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Pre-Convention Tour
Cape Breton Island, Canada
October 3 - 5 2022

The pre-convention tour is a unique, not to miss experience, crafted especially for our MTC delegates. The tour takes you on a 3-day cultural journey across Cape Breton Island, using music as a tool to help you discover and enjoy the Island's unique landscapes and breathtaking views. From rich heritage and traditions to the contemporary scene, music on Cape Breton is everywhere, and during this tour you will get to explore every aspect of the "Music Island" and live an experience like no other. 

There's no better way to prepare for Music Tourism Convention than embarking on this tour to get a first-hand experience of Cape Breton's unique music tourism offering, connect with other delegates and have an amazing time! 


Key Highlights

  • ​Discover North America’s only living history museum for Gaelic language

  • Become a master of square-dancing & spoon playing

  • Experience live music played by local artists from Cape Breton Island

  • Take part in the Eskasoni Cultural Journeys and learn the art of basketry

  • Learn about the Mi’kmaq musical culture through performances by local trailblazing Indigenous Artists

  • Take stunning photos from some of the most scenic Cape Breton Island viewpoints

  • Expand your network and develop unique connections with other delegates from all around the world



Double Occupancy: $1,102,85 CAD (Sales Tax included) 

Single Occupancy: $1,362,75 CAD (Sales Tax included)

Pricing includes all transportation, meals, accommodations, activities and gratuities. More info below.

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Tour Itinerary


  DAY 1: Monday October 3rd, 2022  


9.00 am: Meet your tour leader at your hotel in Sydney NS

Meet your Tour Leader at your hotel in Sydney NS to begin your journey  along the beautiful Bras d’Or Lakes.  


10.00 am: Eskasoni Cultural Journeys on Goat Island

Discover authentic Mi’kmaq culture along our picturesque 2.4 KM trail on Goat Island in Eskasoni. You will be guided along the trail by one of our Mi’kmaq cultural interpreters who will take you to visit several villages.

  • Take part in a smudging ceremony

  • Learn to make four cents cake over an open fire

  • Learn the art of basketry

  • Learn and join in our traditional dance

  • Speak to our trading post merchant

  • Play the ancient game of Waltes

  • Learn about hunting and fishing techniques

Top this all off with a traditional snack of luskinigan and tea!


12.30 pm: Lunch at Frolic'n Folk Pub & Grill + Live Music

The Frolic’n Folk Pub & Grill serves comfort food as well as pub fare which pair nicely with a crisp local lager or glass of wine. Take a load off and enjoy the view of the Bras d’Or lake, while the music warms your soul. 


1.00 pm: Visit Highland Village Museum

Discover North America’s only living history museum for Gaelic language and culture. This breathtaking 43-acre site features one of the most unbelievable views of the Bras d'Or Lake, eleven historic buildings, including three frame houses (c1830-1900), a store, a carding mill, a church, a shingle mill and a forge.

Take part in a traditional céilidh, hear Gaelic singing, learn to speak Gaelic phrases, and become captivated by the spirit of the pioneering Scottish Gaels. Gaze in wonder as first-person costumed animators demonstrate traditional skills such as weaving, quilting and rug hooking. Explore the beautiful rural setting that features a Hebridean style blackhouse, a 19th-century wooden church, period farmhouses.

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3.00 pm: Drive around Bras d’Or Lake + Hotel Check-in

Depart Iona to continue drive around Bras d’Or Lakes before checking in to your accommodations at the Inverary Resort in Baddeck


5.00 pm: Dinner at Narrows Cafe and Bar or Baddeck Lobster Suppers


7.00 pm: Square Dance Event at the Gaelic College

Colaisde na Gaidhlig (The Gaelic College) is a non-profit educational institution offering year-round programming in the culture, music, language, crafts, customs, and traditions of the immigrants from the Highlands of Scotland. The only institution of its kind in North America, students of all ages and skill levels visit the College every year to study under some of the finest instructors in Nova Scotia Gaelic Culture. 

Step-dance and square-dancing are an integral part of Cape Breton’s musical tradition. We join the Gaelic College’s musicians and instructors for a square-dancing workshop that will have everyone ready to dance at the next “ceilidh”. 


8.30 pm: Return to Inverary Resort  & Live Music at Narrow's Cafe and Bar


  DAY 2: Tuesday October 4th, 2022  

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9.00 am: Depart for Chéticamp

Travelling to the Western Coast of Cape Breton Island, you will spend your morning in the French Acadian Village of Cheticamp. 


10.30 am: Chéticamp - Raveston Music School 

The morning will be spent taking part in two workshops:

Spoon Playing Workshop: This workshop allows participants to discover some of the rich music of our beautiful island, with a focus on Acadian song. Participants will get hands-on instruction and learn two basic rhythms on the spoons. 

Acadian Song Workshop & Demonstration: This discussion will lead participants to explore the world of traditional, acadian songs as we discuss acadians history and travels. With a live performance by two acadians, the participants will leave with a booklet of traditional songs and will participate in an information sing-along.


12.30 pm: Lunch with Live Music at l’Abri Café or Harbourside Restaurant


1.30 pm:  Scenic Tour + Hotel Check-in

Cape Breton Island is known for its stunningly beautiful coastlines and rich cultural heritage. A short scenic tour will take you to one of the most photographed viewpoints in Cape Breton before travelling south along the coast. 


At the end of the tour, at around 3.00pm, you will check into Glenora Inn Accommodations, where you’ll be spending the last night on this tour.


5.00 pm: Glenora Distillery Tour + Dinner

Glenora Distillery is the first single malt whisky distillery in North America and the producer of the world’s first single malt whisky aged in ice-wine barrels. Take a guided tour of the distillery, sample a dram of single malt whisky and then enjoy dinner in the on-site pub and restaurant. 


8.00 pm:  Celtic Pub Night & Overnight stay at Glenora Inn & Distillery


  DAY 3: Wednesday October 5th, 2022  


9.00 am: Depart for the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre

Travelling south along the “Musical Coast” to the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre, you will pass through the small villages that have raised Cape Breton’s most revered music ambassadors such as the Rankin Family and Buddy MacMaster.


10.00 am: The Celtic Music Interpretive Centre

The Celtic Music Interpretive Centre is a one-of-a-kind facility in the tiny village of Judique, with a mission to foster the Celtic Music and Heritage of Cape Breton Island. Designated the Official Celtic Music Centre of Nova Scotia, the CMIC offers an in-depth look into the history, culture, and music of Cape Breton Island. Browse in the interactive exhibit room and partake in cultural demonstrations before having lunch during the lunchtime Ceilidh. 


1.30 pm: Wagmatcook Culture and Heritage Centre

The Wagmatcook Culture and Heritage Centre provides visitors with an innovative view of Mi’Kmaw culture, history, and heritage. On this visit, visitors will explore Mi’Kmaw musical culture through performances by local trailblazing Indigenous Artists who have shaped their style with a mix of traditional and contemporary musical influences.


4.00 pm: Goodbye and Drop Off at Partner Hotels in Sydney


7.00 pm: Music Tourism Convention Official Opening Reception 


Double Occupancy: $1,102,85 CAD (Sales Tax included) 

Single Occupancy: $1,362,75 CAD (Sales Tax included)

The Pre-Convention Tour ticket includes:

  • Pick up from and drop off at partner hotels in Sydney

  • All transportation

  • All meals

  • Accommodation for two nights

  • Entry to all attractions and activities such as baking, square dance, live music, basketry etc.


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