Brìgh an Òrain, Na Caimbeulaich: The Campbells, A Meaning in Every Song

May 11

1:30 p.m to 3:00 p.m.

Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University, Sydney

Free Admission

Mod Gold Medallist and Canna House Archivist, Fiona J Mackenzie presents a “song lecture” about the life and work of well-known folklorists John Lorne and Margaret Fay Shaw Campbell of Canna. Fiona describes their lives spent collecting and researching Gaelic song from the Outer Hebrides and Nova Scotia. Fiona will use Margaret’s photographic collection of the Hebrides and of Nova Scotia to illustrate and many of the Nova Scotia photos are unseen by audiences till now. These were taken by Margaret on her trip with John to Nova Scotia in 1937. Fiona will also include clips of some of John’s original archive sound collection, also recorded in 1937 as well as others recorded in the Hebrides. Fiona will sing her own favourite songs from the Canna Collections and hopes you will all join in too!

Fiona is the new archivist for the National Trust for Scotland in Canna House and took up post in May 2015. She now lives on Canna with her husband and collie dogs. Fiona describes her job as “a dream come true” and is excited at the prospect of helping to increase awareness of the Canna Collections of Song and Folklore. Before taking up post, Fiona worked for 6 years as a freelance Gaelic performing artist and tutor and before that as the Gaelic Song Fellow for Highland Council. She has visited Cape Breton on several occasions previously, to perform and teach Gaelic song.