This culture is meant to be experienced
While on your visit to Cape Breton, make time for a stop in St. Ann’s! Get a first-hand look at the living traditions of Nova Scotia Gaels with our cultural demonstrations. Witness the construction of a great kilt, learn some Gaelic words and a song during a milling frolic, hear traditional Cape Breton music up close and personal, watch our weaver create one-of-a-kind pieces at the loom, and hear the language in full force during a storytelling session.
- Running June 26 – October 6, 2023
- Monday to Friday, beginning at 10:30am
- Great Hall of the Clans Museum
- Free with admission: Adults $10 | Youth (12 and under) $8 | Family (2 adults, 2 children) $25
- No reservations necessary
10:30am: The precursor to the modern-day kilt, the great kilt was a multi-purpose garment used by ancient Scots. Watch as our kilt makers transform 9-metres of tartan fabric into this extraordinary piece of traditional garb.
11:00am: Originally a way to ease the hard work of the millers, the traditional milling frolic has evolved into an enjoyable session where songs, stories, and laughter are shared with friends, family, and neighbours. Sit in at the milling table, and learn a few handy Gaelic phrases before getting into a traditional milling song, and trying your hand at “drubbing” the fabric.
11:30am: Known around the world, the style of music found in Cape Breton is infectious, and you’ll get caught up in the excitement as traditional musicians and dancers introduce you to the types of tunes, style of music, and nuances unique to this tradition. Music fuels our dance culture, which you’ll come to better understand after a demonstration of the local step dance style.
1:00pm: (12pm if there is no lunchtime ceilidh) Our resident-weaver gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the process involved in creating spectacular one-of-a-kind pieces. Working on a floor loom, you’ll learn of the old world techniques still in use today, and the many fine details that go into one single woven piece. Offered July-August only.
1:30pm: (12:30pm if there is no lunchtime ceilidh) The storytelling demo will take you on a journey through the humourous, spooky and fantastic tales and legends of the Gaels. With material ranging from the tall tales of Hector Doink to ancient Fenian tales, these stories will be presented in Gaelic and in English, so listener will be able to hear the rhythm of the Scottish Gaelic language, while still getting all the jokes! Pull up a chair and join us for a cozy afternoon chat.