Celtic canada spring 2016 Issue #1

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Spring 2016

Ray Bassett

Ambassador of Ireland Message to Celtic Canada F

irstly, I want to warmly congratulate Eleanor Reynolds and the staff of Celtic Canada on the launch of their new publication. This is a wonderful initiative and one which deserves support. I wish Celtic Canada the very best. I travel the length and breadth of this vast country and am always amazed at the extent of the Irish presence in every Province and town. I know Celtic Canada want to reflect that phenomenon. This exciting development is happening as I come to the end of my posting as Irish Ambassador to Canada after 6 years in Ottawa. This was the longest period of any Irish Head of Mission here since John Hearn’s 10 years as High Commissioner from 1939-49. It has been a wonderful experience and a privilege to serve. There is absolutely no point to holding a position of responsibility unless you can use that position to promote the common good. It is also a very privileged position and one which needs to be rotated regularly. The Ireland I am heading back to is in very different circumstances than the one from whence I came in 2010. Then the country was struggling to recover from the banking and construction crash of 2007/8. My two priorities, at that time, were to secure as many visas as possible for young Irish people to enter the Canadian job market and secondly to work, in any way I could, towards restoring Ireland’s financial credibility. In both areas, Canada was responsive - increasing the Irish quota on the IEC programme from 4,000 to 10,700. I worked

closely with former Minister for Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney to give these young people the chance of a job in Canada. We also worked with the community to establish the Ireland Canada Immigration Centre in Toronto and also to support Irish communities working to assist these new immigrants in cities across Canada,. Today the demand in Ireland for Canadian visas has fallen dramatically but I hope that we can continue to see a steady flow of young people in both directions. Canada, and especially the former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, regularly spoke up for Ireland in international financial fora in the dark days on 2010. The interest rate on our sovereign bonds once passed 15% and today Ireland has actually managed to borrow at a negative interest rate. Canadian investment is flowing into Ireland while back in 2010 many investors were fearful of taking a risk in Ireland. Times have certainly changed. The picture has also improved drastically in regard to connectivity between Ireland and Canada, with 5 cities in Canada now having direct flights to Dublin. I hope the days of getting stranded in Boston, Washington etc., on the return from Christmas visits are a thing of the past. Tourism Ireland and the community here have played an important role in this dramatic improvement. The Irish Canadian community have been a wonderful welcoming group for my wife and myself. I will travel back to Ireland with many treasured memories and more importantly friends which we will hold dear for the rest of our lives. I know there is a lot of unfinished

business. We still have • 4 Canadian Provinces where there is still no automatic exchange of Irish drivers’ licence for local ones; • the remainder of our 1916 centenary commemorations; • the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, • an urgent need to improve our passport application times etc. I have no doubt but that my successor Jim Kelly will tackle these with enthusiasm. However without any degree of complacency, I feel that I am leaving the Canadian Irish relationship in much better shape that it was in 2010. On a more serious note, I also remember with sadness some very dear friends, who were of great assistance when I arrived here but have passed on during my time as Ambassador. I want this opportunity to thank every person with whom I have had dealings with over the last 6 years for their kindness and cooperation. If I have been unfair to anybody, I hope they will forgive me for I can assure them that it was never intentional. Globally, over 90% of people who have an ethnic link to Ireland live outside our island. Therefore it was not difficult to discover the real Ireland here in Canada It has been a joy and an honour to hold this position. Slán libh Ray Bassett Ambassador of Ireland



Connect with

Celtic Canada F

Eleanor Reynolds Publisher/Editor Sales, Marketing & Insights Creative Direction ECG – www.ellie-corp.com Graphic Design Prism Studios Advertising & Design Inc. Contributors GAA Donal Skehan Jane Noonan Bobby Jameson Rory O’Donovan Colin Barry John Galway Michael Barry Skye Ferguson Alan Louthe Kevin Murphy Megan Williams Cormac Monaghan Rachel Gibbins Helena Byrne Advertise Now Visit: www.celticcanada.com Email: info@celticcanada.com Call: 416-845-9900 Articles for submission Visit: www.celticcanada.com Email: info@celticcanada.com Subscribe Now Online: www.celticcanada.com Facebook www.facebook.com/celticcanada1 Twitter @CelticCanada Disclaimer: Opinions or viewpoints expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Celtic Canada and/or ECG. Where materials and content were prepared by persons or entities other than CC/ECG, the said other persons and /or entities are solely responsible for their content. We reserve the right to edit all submitted articles prior to publication.

