Great news for a famous Cape Bretoner!
Allister MacGillivray will be Invested into the Order of Canada on December 13, 2013. The Office of the Secretary to the Governor General is pleased to announce that a “live” webcast of the Order of Canada Investiture ceremony will be available on December 13, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. (Eastern standard time). Please tune in at www.gg.ca,
At 12 noon on December 14 (2013), the lilting strains of “Away From The Roll Of The Sea”, penned by Allister MacGillivray back in the 70’s, will resound from The Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in our nation’s capital. The official carilloneur, Andrea McCrady, has offered to perform the song on the clock tower’s massive 53-bell, multi-tonne mechanism in honour of Allister’s visit to Ottawa to receive the Order Of Canada.
As an added bonus, the MacGillivray family has been invited to sit with Dr. McCrady in the belfry during her performance of the work.
One proud Caper to another… Good on ya Allister!!
About Allister MacGillivray:
Allister MacGillivray: renowned songwriter, guitarist, record producer, folklorist and author from the Island of Cape Breton in the province of Nova Scotia, in eastern Canada. He was born and raised in the coal-mining/fishing town of Glace Bay. His grandparents on the MacGillivray side were Gaelic-speaking, and various cousins played violin, guitar or accordion at weekly family-music-sessions — before the intrusion of television.
Following graduation from St. F.X U. in Antigonish, he toured two years with a trio headed by Cape Breton folksinger John Allan Cameron. Besides its own dedicated following, the group opened for Anne Murray and The Irish Rovers, bringing the house down in a 1970 appearance at “The Grand Ole Opry” in Nashville, Tennessee.
On “Ceilidh”, Cameron’s Canadian national television program, Allister served as guitarist and musical director.
During the mid seventies, Allister performed as a full-time guitarist with the Irish/Newfoundland group Ryan’s Fancy, which toured Canada and Ireland.
He recorded and co-produced several albums with this trio, and again was musical director on both regional and national television programs.
At this point his songwriting career began to blossom. Ryan’s Fancy recorded Allister’s “Sea People”, “Tie Me Down” and “Coal Town Road”, and the group featured “Song For The Mira” during many of their live performances.
A particular highlight of Allister’s performing career was accompanying Irish superstars Tommy Makem & Liam Clancy, in television series and several extended tours of the eastern United States and Canada.
Allister left “the road” around 1980, choosing to settle in rural Cape Breton to concentrate on an eclectic career of songwriting, composing and documenting the Cape Breton experience.
During the last several years, Allister has worked as researcher and artistic director on a series of short films on the Cape Breton style of traditional Scottish fiddling (see the Highland Legacy DVD), and continued his intuitive songwriting.
Among the recent honours he received:
- •The province of Nova Scotia “for the gift of music and promoting Celtic culture”
- •The Cape Breton Tourist Association “for writing beautiful songs which promote the traditions, the culture and the heritage of Cape Breton”.
- •Official Bard of Clan MacGillivray, Canada
- •Honorary Doctorate of Letters from The University College of Cape Breton, May 1997
Today, Allister MacGillivray lives and works on Cape Breton Island with his wife, Beverly, and two children (Ciarán & Fiona of the Celtic band, The Cottars).