Growing Gaelic in Nova Scotia Nova Scotia's Gaelic Culture Gaelic Youth in Action Gaelic Events Calendar Get Involved Current Projects About Comhairle Na Gaidilig

Gaelic Panel Discussion

We were blessed on November 20th to have Rankin MacSween, Lauchie McLean, Lewis MacKinnon, Rodney MacDonald and Tom Urbaniak in one room, helping us brainstorm ways to promote Gaelic awareness and showing recognition of the importance of long-term development of the language and culture. With MacSween, McLean, MacKinnon and MacDonald on the panel, they provided feedback to the visions individual community members have for Gaelic in the future.

May Town Hall Summary

The Office of Gaelic Affairs faced a staffing cut of 40% after the provincial budget was released in April 2015. This sparked questions and concerns of members of the Gaelic community. On May 30th, Comhairle na Gàidhlig hosted a Town Hall Meeting in Port Hawkesbury, N.S.. The goal of the meeting was to allow members of the community to voice their concerns, provide an opportunity for Gaels to connect with each other and develop a sense of reassurance and to get an update on the meeting held with the Ministers on April 22nd.

An La Mor June 27, 2015

An La Mor is the annual gathering of the Gaelic community. The big day was held in New Glasgow, N.S. at Glasgow Square. It was a day filled with music, conversation, food and prizes. With Greg MacLeod as the guest speaker, we had a great conversation about the importance of community development. We continue to look forward to planning An La Mor 2016.


Gaelic Community feeling devastated but determined
Sydney, N.S.: The Gaelic Community in Nova Scotia is shocked and saddened by the recent decision to layoff two of the five employees that work as representatives of the Department of Gaelic Affairs. The decision made by Stephen MacNeil’s government was announced Thursday April 9, 2015 as part of the government budget cuts. The Office of Gaelic Affairs works to promote the Gaelic language and ensure Gaelic culture continues to thrive in Nova Scotia. Gaelic Affairs also plays an active role in the strengthening and renewal of Gaelic language and culture.  

Gaels in the province have made remarkable progress over the past number of years and support from Gaelic Affairs has been a critical aspect of this progress. As a community the Gaels are both shocked and saddened. There was no prior consultation with the Gaelic Community and while government continues to communicate that it clearly supports Gaelic language and culture, these layoffs and office closure communicate a very different message.  

In support of the Gaelic Community an online petition was started to address the layoffs, with over 1100 supporters it is clear that there is a large number of people within this thriving community determined to change the government’s decision. The Gaelic Council of Nova Scotia (Comhairle na Gàidhlig) is asking the government to respond to their concerns. The questions the members of the Gaelic Community are looking to be answered include: how specifically will government support the Gaelic Community with two less support staff? What steps will be taken to regain our community’s confidence in the government’s supports of the Gaelic Community? Gaelic Affairs had a staff of five, where other community identity offices have almost double the staff complement and received less in terms of lay-offs, why was Gaelic Affairs more negatively impacted? Until the listed questions are answered the community will continue to rally together to ensure there is a plan in place with government officials that will aid in the continued development and success of the preservation and development of the Gaelic culture in Nova Scotia.  

For more information: (The Gaelic Council )

Current Projects

We always welcome feedback on our activities, and invite anyone interested to become involved in our committees and help to develop these projects.


At this time, the focus of our work is supporting dialogue and development throughout the communities that form the nest within which our Gaelic language and culture grows.

In April 2013, The Gaelic Council hosted a series of 10 community meetings across the province. These meetings sought to assess progress, and to get feedback on our recent draft planning work. The meetings were very productive and we feel they helped the Council as well as the various communities outline Gaelic priorities in their areas. These discussions were followed in June by an ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) workshop for community workers to explore how to better support their work.

Building upon this work, the Gaelic Council hopes to host a series of “Kitchen Meetings” which will assess the progress each community has made towards their specific Gaelic goals. The meetings will also embark on mapping community assets that support, or might become a support Gaelic.

Telling our Stories – drama workshops

The story of Gaelic in Nova Scotia is not well understood, and many who know the story speak little of it because of the pain and anger that losing their language brings forth. We think that it is time to tell this story in powerful way, so that people understand why we want to speak Gaelic, and so that people who have suffered from this loss will be given the space to share their experience and move from grieving to healing.

