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£2,000 boost for Eigg Gaelic youth project

Development of Gaelic music and arts on Eigg has been boosted by a £2000 grant from ferry operator CaMac's Community Fund.

The money will be used to establish a Fèis Eige project which will provide two and a half days of Gaelic music tuition and arts activities for small groups of island young people. The Fèis is open to eight to 18 year olds who will attend a total of ten, 45min music tuition sessions over a two and a half day period. Everyone who attends, regardless of previous skills or knowledge in traditional music, will be able to access high quality tuition while also getting the chance to improve their Gaelic language skills.

The showcase of the Fèis will be a community concert providing an opportunity for musicians to share what they have learnt with the local community.

Member of the Fèis Eige Committee, Tamsin McCarthy said: 'Fèis Eige are delighted to receive funding from CalMac's Community Fund. The Fèis is hugely important to us as it facilitates high quality tuition in traditional music, dance, song and gaelic language that island children would otherwise not have access to. This funding - along with our local fundraising efforts - enables us to deliver not only the main Fèis Eige event on July 8-10 2020 but also a programme of tuition in traditional music and Gaelic for children throughout the year on Eigg.  

'Current reductions in funding for the Arts & Culture make it increasingly difficult to for the Fèisean to sustain their programme of music tuition for young people. For Eigg, music and Gaelic are integral to the identity of our island community and Feis Eige has for the last 23 years become both an important feature in the island calendar and played an important role in retaining local culture in the Small Isles.   Keeping our local culture alive is Fèis Eige's key objective and we are very grateful to CalMac for helping achieve this.'

CalMac's Community Fund is open to non-profit organisations involved in activities that will benefit young people aged 26 and under from island or coastal communities the company supports.

Eigg Community Fund

Picture shows: MV Loch Nevis crewman Murdo Ferguson presents the Community Fund check to representatives of Fèis Eige.

So far the Fund has supported 24 projects and invested £43,435 in west coast communities.

'The response since we made the first round awards earlier in the year has been fantastic.  We are already seeing the money put to good use in the Western Isles and I'm delighted that we are able to help foster new musical talent on Eigg,' said CalMac's Director of Community and Stakeholder Engagement, Brian Fulton.

Each application was judged by a screening panel of young people recruited from across the company's network, in partnership with Young Scot.

Last year CalMac's 33-strong fleet carried more than 5.3 million passengers and 1.4 million vehicles to 50 ports and slipways on island and remote mainland locations.

Other grants made in the Skye, Raasay, Small Isles and Mallaig area included £974 to Dannsairean an Eilein Sgitheanaich (DAES) in support of their MacKinnon Festival Trip project, £1,710 to Skye Events for All (SEALL) to help fund their Tune-Up Trad project, Skye Muay Thai also received £2,000 and the Staffin Youth Club project was granted £2000.

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