Féis Cape Bre­ton launches men­tor­ship pro­grams

Want to en­cour­age youth to be­come in­volved in Gaelic cul­ture

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF VIC­TO­RIA COUNTY

As part of its youth ini­tia­tives, Féis Cheap Brea­tu­inn is launch­ing a mu­sic men­tor­ship pro­gram for those aged 12-18 to run from Septem­ber 2015 un­til April 2016.

The pro­gram's fo­cus is to en­gage youth from all over the Is­land and is lim­ited to 15 par­tic­i­pants from Vic­to­ria and Cape Bre­ton coun­ties and 15 from In­ver­ness and Rich­mond coun­ties.

The par­tic­i­pants will be men­tored by some of Cape Bre­ton’s most re­spected mu­si­cians. Along with con­cen­trated men­tor­ing ses­sions, al­ter­nate ac­tiv­i­ties will be sched­uled, en­hanc­ing skills learned with the men­tors and al­low­ing par­tic­i­pants op­por­tu­ni­ties for mu­sic shar­ing in com­mu­nity and so­cial set­tings. The pur­pose is not to re­place lessons that youth are al­ready po­ten­tially in­volved with, but to sup­ple­ment their learn­ing and mu­si­cal skill de­vel­op­ment.

Féis Cape Bre­ton’s Mu­sic Men­tor­ship Pro­gram aims to help youth de­velop skills in a nat­u­ral way, en­cour­ages self-di­rected learn­ing, pro­vides op­por­tu­ni­ties for play­ing and per­for­mance and to con­nect with com­mu­nity at cul­tural events through a di­verse pro­gram of shared ac­tiv­i­ties across Cape Bre­ton Is­land, and be­yond, en­sur­ing the cul­ture re­mains a vi­brant and liv­ing tra­di­tion for gen­er­a­tions to come.

Many mu­si­cians, along with cul­tural and her­itage or­ga­ni­za­tions, met to­gether over the past year and dis­cussed the prob­lem of a steady de­crease in the num­ber of youth learn­ing, play­ing and par­tic­i­pat­ing in tra­di­tional mu­sic and cul­tural events that were once abun­dant and a way of life.

“This puts not only our cul­ture, but also our econ­omy at se­ri­ous risk,” said Féis Cheap Brea­tu­inn co­or­di­na­tor Mac Morin. “With­out a new gen­er­a­tion of play­ers and sup­port­ers, the venues, which present this mu­sic will wit­ness a fur­ther de- cline in at­ten­dance and youth will lose the abil­ity to ex­pe­ri­ence our mu­sic au­then­ti­cally. “

Féis Cape Bre­ton’s mis­sion is to stem the tide of a de­clin­ing tra­di­tional cul­ture by re-ig­nit­ing the pas­sion and re­vi­tal­iz­ing in­ter­est and par­tic­i­pa­tion in tra­di­tional Gaelic mu­sic and cul­ture.

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