2004 Gaelic Events in Nova Scotia

Gaelic Nova Scotia

Introduction by SEUMAS WATSON

Tradition in a Modern World The matter of Gaelic language in Nova Scotia has been a subject of discussion for its advocates for nearly two hundred years. The question most asked is, will Gaelic die? Whatever will be, the Gaelic language yet lives in Nova Scotia and the month of May has been designated to celebrate its achievements.

If one examines the history of Gaelic in Nova Scotia, it is evident that much dedicated work has been to ensure the language's future. Going back to the turn-of-the-century's Gaelic publication Mac-Talla, we read about a Gaelic environment much different from that of today's. It was during this era that Gaelic suffered the most as it began to decline in usage. The ongoing struggle for its maintenance was initiated by its faithful around that period. As so often happens, opinions change over time and understanding deepens. It is now apparent that Nova Scotia's Gaelic language has taken a substantial step in the right direction. The new world we live in today is governed by information.

Accordingly the Age of Information brings with it many new opportunities for Gaelic and the Gael.

Nova Scotia's Gaelic-speaking regions no longer exists in isolation. Every year sees an increase in the number of tourists seeking Gaelic cultural experiences in Nova Scotia.

In years gone by, Gaelic's champions bore a vision of fidelity to their forebears traditions. Their contribution has been immeasurable. It is now widely understood that Gaelic culture must also include an economy to continue its progress in modern terms. Gaelic Month proclaims the efforts of the old and new. Lets praise them all and keep up the Gaelic.

From the new wesbite of the Gaelic Council of Nova Scotia at http://www.gaelic.ca


May 1 - Gaelic Concert
Glendale Parish Hall - Glendale

We're having a concert of Gaelic song and music called "Cliù nam Bàrd" on the evening of Là Buidh'Bealtainn (May Day), Sat., May 1, starting at 7:30 in the hall. The night will be a tribute to the Bàrds of Bràigh na h-Aibhneadh, and will feature renditions of the songs of Sìne Heanaidh, Ailean and Raghnall mac Eóghainn, Dòmhnall and Sam Lìosaidh, Dòmhnall Ruairi (Montana Dan), Jimmy MacKay, Dùghall Rob, and Goiridh mac Alasdair Dhùghaill. A wonderful way to kick off Mìos na Gàidhlig. We may have a workshop of the Bards' songs earlier in the day!

May 1 - Milling Frolic - An Drochaid/Mabou

Enjoy an afternoon of traditional Gaelic work songs at An Drochaid (Mabou Gaelic and Historical Society building from 12-3PM) Come out and sing old favourites and learn new choruses. All are welcome at the table and choruses are posted for learners. Donations to Society accepted at door. Tea and lunch to follow. Thig a-nall agus gabh òran!!
Call Neil MacEwan at 787-2103 for more information

May 8 - Concert Featuring Cathy Ann MacPhee
Mabou

Bi Cathy Anna Nic a'Phi comhla ruinn am Mabou bho Dhi-haoine an 7mh. gu Di-Domhnaich an 9mh. la dhen Mhaigh agus tha sinn an dochas gum faigh sibh uile cothrom air a cluinntinn a'seinn agus a'teagasg nan oran. Cuiridh sinn tuilleadh fiosrachaidh thugaibh a dh'aithghearr.

Mabou will be celebrating Gaelic Month on the weekend of May 7th.--9th. with Cathy Ann MacPhee, the well known Gaelic singer from the Isle of Barra. Further details will be forwarded as soon as plans are finalized. Comunn Gaidhlig is Eachdraidh Mhabu.

May 15 - Milling Frolic
Fire Hall, Christmas Island

Comunn Feis an Eilein will host a Milling Frolic on Saturday May 15th beginning at 8:00pm at the Fire Hall in Christmas Island. This event is open to all ages but minors must be accompanied by an adult. For more information telephone 902-622-2605 or e-mail feisaneilein@ns.sympatico.ca

May 22 - Féis a Chlachain (The Village Festival)
Highland Village, Iona

Join us for a celebration of song to mark International Museum's Day and Nova Scotia Gaelic Awareness Month. The Féis features a special afternoon of Gaelic song workshops that will end with a milling frolic. Designed for learners and enthusiasts of Gaelic singing, Gaelic song tradition bearers will teach participants a variety of Cape Breton compositions and songs preserved from Gaelic Scotland. Admission charged. (Day begins at 1 pm).

