07 July 2017
GAELIC SOCIETY TRUSTEE MICHAEL MAC MILLAN HOSTS MEMBERS
On the evening of Thursday, 22 June 2017, Michael MacMillan and his wife, Cathy Spoel, welcomed us warmly to their home in Forest Hill, Toronto. Bella, their Westie, was excited to introduce herself to us all while Michael immediately offered us a glass of wine from his own orchard, Closson Chase, in Prince Edward County. We made our way to their back patio where we were met by gorgeous silver trays of dainty sandwiches, canapes, vegetables and fruit trays plus delectable pastries.
Mary MacKay MacMillan, Michael’s mother, was delighted to meet some old friends that she hadn’t seen for a long time. Mary is a devotee of Gaelic, both its culture and language. She attends the Canan agus Òran workshops at St. Michael’s College and always enriches the classes with her rich knowledge of Scottish history plus her Scottish Canadian background from her early days in Prince Edward Island.
Although we didn’t plan to have a Ceilidh, that’s what happened! A REAL Ceilidh should never be planned! World famous Folk Singer Maggie Christl, now a close friend and greatly admired by Mary, was one of our guests and willingly sang some songs. That set the mood! She was followed by Fillina Maclean from North Uist, whose rich, intense interpretation of Gaelic songs is incomparable. Ishbel MacIver joined Rhoda and Ken MacRitchie, Chris Bateman, Matt Chisholm, Laurie MacKinnon, Cinders McLeod, Trish MacNeil and Oighrig Keogh in the choruses, while others sat back and enjoyed.
A great surprise was the introduction of ANGUS, our Gaelic Society magnificent Ram’s Head sporting his glorious sterling silver mountings and massive Cairn Gorm crest which tops the snuff container on the top of his head. Michael introduced Angus in all his splendor and recounted the many formal gatherings he had honoured with his presence in the United States. He really looked wonderful sparkling in the bright sunshine of an Ontario June evening. We were all invited to partake of the beautiful brown powder that our ancestors enjoyed years ago.
Matt Chisholm, a young, very fluent Torontonian, sang a couple of songs just like a lad from the Outer Islands. On retiring inside when raindrops came, Moira Billard sang “The Skye Boat Song” beautifully, in English. She was followed by Kathleen Campbell who gave a presentation of a historical publication written by one of her ancestors. A final treat for us was a Gaelic solo by Laurie MacKinnon. She has a beautiful voice but we never get to hear her at Canan agus Òran as, being the organizer, she is always too busy. Our parting was loud and sincere as we held hands to sing Oidche mhath Leibh.
MÓRAN TAING DO CATHY AGUS MICHEIL
Young Pipers Championship – 01 April 2017
Our 2nd Annual Young Pipers Championship was held at Moss Park Armoury Sergeant’s Mess on April 1st. Our Adjudicator was Peter Aumonier of the 78th Fraser Highlanders, who did a fine job on our behalf by all accounts and had a good rapport with the competitors. Congratulations to all the young Pipers who participated. All Pipers were presented with a copy of the book “Gaelic Names of Pipe Tunes” courtesy of author Colin Blyth, Past Chieftain of the Gaelic Society.
Prizes awarded as follows:
A' Chiad Fharpais/Event One – Grade 1/2:
1. Harrison Little - The Scott MacAulay Memorial Trophy
2. Rachel Gordon
3. Michael Malish
4. Matthew Parsons
Steeped Tea Fundraiser & Book Sale – 04 March 2017
We held a Steeped Tea event and book sale on Saturday March 4th hosted by Steeped Tea rep and Gaelic Society member Kim Graham. We tried tasty teas and browsed books! $172 in Gaelic language resources were purchased and thanks to our volunteer tea sellers, $216 was raised for the Comunn Gàidhlig Thoronto. Thanks to Kim and to our tea merchants!
August 24, 2016
We’ve certainly been busy having a great time at the Highland Games this summer with our Gaelic Language Resources Booths and workshops. We’ve been to Georgetown, Kincardine, Cambridge, Maxville, and Fergus, with just the Beach Celtic Festival to go in September. It’s always such a pleasure meeting new folks, sharing your stories and tunes, and seeing enthusiasm for Gaelic language and culture across the province.
We hope you’ve been able to get out and enjoy the festivals, as well as the many language learning opportunities that have been available this summer. The fall is almost upon us, and with that, many more opportunities - in person and online, abroad and here at home - to keep up with learning Gaelic. Read up on what’s available here.
Keep in mind we’ve several events coming up this fall, and are eager to see you out at them! We’ll be having a picnic in Couchiching Park in Orillia (Due to weather forecasts the picnic has been CANCELLED), hosting the annual Young Pipers Championship in Toronto, and holding our AGM where we will discuss Society business and elect this coming year’s new Board of Directors.
May 14, 2016
Comunn Gàidhlig Thoronto is pleased to announce a bursary for the Ontario School of Piping and Drumming (OSPD) Gaelic Immersion course to be held at the Mohawk College Campus July 3-8 and taught by well-known instructor Angus MacLeod. Levels are Beginner or Intermediate/Advanced. Bursary amount is $500 in total or in part. Deadline to submit applications is May 25th. The successful applicant(s) will be notified by end of day May 31st.
