You still might hear ancient Gaelic language spoken in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Celtic

© Lucy Izon

Cape Breton, N.S. – Nova Scotia is one of the few places worldwide where you still may hear the ancient Gaelic language. Late in the 19th century 100,000 residents of Cape Breton spoke Gaelic, today fewer than 1,000 speak it in the province, but there is renewed interest – you’ll see it on signs, and it’s even taught in high school in Mabou. The Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts in St Ann’s is devoted to preserving the language. The college began in a log cabin in 1939 and hosts more than a 1000 students each summer from around the world, who study the language, piping, fiddling, singing, dance, etc. Its Scottish Clans & Settlers museum is open to visitors. An annual Gaelic festival is held every August at Cape Breton’s Christmas Island. At Antigonish, a gateway to Cape Breton, is Saint Francis Xavier University, the first university in North America to offer Scottish Gaelic studies. You can learn more about Scottish traditions at the annual mid-July Highand Games (celebrated since 1861).  You can explore the region using Nova Scotia’s spectacular Cabot Trail.

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Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts, Cabot Trail St Ann’s NS