Celebrate Gaelic Cultural Awareness Month with this day-long festival of Gaelic song. Workshops lead by local Gaelic singers feature milling songs, songs composed locally, and other local favorites. Make your day complete by practicing your newly learned songs at our evening milling frolic. 1 pm Registration, 1:30 - 6 pm Workshops, 7:30 pm Milling Frolic - Tuning Room, Back Stage $ 20 for day - $ 5 for milling frolic only

May 22 & 23 - Feis Mhabu - Promoting and enhancing our Gaelic language and culture!
St. Joseph's Renewal Centre, Mabou, NS
Thigibh dhachaidh ugainn!! (Come home to us!!)

Saturday, May 22, 2-3 pm: Gaelic for Young Children. Instructor: Bernard Cameron & friends. This class is for children. It is an early introduction to fun words, phrases, and song.

Sunday, May 23, 2-3 pm: Cape Breton Gaelic Stepdance. Presenter - John Gibson. Open to all lovers of stepdance (dancers and non-dancers), this session will give a brief history/overview of stepdancing in this area. Dancers Mary Janet MacDonald and Melody Cameron wll be on hand to demonstrate steps.

Sunday, May 23, 3-4 pm. Cape Breton Fiddle Style. Presenter- Fr. Angus Morris. This session will be a demonstration of tunes, a history of the Cape Breton style, and stories about this beautiful music that makes everyone fall in love with our island.

Fees: Saturday, Gaelic Workshop: $5.00 session; $15.00 family
Sunday, Stepdance Session; Fiddle Session - $8.00 per session; $15.00 family
OR both Sunday sessions would be $15.00 single/$25.00 family.

Please send name, address, telephone number, email, to Feis Mhabu, PO Box 198, Mabou, NS, BOE 1XO by May 14th/04. (cheques payable to Feis Mhabu). Early registration is recommended as space is limited, however, late registration may be available on that weekend.

Information on Instructors/Presenters:
Bernard Cameron comes from North East Maobu and grew up with Gaelic-speaking parents. He is a teacher of Gaelic language in some of the elementary schools in the area and he ha a great way with the children. He's sure to make the workshop easy, fun, and interesting for the young ones.

Fr. Angus Morris, Parish Priest, Mabou, is a highly respected fiddler with a repertoire that never seems to end. His love of the traditional style is evident when he plays the Cape Breton tunes and he will share his passion with eveyrone in his workshop.

John Gibson is from Judique (formerly from Edinburgh, Scotland) and is an author and independent scholar. Most recently he was the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for research into the history of North East Nova Scotia stepdance.

For more information, call or email:
Margo Batherson, 787-2833 (evenings)
Derrick & Melody Cameron, 945-2393
Mary Janet MacDonald - macdonmj@ns.sympatico.ca

Also happening on the weekend
West Mabou Square Dance, Saturday, May 22 - 10-1

St. Mary's Parish Concert, Mabou, at the Mabou Hall, 7:30 pm, Sunday, May 23

Glencoe Mills Square Dance (after the Mabou concert)
Sunday, May 23, 10-1, Music by Kinnon & Betty Beaton


May 29 - Gaelic Day
Gaelic College, St. Ann's

Surround yourself with Gaelic culture at the Gaelic College. Language classes in beginner, intermediate and advanced levels all day, a song workshop in the afternoon and a Milling Frolic in the evening. Instructors include Angus MacLeod, Jeff MacDonald and Hector MacNeil. Day Rate of $25 includes lunch.
For registration or more information: Email: Gaelic College • Tel: (902) 295-3411 • Fax: (902) 295-2912

May 30 - Céilidh By The Sea
deCoste Entertainment Centre, Pictou

Enjoy an afternoon of Gaelic singing, milling, story telling and fiddling.

At this afternoon céilidh, witness a milling frolic featuring the Halifax milling group An Cliath Clis. Hear the pounding of a woolen blanket on a wooden table or "bord" in steady rhythm to the singing of Gaelic songs of centuries past.

Enjoy the Gaelic stories of Kingsville's Goiridh Dòmhnallach, Jeff MacDonald.

Hear Prince Edward Island's Patricia Murray. Her powerful and captivating voice earned her one of Scotland's most prestigious Gaelic singing awards, and continues to touch listeners worldwide.

Clap your hands and stamp your feet to the music of The Boisdale Trio with fiddlers Paul Wukitsch and Joe Peter MacLean accompanied on piano by Janet Cameron.

Other Gaelic singers include one of Cape Breton's finest Gaelic tradition bearers Rod C MacNeil of Barra Glen. He will be joined on stage by his grand daughter, young Morag MacNeil of Pomquet.

