Pop­u­lar­ity forces ex­pan­sion

Gaelic Col­lege to of­fer two ses­sions for March break

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS NORTHSIDE/CAPE BRETON - BY JULIE COLLINS jcollins@cb­post.com

The pop­u­lar­ity of its an­nual March break ac­tiv­i­ties prompted the Gaelic Col­lege to of­fer a sec­ond ses­sion.

“This is a first for the Gaelic Col­lege,” said direc­tor of school op­er­a­tions David Rankin. “We’ve had some pretty full to ca­pac­ity ses­sions the last cou­ple of years. In or­der to man- age the de­mand, we de­cided to of­fer two. We’ll take a look at it once March break is over, but there was cer­tainly enough in­ter­est to war­rant a sec­ond ses­sion.”

The dead­line for on­line registration is Wed­nes­day for both ses­sions (March 10-13 and March 16-18).

Each year stu­dents from across Cape Bre­ton, Antigo­nish, Hal­i­fax and other parts of the main­land make their way to the Gaelic Col­lege to learn more about the Gaelic lan­guage and cul­ture, the only one of its kind in North Amer­ica.

“We also get stu­dents from out­side the prov­ince, some from New Brunswick, On­tario and we have one girl who usu­ally makes the jour­ney each year from Bri­tish Columbia, but the ma­jor­ity are lo­cal.”

This year’s ses­sions fea­ture in­struc­tion in fid­dle, pi­ano, pip­ing, gui­tar, high­land dance and step danc­ing. The ses­sions will also of­fer in­struc­tion in Gaelic lan­guage, song and drama.

Stu­dents ages five to seven can take part in the Fás, a pro­gram specif­i­cally geared for younger par­tic­i­pants to give them a gen­tle in­tro­duc­tion to the Gaelic cul­ture. The chil­dren can ex­pect to learn new Gaelic words and sing Gaelic songs. They are also en­cour­aged to try step danc­ing, along with classes in fid­dle, pip­ing and pi­ano and can take part in arts and crafts, games and a va­ri­ety of out­door ac­tiv­i­ties.

A pop­u­lar as­pect of the March break pro­gram are evenings filled with ac­tiv­i­ties like jam ses­sions, games, a square dance and sock hop, tal­ent show and fun in the snow.

Along with its reg­u­lar pro­grams, the Gaelic Col­lege of­fers Gaelic im­mer­sion cour­ses, Gaelic week­ends, on­line and af­ter-school pro­grams, to name a few.

“We do have new pro­grams go­ing on this year that we haven’t in the past such as the mas­ter weaver course in June. This course is al­ready full, so we’d be look­ing for ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est in of­fer­ing an­other ver­sion of that pro­gram,” said Rankin.

“There are still lots of op­por­tu­ni­ties in the sum­mer with our youth, fam­ily and adult ses­sions. This sum­mer we will have five new class­room spa­ces ready to go and that’s ex­cit­ing. We are def­i­nitely grow­ing in a big way.”


From left, Mairinn Camp­bell, Mal­colm MacMaster, Lo­gan MacLel­lan, Leah Mor­ri­son and Eilidh Camp­bell, long-time stu­dents at Co­laisde na Gàidhlig/ Gaelic Col­lege take part in a Gaelic lan­guage class dur­ing March break, 2016.

Colin Mac­Don­ald, Gaelic direc­tor and in­struc­tor (wear­ing glasses), and his stu­dents take part in a Gaelic song class as part of March break 2016 at the Gaelic Col­lege in St. Anns. A ca­pac­ity crowd of youth from across the prov­ince, the Mar­itimes and as far away as Bri­tish Columbia, came to the ed­u­ca­tional ses­sions last year.


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