áilte! Welcome to the first issue of Celtic Canada Magazine, the home of all things Celtic in Canada. We are delighted that you have joined us. Early in 2016, I decided there was a need for a grassroots, multi-media social platform for the Celtic Community in Canada. A place where those of Celtic descent and interests could not only come and share their events and their stories; their businesses and dreams but also connect with other Celtic ex-pats across Canada. Celtic Canada is the result. Our front cover is a wonderful image of Valentia Island. This image is of great significance for the inaugural launch of Celtic Canada as we connect coast to coast to coast! Valentia Island is one of Ireland’s most westerly points lying off the Iverage Peninsula in the south-west of County Kerry. Valentia was the eastern terminus of the first commercially viable transatlantic telegraph cable in 1865 - from Foilhommerum Bay to Heart’s Content, Newfoundland in 1866. 150 years later here we are connecting and opening a new multi-media platform coast to coast to coast! Our mandate is to provide as much information and insight as we can of all the Celtic happenings coast to coast. In our inaugural issue we are delighted to feature The World Irish Dance Championships, The Rose of Tralee to The Festival of Wales. Enjoy our interview with winning writer, Emma Donoghue author of Award winning movie Room; our review of the movie Sing Street; a recap of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to updates from The GAA! Our travel section features Destination Delicious… 2016 is Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink. We tantalize your tastebuds with Donal Skehan’s delicious Spring Recipe ~ Roasted Leg of Lamb followed with a sweet treat Mikado Cake! Donal is a food writer, food photographer and television presenter living in Dublin, Ireland. I am sure you know him!! Follow our regular departments to get the scoop on the latest in entertainment, finance, food, real estate, sport and travel. Be sure to Subscribe online www.celticcanada.com & Sign up for contest announcements and your chance to win free tickets through our website and Facebook pages, Twitter feeds. We currently are running a promotion for Sing Street ~ Advanced Screening Tickets so give us a LIKE n a SHARE on Facebook for a chance to win!!! Our next Contest will be featuring Tickets to Rugby Canada which commences in May be sure to follow us for your chance to get tickets to one of the games held in June!! Canada vs Japan – Canada vs Russia – Canada vs Italy. Celtic Canada is available to you in print format and online through live streaming, daily and monthly updates so be sure to subscribe www.celticcanada.com and follow us! Twitter @CelticCanada ~ Facebook www.facebook.com/celticcanada1 Make Celtic Canada your destination for all the news and happenings both in your local Celtic community and across our great land! Join us on this journey and be part of it all!! Our next issue will be jam packed with celebrations from Bloomsday to Canada Day and much more!!

Come join us!! Are you a member of a Celtic club or institution? Why not drop us a line. Are you in charge of a special Celtic event? Let us know. Do you own a Celtic business or provide a service that you would like to share with the 9 million Canadians claiming Celtic Heritage? Advertise with us. If it’s Irish, Welsh, Scottish, Breton or Cornish, we want to know about it. If you have a Celtic related story, interview, review or production, we want to see it. Together we can build the most comprehensive multi-media platform for all things Celtic in Canada. Please join us on the journey. A special thank you to all involved in making this Celtic Dream come true!! Cheers,