Master of Ceremonies for the afternoon is Joe Murphy. Come céilidh with us in a cabaret style setting. In keeping with the Gaelic tradition of hospitality, tea and oatcakes will be served during intermission. Tha fàilte romhaibh uile! (You're all welcome!)

Admission $16. Tickets available at the deCoste Entertainment Centre
Tickets can be reserved by calling the deCoste at 485-8848 or 1-800-353-5338 (visa and mastercard accepted)
Wheel chair locations are available.

June 12-13 - Gaelic Heritage Weekend
Highland Village, Iona

Come and celebrate Museum Weekend in Nova Scotia with a weekend of Gaelic heritage.Gaelic language and song instruction and two Gaelic film productions will be featured. On Saturday, Inverness County tradition bearer Goiridh Dòmhnallach (Jeff MacDonald) will present a day of Gaelic language teaching and cultural orientation. The day will also feature a viewing of the subtitled Gaelic film Na h-Eithilrich (The Emigrants), a BBC production that focuses on the story of Highland settlements in Nova Scotia. Sunday will feature An Ceasnachadh: Interrogation of a Highland Lass, a subtitled film about a young Gaelic-speaking woman's detention by police following the theft of the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abby. The film will be followed by an afternoon Gaelic song exchange. Admission $5 on Saturday. Sunday admission is free. (Saturday 10 am to 4 pm, Sunday 1 to 4 pm).

June 21 - An Samhradh Òr-gheal (Golden Summer)
Highland Village, Iona

To mark the Summer Solstice, the Highland Village will host An Samhradh Òr-gheal (Golden Summer). The evening will feature a presentation of slides and narration on the landscapes and people of the Scottish Highlands by Wally Ellison of West Bay Road, Inverness County followed by a céilidh featuring the small pipes, as well as Gaelic singing and fiddle music. Admission is free. (7 to 10 pm).

July 5-9 - Gaelic Language and Culture Summer Institute
Dalbrae Academy-Mabou

This Institute of learning is for teachers, pre-service teachers and anyone involved with the teaching of Gaelic language and culture, e.g., at night classes.
Partners: Culture Division, N.S. Tourism and Culture, N.S.Department of Education, and the Highland Council, Scotland.
More information will be forthcoming in the near future.

July - Làithean sona/"Happy Days" Children's Program
Highland Village - Iona

Làithean sona refers to the happy days of one's childhood. Take part in this special living history program for children and get a sense of what life was like for Gaels in those special days. The program features special hands-on activities including chores, crafts, games, language and song. Costumes are provided. For ages 8 to 12 only. Reservations required. 10 am to 4 pm - Reception Desk, Visitor Centre. $ 30.00/child.

July 14 - Làithean sona/"Happy Days" Children's Program – Highland Village, Iona
Làithean sona refers to the happy days of one's childhood. Take part in this special living history program for children and get a sense of what life was like for Gaels in those special days. The program features special hands-on activities including chores, crafts, games, language and song. Costumes are provided. For ages 8 to 12 only. Reservations required.
10 am to 4 pm - Reception Desk, Visitor Centre. $ 30.00/child.


July 21 - Làithean sona/"Happy Days" Children's Program
Highland Village, Iona

Làithean sona refers to the happy days of one's childhood. Take part in this special living history program for children and get a sense of what life was like for Gaels in those special days. The program features special hands-on activities including chores, crafts, games, language and song. Costumes are provided. For ages 8 to 12 only.
Reservations required.10 am to 4 pm - Reception Desk, Visitor Centre $ 30.00/child.

July 28 - Làithean sona/"Happy Days" Children's Program
Highland Village - Iona

Làithean sona refers to the happy days of one's childhood. Take part in this special living history program for children and get a sense of what life was like for Gaels in those special days. The program features special hands-on activities including chores, crafts, games, language and song. Costumes are provided. For ages 8 to 12 only. Reservations required. 10 am to 4 pm - Reception Desk, Visitor Centre. $ 30.00/child.

