Féis Cape Breton launches mentorship programs
Want to encourage youth to become involved in Gaelic culture
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.