Gaelic fes­ti­val wel­comes spe­cial guests

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COMMUNITY -

The Sir An­drew Macphail Homestead is invit­ing guests to join in its inau­gu­ral Eilean an Àigh: Cel­e­bra­tion of Is­land Gaelic Lan­guage and Cul­ture Fes­ti­val, tak­ing place on site this week­end in Or­well at 271 Macphail Park Rd.

Be­gin­ning the evening of July 31 and con­tin­u­ing through­out the day on Aug. 1, Mary MacGil­livray, fes­ti­val di­rec­tor and Is­land singer-song­writer, along with Tiber Falzett, Is­land­based Gaelic-speak­ing scholar and mu­si­cian, have or­ga­nized an event that will ap­peal to Is­lan­ders of all ages and back­grounds. Ac­tiv­i­ties range from learn­ing the cho­ruses of lo­cally-com­posed Scot­tish Gaelic songs and na­ture walks ex­plor­ing the Gaelic names and lore of plants and an­i­mals in the Macphail Woods to bilin­gual sto­ry­telling ses­sions with tea, as well as a hearty Gaelic-inspired lunch high­light­ing site-sourced pro­duce.

Or­ga­niz­ers are also pleased to host John Shaw of the School of Scot­tish Stud­ies, Univer­sity of Ed­in­burgh, and James Wat­son of the Nova Sco­tia High­land Vil­lage Mu­seum, who worked to­gether record­ing sur­viv­ing Is­land Scot­tish Gaelic tra­di­tions in 1987 un­der the aus­pices of the In­sti­tute of Is­land Stud­ies, UPEI. Wat­son will be lead­ing a work­shop fo­cus­ing on the re­gional reper­toire of Scot­tish Gaelic songs as well as a hands-on thick­en­ing frolic (lu­athadh) that will al­low par­tic­i­pants to join in around the ta­ble with cho­ruses they learned in the work­shop.

Mean­while, Shaw will de­liver the sec­ond an­nual Sir An­drew Macphail Me­mo­rial Lec­ture, spon­sored by the In­sti­tute of Is­land Stud­ies. Shaw will share per­sonal ob­ser­va­tions from the field-record­ing pro­ject he led in 1987, now housed at Robert­son Li­brary, UPEI. His pre­sen­ta­tion will also of­fer po­ten­tial on­go­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for these archival record­ings in fa­cil­i­tat­ing grass­roots Scot­tish Gaelic lin­guis­tic and cul­tural re­newal in the province.

The fes­ti­val will con­clude with Taigh Cèilidh ‘ic Phàil (Macphail Cèilidh House) grand fi­nale con­cert with spe­cial guests, in­clud­ing many tal­ented Is­land mu­si­cians and singers for an evening of song, story and foot­tap­ping tunes.

Spa­ces are lim­ited; pre-book­ing is highly rec­om­mended. Full two-day fes­ti­val passes, in­clud­ing spe­cial lunch, evening lec­ture and fi­nale cèilidh con­cert, are avail­able. There will also be lim­ited passes avail­able for these events in­di­vid­u­ally.

“Thi­gibh air chèilidh; bidh fàilte chrid­heil romhaibh (come for a visit; a hearty welcome awaits you)!” says a re­lease.

For more de­tails and pre­book­ing, visit www.macphail­home­stead.ca or phone 902-651-2789.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

John Shaw, right, of Celtic and Scot­tish Stud­ies, Univer­sity of Ed­in­burgh, and James Wat­son, cen­tre, of the Nova Sco­tia Mu­seum’s High­land Vil­lage in Iona, Cape Bre­ton, share a song with Allan MacLeod, a mother-tongue Gaelic speaker from Rocky Bos­ton, Cape Bre­ton. Shaw and Wat­son are part of the inau­gu­ral Eilean an Àigh: Cel­e­bra­tion of Is­land Gaelic Lan­guage and Cul­ture Fes­ti­val, tak­ing place this week­end in Or­well.

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