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Western Canada’s biggest Celtic festival returns to downtown Vancouver with a free weekend event

The 2023 CelticFest Vancouver runs from March 11 to 18, culminating in a free St. Patrick’s Day weekend festival at the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza
What's the Craic?

St. Patrick’s Day, the annual celebration of green, Guinness, Gaelic Games, and overall good times, is right around the corner. 

If you’re wondering “What’s the Craic?” during this year’s holiday, look no further than CelticFest Vancouver

That’s right! Western Canada’s largest annual festival honouring Celtic culture is back from March 11 to 18 for a week of festivities.

Celebrating its 19th year this year, CelticFest Vancouver will host events in various venues around Vancouver during the week leading up to a free outdoor community event at šxwƛ̓ənəq Xwtl'e7énḵ Square, located north of the Vancouver Art Gallery, during Saint Patrick’s Day weekend on March 17 and 18.

The weekend festival will include programming for all ages, including live shows across two performance stages, a beer tent, food trucks, a Celtic-themed market, Irish dancing, Irish Wolfhounds, a photo booth, a family zone, face painting, sports demos, and games with groups from the Irish and Scottish communities.

Festival attendees can expect to be entertained by live performances from:

  • Local favourites The Whiskeydicks and Fight Outside, featuring Brian O'Brien and Paul Caldwell
  • Lavengro, a pop-indie band from Derry, Ireland
  • Shane Beirne, a rising singer/songwriter from Carrick on Shannon in Roscommon, Ireland
  • Irish Dancing Drag Queen Jas Minh
  • Eire Born Irish Dancers 
  • Family-favourite performer Music with Marnie 
Sionan Murphy at CelticFest Vancouver 2023. Photo via CelticFest Vancouver

The week-long schedule of events leading up to the free outdoor festival on St. Patrick’s Day weekend includes a series of entertainment, spanning from music to comedy and more. 

To launch the 2023 CelticFest Vancouver, the Vancouver Welsh Men's Choir will perform a set of songs in the Celtic Tradition, along with a couple of pub favourites, during Our Hearts in the Highlands at Christ Church Cathedral on March 11.

On the eve of St. Patrick’s Day on March 16, What’s the Craic?, a burlesque and variety show produced by Clare Voyeur and featuring comedian Amy Walsh, will present a night of laughs, games, and Irish devilry at the Rio Theatre. 

Ceilidh, named after the traditional Scottish or Irish social gathering, will be hosted by Blackthorn, Vancouver’s longest-running Celtic band, at the Hellenic Community Centre on the night of St. Patrick's Day. On March 17. The biggest Ceilidh celebration west of the Rockies will feature performances from BCR Regiment Irish Pipes & Drums, Eire Born Irish Dance Company, and Shot of Scotch Vancouver Company for a night of Celtic music and dance.

For the full CelticFest Vancouver events calendar, go to