Na Gaisgich Òga

Na Gaisgich Òga / The Young Heroes is a Gaelic mentorship program for youth, run by Colaisde na Gàidhlig (The Gaelic College), in partnership with Iomairtean na Gàidhlig (Gaelic Affairs). Applicants must be between 10 and 16 years old, show a keen interest in Gaelic language and culture, and must be a resident of Nova Scotia. Na Gaisgich Òga gives students the opportunity to improve their language skills, participate in Gaelic culture (song, storytelling, music, dance, food traditions, and more), meet local native Gaelic speakers, and develop a deeper connection with their local community as well as the broader Nova Scotia Gaelic community. The motto for the program is “Thugam is Bhuam” which means “To Me and From Me.” This refers to knowledge being acquired (coming to me), and then being shared or passed on to others (from me). This year, Na Gaisgich Òga is expanding to 5 community locations across Nova Scotia. We are seeking 10 students from each location and surrounding area:
  • Halifax
  • Antigonish
  • Mabou
  • Iona
  • St. Ann’s/Sydney
The program will consist of 24 day-sessions held within the community locations, and one final weekend session at the Gaelic College for everyone to attend. As usual, students will be paired with a language mentor, a Gaelic speaker from their community who they will meet with regularly throughout the program. (2 to 3 times a month) Past participants of the program are encouraged to reapply. If you have already completed the program, please email Colin MacDonald before applying. ( Deadline Extended to September 30.

24 Day-sessions held in community locations [10am - 4pm]

One weekend session at The Gaelic College [Friday – Sunday]

  • October 10 & 11
  • October 24 & 25
  • November 7 & 8
  • November 21 & 22
  • December 5 & 6
  • January 9 & 10
  • January 23 & 24
  • February 6 & 7
  • February 20 & 21
  • March 6 & 7
  • March 27 & 28
  • April 10 & 11
  • Final Weekend Session at The Gaelic College: April 16 - 18 
  • Motivate students to learn, enjoy, share, and champion Gaelic Nova Scotia
  • Provide young learners with an opportunity to be immersed in Gaelic language and culture
  • Bring students closer to functional fluency in the language
  • Cultivate a sense of identity as young Gaels living in Nova Scotia
  • Enlighten youth to become aware and to respect inter-generational learning opportunities in regards to Gaelic cultural acquisition
  • Develop an awareness in youth of the unique opportunity they have to contribute to the growth of the language
  • Open to Nova Scotians ages 10 – 16
  • Applicant must live near to one of the community locations: Halifax, Antigonish, Mabou, Iona, or St. Ann’s/Sydney
  • Applicant must demonstrate a commitment to the Gaelic language and culture in Nova Scotia
  • Must demonstrate the intention to use Gaelic every day and to pass it on to others (family, friends)
  • Applicant will need support from family in regards to speaking Gaelic and cultural learning
  • Parents/Guardians must be willing to assist with transportation to group sessions and visits with the applicant’s mentor.
  • Tuition is $500
  • Timeline: October 10, 2020 – April 18, 2021
  • Participants will complete 100 hours of Gaelic immersion, and 60 hours of cultural learning in English
  • Participants spend 5 hours per month with their language mentor selected by the program coordinators.
  • Participants must keep track of hours spent with their mentors, and what material was covered.
  • Students who have already completely the program are welcome to apply again.

Click here to download the 2020-2021 application. The deadline for applying is September 30, 2020.

For more information, contact Gaelic Director Colin MacDonald at