Category Archives: News

Galloway Gaelic’s Lost Province

Day Conference Sat. 8th Sept. 2018 Catstrand Arts Centre New Galloway

Mary Ann Kennedy Concert






Mary Ann Kennedy’s musical career has been recognised with a long list of some of the most prestigious international awards in the industry. After years of writing and recording, the Gaelic singer from Glasgow is stepping forward as a solo artist. Her debut record An Dan reflects her passion for tradition and fearless engagement with new Gaelic music and songwriting.

Mary Ann will be supported by Catrìona McGhie, a 22-year-old singer from Stranraer who released her

debut album, Òran, last year. Òran features songs from three areas of Scotland which Catrìona considers to be home- Dumfries and Galloway, Perthshire, and the Outer Hebrides. Tonight, Catrìona will be performing a selection of these songs.

Annual General Meeting

AGM 2018

Ceòl Cholasa 2018 

We’ve a great line-up for you this year, including arguably the biggest band on the trad scene at the moment in Tide Lines, multi award winning a cappella group The Young’uns, hauntingly beautiful tunes and songs from The Jarlath Henderson Band, not to mention returning favourites Cara.

We’ll have wonderful Gaelic songs from both highland quartet Beira and electronic duo WHYTE, the latter providing an immersive audio visual experience. Orcadian’s Fara will amaze with their driving fiddles and rich harmonies. Hamish Napier and Innes Watson will be wowing us with both tunes and songs up in our new hotel venue and of course there will be concerts from our wonderful local artists.

Proceedings get underway on the evening of Thursday 13th September (with Tide Lines headlining that night) all the way through to late afternoon on Sunday 16th September. The stomping Late Night Ceòl Ceilidh takes place as Saturday night gives way to Sunday morning with music from the Caitlin McNeill Ceilidh Band and special guests. And as always, you can get up close and personal with the artists themselves as they host workshops throughout the weekend. Not to mention the sessions at the festival club which runs to into the wee sma’ hours every night..

A Full Weekend Pass is only £80 and gains you entry to all of the concerts, workshops and ceilidh. You can secure the ticket the personal way by replying to this very email and letting us know how many you’re after. Then it’s simply a case of sending a cheque or paying by bank transfer. Full details can be found on our website.

You can also book online following this link. Please note this option includes a booking fee.

You can find accommodation on the Visit Colonsay website or by checking our updated list on the festival website

So what are you waiting for? Book now while you still can and we hope to see you in September for the best Ceòl Cholasa yet!

Suipear Burns 2018

Burns poster 2018

Gatehouse of Fleet Class

Class cancelled until further notice.  Sorry.   Please see information on classes in Dumfries and Glenkens.

Gaelic Day Annan 9th Sept. 2017

Annan Programme

Weekend Away in Perthshire with Margaret Bennett

Ochtertyre Song Saturday-Oct 7_Flyer

Na Seinneadairean (Gaelic Song Class)


The Gaelic Song Class Na Seinneadairean will restart for the autumn term on SATURDAY 9 SEPTEMBER 2017 at Kirkpatrick Durham village bothy starting at 11.00 until 13.00.

Please bring your own drinks or pay into the bothy drinks fund if you want to make yourself a hot drink there.

We’d be delighted to see class members old and new for another term of fun Gaelic singing under the brilliant leadership of Nicola Black.

If you have any suggestions for songs to learn or revisit, please let me know asap so that copies can be made available for September.

The termly fee will be £18 or £4 per session, if you would rather pay each time or can only make a few dates.

Please try and bring the correct money as we may not be able to give change.

Alternatively you can pay by cheque made payable to Gàidhlig Dumgal.

Further dates until Christmas are:

30 September

14 October      28 October

11 November  25 November

9 December

The venue will be in Kirkpatrick Durham, hopefully the community bothy, which has a fire for the colder days. If not, the venue will be KD Village Hall.


If anyone has any suggestions for songs, Nicola would love to hear from you so please get in touch:


Airbrushing Gaelic from Scotland’s story


Herald Scotland:
David Ross, Highland Correspondent / Saturday 4 July 2015 / News
Published Saturday 4 July 2015 / News
Updated Sunday 5 July 2015
Visitors are denied a real understanding of Scotland because the tourism industry obscures the true story of Gaelic Scotland and allows historical nonsense to be promoted, important new research has found.

The author challenges VistScotland to take steps to prevent “just any Tom Dick and Harry setting themselves up to take money from unsuspecting tourists” by talking rubbish to them about the Highlands and Islands, when they know little.

Former Deputy Chief Executive of the National trust for Scotland (NTS) Coinneach Maclean, is a Gaelic speaker from South Uist, who trained as an archaeologist.

But also worked in deer farming, community business development and housing investment in the Highlands and Islands, before joining the NTS.

In his late 50s he embarked on a doctoral thesis at Glasgow University, examining the treatment of Gaelic history and culture in the Scottish tourism narrative of the 21st century. His research involved taking a series of bus tours round the Highlands, when listened to repeatedly distorted and highly flawed accounts of the very landscape Scottish tourism promotes.

On one trip visitors were told that Loch BÃ on Rannoch Moor got its name from ‘the noise sheep make’ when ironically it means loch of the cattle. On another one they were told that the Picts had eaten Roman soldiers who had ventured north of Loch Earn through Glen Ogle.

Maclean’s decision to write the thesis had followed his taking a course, validated by Edinburgh University, for advanced ‘ Blue Badge’ tourist guides. He was shocked by the course content.

“I was surprised and increasingly irritated by the almost total blanking of a Scottish Gaelic presence from both history and landscape. When reference was made to Gaelic culture it was treated as though it belonged to the Iron Age.”

He even heard one tutor say that when asked to speak a few words of Gaelic, any old gibberish would do.

“It was one thing for the university to allow such nonsense to be peddled but what mattered more was that the students had paid good hard cash for the privilege, were being denied any knowledge that might have enabled them to effectively guide their clients through the Highlands. ”

He says that all important global tourist destinations today high priority to delivering an authentic experience, but Scotland falls short.

“It would help if VisitScotland might consider paying a little more than lip service to Gaelic, given its absolutely central role in Scotland’s story.”

He says its Gaelic plan gives no strategic thought to how Gaelic might be used in offering visitors an authentic experience.

He suggests VisitScotland supports guide training initiatives. “Such support for quality training should be accompanied by an accreditation scheme which might prevent any Tom Dick and Harry setting themselves up to take money from unsuspecting tourists by spouting arrant nonsense about Gaelic Scotland. ”

But VisitScotland Partnerships Director Riddell Graham, is responsible for co-ordinating the organisation’s Gaelic language activity, said: “We have already made great strides to develop and promote Gaelic, but we recognise that much still needs to be done to fully embed the language into all parts of VisitScotland in a way that it becomes an integral part of our strategic thinking, decision-making and delivery plans.”

Our revised Gaelic Language Plan, which includes the introduction of a ‘Gaelic Spoken Here’ Welcome Scheme and promoting the story of Scotland’s Gaelic heritage and language in our consumer-facing marketing activity, is currently with Bord na Gaidhlig. We look forward to receiving their feedback and to working with the wider tourism industry to continue to promote Gaelic and further enhance the authentic experience available to visitors.”

A spokeswoman from the University of Edinburgh said the university no longer administered the Blue Badge course.

“However, the University’s Office of Lifelong Learning is fully committed to the promotion of Gaelic language and culture. In addition to its Gaelic language course it runs a number of short courses throughout the year that place