The Highland Village in Iona has some wonderful, educational experiences now and during the summer. Many of the events are for children, and some are FREE. Plan ahead, as some require advance registration. For more information, see their website Highland Village
June 17 /Tuesday – Am Breacan Bòidheach Fasanta ("Mary’s Bonny Plaid") Natural Dye Workshop – Using natural dyes to add colour to the cloth and yarns that pioneer women made was an important aspect of 19th century life. If you have ever wondered what materials were used to produce such a wide range of hues, please join us for an afternoon of wool dyeing. Participants will learn about various dyeing techniques and will be able to dip a few small skeins of their own. Cost: $10 per person (2 – 3:30 pm).
July 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 /Wednesdays – Làithean Sona/"Happy Days" Children’s Program
Take part in this special living-history program for children and get a sense of what life was like for Gaels in those special days. The program features special hands-on activities including chores, crafts, games, language, and song. Costumes are provided. For ages 8-12 only. Cost: $30 per child. Prepaid reservations are required. No refunds or discounts. (10 am – 4 pm).
July 3 /Thursday – Highland Village at the Baddeck 100 Celebrations – Highland Village will help the Village of Baddeck mark their 100th birthday with a day of cultural activities. The morning will feature Spòrs (Gaelic Games) for the children (10 am to 12 pm) and the afternoon crafts and cultural demonstrations including a spinning bee, céilidh, textile display and more (1 to 4 pm). All activities will take place in Baddeck. Free admission.
July 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 /Thursdays – Cuairt nan Coinnlean/Candlelight Tour
Come join us for an intimate evening featuring a storytelling tour of this living history site and Cape Breton sunset. Cost: $12/adult, $28/family, $5/students. Prepaid reservations required. No refunds or discounts. (7-9 pm)
July 4, 11, 18 & 25 /Fridays – Spòrs: Gaelic Games for Kids
Join us for a morning of interactive games that focus on language, song, dance and other aspects of Scottish heritage. Gaelic games such as Tunag Tunag Gèadh, “Duck Duck Goose” center on basic Gaelic vocabulary and phrases which are incorporated into fun and engaging games for children. Spòrs is for children aged 5-10. Free admission. (10am-12pm)
July 8 /Wednesday – Ag Éirigh air Òran – Gaelic Song Session – Seumas Watson, Manager of Interpretation at Highland Village, will teach traditional Gaelic songs of Cape Breton, and be joined by friends. Samples of field work collected from traditional Gaelic singers of years gone by will also be featured during the presentation. Free admission. (2 to 4 pm).
July 10 & 24 /Thursday – Na Deugairean/Living History for Youth
Partake in this special living-history program for teens and get a sense of the responsibilities and the lifestyles of young Gaels in days past. The program features special hands-on activities including chores, crafts, language and song. Costumes are provided. For ages 13-17 only. Cost: $30 per youth. Prepaid reservations are required. No refunds or discounts (10am – 4pm)
July 16 /Wednesday – Hallaig/Gaelic Film Series – Join us in the Highland Village Theatre for a viewing of Hallaig, the film that explores visually Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean’s classic poem “Hallaig. Originally composed in Gaelic it’s words describe images of loss and memories of the Gaelic community on the Island of Raasay. Free admission. (2 pm)
July 19 /Saturday – Feasgar an Truisg/Codfish Supper
Come satisfy your taste buds with a feed of salt cod, potatoes and all the trimmings of a traditional Cape Breton salt cod supper. If you don’t cotton to cod, hot dogs are available upon request. Dinner fee includes admission to museum. Cost: $15 adult plate, $8 child plate, $2 hot dog. (Backstage, 3-6 pm)
July 27 /Sunday – Anniversary Church Service – Malagawatch Church
The River & Lakeside Pastoral Charge of the United Church of Canada hosts their annual Annivesary Church Service in the Malagawatch Church. Free admission to service. (3 pm)
July 29 /Tuesday – Musique Royal Concert with David Greenburg and the Chris Norman Duo
Musique Royale returns to the historic Malagwatch Church with a concert featuring David Greenburg (Cape Breton fiddle & baroque violin) and Chris Norman (flute, small pipes & vocals). Tickets $15 for adult/seniors, $5 for students (7 pm).
30 July to 1 August – Gaelic Folk Life Festival – Stòras – Three days of presentations, interactive activities and crafts reflecting Nova Scotia’s Gaelic tradition and cultural expression. Presenters will include Dr. John Shaw, School of Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh, Mary Jane Lamond, Susan Cameron, Special Collections, St. Francis Xavier University, Eòsag Nic an t-Saoir, Jim Watson and the interpretive staff of Highland Village. Regular museum admission fees apply. Times of activities vary.