Cape Breton - Festival Celebrates the Scots Gaelic Speaking Community of Canada's Nova Scotia

The 23rd annual "Feis an Eilein" is being held in the Cape Breton community of Easter Island from August 20 through August 24.  The Festival's Home page, which is linked below, gives us: "A Feis (faysh) is a community-based festival designed to promote the Gaelic language and culture of an area. Today in Scotland the Feis Movement has grown to number approximately 36 community festivals.  The community of Christmas Island is home to the first Feis to be held outside of Scotland."  

The 2013 Feis is another example of the renewal of Gaelic culture and language in Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Isalnd.  Anita MacDonald, the event co-ordinator and Gaelic speaker, is quoted in the Cape Breton Post; "The Feis was created essentially for the local people and then became something the people (visitors from outside the community) could come to.  Because  the (Gaelic) heritage here is so strong, people come and they want to identify with their ancestors and they want to connect with the language....".

The 18th century witnessed upheaval in the centuries old way of life in the Scottish Highlands and Islands of Scotland.  These events led to emigration from Scotland to Nova Scotia and by the year 1900 the census was reporting approximately 100,000 Scots Gaelic speakers in the province and the Gaidhealtach (Gaelic Speaking Area) encompossed most of Cape Breton Island."