KitchenFest! Féis a’ Chidsin! – a ten-day long, Cape Breton-wide festival that celebrates Gaelic culture, music, and language.
The Gaelic culture is embedded within Nova Scotia’s history and traditions; the enthusiastic fiddle playing, traditional tartans, and lively dancing draw tourists of all ages to the province. This culture is especially prominent on Cape Breton Island – home to the Gaelic College (Colaisde na Gàidhig). The Gaelic College is a non-profit organization that strives to promote, preserve and perpetuate the culture, music, language, arts, crafts, customs and traditions of immigrants from the Highlands of Scotland.
Over the past six years, the Gaelic College has introduced visitors to Gaelic traditions at KitchenFest! (Féis a’ Chidsin! – a ten-day long, island-wide festival that celebrates Gaelic culture, music, and language. With the help of Support4Culture funding, the college is able to create a cultural experience for all ages that supports the community.
“The funding we receive impacts the whole of Cape Breton. It allows us to do more with our culture and gives visitors a taste of what it’s like in Cape Breton year-round,” says Margie Beaton of the Gaelic College. “With this funding, we’re able to hire local musicians and technicians to help promote Gaelic culture throughout our festival.”
The festival embodies the tradition of a kitchen ceilidh – or “social visit” – where guests experience dancing and Gaelic music in an environment where all are welcome. Similarly, KitchenFest! allows all to come together and celebrate Gaelic history, culture, and traditions. Since the first festival, attendance has more than doubled, with guests visiting from the United States and other parts of Canada.
“Festivals like ours are able to flourish because Nova Scotia Gaming has Support4Culture,” says Margie. “We’re able to celebrate our culture and give everyone the opportunity to experience our traditions.”
Support4Culture is a program of the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation. Funds are managed and distributed by the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. Since 2013, Nova Scotia Gaming has funded more than $16 million for arts, culture and heritage in Nova Scotia. For information on the Support4Culure funding programs and how to apply, please visit the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.