New store opening on St. Patrick's Day celebrates Irish culture

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, a new store combining traditional music, culture, and drink is opening in Charlottetown.

It's called Brigh Music and Tea, and will feature a mix of Irish and Scottish culture.

Even the name does double-duty, as it's the Irish and Scottish word for soul.

The shop will act as a drop-in spot for live music, for people who like to play or those who like to listen, as well as a store with a focus on heritage.

"We hope to be a mini-culture hub of sorts," said Mary MacGillivary, one of Brigh's co-owners. "People can come in and they can have our loose leaf organic tea, and they can take it and browse around our instruments that are for sale, and we also have some books and CDs from East Coast music, and music of Scotland and Ireland."

MacGillivary is from P.E.I., with long roots on the Island in the Scottish and Irish communities.

Her partner in the venture is Cian Ó Móráin, an Islander originally from Ireland.

"We really love our roots, and we really love music, that's part of our roots, and tea is part of our roots as well," said MacGillivary. "So we are passionate about cultural sharing, and about cultural preservation and renewal."

The store came out of their musical connection.

"We like to play music together, we do that out and about, Cian and I both are musicians," she said. "So we knew that we wanted to have music in our lives and always will. We decided we'd open a business where we could host people here to have some tea, for some special events, and also to have some music."

The shop is at 93 Water St., and they've been renovating since November to get it ready to open.

Perfect time to open

St. Patrick's Day seemed the perfect time, and they'll celebrate with a party.

"We're going to have an atmosphere where people can come in and share a tune or a song, or a step as well, because we have a few friends who love to step dance," she said.

They'll have some organic Irish Breakfast tea for people to try, some locally made treats such as chocolate and oatcakes, and want everyone, no matter what their background, to enjoy the cultural experience.

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