Forty years later, around 1984, a singer by the name of Bernadette Goth approached me saying that I should have live music in the living room nightly. She started something special. The films were great but only the audience and the presenter had a live pulse. Bernadette's love of Cape Breton Island. and its music was infectious. Over the many years since, we have been fortunate to have a great number of special people share our musical culture. Following Bernadette performers have included singers Lisa Cameron, Matthew and Donald MacLennan, Joanne Rankin and Raylene Rankin. Fiddlers, piano players, and guitarists such as Michel and Jacynthe Aucoin, Hilda Chiasson Cormier, Robert Deveaux, Glen Graham, Rodney MacDonald, Wendy MacIsaac, Donald and Matthew MacLennan, Mary Elizabeth MacMaster, the Tremblay Family and Tara Lynn Touesnard. Some nights we have had specials guests in the living room such as Arthur Aucoin, JP Cormier, Ranni MacLellan, Buddy MacMaster, Natalie MacMaster, Scott MacMillan, and some of the The Barra Mac Neills all of whom have left an indelible memory.
Some of the greatest nights in the living room included readings by noted Inverness County author Allister MacLeod and playright Robbie O'Neill.
Gatherings with entertainment in the dining room, living room, and the Barn have been a part of the Normaway Inn since the 1940's. Films were a nightly event for many years hosted by my cousins, the Hart's, featuring the many National Film Board productions which focused on our region, including the the Margaree People by George Thomas, as well as, the Chair Maker and perennial favourite Song of Season by Grant Crabtree.
Recent regular performers in the living room include Louis Arsenault on vocals and guitar, Derrick and Melody Cameron, guitar, fiddle, and stepdance, Chrissy Crowley on fiddle, Rachel Davis on fiddle, and Douglas and Laurence Cameron fiddle and piano. Kristen and Kelly Shaw father and daughter fiddle and guitar, Colin Grant and Sandy MacIntyre fiddle.