Fèisean nan Gàidheal was established in 1991 as the independent umbrella association of the Fèis movement. It is a membership organisation that offers a range of services to its members including grant-aid, training, insurance, and instrument loans. Fèisean nan Gàidheal is a company limited by guarantee, registered number SC130071. It is a Scottish Charity, number SC002040, funded by Creative Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, The Highland Council, Argyll & Bute Council and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.
Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Fiona Hyslop, said in Past, Present & Future: Culture & Heritage in an Independent Scotland: “We know that immersion in cultural activity can help bolster the resilience and well-being of communities and individuals. I’m thinking here of Fèisean nan Gàidheal which is at the forefront of Gaelic arts development, with research suggesting that participation not only increases skills in young people but also self-esteem and a sense of identity.
The current sense of revival in both the traditional music scene and Gaelic language development in Scotland is, in no small measure, due to the success of the Fèis movement.
Fèisean nan Gàidheal is one of Creative Scotland’s regularly funded organisations and supports 47 tuition-based Fèisean that offer tuition in traditional Gaelic arts to young people across Scotland. For over 35 years, the Fèisean have been tutoring young people in traditional music, Gaelic song and Gaelic drama. We have around 6,000 young people annually taking part in such tuition. Audiences for our events and other projects we are involved in mean we reach around 70,000 people annually and that figure rises to 450,000 when television appearances and YouTube hits are taken into account.
Fèisean nan Gàidheal is responsible for delivering the Blas Festival, in partnership with The Highland Council, and supports Fèisean that organise Cèilidh Trails which play to over 10,000 people annually. We also run the Fèisgoil service to deliver work in schools. Through the service we organise music tuition through the Youth Music Initiative and teach Gaelic language to support GLE and 1+2 languages.
Drama work is a feature of our programme with plays that tour, a Gaelic pantomime and a Gaelic Drama Summer School each year. 5 Latha, held in the Isle of Lewis, offers teenagers the opportunity to undertake a range of activities through the medium of Gaelic.
The organisation’s Programme Plan 2015-20 may be downloaded here and the 2017-18 programme is here. An Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Plan agreed between Creative Scotland and Fèisean nan Gàidheal may be viewed and downloaded here.
A full list of staff is shown here with their respective responsibilities.
A list of members of the Board that governs Fèisean nan Gàidheal is available here along with Board meeting papers.