Celtae (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Origin Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Genres Celtic
Years active 2001 (2001)–present
Website www.celtae.ca
Members Nathan MacDonald
Tyree Lush
Matt Holland
Dana Arrowsmith

Celtae /ˈkɛlt/ are a Canadian band formed in 2001 in Ottawa. They play neo-Celtic music.[1] The band was founded by Nathan MacDonald of Cape Breton Island, and also includes Matt Holland of Summerside, Prince Edward Island and Tyree Lush of Gambo, Newfoundland and Labrador.[2] Fiddler Jules Sisk left the band, and was replaced by Dana Arrowsmith of Sudbury, Ontario.[3]

The album No Regrets was produced by Brian Talbot of the band Slainte Mhath.[3] Critic Wes Smiderle of the Ottawa Citizen wrote, "The tone is cheerful, end-of-the-work-week acoustic venting, with lyrical nods to the rigours of East Coast history, much like Great Big Sea".[4]


Nathan MacDonald[edit]

Nathan Bishop MacDonald better known as "Nathan Bishop" is a singer-songwriter based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was a founding member of Celtae, which was based in Ottawa,[2][4] and also performs original music under the name "Nathan Bishop".

MacDonald was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada and raised in Glace Bay on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. His song "Merchant Marine" was used as the theme song for Paul Ciufo's CBC radio drama, On Convoy.[5] The same song has been included on Avondale Records' 2004 release, Singalongs & Shanties 2.[6] MacDonald is a baritone singer who performs music on guitar, but is also known for his bodhran playing. He has an eclectic musical history. MacDonald has performed at major festivals throughout Canada including the Canadian Tulip Festival,[7] The Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, The Regina Mosaic Multicultural Festival and more. He has also performed at prestigious venues such as the National Arts Centre, in Ottawa, The Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay, Cape Breton, and Centre Point Theatre in Ottawa.

The Nathan Bishop project has been a sharp departure from his previous Celtic roots. The Ottawa Citizen referred to these compositions as "funky folk".[8] In September 2008, Nathan Bishop moved to Toronto and began construction of Uptown Underground recording studio. On June 1, 2011, Nathan Bishop released his debut solo album "Lovers, Leavers, and Believers" under his Uptown Underground record label.[9]

Two songs from the album were chosen to be used in the motion picture "The Unleashed".[10][11]

A demo version of Bishop's song "Without You" was a finalist in the 2008 International Songwriting Competition.[12]

Bishop's music has been referred to as Chop Music which is described as a post hip hop form of roots rock.[13]


While attending the University of Guelph and the University of Western Ontario, MacDonald was one of Canada's most successful intervarsity debaters. He won consecutive North American Debating Championships in 1998 and 1999,[14] and was the Vice-President of the Canadian University Society for Intercollegiate Debate. He was also the fifth-place public speaker in world at the 2000 World Universities Debating Championships in Sydney, Australia.


  1. ^ (November 13, 2002). "Celtae shows tonnes of promise with debut disc", The Journal-Pioneer.
  2. ^ a b Edwards Stacey, Jean (January 19, 2003). "Newfoundlander finds musical home in Ottawa-based Celtic band", The Telegram, p. B3.
  3. ^ a b Hagerman, Brent (March 2003). "Celtae: No Regrets", Exclaim!. Retrieved June 19, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Smiderle, Wes (August 3, 2002). "Celtae: No Regrets", Ottawa Citizen, p. I4.
  5. ^ Ciufo, Paul. "On Convoy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-27. 
  6. ^ "CD Baby". Singalongs and Shanties II. Avondale Records. 
  7. ^ Saxberg, Lynn (May 19, 2005). "Glengarry Bhoys can't warm crowd as parka night comes to Tulipfest", The Ottawa Citizen, p. C3.
  8. ^ Sayani, Fateema (March 9, 2006). "A Blunt cue from black", Ottawa Citizen, p. F3.
  9. ^ "Artists". uptownunderground.ca. Uptown Underground. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  10. ^ McKechnie, Brian. "Review: The Unleashed". The Ottawa Citizen. The Ottawa Citizen. Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2011. 
  11. ^ Underground, Uptown. "Nathan Bishop Songs to be "Unleashed" in Movie". Uptown Underground. Uptown Underground. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  12. ^ Past Winners. "International Songwriting Competition". Retrieved 2008.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  13. ^ Grant, Laura Jean. "Nathan Bishop releases first solo album". Cape Breton Post. Cape Breton Post. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  14. ^ (February 24, 1999). "They Are the Champions! Guelph debaters capture first place at North American competition", News@Guelph. Retrieved June 10, 2010.

External links[edit]