We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity for Gaelic Language Learning here in our own area. Click here to download and complete application. Please fill out and email to firstname.lastname@example.org - if any questions, contact us!
May 4, 2016
There’s lots of fun to be had this summer and fall! We’ll be Scottish Country dancing with well-known Instructor Maureen Richardson, travelling with our Gaelic Language Resource booths at Highland Games and Festivals across Ontario, and picnicking in Orillia.
Of course, with the summer season, there’s lots of upcoming Gaelic language learning opportunities in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and the U.S.
Be sure to check out Details of Events page for more information.
March 16, 2016
There's some great events coming up! Be sure not to miss Gaelic Film Day on March 19 and Cànan agus Òran on April 9th. Details and registration are on our Details of Events page.
Also, the Ontario School of Piping and Drumming is again holding a Gaelic Immersion program July 3 - 8, 2016, as part of its summer offerings alongside its Piping and Drumming instruction. Popular and well-known teacher, artist, and actor Angus MacLeod will be back again this year. Classes will be offered for both Beginner and Intermediate/Advanced levels. For more details or to register, visit their website. Register before April 1, 2016, and save $50!
We created a new Community Events & Information page. Here you can find organizations, in Ontario and beyond, which are working hard to support, sustain and promote the Scottish Gaelic language, history, culture and community. If you would like to be listed on the page or have an event or initiative to share, please let us know.
February 7, 2016
We had a great time ringing in the new year this January at Montgomery’s Inn. Take a look, we posted pictures on our Facebook page.
Also, you can catch up on the latest from the Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada (CASSOC) and read their January 2016 newsletter AN DROCHAID here. They will be holding a Tartan Day Spring Ceilidh in Toronto April 2. Here is their poster with the details.
November 30, 2015
Becoming a member or renewing your membership just got a whole lot easier! Check out the Membership page to see how. We so value your support, and all are welcome to join.
Also, everyone's favourite Gaelic workshop is back! Don't miss Cànan agus Òran on December 5th. As always, this is a space for Gaelic learners and speakers of all levels. We are lucky to have such great teachers at the workshop, including Oighrig Keogh, Rachel Redshaw, and special guest Mary Jane Lamond from Cape Breton. More details on the workshop here.
October 26, 2015
What an incredible fall it’s been thus far!
In September, we co-hosted the Gaelic Concert & Book Launch with special guests Michael Newton and Lewis MacKinnon. There was a great turn out, and we learned about the history of the Gael in Canada through song and verse.
Official business for Comunn Gàidhlig Thoronto was sorted in October, as members looked at the Year in Review for 2014/2015, and set the course for 2015/2016 during the Annual General Meeting.
We were also so pleased to hold the Young Pipers Championship at Moss Park Armoury. Twenty talented, young pipers travelled from across the province to compete for the Captain Iain Macdonald Memorial Trophy and the Scott MacAulay Memorial Trophy. Our most heartfelt congratulations go out to all the participants! We wrapped up the day with a traditional Ceilidh and the popular band, Scantily Plaid.
September 24, 2015
Firstly - We look forward to welcoming everyone to the Gaelic Concert & Book Launch this coming Friday, September 25th with special guests Michael Newton and Lewis MacKinnon.
Information has also been posted about our AGM on October 17th. We put together a Q&A to answer any questions you may have on the upcoming election of the Board of Directors for the 2015/2016 year, including the positions available, eligibility requirements and information on how to nominate someone or put your own name forward if interested.
August 5, 2015
It’s that time of year again when we’re still basking in the glory of summer and beginning to look forward to the fall. Comunn Gàidhlig Thoronto has been busy all summer with the highly popular Gaelic Language and Resources booths at Highland Games and festivals across Ontario. The booth will be at the upcoming Fergus Highland Games and Beaches Celtic Festival in Toronto.
There’s lots of exciting events to keep you busy this coming fall, starting with the Gaelic Concert & Book Launch for Seanchaidh na Coille / Memory-Keeper of the Forest (September 25). We’ll be hosting special guests Gaelic scholar Michael Newton and Nova Scotian Gaelic poet and singer Lewis MacKinnon as they share stories and songs from Michael’s anthology.
October will be busy as well. The Annual General Meeting is October 17, and we look forward to welcoming seasoned and new members as we chart our course for the year ahead. We are also absolutely thrilled to be sponsoring a Young Pipers Championship (October 24). The event is open to all pipers 21 years and under, and will be followed by a Ceilidh.
Keep in mind there’s so many opportunities to learn the beautiful Gaelic language right here in Ontario. There are in person opportunities to learn and share the language in Toronto, York, and Guelph as well as distance/online opportunities. See here for more details.
We look forward to sharing and celebrating with you in the months ahead.
July 19, 2015
Another good weekend for our Gaelic Language Resources booth at the Cambridge Highland Games yesterday as well as Kincardine Games July 4-5. Many questions asked on opportunities to learn the language and many resource handouts were taken away by people visiting our booth. It reinforces for us every time that there are many folks out there with Gaelic heritage who WANT to connect with that and are interested in the language aspect as well, which is why we keep doing this. Always great conversations, stories and connections.
