Friends and family gather in Big Pond for funeral of Rita MacNeil

BIG POND, N.S. – A funeral service will be held today for singer-songwriter Rita MacNeil at a church in her Nova Scotia hometown of Big Pond.

The 68-year-old singer died last Tuesday following complications from surgery after a recurring infection.

MacNeil worked for decades to become a beloved fixture in Canadian culture, with her greatest success coming after she was in her 40s.

Her powerful voice explored genres from country, to folk, to gospel as she became one of Cape Breton’s most acclaimed performers.

A private service was held Saturday in Sydney at T.W. Curry Parkview Chapel.

Monday’s event is to be held at St. Mary’s Parish.