By Julie Collins – Cape Breton Post
CHRISTMAS ISLAND, NS – Feis an Eilein in Christmas Island will host
three events during the upcoming Celtic Colours International Festival
International guests Donnie Murdo MacLeod and Mary Ann Kennedy will
conduct children’s workshops in Christmas Island and Iona Wednesday.
Cuil Na Cloinne Gaelic workshop will be held at Rankin Memorial School,
Iona from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and at the Christmas Island Fire Hall
from 1:30-2:30 p.m. hosted by Feis an Eilein.
“The workshop facilitators use a lot of comical and rhyming songs that
we don’t have here but have been developed in Scotland for use in the
classrooms,” said Feis an Eilein chairperson Allison MacKenzie. “This
is an opportunity for those children who aren’t taking Gaelic as a core
subject to still get some Gaelic instruction.”
The workshop for the students of Christmas Island School will held at the fire hall.
Orain Am Measg Cuideachd (Gaelic Song Sharing) will be held at the
Christmas Island Fire Hall Friday, Oct. 17, from 4-6 p.m. facilitated
by Jim Watson, Gaelic co-ordinator for the Highland Village and a
strong supporter of the feis throughout the years.
“The song sharing is an enjoyable event for the participants,
especially fluent Gaelic singers and speakers,” MacKenzie said. “They
have an opportunity to share some of the history of these songs. A lot
of knowledge passes back and forth. This is important as we continue to
work to preserve the Gaelic language and culture on Cape Breton Island.”
According to MacKenzie, the Gaelic singers and artists seem to
appreciate the opportunity to gather in this type of informal session.
Local and international Gaelic singers will share and discuss Gaelic
songs, the stories of the songs and singing styles common and unique to
both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
Comhla Cruinn (Gathered Together) will be held at the Christmas Island
Fire Hall Friday, Oct. 17 beginning at 7:30 p.m. with a milling frolic.
The milling frolic will feature local tradition bearers along with the
invited guests from Scotland. The concert features Gaelic songs, fiddle
and pipe tunes. Piper Kevin Dugas and fiddler Kimberley Fraser will
perform along with Gaelic singers Donnie Murdo MacLeod, Mairi MacInnes
and Margaret Bennett from Scotland.
“This focuses on the Gaelic culture and roots of the area,” MacKenzie
said. “It is always exciting for the community to have international
artists performing in the local.”
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