Highland Village Museum Society Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary of Preserving Gaelic Culture

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Highland Village Museum, a living history museum and folk life centre, preserves and shares the Gaelic culture and heritage of Nova Scotia with special activities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Highland Village Society

Located on a 43 acre hillside with one of the most spectacular views of the Bras d’Or Lakes on Cape Breton Island, the Highland Village Museum is dedicated to the research, collection, preservation and sharing of the Gaelic heritage and culture of Nova Scotia. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Highland Village Museum Society with a series of events designed to recognize this special occasion. As a living history museum and folk life centre, the museum creates an interactive atmosphere where visitors learn the culture, language, crafts and traditions of everyday life through hands on experience hosted by costumed animators. Demonstrations and stories artfully shared with visitors show the history of Gaelic culture but as importantly, the vibrant Gaelic community that exists today.

The living history museum, known as An Clachan Gàidhealach in Gaelic, offers a comprehensive program of special animation activities, workshops, lectures, concerts, demonstrations and other offerings. The September program to recognize the 50th anniversary at the Highland Village Museum in Iona include the September 11th Pioneer Day, a festival of rural life for the entire family with demonstrations of flax processing, candle and soap making, treadle sewing and more. And what would any celebration be in Cape Breton without live music of fiddling, piping, Gaelic singing, step dancing, a ceilidh and even a corn boil. To honour the dedication to the Gaelic culture the Society preserves and shares with the world, Pioneer Day will even feature a real milling frolic.

September 18 celebrates the Highland Village Society’s 50th anniversary with a dinner and dance at the Iona Legion, a living example of celebrations of Gaelic culture and history that makes Cape Breton the Celtic Heart of North America. September 23 welcomes Hughie MacKenzie, In Story & Song Concert while the busy month ends with the September 29 celebration of St. Michael’s Day, the Scottish and Irish patron saint of horses, travel, sea and seafarers with a Milling Frolic and traditional tea.

“The programs and celebrations we offer are so much more accessible to consumers as a partner in the Celtic Heart of North America. Our efforts and those of our partners have made experiencing Gaelic culture and history memorable and meaningful to a very targeted niche audience,” states Rodney Chaisson, Director, Highland Village Museum/ An Clachan Gàidhealach. “We invite our visitors to take a bit of our Gaelic culture home with them with our fine selection of Cape Breton, Gaelic and East Coast music, Gaelic resources, Highland Village souvenirs, clothing, giftware and of course, local crafts.

The Highland Village Museum/ An Clachan Gàidhealach is open June through October and for more information on this Celtic Heart of North America partner, visit http://museum.gov.ns.ca/hv/index.html
About the Highland Village Museum/ An Clachan Gàidhealach
A member of the Nova Scotia Museums family located in Iona, Cape Breton, the vision of the Highland Village Museum/An Clachan Gàidhealach is to be internationally acknowledged for advancing research, fostering appreciation, learning and sharing authentic Gaelic language and heritage while serving a vibrant Gaelic cultural community. As a living history museum, the Village is dedicated to research, collect, preserve and share the Gaelic heritage and culture of Nova Scotia and represent it accurately and vibrantly. The Highland Village is also focused on growing Gaelic language and cultural interpretive programming on site as well as working with the wider community to facilitate the reconstruction of Gaelic language in Nova Scotia.


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Rodney Chaisson, Director
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