Cape Breton is a unique place to live, from the beautiful ocean scenery to the famous kitchen parties to the small city life, there’s something for everyone. Cape Breton University calls Sydney, N.S. home, the port city of Cape Breton Island. As the “hub” of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, a community of close to 100,000 people, Sydney has everything to offer including shopping, dining and entertainment. Just minutes outside of the city are the wonderful landscape of wooded countryside communities and coastlines of both the Atlantic Ocean and Bras d’Or Lakes that favour an adventurous lifestyle year round.
Consistently ranked amongst the top island destinations in the world, in 2011, Cape Breton Island was named the #1 island destination in Canada and the continental US, and the #3 island destination in the world by Travel and Leisure magazine’s 2011 World’s Best Awards.
Outside the CBRM, the Island is blanketed with deeply-rooted and culturally diverse communities. As you look further into what Cape Breton Island has to offer you will find that each community holds its own personality and unique qualities. Whether you’ve decided to move to Cape Breton or are visiting, take advantage of your time here and become acquainted with all the Island has to offer.
Culture and Entertainment
Cape Breton is known for its Celtic culture and welcoming spirit. The kitchen parties, fiddle music and step dancing are natural parts of life on the island. If that’s not for you, don’t worry! There is a lot going on to keep you entertained year round. From concerts, dinner theatres, play festivals to hockey games, there’s something for everyone.
The Celtic Colours Festival is an annual music and entertainment festival highlighting Cape Breton’s Celtic heritage. Each fall Musicians and audiences alike from across the island and all around the world gather at the week-long festival.
The Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay is a classic venue for all things entertainment. As one of the most popular places to house concerts, musicals and ballet, the Savoy has something to satisfy an artistic appetite.
Step into the past at the Fortress of Louisbourg, an 18th century French fortress that has been maintained by the Fortress of Louisbourg Association and Parks Canada. Visit one of the many re-enactors to learn about life in the 1700’s and visit the restaurants and shops.
The Cape Breton Orchestra is home to many of Cape Breton’s most talented musicians. Catch one of their shows as they play all over the island.
The Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design is a place where you can both see artwork and make your own! Many classes and workshops are offered as well as programs for kids. Stop by to see some handmade art including jewelry, wood sculptures and paintings.
The Louisbourg Playhouse is host to many local artists and traditional music shows. Open from June-October, the Playhouse offers a summer production as well as shows where various artists collaborate to bring you fiddle music, singing and of course…dancing.
Centre 200 in Sydney is home to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team. You can catch the hockey action live and root for the home team as they play teams from across the country. The venue also plays host to a number of concerts throughout the year as well as other events that tend to draw larger crowds.
Two Rivers Wildlife Park is a place for people of all ages! Walk, ski, or take a wagon ride through the trails to visit the wild animals. Other activities include fishing, swimming, peddle boating, sledding and camping. With a canteen and lots of space for a picnic, you can make a day of it!
Ski Ben Eoin is great place to hit the slopes, whether you’re a beginner or a pro. Daily lessons, ski schools and workshops are available as well as a full service rental shop and restaurant. There are multiple hills and a chairlift for skiers and snowboarders alike. For those who enjoy snow shoeing and cross country there are trails on site for you to explore.
Shop the newest fashions for men, women, children and seniors at the Mayflower Mall in Sydney. Aside from the many clothing stores there are stores devoted to health, pets, entertainment, and sports. The mall also features a full food court and restaurant within.
If you’re looking for locally grown food or handmade items, be sure to visit the Cape Breton Farmers’ Market in Coxheath each Saturday, year-round. Support local farmers and artisans in the community.