On June 25, 1772, Tracadie saw the arrival of more than 200 Scottish Catholic Highlanders aboard the brig, Alexander. Making landfall on Island shores under the leadership of Captain John MacDonald, Laird of Glenfinnan in Scotland, the Glenaladale Settlers have been a pivotal group in the Scottish diaspora across the Eastern region of Canada.
Glenaladale Heritage Trust is commemorating this 250th anniversary with the Glenaladale Festival—Fèill Ghleann Aladail in Gaelic—running June 25 to to July 3.
Celebrating the Scottish cultural roots that connect many on the Island can reveal stories and ways of life that enrich a sense of belonging while also giving perspective within the diversity of communities on PEI. Animating the significant influence the Highland Scottish Settlers have had on the cultural and creative practices on PEI, is central to the Glenaladale Festival. Touching base with our ancestors and that history of how Scottish families came to the then known Epekwitk or Isle St. Jean in 1772, has resulted in reflection on the two and a half centuries since.
The Festival program is packed with live music, textile and language workshops, community talks, a gathering of genealogy tables, featured demos with the College of Piping, the opening of their Disc Golf course and Sculpture Forest, and Glenaladale’s first Highland Games.
To showcase the legacy of traditional Celtic music of this region, headliners include The Barra MacNeils, West of Mabou, Teresa Doyle, Shane Pendergast, Lovely Nelly, The Curious Crow and Luka Hall. Tickets for the Concert Series can be purchased online at glenaladalefestival.ca/livemusic.
Everyone is welcome and encouraged attend the Cèilidhs, learn a bit of Scots Gaelic, share stories of rural farming life, celebrate the creative communities and come together when the (almost 530-acre) site comes alive in its next stage of growth. Explore Glenaladale Historic House, the newly renovated School House, trails, and agricultural landscape as it develops.
The final weekend of the Festival includes: a Historic Portage Event with Atlantic Canada’s Big Paddlers and the grand Tartan Dinner.
Visit glenaladalefestival.ca and follow on social media @glenaladalepei for updates.