One of the only multi-day music festivals in Atlantic Canada this summer is kicking off in Cape Breton.
The seventh annual KitchenFest started Friday and will run until Sept. 12. The festival will feature more than 130 artists appearing at more than 20 venues across the island.
It was originally scheduled to run from June 26 until July 5, but was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Gaelic College is one of the institutions putting on the festival. The college's CEO, Rodney MacDonald, said once the restrictions started lifting, organizers started replanning the festival.
"From day one, we wanted to try and find a way to make it happen," he said. "It's important to celebrate our people, our culture, our Gaelic language and our music."
Provincial COVID-19 restrictions will be in place at the venues and each venue has its own limit of how many people can safely attend shows.
MacDonald said many of the venues have already hosted live performances and know what restrictions need to be followed.
"We want to make sure that people are hand sanitizing, they wear their mask when applicable, like going to their table and they can take it off at their table and enjoy the show," he said.
Some of the artists performing include Matt Minglewood, Heather Rankin and Bruce Guthro.
MacDonald said they wanted to ensure the festival goes on for the artist and the venues involved.
"If we do not do everything we can to support them, then we don't have the infrastructure in place for future years," he said.
Katherine MacLeod is the manager of interpretation at the Highland Village in Iona, which is a partner of Kitchenfest.
"We've always partnered with the Gaelic College for KitchenFest, so we decided to stay open an extra week," she said.
The Highland Village usually hosts musical performances for the festival, along with traditional Gaelic square dancing.
MacLeod said neither will happen this year because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Most of the usual venues for KitchenFest will host live music, but there will be no dancing at any of them due to pandemic restrictions.
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