***24 July 2014 – IMPORTANT UPDATE***

Discounted vehicle rental rates are available for Singing Storytellers, through Celtic Colours International Festival! See here for more information on how to access the discounted rate.

***OUR GREAT THANKS to the members of the Cape Breton KIWANIS CLUB who have  very kindly and generously agreed to provide local shuttle service for Symposium participants during our event! This is an tremendous demonstration of the kindness and hospitality of Cape Bretoners!***


Registrants traveling from outside Canada must have appropriate travel documents; all non-Canadian citizens require a valid passport. Delegates traveling from other countries may require a visa. The Canadian visa form is rather long, so please allow lots of time for completion, submission, and approval. For more information contact your local Canadian embassy or consulate, or visit:

AIR TRAVEL to Sydney, NS (YQY)

Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada has a small airport. Its airport code is YQY  – be careful not to wind up in Sydney, Australia!!!

Flights to Sydney are direct from Toronto (YYZ; via Air Canada or Westjet) or via Halifax (YHZ; via Air Canada). Air Canada offers daily non-stop flights from Toronto, arriving at 1am in Sydney. The trip takes approximately 2.5 hours. Westjet offers non-stop flights between Toronto and Sydney four times per week: Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

You will have more options if you fly from Toronto to Halifax and then on to Sydney. Air Canada offers several commuter flights each day between the two cities. Most often, the connection times are good, adding only perhaps an hour to your overall trip. The flight time between Halifax and Sydney is approximately 45 minutes.

For more airline information, visit:

 To get from the airport to your hotel, the only options are to take a cab or rent a car. The drive will take approximately 20-30 minutes and the cab fare is $10-15. You may be asked to share a cab with someone else headed in the same general direction (in which case, you’ll get a reduced rate). A flat rate is standard; the metre will not be put on. It is customary to add a small gratuity to the fee ($1-2).

Another option is to drive from Halifax. By car, the trip takes approximately 4.5 hours. There are numerous car rental agencies at the Halifax airport. There are also numerous minivan shuttle operators who make daily trips between Halifax Airport and Sydney. The trip is approximately 5-6 hours. Reservations are recommended to ensure you have a spot. However, the intercity bus (Maritime Bus) trip is much longer (6.5+ hours).

For shuttles, please contact (unfortunately, most do not have websites or online reservations systems, so you’ll need to use the phone):

Cape Shuttle Service 1-800-349-1698

MacLeod’s Shuttle Service 1-800-471-7775

Starline Shuttle 1-800-239-9811

B&N Shuttle 1-800-330-4223

Brennan’s Shuttle Service (902) 737-1265

East Coast Shuttle 1-800-873-5551

EZ Go Shuttle Services (902) 794-7261

Island Shuttle (902) 842-0441

CAR TRAVEL to Sydney, NS

Take the TransCanada Highway (104) through Nova Scotia to Cape Breton Island’s Canso Causeway. I recommend taking Highway 4 (via St. Peter’s) to Sydney. However, it’s also possible to stay on the TransCanada Highway (105) through Cape Breton (via Baddeck). The trip from the Canso Causeway to Sydney is approximately 2 hours.

If you come via Highway 4, it will turn into Kings Road when you reach the outskirts of Sydney, which in turn becomes The Esplanade, the road on which the Holiday Inn is located.

If you come via the TransCanada (105), take it until it ends at Highway 125 and head towards Sydney and Glace Bay. Take Exit #6 (east). That will put you on Kings Road, which turns into the Esplanade, the road on which the Holiday Inn is located.

Car rental agencies available at the Sydney airport:

Avis- # -1800-879-2847 or (

Budget- #-1-800-268-8900 or (