Entertainment

Christmas tradition returns to ACT

Winter Harp plays two shows at the ACT in Maple Ridge on Sunday. - Contributed
Winter Harp plays two shows at the ACT in Maple Ridge on Sunday.
— image credit: Contributed

It’s a concert experience that has captured the spirit of the season, along with people’s hearts, for almost two decades – and remains the hottest ticket on the holiday calendar.

Known for its sold-out houses and standing ovations, the world-class ensemble that is Winter Harp celebrates its 18th touring season with 15 Western Canada dates, including two performances this Sunday at the ACT in Maple Ridge.

Winter Harp is a celebration of the Christmas and winter season with hauntingly beautiful carols – and the glorious sound of harps.

This year, Winter Harp is delighted to announce that legendary harper and storyteller Patrick Ball will join the ensemble as their special guest narrator and harper.

Winter Harp’s outstanding musicians, in medieval attire, perform a collection of music from well-known carols to Celtic, medieval, world and Spanish tunes.

Dozens of candles light the stage, providing a backdrop for the golden Celtic and classical harps, drums, tambourines, temple bells, flutes and an assortment of rare 12th-century instruments.

Rare instruments include the ethereal-sounding bass psaltery (the only one like it in the world), the symphonie (a medieval ancestor of the hurdy-gurdy) and the Swedishnyckelharpa.

Ball is considered one of the premier wire-strung Celtic harpers and spoken word artists in the world today. He has recorded nine instrumental and three spoken word albums which have sold well over half a million copies internationally, winning national awards.

Ball is in constant demand throughout North America, Ireland and the UK. ”

I first saw Patrick perform at the Rogue Folk Club in the 1990s,” says Winter Harp director Lori Pappajohn. “He was absolutely mesmerizing. Since then I have always hoped to work with him, and am thrilled to be sharing Patrick with our audiences across Western Canada this year.”

• Winter Harp plays the ACT Sunday, Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

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