Bho Chuan gu Cuan II: The Scottish Gaels of Canada - event in Belfast's Cultural Quarter

Bho Chuan gu Cuan (From Sea to Sea)  is a multilingual event which  will examine the place of Scottish Gaels in Canada from the 18th to the 21st century. It will open in the MAC at St Anne’s Square on Thursday evening 17 October and contine across the square in the Ramada Encore all day Friday 18 October . The event is a combination of academic lectures and arts events and is designed to interest a wide range of participants and listeners. It will  finish on Friday 18 October with a cèilidh featuring singers and musicians from Canada, Scotland and Ireland.

With English and French as official languages and schools at all levels teaching through either, Canada also has a rich multicultural heritage of both Native and immigrant languages. At the beginning of the 20th century there were well over a hundred thousand Scottish Gaelic speakers in Canada, many of them in rural areas like Cape Breton & Prince Edward islands where the language was passed on over generations. The conference is organised by two Canadian Gaels: Iain S MacPherson, film maker, writer and lecturer at the University of Ulster, and Robert Dunbar, Professor of Celtic at the University of Edinburgh. A range of speakers, singers and musicians from Canada, Ireland and Scotland will take part.

The conference will open at 7pm Thursday 17 October in the MAC, The Factory, with an overview of Gaelic and multiculturalism in Canada by Professor Robert Dunbar. The Irish première of the film Bothan air a' Phrèiridh, which tells the personal story of Scottish Gaels emigrating from the Western Isles to Western Canada and back, will follow. Speakers on Friday 19 October will look at the Scottish Gaels of Canada from the 18th century to the revival of the 21st century. Topics include Canada’s major role in 19th-century Gaelic-language publishing, religion and language, the Gaelic song and poetic tradition, living folklore and present efforts to revive the use of Scottish Gaelic in Nova Scotia. Speakers include Lewis MacKinnon from the Nova Scotia Government’s Gaelic Office, song collector Dr Stepahnie Conn from the University of Toronto, historian Dr Karly Kehoe from Glasgow Caledonian University, Dr Sheila Kidd from the University of Glasgow and Gilleasbuig Ferguson of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig/UHI.  The conference will conclude with a cèilidh in the Ramada Encore featuring music by piper Fin Moore, fiddler Sarah Hoy, singer Gráinne Holland and others.

The conference is organised by the University of Ulster's Irish & Celtic Studies Research Institute in partnership with the Celtic Department of the University of Edinburgh, and in association with the Gaelic Affairs Office of Nova Scotia as well as Colmcille, an initiative which fosters links between Gaelic Ireland and Gaelic Scotland. The conference is open to all and  free of charge.
Further Information contact Caroline Elvin, University of Ulster: c.elvin@ulster.ac.uk or Iain MacPherson, University of Ulster: js.macpherson@ulster.ac.uk

Bho Chuan gu Cuan II: The Scottish Gaels of Canada - event in Belfast's Cultural Quarter