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Celebrating Gaelic connections in western Newfoundland

An image from An Leabhar Mr. By Pamela Gill

A gala evening of music and poetry, a literary and art colloquium and a traditional Ceilidh are just a few of the events being planned for the Gaelic Arts Festival June 12-18.

The festival will mark the beginning of the North American tour of An Leabhar Mòr: the Great Book of Gaelic exhibition at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery.

Sir Wilfred Grenfell College and its art gallery, in partnership with Pròiseact nan Ealan (The Gaelic Arts Agency), the Ireland Business Partnerships, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador (Thalamh an Éisc), and the Ireland Newfoundland Partnership, is pleased to be a part of the An Leabhar Mòr international tour.

This touring exhibition of contemporary art brings together the work of more than 200 poets, visual artists and calligraphers from Ireland and Scotland and is scheduled for exhibition at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery from June to September 2008.

“We seek to explore the shared traditions between Newfoundland and Labrador and the Gaelic cultures of Ireland and Scotland, and invite the public to share with us in this momentous and historic occasion,” said Dr. Holly Pike, acting principal of Grenfell College. “We are especially pleased that Grenfell College is the first stop on the North American tour of An Leabhar Mòr.”

The festival is being organized by Grenfell College and community partners in western Newfoundland and Labrador. It will begin on June 12 with the book launch of The Great Book, which will be available for purchase, followed by the official opening of the gallery exhibition.

The official opening will also highlight a children's art exhibition featuring work created as part of an exchange between the Western Newfoundland School District and Gaelscoil Eoghan Uí Thuairisc in Carlow, Ireland.

Other events include an interdisciplinary colloquium with guest scholars; a gala evening of music and poetry; poetry readings; public workshops with visiting Irish artists; a traditional Ceilidh; and a series of community arts programs continuing throughout our week-long celebration of Gaelic culture.

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