SYDNEY, N.S. -- Rita MacNeil's songs, melodies and spirit filled a Cape Breton arena Monday night where a special concert was held paying tribute to a woman whose words helped shape the island's culture.
Dozens of MacNeil's musical friends used music, humour and stories to pay tribute to the legendary singer-songwriter who died April 16 at age 68.
The show at Centre 200 in Sydney opened with an instrumental by Rita's bandmate Kim Dunn and renowned Cape Breton fiddler Ashley MacIsaac.
Other performances included a long list of Cape Breton's finest talents, including the Barra MacNeils, J.P. Cormier, Matt Minglewood and the Men of the Deeps, who sang Working Man.
Minglewood described Rita as a friend and "the queen of Cape Breton music."
Tickets to the show were $10 with proceeds going to a scholarship fund created in MacNeil's name for students in the new music degree program at Cape Breton University.
The event ended with all the musicians and singers who had been part of the night performing MacNeil's classic Home I'll Be.
-- The Canadian Press