City’s Gaelic festival continues to flourish

The University and the City of Edinburgh Council are to co-sponsor this year’s Edinburgh Gaelic Festival, which runs from 8 to 16 November 2019.

Seachdain na Gàidhlig is a city-wide festival that celebrates Edinburgh’s Gaelic community, past and present. It is a chance to highlight the rich, but often overlooked, history of Gaelic in Scotland’s capital.

The festival began as part of the University of Edinburgh’s initial Gaelic Language Plan in 2014. Since 2015 it has been organised by volunteers from across the city’s Gaelic community and is chaired by the University of Edinburgh’s Gaelic Officer. 

This year’s programme of 30 events includes the Council offering a Gaelic-medium tour of its Museums Collections Centre, and Historic Environment Scotland providing a tree-themed storytelling event for children, in Gaelic. 

It is great to see the City of Edinburgh Council joining us as a co-sponsor of Seachdain na Gàidhlig. The festival has grown considerably since the University organised the first event in 2014, and this additional funding will help it go from strength to strength. The University’s engagement with the local Gaelic community is part of its ongoing commitment to social and civic responsibility, and its aim to deliver positive change at a local, as well as global, level.

Bria MasonGaelic Officer, the University of Edinburgh

Local involvement

The festival also raises the profile of Gaelic events which take place on a regular basis in Edinburgh. These include the weekly Saturday conversation group, Cànan is Cèic Gaelic, and cèilidhs organised by Comann Tìr nam Beann. The University and the national advisory partnership, Ainmean-àite na h-Alba, will also be offering a talk on Gaelic place names in Edinburgh.

We’re delighted to be co-sponsoring the festival as it reinforces our commitment to growing Gaelic in Scotland’s capital city and it’s great to see a tour of our museums’ collection centre being one of the highlights. These are exciting times for the language in Edinburgh as we are appointing a new Corporate Gaelic Development Officer who will support the strategic development of Gaelic across the city, reaching out to all partners and communities.

We also have increasing numbers of learners across early years, primary and secondary and have worked collaboratively with the Gaelic community and parents to produce our second Gaelic Language Plan alongside a long term strategy for the development of Gaelic Medium Education in the city. We have grown our teaching workforce, including additional needs support, and are working with partners to open up career pathways and opportunities.

Councillor Alison DickieGaelic Champion, The City of Edinburgh Council

The full event listing is available at