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Get Your Celtic On!

  • Sat May 05, 10 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.
  • Sun May 06, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Alton Mill Arts Centre

Celebrate the arrival of Spring at the Alton Mill Arts Centre with our annual weekend of Celtic family fun! Attend events throughout the weekend - wandering musicians, highland dancing, a vendor market, local craft beers and ciders, open studios and artwork - or buy tickets to see special concerts by special guests Rhythmfoot with the Leahy Family (Sunday, May 6th, 2pm), and traditional trad trio NUA (Saturday, May 5th, 7:30pm). Tickets are available online or in-person at Gourmandissimo Cafe in the Alton Mill; a special discount package for those wishing to attend both concerts is available. Cash bar available. For full concert pricing, see below.

Download the Open House Program (PDF) here

Entry to the Open House is by voluntary donation; a portion of the proceeds are donated to Facilitation Wellington Dufferin in support of an emerging, local artist working with developmental disabilities. The Alton Mill Arts Centre will continue to partner with FWD to host an exhibition of artwork at a later date.

Thank you to McLean Sherwood Event Rentals, the Alton Mill's exclusive rental company, for supporting the Spring Open House weekend by donating linens and glassware for the event.

For the Trad Music Enthusiasts:

On Saturday afternoon only, award-winning musician Jacob McCauley of NUA offers a special workshop on the traditional Irish drum, the bodhrán, at 1pm-2pm. Immediately afterwards, from 2:15pm-3:15pm the full ensemble from NUA present an entertaining glimpse into the origins and history of Celtic music. Drop into each session for only $10; attendance is FREE with the purchase of a concert ticket (please register for workshops at the time of ticket purchase online, or in-person).

The Georgetown Folk Collective will be at the Alton Mill on Saturday afternoon, from 3:30-5:00pm. Everyone is invited to dust off their fiddles, guitars, & whistles, and join the ensemble of traditional musicians for a pub session style jam in the Millrace Room. Throughout the weekend, find special returning guest Sohayla Smith providing musical entertainment for visitors.

Beverage Sampling:

In the Pond Gallery on Saturday only, sample local craft beers and cider from GoodLot Farmstead Brewing Co., Caledon Hills Brewing Co., Badlands Brewing CompanyHeartwood Farm & Cider, Wellington Brewery, and Hitchhiker Beverage Company. On Sunday, try a Headwaters favourite, Spirit Tree Cider & special whisky tastings. Enjoy a special Celtic-inspired menu from Gourmandissimo Cafe, throughout the weekend.

On Theme:

Vendors in the Pond Gallery throughout the weekend include The Olivar Corp speciality olive oil cold extracted during October's full moon and offered in honour to the Celtic Full Moon goddesses, Celtic Fair sterling silver jewellery, TresBello clothing, Hockley Vallery's Brian Blakeman acrylic Isle of Skye Paintings, contemporary Celtic artist Diana Skeates prints and Giclees. In the Noodle Gallery, discover products by Campbellville's Beebydesign made with Harris Tweed.

Inspired Demos, Performances & Workshops:

The Mill is thrilled to welcome back the Claymore Highland Dancers, who will be performing 20-minute sets in the Pond Gallery (12pm, 1pm, 2pm) on both Saturday and Sunday. For those who prefer to be an active participant, why not try a themed-workshop offered by one of the Mill's studio artists? The Hive is offering a Celtic-inspired Give it a Whirl, encaustic painting for beginners. Pre-registration is required.

Joy Scout Learnshops hosts "Make-It-Yourself Mother's Day Gift: Scarf Printing" for ages 8+ in the Bridge Workshop, on Saturday, from 10am-12pm. Create your own foam stamps and print a one-of-a-kind design on pre-stretched fabric. Pre-register here.

Local wood-carver John McCartney will be on-site both days, carving Celtic patterns outdoors. John invites visitors of all ages (children with adult supervision only!) to try their hand with the chisel and contribute to his intricate artwork.

Dry stone waller Doug Bell will host two interactive "Playshops" outdoors throughout the weekend, creating site-specific works around the Alton Mill grounds; on Saturday, "How to Cope with Stone," and on Sunday, a Cairn on the evolving Stone Discovery Trail. Read about Doug's work in an article from the Caledon Citizen.

Have you ever wanted to play the harp? Here's your chance! On Sunday only, from 11am-1pm, sign-up for a free Celtic Harp workshop with Pearl Schachter and Sohayla Smith in Studio 100. Plan ahead and reserve a space.

The Natural and the Manufactured:

No Spring Open House at the Alton Mill would be complete without baby lambs! Enjoy the spectacular grounds of the historic Alton Mill, and participate in special dry-stone walling activity exclusively for the Spring Open House weekend.

The Mill is delighted to welcome two sculptural works by artist Fiona Legg, The Maze Project & A Distant Memory 2.

Ticket Pricing ** Purchase tickets for both shows and receive a special discount package, Adults $45, Youth $20

Saturday, May 5, 7:30pm
NUA in Concert with Special Opening Acts: Morningside Music (Sohayla Smith, Josh Oates; Travel-worn); Adults $30, Youth $15

Sunday, May 6, 2:00pm:
Rhythmfoot featuring the Leahy Family; 
Adults $25, Youth: $10