August 4 - Làithean sona/"Happy Days" Children's Program
Highland Village, Iona

Làithean sona refers to the happy days of one's childhood. Take part in this special living history program for children and get a sense of what life was like for Gaels in those special days. The program features special hands-on activities including chores, crafts, games, language and song. Costumes are provided. For ages 8 to 12 only. Reservations required. 10 am to 4 pm - Reception Desk, Visitor Centre. $ 30.00/child

August 7 - Là Mór a' Chlachain/Highland Village Day
Highland Village, Iona

Join us for a fun, day-long celebration of Gaelic arts. Fiddlers, step-dancers, pipers, highland dancers, and more, come together to treat visitors to traditional Nova Scotia Gaelic culture in this outdoor concert overlooking the Bras d'Or Lakes. Evening square dance at the Iona Legion. 2 to 7 pm Concert 9 pm to 1 am Dance $ 10 adult – concert, Children under 12 free, $ 6 adult – dance

August 11 - Làithean sona/"Happy Days" Children's Program
Highland Village, Iona

Làithean sona refers to the happy days of one's childhood. Take part in this special living history program for children and get a sense of what life was like for Gaels in those special days. The program features special hands-on activities including chores, crafts, games, language and song. Costumes are provided. For ages 8 to 12 only. Reservations required. 10 am to 4 pm - Reception Desk, Visitor Centre. $30.00/child

August 17 – 21 - Féis an Eilein - Christmas Island

August 18 - Làithean sona/"Happy Days" Children's Program
Highland Village, Iona
Làithean sona refers to the happy days of one's childhood. Take part in this special living history program for children and get a sense of what life was like for Gaels in those special days. The program features special hands-on activities including chores, crafts, games, language and song. Costumes are provided. For ages 8 to 12 only. Reservations required. 10 am to 4 pm Reception Desk, Visitor Centre. $ 30.00/child.

August 25 - Làithean sona/"Happy Days" Children's Program
Highland Village, Iona

Làithean sona refers to the happy days of one's childhood. Take part in this special living history program for children and get a sense of what life was like for Gaels in those special days. The program features special hands-on activities including chores, crafts, games, language and song. Costumes are provided. For ages 8 to 12 only. Reservations required. 10 am to 4 pm Reception Desk, Visitor Centre. $30.00/child


Gaelic Events (Outside Nova Scotia)

June 11 - 14 8th Annual ACGA Scottish Gaelic Immersion Weekend
Toronto

The ACGA in association with the Celtic Studies Program, University of St. Michael's College will host its 8th Annual Scottish Gaelic Immersion Weekend in Toronto Ontario Canada.

Guest Instructors to include:
Murdo MacLeod (Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Skye)
Ken Nilsen (St. Francis Xavier University , Nova Scotia)
Effie Rankin (Cape Breton)
Jeff MacDonald (Cape Breton)

For more information or to be placed on the mailing list please email Janice at
ruadh@idirect.com.
For more information visit http://www.geocities.com/torontogaelic.

July 4-9 Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week
North Carolina

Sponsor: An Comunn Gaidhealach, America (The Gaelic Society, America)
Dates for 2004: Sunday, July 4 through Friday, July 9
Location: Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk, North Carolina
Nearby attractions: Grandfather Mountain and the annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games that are held this year from July 9 - 11, 2004
This year's Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week, sponsored by An Comunn Gaidhealach, America, will run from July 4th through the 9th in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina.

Gaelic song classes covering a range of traditional forms will be offered, including waulking or milling songs and mouth music. Scottish Gaelic language classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced speakers will also be offered. Teachers this year will be Donnie Murdo MacLeod from Stornoway in the Isle of Lewis, Scotland; and Jamie MacDonald, a native of North Carolina and now a member of the faculty at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. A special treat this year will also be the teaching of Gaelic Psalm singing by one of Scotland's most talented precentors (a person who lines out the psalms for the congregation) by Donnie Murdo MacLeod. There will also be plenty of opportunities outside of class to practice speaking Gaelic with other students and instructors. Additional activities include evening cèilidhs, Gaelic videos, a silent auction, and hikes in the beautiful surrounding mountains. A Gaelic mòd, or singing competition, will be held on the Saturday following the workshop at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. Participants in the Gaelic Song Week are urged to stay for the Highland games and compete in the mòd.

The workshop is housed at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina. Participants stay in one of the school's charming spacious dormitories and three nutritious meals a day are provided by the college food service. Fees for the week are $375, using the ACGA and early registration discounts. This price
includes all instruction, room, and meals from Sunday evening dinner through
Friday lunch. Participants must register before June 15, 2004 to qualify for the
early registration discount, so don't delay.

The workshop concludes just as the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games are
getting underway down the road at McRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain.
As usual there will be a Gaelic tent at the games, and the North Carolina Gaelic Mòd will take place on Saturday at 3:00 PM.

Contacts: Cam MacRae at acmacr2@uky.edu or Jamie MacDonald at jrmacdon@stfx.ca

For more information see also: www.acgamerica.org



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