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GOVERNMENT OF CANADA INVESTS IN GAELIC COLLEGE ENHANCEMENTS
ST. ANN’S (NS) – January 16, 2011 – Recent enhancements to one of Cape Breton Island’s premier tourist attractions, the Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts, were officially unveiled today by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence.
“Our Government recognizes that the Gaelic College has a significant impact on tourism in Cape Breton,” said Minister MacKay. “That’s why we’re pleased to support the College in it works to preserve the important language, heritage and culture of the Nova Scotia Gaels
With funding provided through Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC), the Gaelic College Foundation has made modifications to the entrance of the College campus and has completed Phase II of the St. Ann’s Centre. This includes a dedicated space to interpret the story of the Reverend Norman MacLeod, a 19th century Presbyterian minister who relocated almost 1,000 of his Scottish parishioners from St. Ann’s Bay, NS to Waipu, New Zealand in the 1850s. The project also includes the development of a textile display and the design and engineering specifications for a new building to house an auditorium and additional classroom space. The total cost of this project is $537,000 and ECBC has provided an investment of $397,000.
“These recently completed improvements to the Gaelic College are part of a long term commitment by the Board of Directors to enhance facilities and incorporate additional exhibits,” said Maureen Carroll, Chairperson of the Gaelic College Foundation Board of Directors. “The Gaelic College has been instrumental in preserving and interpreting an important component of Cape Breton culture. We very much appreciate the significant financial assistance the College has received over the years through ECBC.”
The Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts is devoted to the study, promotion and preservation of the culture, music, language, arts, crafts, customs and traditions of immigrants from the Highlands of Scotland. Founded in 1938, the College has gained an international reputation for quality programming in areas such as highland bagpipe, Cape Breton fiddle, Scottish small pipes, pipe band drumming, Gaelic song, highland dance, piano accompaniment, Cape Breton step dance, Celtic harp, weaving, bodhran (Celtic drumming) and Gaelic immersion. The College attracts 18,000 visitors and students each year.
Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation offers programs in support of economic development initiatives and is responsible for delivering ACOA’s programs on Cape Breton Island and in the Mulgrave area.
Chairperson, Gaelic College Foundation