On the Cover: Valentia Island, County Kerry Photo Source - Tourism Ireland 4






Journey to The World Irish Dance Championships

Festival of Wales

30 St. Pat’s GAA Club


Edinburgh Military Tattoo Highland Dance


41 St. Patrick’s Day Parade

54 Donal Skehan – Roasted Lamb & Mikado Coconut Cream Cake for dessert

IN OUR NEXT ISSUE... Bloomsday Canada Day The Rose of Tralee Highland Games to Celtic Festivals GAA 6

and much more!! CELTIC C CEL E TIC TI CA CANADA ANAD A A | SPR S SP SPRING ING NG 2016 20 016 6

Photo Source: Tourism Ireland

“Room” The Oscars Interview with Emma



Holiday Learning with

Oideas Gael in Donegal OIDEAS GAEL The ever-increasing interest in Ireland’s language and culture both nationally and internationally, has made Gleann Cholm Cille and Gleann Fhinne in Donegal, the holiday destination of choice for adult Irish language learners and cultural holiday enthusiasts. Over the year, the varied courses will attract people from over 30 different countries with participants from several different nationalities attending each week. Courses are ideally suited to individuals, who have been out of touch with Irish but are keen to brush up on their conversational Gaeilge. Moreover, the courses are attracting growing numbers of absolute beginners from Ireland and from abroad. The end of July summer school flagship programme offers up to eight levels of Irish classes each morning and afternoon workshops in set dancing, sean-nós dancing, Sean-nós singing, tin whistle, bodhrán, hill 8


walking, Italian cooking (with Irish-speaking Sicilian Salvatore Fischera) and simple Irish songs. Other holiday courses on offer over the summer include Hill-walking (including a hike on Sliabh Liag), Archaeology, Marine Painting, Landscape & Environment, Digital photography, Tapestry weaving, Harp, Flute and Bodhrán.

TORY ISLAND Oideas Gael will this year, for the second time, present a course on the Language and cultural riches of Tory Island. The course, limited to thirty participants, will offer an opportunity of interacting with the local community and enjoying a unique Irish welcome. According to Language Director, Liam Ó Cuinneagáin, the cosmopolitan mix of participants, will this year be given a boost due to Tourism Ireland’s promotion of the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’.

Níl rogha níos fearr dó do shaoire ná theacht go Dún na nGall ar cheann de chúrsaí saoire Oideas Gael. Tá rogha leathan de chúrsaí dóibh siúd atá líofa i nGaeilge nó atá ar bheagán go fóill. Bíonn éileamh ar leith ar an Scoil Shamhraidh le ranganna ar maidin agus ceardlanna difrúla sa tráthnóna le ceol san oíche. Tá cúrsaí i gcruinneas na Gaeilge chomh maith leo siúd ar mhaith leo a bheith gníomhach i siúlóidí ar Shliabh Liag agus ar an Trá Bhán. Don chéad uair ariamh, rachaidh an cúrsa ‘Saibhreas na Gaeilge’ chomh fada le hOileán Thoraigh. Níl áit níos speisialta in Éirinn le daoine flaithiúla i maos i nGaeilge shaibhir le traidisiúin atá ag gabhail siar na cianta.

