About Us

Support & Sponsorship

Ceol Cascadia - Cascadia Irish Music Week's parent organization

Ceol Cascadia is a project of the Seattle Irish Heritage Club, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. We are based in Seattle, Washington, USA. Our mission is to preserve and nurture the heritage of Irish traditional music and culture in the Pacific Northwest by organizing classes, concerts and other events; through public outreach; and by presenting the Cascadia Irish Music Week, a yearly gathering of learners and teachers of Irish traditional music and culture.

Who We Are 

Randal Bays, Artistic Director

Joe McDonough, Program Manager

Brendan Boyle, Treasurer

John Blandin, Webmaster

Abbey Ryle, Registrar

Our Program

Cascadia Irish Music Week's activities are supported almost entirely by tuition fees. The best way you can show us your support is to attend our program — and get a fantastic deal on a week-long music program while you're at it!

Donating to Cascadia Irish Music Week

While the tuition fees cover the cost of bringing in the great faculty members every year, we depend on donations and sponsorships to enrich the camp experience and to provide the extras that make it such a special event. Whether it’s offering scholarships to promising young musicians, bringing in special guests to lead sessions, or ensuring that participants have the ability to interact with the teachers in a low-key, intimate environment, we try to make it a great experience while keeping it affordable. Please consider making a donation of any amount you can afford to CIMW to ensure that we can continue to provide these special programs. You can specifically earmark a donation for scholarships.


CIMW is made possible by the many folks who generously donate their time before and during the week of camp. A big thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers, who number too many to list here. We couldn't do it without you!

If you are interested in volunteering with us, please email us.

History of Cascadia Irish Music Week

Our part of the world - Cascadia, or the Pacific Northwest - was never a big destination for nineteenth century immigrants from Ireland, like Boston or New York. However, since the beginning of European settlement there has been an Irish presence here, from the early loggers and fishermen, right down into the present, as a new wave of Irish immigration has brought many young Irish men and women to the region to work in high technology, aerospace, etc.

Founder and artistic director Randal Bays has lived most of his life in Cascadia, and has been involved in Irish music for many years.  He was in Ireland in the early 90s where he experienced the Willie Clancy festival in Co. Clare.  Returning to the Northwest, Randal wanted to create something similar here that would help people learn about Irish traditional music and the people who created and sustain it.  In 2002 he partnered with Dan Paulson of Friday Harbor, Washington, and founded the Friday Harbor Irish Music Camp, which operated every March for ten years and brought many of the finest Irish musicians to Cascadia to teach and play.

The Friday Harbor camp ended in 2011 and Randal began looking around for a way to start a new event that would be similar but would happen in the summer, making it more accessible to young musicians.  John Keane, of the Seattle Irish Heritage Club and Honorary Irish Consul, expressed interest in having the new event come under the umbrella of the IHC, so Randal brought together a few interested friends to form Ceol Cascadia and present the new event.  The name Cascadia Irish Music Week was chosen and it was decided to put on our first week at Camp Casey on Whidbey Island.  After two years there, we moved to The Evergreen State College in Olympia, our current home.