About the Gaelic College!
Gaelic College-Colaisde Na Gaidhlig - 77 years & counting
A non-profit organization offering year round programming in the culture of music, language, crafts, customs and traditions of the immigrants from the Highlands of Scotland. The only institution of its kind in North America, students of all ages and skill levels visit the college every year to study under some of the finests instructors in Nova Scotia Gaelic culture.
Currently, students who are able to choose to study from over 10 traditional arts, including Cape Breton fiddle, piano, guitar, step-dancing and piping, highland, dancing, weaving and of course Gaelic language.
Located on the Cabot trail, minutes away from the village of Baddeck, just an hour away from the Canso Causeway that leads you onto Cape Breton Island, take the trans Canada Highway 105 and keep an eye out got exit 11.
51779, Cabot Trail
Places to stay nearby
Ceilidh Country Lodge, Baddeck
10.7 miles from the Gaelic College
369 Shore Rd.
Silver Dart Lodge, Baddeck
11 miles from the Gaelic College
257 Shore Rd.
Auberge Giseles Inn, Baddeck
10.7 miles from the Gaelic College
387 Shore Rd.
Bellview Luxury Suites, Baddeck
9.7 miles from the Gaelic College
713 Bay Rd
The Waters Edge Inn & Gallery, Baddeck
10.3 miles from the Gaelic College
22 Water St.
Lynwood Inn, Baddeck
10.5 Miles from the Gaelic College
441 Shore Rd.
Places to eat nearby:
Baddeck Lobster Supper
17 Ross Street
Reservations recommended for a parties of 10 or more
464 Chebucto St
Yellow Cello Cafe
525 Chebucto St.
1 Jones St.
Workshop Instructors 2016
Dara Smith-MacDonald(Intermediate Fiddle)
Dara Smith-MacDonald, originally from Antigonish, now residing in Port Hawkesbury, began playing the fiddle at the age of 12. For the past number of years she has been playing at concerts, dances and ceilidhs and teaching fiddle lessons both in her home and over Skype to students from Canada, the USA and Scotland. Over the past ten years, she has been teaching fiddle at the Gaelic College, at both the March Break and Summer School Sessions. In 2011 Dara released a CD called Connections. Throughout her years playing music, she has traveled to all the Atlantic Provinces to perform and teach as well as parts of the United States. Dara is also one of the directors for the Cape Breton Fiddler's Association
Lisa MacNeil (All Levels- Step Dance)
Lisa loves to dance and comes to the Fiddler's Festival with many years of experience in performing and instructing the art of the Cape Breton step dance. She began learning step dance at the tender age of six. As an instructor, dance has taken her from the basement of her parents home, to the Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts, to workshops throughtout Canada and abroad. She has been passing on the tradition of the Cape Breton step dance since she began learning it and looks forward to continuing to do so at this years Festival of Cape Breton Fiddling.
Susan MacLean (All Levels-Piano)
A well-known Cape Breton musician, Susan MacLean was born and raised in Washabuck and now resides in the Sydney area. She has been a regular performer at the Baddeck Gathering Ceilidhs since their inception, has performed with various Cape Breton musicians at dances, concerts and house rackets, and has taught Cape Breton style piano accompaniment for many years at Colaisde Na Gaidhlig/ The Gaelic College in St. Ann's. A long-time member of the Cape Breton Fiddlers' Association, Susan's enthusiasm for Cape Breton style piano comes from influences within her own extended musical family. She credits much of her success to the encouragement of her late grandfather, Michael Antony MacLean, who was a well known dance-player. Brothers Carl and Hector MacKenzie are her well-known fiddling uncles and the Barra MacNeils are first cousins.
Margie Beaton (Beginner Fiddle)
Margie took an interest in the traditional culture of the area through the means of dance, enrolling in lessons at the age of 4. Always hearing the music and seeing family and friends take part made it seem a natural fit, Margie coming from a long history of musicians, singers and dancers. Fiddle and piano would come in later years, each fostering new appreciation and skill in the other. Partnered most often with her sister Dawn, the two redheads from Mabou have been dancing, playing, learning and teaching ever sinc, fortunate to perform and instruct both locally and internationally. Nowm combining schooling and love for the culture, Margie works in marketing/design at the Gaelic and loves every minute of it.
Kolten MacDonell (Advanced Fiddle)
Kolten MacDonell, originally from Glencoe, Cape Breton is a former student and now long-time teacher at the Gaelic College. Still at a young age, he is already a wealth of knowledge and talent as Kolten plays and teaches fiddle and piano and step dances too! He has been influenced in piano by Stephanie Willis, in fiddle by Brenda Stubbert and Jerry Holland and in step by Bonnie Jean (MacDonald) Cutcliffe. He currently works with Conchester East Hants Health Authority in Truro, Nova Scotia.