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Jun 2016

Mainstage Concert Series at the College!

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NEW to the ‪#‎KitchenFest‬! schedule for 2016 is the daily Mainstage Concert Series held here at the Gaelic College, St.Ann’s – and we couldn’t be more excited! Some of the area’s brightest stars, local faves, and up-and-coming youth will all grace our stage from July 2-8, and we’d love to see you here! Click below for tickets, or call us at 902-295-3441.

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Jun 2015

Gaelic College and Highland Village Museum offer a great day of cultural learning

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Looking to have some fun and learn a little culture too? Why not make a day of it! Swing by our regular demonstrations here in the morning, then hop over to Iona to check out their new ‘Living History’ offering for the afternoon! Always great to partner with our pals at the Highland Village Museum.

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Dec 2014

Comhairle na Gàidhlig teams up with Colaisde na Gàidhlig to support youth language mentorship program

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Photo: Students take part in recent Na Gaisgich Òga weekend in newly-designated ‘Taigh na Gàidhlig’ or ‘Gaelic House’ at Colaisde na Gàidhlig, St. Ann’s.
L-R, Back: Joe MacMaster (Troy), Mairead Matheson (Antigonish), Sarah MacInnis (Mabou), Abigail MacDonald (St. Andrew’s), Tonya Fry (Comhairle na Gàidhlig), Colin MacDonald (Colaisde na Gàidhlig), Emily MacDonald (Instructor), Archie MacDonald (Emily’s son, Ainslie Glen), Goiridh Dòmhnullach (Gaelic Affairs) Front: Grace Campbell (Sydney), Eilidh Campbell (Mabou), Paige Campbell (Whycocomagh), Mairinn Campbell (Mabou), Mark MacDonald (St. Andrew’s)

After a successful inaugural year for Na Gaisgich Òga | The Young Heroes, a youth mentorship program for Gaelic language and culture, the initiative is back again, this time with support from Comhairle na Gàidhlig | the Gaelic Council of Nova Scotia. With the intention to cover all entry fees for participants, the Council has donated $5,000 to the program.

Comhairle na Gàidhlig is a non-profit organization first established in 1990. With a mission to “lead in creating an environment that makes Nova Scotia a place where Gaelic language, culture, and communities thrive,” the group works to strengthen the community through their means of support. In year 2 of a 5 year restructuring plan, the council is moving in a direction of bringing together leaders with a unified vision, more provincial lobbying and advocacy, while focusing attention on youth.

“Our community is seeing more of the younger generations coming to fluency with the language,” says Tonya Fry, Vice President of the Gaelic Council. “Comhairle na Gàidhlig is interested in assisting in the facilitation of language learning for all young Gaels. The development of language skills will strengthen the connection to the history and culture for these young people. It is an investment in the future of Gaelic Nova Scotia. We are proud to support Colaisde na Gàidhlig in this initiative. Partnerships, such as this, between Gaelic organizations will also strengthen our community and build a stronger future for all Gaels.”

Developed by Colaisde na Gàidhlig | The Gaelic College, with partnered support from Nova Scotia Gaelic Affairs, the Na Gaisgich Òga program is an immersive Gaelic language and culture learning opportunity for Nova Scotian youth ages 10 to 15. After an application-based entry process, 10 youth are paired with a personal language mentor from their respective communities. Throughout the duration of the seven-month program, students work closely with designated mentors and participate in monthly immersion sessions led by Colaisde na Gàidhlig Gaelic Director Colin MacDonald, instructor Emily MacDonald, and GA Gaelic Field Officer, Goiridh Dòmhnullach.

“We’re thrilled that Na Gaisgich Òga participants are now able to take part in the program free of charge, thanks to the support from Comhairle na Gàidhlig,” says Gaelic College CEO Rodney MacDonald. “This is really a unique opportunity for young Gaelic learners, and having support from such organizations is of huge benefit to students.”



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May 2014

KitchenFest! Q+A: Andrea Beaton

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We’re getting so excited for KitchenFest!, so we thought we would catch up with some of the folks whose talents will contribute to the big island-wide kitchen ceilidh!

First up in our little Q+A series is Andrea Beaton, who is a fiddler, tune composer and recording artist originally from Mabou. We reached her in her home in Montreal via Skype last week to chat about KitchenFest, about coming home to Cape Breton to play, and about what she’s looking forward to most about the festival. Thanks Andrea, and we can’t wait to see you on the island very soon!

(Check out KitchenFest details on our website here or call us at the College, 902-295-3411.)

Us: KitchenFest! is all about the kitchen, which is important in the Gaelic culture. What are some of your memories of the kitchen? 

Andrea: I have lots of great memories of the kitchen! My grandmother, the only one living while I was a kid, had a great kitchen with a wooden floor, people would dance on that. And I remember that I would sit at the kitchen table when I was learning tunes, I don’t know why, it was just the best fit, to sit at the kitchen table! And food and drink is central to our culture and gatherings, so I guess it made the most sense to have the food and the piano in the same room!

Us: What makes playing in Cape Breton different?

Andrea: It can be scary to play at home! Because the people know, so you can’t get away with anything! But it’s also the best feeling, because the people know. They know what you’re doing, they get it, they love it. They dance the best to it! They feel what you’re feeling.

Us: What are you looking forward to the most, about coming home to play KitchenFest? 

Andrea: I get to play with a nice variety of musicians. You know, I love playing a dance with a piano and guitar, but you don’t always get to hire a piper or a singer to come up on stage with you. That’s going to be great. And I’ll get to see my family and friends, as well, and play with some of them too, with my parents Kinnon and Betty Lou.

Us: What’s your current favourite tune? 

Andrea: There are some days when every tune I hear is my favourite tune! But I really miss playing strathspeys. My favourite tune, I would say, is Christy Campbell. I don’t get much chance to play high bass tunes! Strathspeys are a kind of tune you don’t play as much when you’re playing away, you tend to play more jigs, reels, things that people connect with more, away.

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Oct 2012

Fuarag: A Traditional Gaelic Treat for Halloween

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By Emily MacDonald, Gaelic Director, Colaisde na Gaidhlig

 At Halloween-time, you will still find a few houses in Cape Breton that serve the ancient Gaelic dish, fuarag. At one time, it was very common to eat a spoonful of fuarag at each house you stopped at on Halloween night.  Although all you need to make fuarag is oatmeal and cream, each family and in some cases, each community, had its own special way of preparing and enjoying this dish.