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
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
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
OFFICE OF GAELIC AFFAIRS FACES 40%
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.