The Little Dog



was under pressure almost five years ago, to get my daughters a dog. I explained that having a dog was a full-time job, and they would have to care for the dog, feed it, take it for walks, exercise it, clean up its’ mess and the rest of it. I was not really into the idea as I was concerned that it may just have been a passing interest, but eventually caved in under the constant pleas to have a dog in the house. “OK – on one condition” I blurted out, “It has to be a Scottish dog and there is only one winner in this competition”! It had to be a Westie of course, (West Highland White Terrier), that photogenic little fur ball with the distinctive look which betrays its’ origin. We arranged to visit our potential new family member at the home of a breeder in Haldimand County, Ontario. He was the runt of the litter, only two months old and my youngest daughter fell in love with him immediately. We decided to take him, and took him home that evening, complete with his pedigree papers. We gave him the name, “Whisky”, due to Daddy’s wish for the new addition to be given a name which is associated with his home country! Wee Whisky is now in his 5th year and we cannot imagine life without him; he gives us so much pleasure, and as expected, I am now in charge of walking, exercising, cleaning up, feeding and watering! So, let’s have a look at the Westie, which is most definitely a Scottish breed of dog. It is a small sturdy dog with a solid white double coat which is a straight, hard outer coat around two inches long with a soft, thick undercoat. The modern breed is descended from several breeding programmes of white terriers which were undertaken in Scotland around the end of the 19th century. The story is that Edward Donald Malcolm, 16th Laird of Poltalloch owned terriers which were used to work game. (Poltalloch is located in Argyll and Bute, between Lochgilphead and Oban). One day, a reddish-brown terrier was mistaken for a fox and shot. Malcolm then chose to develop a white terrier breed to differentiate it, and this became known as the “Poltalloch Terrier”. Malcolm however did not wish to be known as the creator of the breed and insisted that his breed of white terriers was renamed and in 1908, the term “West Highland White Terrier” first appeared. That same year, the breed was introduced to the United States, where it immediately became very popular. The Westie is a very recognizable dog,

due to its’ unique round-face and has been featured on television and in films. It has also been used in advertising by companies such as Cesar dog food and Scottish whisky company Black & White. The Westie is a game, hardy and tenacious little dog and is easy to train. While it is good with children, it won’t always tolerate rough handling and it will let you know if it is not happy. (So exercise. This little dog is a very social breed don’t allow your kids to pull its’ ears)! It is an and arguably the friendliest and happiest of intelligent breed, very social and active with a high prey drive; a direct legacy from the reason all the Scottish terrier breeds, which include Border, Cairn, Dandie Dinmont, Scottish and they were created, which was to hunt rodents. Skye terriers. (Whisky has caught a couple of chipmunks The average lifespan of a Westie has been and a rabbit but the elusive squirrel remains placed anywhere between 12 to 16 years by the out of reach). This high prey drive means American Breed Club, while information from that the Westie tends to be very interested the Veterinary clinic in the United Kingdom in toys especially chasing after balls. While indicates an average of 10.5 to 15 years. it can retain the instincts of an earth-dog, including inquisitive and investigative www.oideas-gael.com character and digging holes, I have had no such issues with Adult Irish Whisky and as yet, I Language Courses have not found any All learning levels gaping chasms in my - weekend & week-long lawn! The Westie Cultural Activity Holidays temperament can • Hill Walking in the Donegal Highlands vary of course; most • Archaeology • Environment & Culture are friendly but like • Digital Photography • Painting & Sketching humans, some prefer • Flute & Whistle • Beat the Bodhrán solitude and it can • Irish Harp • Tapestry Weaving be possessive about food and toys, but they do like you to play with them. They are generally independent, assured and make good watchdogs – they have amazing Info & Brochure 2016 from hearing and Whisky barks when he hears anyone outside the house. The Westie is Gleann Cholm Cille, Co. Dhún na nGall very loyal and will Fón: 074 973 0248 Facs: 074 973 0348 form an immediate oideasgael@eircom.net bond with its’ owner, however it will demand regular




The 2016 North American

Festival of Wales By Megan Williams

Robert Lewis


his year the Welsh of the North American community will celebrate the 85th National Gymanfa Ganu. Started in 1929, the gymanfa ganu has turned into a 4 day event, celebrating Wales in North America. The festival is held over Labor Day weekend (the weekend before the first Monday in September) as it’s a national holiday both in the United States and Canada and the location alternates between cities in both countries. This year for the first time, the festival will be held in Calgary, Alberta, the gateway

