20 Essential Canadian Celtic Artists
canadian celtic

20 Essential Canadian Celtic Artists

Whether you’re trying to build out your St. Patrick’s Day playlist or just tapping into the great tradition of Canadian Celtic music, we’ve compiled a list of 20 essential Canadian Celtic Artists to consider.

Great Big Sea

Great Big Sea burst onto the Canadian music scene in 1993 and gave us 20 great big years of their joyous blend of rock and traditional Newfoundland folk songs.

Rawlin’s Cross

Rawlin’s Cross includes highland bagpipes, mandolin and accordion in their rock-infused style. The band took a long hiatus in the early 2000s, but they reunited in 2008 and continue to perform.

The Paperboys

The west coast has Celtic music, too! The Paperboys formed in Vancouver and combine Canadian Celtic traditions with country and world music influences.

Ron Hynes

We lost “the man of a thousand songs” in 2015. His songs including the well-known “Sonny’s Dream” have been recorded by over 100 artists worldwide.

Spirit of the West

This popular Vancouver-based band formed in the early 80s and performed regularly until the announcement that John Mann had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

Alan Doyle

After Great Big Sea’s retirement, Alan Doyle continued on solo. He tours regularly with his band The Beautiful Gypsies.

The Fables

Former members of the Wonderful Grand Band and the Irish Descendants came together to form this Newfoundland supergroup.

The Ennis Sisters

The Ennis Sisters are three talented musicians and real-life sisters from St. John’s, Newfoundland – Maureen, Karen, and Teresa Ennis.

Ryan’s Fancy

Denis Ryan, Fergus O’Byrne, and Dermot O’Reilly emigrated from Ireland to Newfoundland in 1971 and formed Ryan’s Fancy.

The Irish Descendants

Second-generation Irish immigrants, The Irish Descendants formed in 1990 and have been going strong for over 25 years with a few lineup changes throughout their history.

Fortunate Ones

Fortunate Ones are part of the new generation of Canadian Celtic bands hailing from Newfoundland.

The Dardanelles

The Dardanelles wholeheartedly embrace the traditional folk tunes and sea shanties of Newfoundland.

Figgy Duff

Figgy Duff is credited with being a major force in the Newfoundland cultural renaissance of the 1970s and 80s.

The Once

This folk trio is noted for their harmonies as they perform a mix of original and traditional tunes.


Shanneyganock has been a fixture in the Atlantic music scene for over a decade, steeped in tradition, but with their own unique style.

Hey Rosetta!

This seven-piece band from St. John’s, Newfoundland fills out their sound with piano, violin, cello, and brass.

Ten Strings and Goat Skin

Ten Strings and a Goat Skin hail from Prince Edward Island and perform songs in both English and French, creating a Celtic/Francophone fusion.

Buddy Wasisname

Buddy Wasisname & the Other Fellers mix traditional music was a strong dash of humour. They have been performing together for over 30 years.

Stan Rogers

Stan Rogers goes down in history as one of Canada’s greatest songwriters. He wrote the songs of hardworking people from the Maritimes to the prairies. He died tragically in 1983 at only 33 years old in an airplane fire at the Greater Cincinnati Airport while returning from the Kerrville Folk Festival.