The Vancouver Gaelic Society is an organization that specializes in the preservation and promotion of the Scottish Gaelic Language, culture and music in BC province. It is celebrating its 110th birthday this year. The event, which will be marked on May 5th, 2018, will showcase the Gaelic culture and traditions.
The event will be held at the Scottish Cultural Centre and will see the Scots and their descendants from all over the Lower Mainland of British Columbia (BC), Washington State and Vancouver Island gather for an evening of first class traditional entertainment over a buffet dinner. A host of entertainers will be in attendance, including Guthnan Eilean, the vocal group from Victoria, BC, Seirm, from Seattle, Vancouver Gaelic Choir, Mary Ross, the traditional accordionist, Robyn Carrigan, the Nova Scotia singer and others. There will be dancing accompanied by teachers and callers to instruct those who do not know the moves.
The Vancouver Gaelic Society was founded in 1908 by a group of dedicated Gaelic devotees who wanted to establish a group where they could meet and enjoy company and fellowship. The first meeting was held on February 8th, 1908 at Sullivan Hall on Cordova St. Vancouver. The society aims to promote the Gaelic Language, as well as preserve all matters of interest to the Celtic race. In those days, the society used to hold two meeting a month, something that members found very valuable in providing a community where people with a common heritage could meet and find solace in sharing their joys and sorrows. Among the activities they engaged in, were helping the sick and disabled, as well providing financial assistance to those in need. With time, the society started to participate in Gaelic Musical festivals in Vancouver. This is an event that is modeled after the Royal National Mods that have been held in Scotland since 1891. The society has continued with the traditional of holding the festival every year, with time attracting many participants from all over Canada, the United States and Scotland. Throughout the years, the society has held Ceilidhs at their cultural center, where songs and other forms of entertainment were performed. The society, in the spirit of preserving the Gaelic language, offers lessons at the beginner and intermediate levels.
While calling upon the members to attend the event, the Society chief, Daryl Hutchings, noted that the society’s events are attended by enthusiastic members who are keen to learn and preserve the Gaelic language and culture.
The society’s motto is “Lean gu dlùth ri cliù do shinnsir”, translated as “Follow closely the traditions of your ancestors.”
The society has lived by its motto through teaching and preservation of the precious heritage and culture of the Gaels.
Language and Culture Educational Programs
Before the main event starts, there will be an afternoon program where language teaching, music, seminars, and a deep dive into Celtic linguistics will be available at no charge. “This is part of living closely with the traditions of the ancestors,” said Daryl Hutchings, while urging all the society members, friends and relatives to gather for the event. The event has attracted comments from the high ranking officers in the Scottish government, one of them was Rt Hon Fiona Hyslop, the Secretary of Culture, who had this to say, “I would like to thank you for all the support you have given our joint language. Your activities and determination have gone far in providing support, preservation and promotion of the language, music and culture we share.”
Tickets for the May 5th event are already on sale at https://vancouvergaelic110.bpt.me, with the regular price being 60 Canadian dollars for the entire package, excluding drinks. The youth and registered students will be charged $30 while children under the age of 12 will be admitted for free.
About Vancouver Gaelic Society
The Vancouver Gaelic Society was formed in 1908 by a group of dedicated Gaelic enthusiasts who wanted to establish a society where they could meet and enjoy each other’s company and fellowship. The first meeting of the Society was held on February 8th, 1908. The aim of the Society was to promote the Gaelic language and to preserve all matters of interest to the Celtic nations
Daryl Hutchings, Chief, Vancouver Gaelic Society