Media Release: Irish and Spanish craft join first-ever Celtic boat festival in Cumbrae

THE first international Festival of Sail and Oar on the Isle of Cumbrae takes place 14/15th August 2010. Check

Says a spokesperson: “Sail and Oar will see the west coast island of Cumbrae hosting an international gathering celebrating maritime heritage and culture this August. Jointly hosted by the GalGael Trust and the Cumbrae Community Development Company, the event will take a unique look at the skills and the traditions our maritime culture, both in Scotland and in the Celtic language regions of Galicia, Basque and the Causeway Coast.

“Together with traditional boats from throughout Scotland, crafts, music and dance the weekend will feature activities on land and sea. A highlight of the event will be crews and boats from Galicia, the Basque region and the Causeway Coast who will be joining GalGael in their 30-foot Hebridean birlinn.

“Musically, the mightyAlbannach will get folk dancing.”

Notes to editors

1. GalGael ( is a community based organisation which provides training space and support for individuals who wish to develop new skills that will lead to formal qualifications and new opportunities. GalGael focuses particularly on traditional, environmentally sustainable skills including carpentry, boat building and weaving.

2. Through its work, GalGael has assisted individuals within the Govan and wider Glasgow areas to avoid the criminal justice system, improve practical skill sets leading to formal qualifications and a greater awareness of the wider environment.

3. The project also helps promote a sense of physical fitness, a healthy lifestyle (both mentally and physically) as well as an understanding of the importance preserving the environment through the use of sustainable materials and the development of transferable skills amongst participants.

4. GalGael has become part of a wider network of traditional events including Sail and Oar Festival (an international celebration of traditional boat building), Orcuan at the Crinan Canal Festival and the Glasgow River Festival.

5. GalGael, which is situated in Govan, was co-founded by the late Colin Macleod in the mid 1990s along with his wife Gehan Macleod, project co-ordinator. Colin Mcleod, together with a group of unemployed people, set about trying to re-establish a sense of ‘people-hood’ and ‘belonging’ and this led to the founding of GalGael.

6. The organisation is managed day-to-day by a staff-based Staff Team who meet fortnightly. The Staff Team is responsible to the board ofdDirectors who meet quarterly and provide the organisation with governance and strategic direction. The project employs a mix of full-time, part-time and volunteer staff and includes trainers as well as an outreach worker. GalGael Trust is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status.

Further information can be found here

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Contact: Andrea Pearson
Phone: 0141 241 6343