Culture Vannin will be starting two new classes for beginner learners of Manx in September. One is on a Monday morning in St Johns and the other on a Friday at 12.30pm at the Manx Museum in Douglas. Both classes are free and all are welcome. Please contact me for more information about either these classes and also other language classes throughout the Island.
We should have some more exciting news on the language front to share with you shortly but Culture Vannin has been busy over the last year in general and the summer in particular working towards hosting the 'Honoured Nations' status with Cornwall at this year's Lorient Festival. Suffice to say it was an enormous success.
Manx music, dance, art, literature, food and drink, crafts, cultural and tourist information were shared with over 800,000 people at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient in Brittany. The good news is they couldn't get enough of everything and anything related to the Isle of Man! Whether it was Manx queenies or bumbee cages, traditional dance or singer-songwriters, the Island took centre stage and demonstrated that, as a nation, the Isle of Man can punch above its weight.
Over 100 musicians and dancers featured in two amazing gala nights at the Grand Theatre and the Espace Marine - the latter a dazzling show centring on Manannan and the sea. Carefully choreographed to showcase the very finest Manx dance, music and song within a tight timescale, the show received a standing ovation - and this was only the first half before jointly honoured nation, Cornwall, took to the stage. It is hoped that the show will be performed again in the Isle of Man in the not too distant future.
In a fantastic finale to this special year, the Isle of Man was also top of the pops in the prestigious Trophée Loic Raison band competition, where Barrule took first place, with the Ruth Keggin Band in close second! Manx food and drink proved incredibly popular at the IOM-Cornwall pavilion, which catered for thousands of people each day.
Artisan products and souvenirs formed the centre of a busy shop where tourist and cultural information were handed out each day. A joint art exhibition with Cornwall broke festival records in terms of footfall and popularity. This year's presentation represents a working partnership between festival organisers, Culture Vannin, the Isle of Man Arts Council, DEFA, DED, Manx National Heritage and local businesses, in conjunction with Cornwall Council and the Cornish Language Partnership. Sponsorship was also received from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
If you didn't make the Festival then you can get a flavour of what happened by clicking on the links above or by checking out the following videos. Ny Fennee, the Manx dance group based in Ramsey; The Manxman; The Manx Shop; everyone loves a Manx Policeman; Rushen Silver Band; and some final words from the organisers.