News release

Province Celebrates Gaelic Awareness Month

Nova Scotians will celebrate the contributions of Gaelic language and culture to strong and diverse communities during May.

Gaelic Awareness Month was officially launched today, May 2, at a ceremony at Province House in Halifax that unveiled a new online Gaelic language and culture resource.

"Our diverse culture and heritage makes Nova Scotia a better place for families, and I encourage all Nova Scotians to celebrate the contributions of Gaelic to our identity," said Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister David Wilson on behalf of Gaelic Affairs Minister Maureen MacDonald.

A focal point of this year's Gaelic Awareness Month is the launch of An Drochaid Eadarainn (The Bridge Between Us), an interactive online Gaelic language and cultural resource developed by Highland Village Museum in Iona, Victoria Co. The project is a partnership with the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage's Gaelic and Acadian Affairs divisions, Canadian Heritage, the Municipality of Victoria, NSCAD University and Saint Francis Xavier University.

"This new website is an excellent example of partnership across governments and with stakeholders in the community and will help to enhance access to resources that promote and preserve Nova Scotia's Gaelic language and culture," said Mr. Wilson.

The website provides samples of local Gaelic dialects, songs, stories, music, dance and customs. Audio-visual materials from today's Gaelic community can be uploaded to share with a broader audience of learners.

"An Drochaid Eadarainn demonstrates, in a tangible way, how effective design practice can advance Gaelic language renewal and cultural restoration in Nova Scotia," said NSCAD University president David Smith. "We were proud to recognize faculty member Marlene Ivey at the President's Reception for Academic Excellence for her contributions to this project."

An Drochaid Eadarainn will also be showcased on Friday, May 4, at 7 p.m., in the Shannon Room, Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.

Other events and activities during the month include a Gaelic Awareness Month poster that has been distributed provincially and Gaelic cultural workshops and language immersion days in communities around Nova Scotia.

The month will conclude with a provincial gathering, hosted by the Gaelic Council of Nova Scotia, on Saturday, May 26, at St. Andrew's Community Centre, St. Andrews, Antigonish Co., and a Gaelic ecumenical service on Sunday, May 27, at 3 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church, West Lake Ainslie, Inverness Co. Father Malcolm MacLellan from Isle of Eriskay, Scotland, will be officiating.

Information about the council and the events it is hosting is available at www.gaelic.ca .

More information on Gaelic and Gaelic Awareness Month events is available by calling 1-888-842-3542 or e-mailing GAELICINFO@gov.ns.ca .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotia is celebrating Gaelic Awareness Month during May. The annual celebration was launched today (May 2nd)at Province House.

The launch included the unveiling of a new website with Gaelic language and cultural resources developed by the Highland Village Museum with partners from all three levels of government and NSCAD and Saint Francis Xavier Universities.

Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister David Wilson encouraged all Nova Scotians to celebrate the contributions of Gaelic to the province's identity.

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Media Contacts:

Lewis MacKinnon
Gaelic Affairs 902-424-4298 Cell: 902-237-0295 E-mail:
Michael Noonan
Communities, Culture and Heritage 902-424-1593 E-mail: