Men of The Deeps embark on 50th anniversary tour
North America's only coal mining choir is getting ready to hit the road again, as they prepare to embark on their 50th anniversary tour.
For five decades, the sound of the Men of The Deeps has been heard around the world, spreading Cape Breton's rich coal mining history abroad.
“When you get up to Ontario or the United States or out west and we tell our stories, people have cousins or grandfathers who were miners, then the message gets through, you can see it in their faces,” says Jim MacLellan, choir member.
MacLellan is one of three original members left in the group, which formed in 1966 as a way to relieve stress about the dangers the men faced every day in the mines.
“We all sang on the way home in the pit,” says MacLellan. “Not when we are going down, but when we are coming up, we’re happy.”
The men have been singing together for half a century and are marking the milestone with a two week tour, beginning tomorrow in Ontario.
Cape Breton songstress Rita MacNeil, who passed away in 2013, shared many special moments with the group.
“We miss her so much,” says Nipper MacLeod, choir member. “I'm sure Rita will be there in spirit wishing us the best.”
“We just did a new collection called Coal to Gold, 50th anniversary compilation of the Men of The Deeps,” says Stephen Muise, producer. “One of the new cuts is ‘Home I'll Be’ (a Rita MacNeil song), so that is actually going to be one of the key moments in our show.”
The group will return home to Cape Breton for a golden gala show on April 30th at the Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay, featuring a star studded line up of guests.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore