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Description of the Event

After years of planning and months of diligent co-ordination, organizers and volunteers opened their arms to thousands of visitors, residents, media, government representatives, sponsors, artists and musicians, who gathered in the Strait of Canso Region of Nova Scotia from August 7 - 14, 2005. They gathered to celebrate and commemorate the construction and opening of the Canso Causeway; the famed span which links Cape Breton and Mainland Nova Scotia. They also gathered to share the cultural and artistic legacy created by this landmark.

As such, the cornerstone of the event and one of the vital keys to its success was a solid entertainment component, featuring many of the region’s finest performers. As described above, the event featured 20 performances by hundreds of Atlantic Canadian artists.

The anniversary event was programmed to incorporate established East Coast artists in addition to local entertainers and performance opportunities for the region’s younger artists. It was also important to ensure the anniversary programming included a cross-section of East Coast genres. From traditional Scottish, Acadian and Mi’kmaq performers, to Celtic, folk, rock and oldies - the Causeway’s 50th anniversary presented a variety of East Coast acts to reflect a more complete sound of the region’s offerings and to appeal to a broader audience base.

The week featured lunchtime concerts, evening ceilidhs, a songwriters showcase, a piping concert, evening pubs on the waterfront, family concerts at Granville Green, a 400-piper march across the Causeway and a Golden Gala Concert featuring some of the region’s best performers and an ensemble of promising local East Coast talent. Solid attendance numbers at each of these twenty performances contributed to the event buzz as the week progressed, creating an excitement and appreciation amongst residents and visitors.

From a marketing and communications perspective, the entertainment component of the Canso Causeway’s 50th Anniversary was a major selling feature. While the event itself was a unique, once-in-a-life-time occurrence for the Strait region and the entire province, the quality of East Coast entertainment programming raised the entire celebration to a more prestigious level. An event of this size and scope was the perfect opportunity to position the community as a vibrant and prosperous area, capable of hosting world-class events which feature world-class entertainment. Looking back, that opportunity was realized and achieved.


Canso Causeway 50th Anniversary

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