Province Celebrates Gaelic Awareness Month
Throughout the month of May, Nova Scotians will celebrate the contributions of Gaels, their language and culture, and their unique communities.
Gaelic Affairs Minister Randy Delorey and Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Tony Ince were joined by Na Gaisgich Òga - the Young Heroes Youth Mentorship Program - and members of the Gaelic community at Province House today, April 30, to launch Gaelic Awareness Month by raising the flag of the Nova Scotia Gaels.
"The rich language and culture of Nova Scotia Gaels make our province a unique place in the Canadian tapestry," said Mr. Delorey. "Ours is the only remaining region in the country where Gaelic language and culture is being passed down from generation to generation within the community.
"The numerous contributions Gaels make to the province are evident through our Gaelic-speaking elders, a vibrant adult-learner community and a growing number of youth involved in school programs and mentorships such as Na Gaisgich Òga."
A focal point of this year's Gaelic Awareness Month is the recognition of 10 young people enrolled in the Gaelic Affairs' and Colaisde na Gàidhlig, the Gaelic College's collaborative pilot program Na Gaisgich Òga -- The Young Heroes. Based on a mentorship approach where the youth gather one weekend a month for 10 months, the program focuses on conveying Gaelic cultural expression such as storytelling, song, music and step dancing through the Gaelic language. Youth work with a mentor between gatherings to further develop their language proficiency and cultural appreciation.
"Gaelic heritage is claimed by thousands of Nova Scotians, and we continue to honour that heritage by recognizing and sharing Gaelic traditions," said Tonya Lundrigan-Fry, vice-president of the Gaelic Council of Nova Scotia. "Our culture is alive and well, and as we move further into the 21st century, Gaelic language is the central vehicle by which our culture and heritage will flourish in future. The youth being recognized today are a key part of that future."
The month also includes the second annual Gaels Jam - An Là Mór - the annual gathering of the Gaelic Council being held this year in Mabou, Halifax Regional Municipality's and Provincial Library's Gaels in Nova Scotia programs, and the launch of The Gaels in Nova Scotia exhibit at the Museum of Industry in Stellarton.
The second half of the month will include a visit from Gaelic educator, broadcaster, author and activist Roddy MacLean. Arriving from Scotland, Mr. MacLean will give presentations around the province on the theme Gaels and Nature: Connections between Language and Culture and Environment.