News release

Investment to Create Gaelic College Satellite Campus in Mabou

Premier Iain Rankin announced the province is investing $1.92 million to renovate a former convent and residence in Mabou to create a satellite campus of the Gaelic College. The premier made the funding announcement during a visit to the site of the new campus today, March 13.

Gaelic language, culture and identity are celebrated in Nova Scotia and need nurturing to thrive, and this funding will transform the former St. Joseph’s Convent and Renewal Centre into a refreshed facility called Mabou Hill College or Beinn Mhàbu.

“This investment will help in promoting, preserving and perpetuating Gaelic language, culture and identity,” said Premier Rankin. “This builds on the significant work of Gaelic renewal happening at the college, on the island and in communities. Mealaibh an naidheachd oirbh is sibh-se a th’air a bhi a’ dèanadh obair mhór aig a’ Cholaisde (congratulations on the good work you’ve been doing at the college).”

The campus’s offerings will include a Foundation Year Program featuring broad-based course options including Gaelic culture and history, an Executive Certificate in Cultural Organizations/Event Management, and an Executive Certificate in Music and Ethnomusicology. Students will receive credit recognition for courses through Cape Breton University.

“Mabou Hill College will be an invaluable addition to the cultural infrastructure of Nova Scotia and another thread in the cultural fabric that we are weaving together. This is another confident step into the future for the Gaelic College,” said Suzanne Lohnes-Croft, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

Mabou Hill College will also be home to artists-in-residence, to North America’s first Gaelic Medium School beginning at the primary level, and a Gaelic-based internet radio station with podcasts, traditional music and student showcases.


Beinn Mhàbu will ensure that Gaelic Culture, history, language and music is a central focus in its programming. The students who attend Beinn Mhàbu will be local and international, transforming the community of Mabou to a year-round destination. Rodney MacDonald, president, Colaisde na Gàidhlig / The Gaelic College

As chair of the Gaelic College Foundation Board, I wish to thank Premier Rankin and the province for this great news. Beinn Mhàbu will leave a lasting legacy on Gaelic culture in Nova Scotia. Todd Higgins, chair, Gaelic College Foundation Board

The building and the work of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame have a meaningful presence in Mabou. Tha sinn air leth toilichte leis a bhith a’ cumail romhainn leis an obair sin, anns an doigh againn fhìn (we’re excited to continue that mission of education and community building in a way that will serve as a hub for so much growth in the years to come). Kenneth MacKenzie, vice president, Beinn Mhàbu Campus of Colaisde na Gàidhlig / Gaelic College

Quick Facts:

  • Gaelic College is an 82-year-old educational institution offering year-round programming in the culture, music, language, crafts, customs and traditions of the immigrant Gaels from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. It is located in St. Ann’s, Victoria Co.
  • St. Joseph’s Convent and Renewal Centre is a 32,000 square foot building in Mabou that includes a dining area, kitchen, small gymnasium, elevator and 37 bedrooms. It was built in 1952
  • off-season rentals (May-August) will be available for seasonal students working in the region as well as for conferences and groups
  • in Nova Scotia, the culture sector is valued at $929 million and provides more than 13,000 jobs

Additional Resources:

Gaelic College

Communities, Culture and Heritage:

Nova Scotia Culture Action Plan:


Media Contacts:

Matt Hefler
Premier’s Office Cell: 902-292-0824 Email:
Brett Loney
Communities, Culture and Heritage Cell: 902-497-0269 Email: