Blas Festival Turns Over a New Leaf

26 August 2011

Blas Festival Turns Over a New Leaf
For the first time since it started seven years ago, Gaelic literature and publishing is to have a key role at Blas 2011, which starts in two weeks' time. Supported by Comhairle nan Leabhraichean (the Gaelic Books Council), various events are being staged to highlight some of the work being done by Gaelic writers.
 
Gaelic books and other materials will be available at a number of Blas venues such as Inverness Airport and the Boy and the Bunnet event at Eden Court in Inverness on September 13th.
 
The Gaelic Books Council will also be supporting a major event marking the 100th year since the birth of the great poet Sorley MacLean with two writers who have recently published new work on the poet, Derrick McLure and Peter MacKay, reading their own and the poet's work.  This will be at the start of "Hallaig" which is being brought to Blas 2011 in conjunction with Urras Shomhairle, the Sorley MacLean Trust, in St Andrews Cathedral, Inverness, on Friday, September 16th with a further performance at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Skye the following evening.
 
The Books Council is also working with Gaelic publishers Acair on a book about the famous Campbells of Greepe and publication is expected soon. Meantime, a CD is being launched featuring their very special musical talents which will be paraded at Lochcarron in the Village Hall on Friday 16th September and then, fittingly in Dunvegan Village Hall, the Campbell's home village, on Saturday 17th.
 
The final day of Blas 2011, Saturday September 17th,  is a busy one for everyone, the Gaelic Books Council included. They are promoting an event at Eden Court where Niall O Gallacher, Donald "Ryno" Morrison and Catriona Morrison will be reading from their own unpublished works.
 
Rosemary Ward, Gaelic Books Council Director said: "The Gaelic Books Council is delighted to be playing a prominent role in Blas 2011, working alongside Fèisean nan Gàidheal. The festival goes from strength to strength and we are very pleased to be enabling a higher profile for Gaelic writers and publishing through this partnership.  The writers get a platform for themselves and their endeavours and the Books Council can display the wide range of Gaelic publishing and other materials which is now available throughout the Highlands."
 
"The Gaelic Books Council believes that it is very important to highlight the impact Gaelic literature has had on our culture. We are delighted to be working with local groups, national organisations and internationally to promote all aspects of Gaelic literature."
 
This year's Blas festival will deliver nearly 100 cultural events in venues across the Highlands ranging from community halls to Inverness Airport, The Jacobite Queen cruise boat and Eden Court Theatre and the Blas 2011 Grand Finale on Saturday 17th, shinty's big day in Inverness and the Scottish Hydro Camanachd Cup Final.  
 
The full programme and information about several ways in which to buy tickets is available from the festival website http://www.blas-festival.com.  

For more information please contact: Arthur Cormack on 01478 614002, or e-mail arthur@feisean.org or Donna MacRae, Festival Director on 01349 865349, donnamacrae@gmail.com   Further information on the Gaelic Books Council is available from Rosemary Ward on 0141 337 6211.  Photographic images are available from http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5730322/AonghasMacNeacail.jpg
 

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