Mòran taing to our volunteers who make this successful and to Sìol Cultural Enterprises for making Gaelic language books and CD's available to us to sell on their behalf. Save the shipping cost and drop by and see us. Next stops...Durham Highland Games this weekend, July 25/26 and Fergus Highland Games August 8/9 - drop by and say hello if you're there!
June 20, 2015
A friendly reminder to pack a snack and a lawnchair and join us June 23 at Edwards Gardens for "Dancing In the Park" with the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and live music by Scotch Mist. Details here.
The season for Highland Games in Ontario is upon us and we'll bring Gaelic to you! Check out which Games you can find us at here and be sure to visit our Gaelic Language and Resources booth.
May 7, 2015
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! We've had a busy year since our October 2014 AGM and plenty of opportunity to expand our activities. If you're interested in being involved in helping us to promote and advance Gaelic language and culture, we want to hear from you!
Some of the opportunities to get involved are:
If you are interested in any of these or if you have a special talent that you would like to share, we'd like to hear from you. To apply for a volunteer position or to ask for more information, email us at email@example.com and put Volunteer in the subject line.
April 29, 2015
We’ll certainly keep you busy with all our upcoming events this spring and summer!
Coffee, tea, Gaelic and baking lovers unite on May 23 for Strùpag ’s Òran - A Cuppa and a Song. Learn Gaelic you would use in the tea (or coffee) shop and put it use and enjoy a strupag (a cuppa) and home baking.
Pack a snack and a lawnchair and join us June 23 at Edwards Gardens for "Dancing In the Park" with the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and live music by Scotch Mist.
Also, there’s a fantastic immersion opportunity right here in Ontario June 28 - July 3. Don’t miss out on the Ontario School of Piping & Drumming’s Conversational Gaelic Immersion Program, with both beginner and intermediate/advanced levels. Please be sure to register by May 15.
And last but not least, this summer we'll be taking our show on the road for the 4th straight year with the Gaelic Language and Resources booth. We’ll likely be at a Highland Game or festival near you, so check out where you will find us here.
As always, you can find all the details of these events here.
April 2, 2015
Plan to take advantage of this great opportunity for Gaelic language instruction this summer here in Southern Ontario!
There will be Gaelic Immersion at the Ontario School of Piping and Drumming this summer with Angus MacLeod from Cape Breton. Two levels - Beginner and Advanced/Intermediate. Quality Gaelic language instruction with a well known instructor and the added value of hearing some of the best Pipers in the world on site throughout the week.
Registration and deposit of $250 MUST be in by May 15th to ensure the classes go ahead with balance of payment for June 15th. For details and to register, click here. Please share the news!
March 28, 2015
Thanks to everyone who came out this afternoon to Òrain Luaidh agus Gnìomhachdan Eile / Waulking Songs & Other Things and shared their teachings, talents and enthusiasm. We had a great time, and kicked off the afternoon with a young piper from the Ryan Russell Memorial Pipe Band. Tradition bearers taught us about the history and methods of tweed making and waulking songs, paired with a lively demonstration - creel, chamber pot, tweed and all!
We saw a fantastic Gaelic skit performed about the Golden fish, a fisherman and a wife who wanted it all. And to close the day, members of our talented community shared some poems, tunes, and dancing.
March 11, 2015
There are lots of great events coming up to celebrate Gaelic language and culture in Ontario! On March 28, join us at Òrain Luaidh agus Gnìomhachdan Eile / Waulking Songs & Other Things. The ever popular Cànan agus Òran is set for April 11, and the Ontario School of Piping & Drumming will be holding a Conversational Gaelic Immersion Program this coming June. Details and registration is available for all these events, and you can get more information on our Events page here.
February 26, 2015
Thanks to everyone who slogged through the nasty driving conditions to come out to our Làtha Filmeachan Gàidhlig / Gaelic Film Day last Saturday! We had a good number of folks in spite of the weather. Mòran taing to FilmG who sent us a selection of clips by past winners. Very positive feedback from everyone and a good day together enjoying Gaelic language and culture in film.
February 16, 2015
We've expanded our website! There's lots more content to explore, including details on membership, the Board, helpful online resources, and a calendar of events to easily keep track of everything going on. Also, if you know of any additional resources you think would be helpful or other Gaelic happenings in Ontario, please let us know and we will be more than happy to share them on this site.
Of course, you can always find us online on twitter and facebook. Be sure to give us a "like" and/or a "follow" if you haven't already!
February 14, 2015
We have lots planned for the Gaelic community in 2015! The aim is to have an event to bring the community together at least once a month.
First up in 2015 is Latha Filmichean Gàidhlig / Gaelic Film Day on February 21. In March we will be holding an evening of waulking songs, skits, readings and song circles (March 28). And for April we will be supporting the tireless Lorrie MacKinnon who is organizing another ever-popular Cànan agus Òran, a day long workshop of Gaelic language and song (April 11).
You can find details on all events here.