ vibes to Museum of Surrey later this month

Event to kick off a series of free spring celebrations at the facility in Cloverdale
Bagpiper Kyle Banta at the Museum of Surrey’s Celtic Fest in 2015. He will again perform at this year’s event, on Saturday, March 26. (File photo)

It’s time for another Celtic Fest at the Museum of Surrey – no, not on St. Patrick’s Day but on March 26.

That Saturday afternoon, the Cloverdale facility will be transformed into a “céilí,” a free, family-friendly celebration of music and merriment, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Live music will be performed by Kyle Banta on bagpipes, Michael Burnyeat on fiddle, Allen Barnett on accordion, and the canine friends of Irish Wolfhound Club of Canada and Club Westie BC will also be there. “Community partner” booths will highlight Steele School of Dance, Ireland Canada Monument, White Spot Pipe Band, West Coast Calligraphy Society, Fort Garrison, Vancouver Gaelic Society and more.

Visitors can do a scavenger hunt in the museum galleries, check out a Celtic textile display and bring home a Celtic knot craft.

Following a pandemic-triggered pause on the museum’s in-person events, Celtic Fest kicks off a series of free spring celebrations planned there, at 17710 56A Ave. Coming events include Tots Easter Celebration (April 14), Métis Children of the Fur Trade (April 23) and Surrey Regional Heritage Fair (April 30).

“We’re very pleased to safely bring back this popular family-friendly event that brings together our local Celtic community right here in Surrey,” said Lynn Saffery, who manages Museum of Surrey.

Proof of vaccination is required for events there until April 8, for those aged 12 and older. For more details, visit

Musuem of Surrey’s current feature exhibition is “Broken Promises,” on view until April 24. The travelling exhibition explores the dispossession of Japanese-Canadians in the 1940s, showcasing personal histories of people from seven families interned during the Second World War.

The exhibition is co-curated by Burnaby-based Nikkei National Museum with Royal British Columbia Museum and Landscapes of Injustice research collective. The Museum of Surrey has expanded the exhibition to include personal stories from Surrey residents of Japanese descent.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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