Fèisean look back on special year

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Thursday 24th September 2015

The Fèis movement has had a busy and successful year according to the Annual Report published today by the umbrella organisation Fèisean nan Gàidheal.

Fèis representatives from across Scotland will hear more about the year gone by when they gather for Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s Annual General Meeting in Benbecula on Friday 25th September. The AGM will be followed by a conference the following day, Saturday 26th.

One of the guest speakers at the conference will be Rachael McCormack, Director of Strengthening Communities at Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Arthur Cormack, Chief Executive of Fèisean nan Gàidheal said: “We are very pleased that, in addition having secured £1.4m of support through regular funding from Creative Scotland, HIE has agreed up to £420k for our development over the next 3 years. We have also been supported by HIE to have a graduate placement and Rowan Paterson has been working on marketing Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s events. We are, therefore, delighted that Rachael McCormack has agreed to speak at our conference and we expect to hear more about the research carried out by HIE, Ar Stòras Gàidhlig, which outlines the potential of Gaelic to contribute up to £149m to Scotland’s economy each year.”

Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s Annual Report shows that around 61,000 people engaged with the work of the organisation during 2014-15.

Fèisean nan Gàidheal Chair, Duncan MacQuarrie MBE, praises the work of volunteers in supporting the organisation’s wide range of activities in his foreword to the Annual Report Duncan in which he also says: “2014 was a special year in Scotland with the Commonwealth Games taking place in Glasgow in the second Year of Homecoming.  Fèisean nan Gàidheal played its part in supporting both initiatives which afforded young Fèis participants the opportunity to participate in a wide range of supporting events.”

He added: “5,497 young people were engaged in the activities of the 44 Fèisean that took place throughout Scotland. 8,407 school pupils participated in Fèisgoil activities including our Youth Music Initiative, Gaelic language and drama work in schools. 18,668 people attended the Blas Festival in September 2014, run by Fèisean nan Gàidheal in partnership with The Highland Council. Fèis Cèilidh Trail groups played to an audience of 20,144 at over 300 events.

Fèisean nan Gàidheal pledged grants of £279k to local Fèis activities in 2014-15 and we were pleased to welcome two new members to the organisation - Fèis na h-Apainne in Appin and Fèis Phàislig in Paisley.”

The Annual Report reveals that the combined turnover of Fèisean nan Gàidheal and the Fèisean was around £2.5m.

Full details of the organisation’s activities during the year, and a summary financial report, are to be found in Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s Annual Report which may be downloaded here.

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