“Telling our Stories” is a series of drama workshops wherein Gaelic learners take real stories collected from native Gaelic speakers and English speakers about their experiences being separated from their Gaelic language, and develop a play production for the public. The whole project will be a chance for people province-wide to work together on their Gaelic, and learn drama skills which they can then bring back to their own communities. The play itself will be presented with an opportunity for discussion afterwards, where people can reflect on evolving attitudes about language and traditional culture in our society.

Seniors’ Outings

Comhairle na Gàidhlig has received funding from the ‘New Horizons for Seniors’ program which allows us to support communities in hosting activities and outings to bring seniors together around Gaelic.  The program focuses on encouraging volunteerism and breaking isolation of seniors. We are working to blend these objectives with growing our Gaelic speak community, by making lasting connections between seniors groups and local Gaelic learners to share time and skills. Four communities have enlisted in the program which will run over the winter and into the spring of 2013.

Provincial Forum

On a regular basis, Comhairle na Gàidhlig hosts a provincial gathering for the Gaelic community, offering a day of workshops, family activities, and Gaelic language sessions for the curious, and for new and seasoned Gaelic learners. We alternate each year between Cape Breton Island and Mainland Nova Scotia, hosting in St. Andrews in Antigonish County in 2012, and in Cape Breton in May of 2013.

The event typically involves daytime workshops, our Annual General Meeting, a Céilidh time in the evening, and a traditional Marag dinner, with special guest speaker.

Gaelic Language Workshops

Comhairle na Gàidhlig offer Gaelic language workshops periodically. Our working model is week-long residential immersion learning. Our goal is to develop our teaching capacity in Nova Scotia through strengthening the language skills of tutors and prospective tutors.

Comhairle na Gàidhlig hopes to see more and more of these sorts of learning opportunities available to Gaelic learners, and will be glad to support these initiatives in any way we can. We will continue to develop these programs, making sure that we are complementing, and not duplicating other great initiatives in the community.

Summer Student Employment

Each year we pursue funding, and are usually successful in hiring a returning student for summer employment. Responsibilities of the student include helping to plan and execute our provincial gathering and include organizational tasks, updates on the Gaelic Council’s website and events calendar, and assisting and representing the Council at community Gaelic events.

We are hosting these positions in Inverness County, the site of our administrative office, however the positions are open to students from across the province. All applicants must have access to reliable transportation, a computer, and access to high-speed internet.

Applicants must be returning full-time university students, and they should be studying in Celtic, cultural or community studies, or have experience in Gaelic language and cultural activities – however, all interested returning students are encouraged to apply, since there is such a range of skills and interests that can be accommodated in the position.

If full funding is received, the 14 week position will provide experience in communications, promotions and research work for students. Pending funding approval, the anticipated start date will be at the beginning of May. Applications should be postmarked or E-mailed by 6:00 pm, April 8, and include a cover letter, resume, and names and contact information of three references.

Comhairle na Gàidhlig Staffing

9 Keltic Dr. Keltic Plaza PMB 528 Sydney River, NS, B1S 1P4

Building Bridges throughout Municipal Government

Each year, we deliver a program of making presentations to Municipal Councils throughout the Gaelic regions of the province. We have been very well received, and the meetings have been informative for us; developing personal connections within the governance environment that we are working has been encouraging. Through this project, we have been able to raise the Gaelic profile a little more as local newspapers cover our presentations. Our presentation is an overview of our concerns, an update on our plans for the next few years, and a request for their support in principal, and financially when possible. Response in financial terms and in terms of a show of support from the grass-roots level has been gratifying to date.

Creating Spaces for Gaelic Conversation in Communities

We will continue to work with communities to discuss how to provide more informal and accessible ways for people to share Gaelic socially. Gàidhlig aig Baile Classes are an essential piece in growing Gaelic, but every learner needs a community of speakers and a place where they can gather with other speakers and share and practice. 


Getting to know Gaelic
An rud is fhiach a ghabhail, 's fhaich e iarraidh.

If it is worth taking, it is worth asking for.
Getting to know Gaelic
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