A local Paisley primary school and two community groups have been awarded funding to host events and activities that promote Gaelic language and culture as part of World Gaelic Week 2023 (Seachdain na Gàidhlig 2023).
West Primary School, Fèis Phàislig and Community Circus Paisley each secured £500 funding from Seachdain na Gàidhlig organisers, Scottish traditional culture and music organisation Hands Up for Trad, through its small grants fund. The programme of activity will form part of the second annual Seachdain na Gàidhlig which takes place from 20 – 26 February.
This year’s celebrations are under the theme of Coming Together and will prioritise bringing communities together and promoting the importance and use of Gaelic language.
Education is also being specifically targeted through Seachdain na Gàidhlig 2023. To help teachers and young people engage with the initiative, comprehensive education packs have been created for schools, in partnership with educational publishing house, Twinkl.
Renfrewshire’s first Gaelic speaking school, West Primary School, will mark the event by putting on a series of activities throughout the week including Gaelic lessons, a poster competition, a trad band performance at assembly and Gaelic lessons for parents and staff.
Local Gaelic arts and culture group Fèis Phàislig will use their funding to host Bàrd Phàislig: The Paisley Bard Resource Creation and Family Cèilidh. While Community Circus Paisley plan to run a Gaelic Circus Open Day which will include a two-hour workshop and Gaelic training for staff. Both events will take place on Saturday 25 February.
West Primary School Headteacher, Lynne McGinn, said: “West Primary school staff and pupils are delighted to have secured funding to take part in this year’s World Gaelic Week celebrations. This year’s theme of “coming together” is particularly appropriate as we celebrate the first year of Gaelic medium education in Renfrewshire.
“The interest in Gaelic from both staff and our pupils who learn in English has been very significant, with around 40 children who learn in English signing up for Gaelic lunchtime classes and we will be building on this during World Gaelic Week.”
Fèis Phaislig coordinator, Grant McFarlane, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating Seachdain na Gàidhlig (World Gaelic Week) this February and using the funding received from the initiative, we will be highlighting the work of Dòmhnall Ruadh Mac an t-Saoir – otherwise known as the Paisley Bàrd. We will also run a family ceilidh which will be a brilliant night of music and dancing and a chance for the local community to find out a little more about Dòmhnall Ruadh, the Fèis and Gaelic!”
Community Circus Paisley Instructor and Gaelic speaker, Kit Rodman-Orr, said: “We are excited to receive this funding, which will allow us to put on our first ever Gaelic event here at Community Circus Paisley for World Gaelic Week! On 25th February we will be open from 1-3 for anyone to come along and try out our activities while learning a little bit of Gaelic. From tightwire to trapeze, juggling, unicycle aerial dance and more, or if you just fancy a wee bit of cràic, cabadaich agus cèic, we welcome Gaelic speakers of all levels. We’d like to say fàilte to everyone in our community.”
Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron, said: “I’d like to congratulate everyone who has been awarded funding to celebrate this year’s Seachdain na Gàidhlig. The fantastic range of local activities and events highlights our enthusiasm and commitment for promoting and supporting Gaelic language and culture in the area.
“The Paisley programmed events will offer opportunities for local communities to come together, learn and celebrate, and I’d encourage everyone to find out more and get involved.”
More than 60 applications were submitted for the small grants fund as part of Seachdain na Gàidhlig. The three Paisley organisations selected are part of 30 funded projects being launched as part of the scheduled events.
Scotland’s premier celebration of Gaelic language and culture, The Royal National Mòd, will return to Paisley from 13 – 21 October this year, marking the second time the town has hosted the event.
For more information on how to get involved in Seachdain na Gàidhlig 2023, visit: www.seachdainnagaidhlig.scot.
Headline Photo: Singer, TV and Radio presenter, Educator and Director Joy Dunlop launches “Seachdain Na Gàidhlig” (World Gaelic Week) at Community Circus Paisley with help from Gaelic speaker and acrobatic educator Kit Rodman-Orr (front), Scott Craig (Director of Community Circus Paisley) on left and Grant McFarlane, Seachdain na Gaidhlig project manager.
Photo Credit: Seachdain na Gaidhlig / Julie Howden