Welsh folk group, Deuair

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to the Canadian Rockies. The festival will take place at the four star Westin Hotel in downtown Calgary with several events to be held at the nearby Knox United Church. Sponsored by the Welsh North American Association and hosted by the Calgary Welsh Society, celebrating its 100th anniversary, a big Canadian Croeso awaits you! The full 4 day program starts on Thursday, Sept 1. with an all day tour to an UNESCO First Nations site and a workshop marking the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster. The Opening Ceremony will tell the history of Calgary and include a first

nation’s hoop dancer. Pan-Celtic folk band, Iona will perform at the Opening Concert on Thursday evening. During the day on Friday and Saturday, attendees will have the chance to hear seminars given on a variety of topics including Welsh language, the Great Little Trains of Wales, the bid for the slate industry to receive UNESCO World Heritage Status, the Welsh and the Cherokee, the Pine Marten Recovery project, the History of the Welsh in Canada, the life of explorer David Thomson and much more.

Cor Meibion Colwyn perform at the 2015 International Eisteddfod in Llangollen BBC Presenter Iolo Williams will talk about Wild life in Wales and Welsh folk pair Deuair will educate on the history of the medieval harp. They will also give a daytime performance and host a Noson Lawen. Thanks to a scholarship from the National Welsh-American Foundation, 2015 National Eisteddfod winner Robert Lewis will perform at the Awards Banquet on Friday evening. This year’s recipient of the Heritage Medallion is Morriston native and Canadian mining mogul Grenville Thomas. The festival is honored to have Cor Meibion Colwyn perform Saturday evening at the festival’s ‘Grand Concert’ and the choir will be joined by soloist Edith Pritchard. The festival ends Sunday, following the 85th

2016 Heritage Medallion Recipient, Grenville Thomas

National Gymanfa Ganu, directed by Tudur Megan Williams, Executive Secretary IHQ@ Eames, also musical director of Cor Meibion thewnaa.org Colwyn. You may wish to take advantage of being so close to the Calgary, Alberta Rocky Mountains September 1–4, 2016 and extend your stay. You can do this on your own or for those who North American G·\l G\mrX are interested, they Festival of Wales Gogledd America can sign-up for an add on 2 night tour to Banff and Lake Louise through the festival. Full festival details, ticketing and pricing can be found online at www.nafow.org. Hotel reservations can also be made by visiting the festival website and rooms are available at the group discounted rate of $125 CAD a Featuring the 85th Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu night!! Côr Meibion Colwyn Male Voice Choir from Wales Come explore Pan-Celtic Band Iona Canada, celebrate being Welsh and North America’s Largest Gathering of the Welsh have fun! www.nafow.org Questions can be directed to CELTIC CANADA | SPRING 2016


Irish Folklore

Album Query By Helena Byrne, storyteller and singer • www.HelenaByrne.com y grandfather would only shave once a week, on a Sunday, before going to mass. I recently became aware of this little fact. It might have seemed a very simple, perhaps insignificant discovery to someone else, but for me it felt like a bit of a revelation. A snippet of my grandfather that I hadn’t expected to find on my journey when making an album of Irish folklore stories. I work as an Irish folklore storyteller and singer in Ireland, regaling audiences with tales of the Other World and the mysterious Fairy Folk, with traditional Irish songs and insights into the Irish life of days gone by. I’ve been doing this work for a number of years and have been very fortunate to meet many fascinating people with wonderful stories along the way. The Irish people have a peculiar relationship with the Fairy Folk today, one that can be difficult for other nationalities to grasp. If you were to ask an Irish person if they believe in the Fairies their response to yyou would most likelyy be p


“Ah, that’s all in the past”. Life has become busy and advanced. We’re technology-savvy, we seek the science behind how things work, and our street lamps and headlights have brought light to some of the deepest, darkest country lanes. You would be forgiven for assuming that the beliefs Irish people held so strongly in the past have all but vanished. However, this is not what I have found. Hearing these stories of the Banshee, the Pooka and the Other World seems to re-awaken some deep respect for these beliefs within Irish people. I’m often approached by someone who believes a loved one experienced something ‘Other Worldly’, usually beginning their story with “I know it sounds silly, but my mother heard the Banshee”, or “I know a neighbour who interfered with a Fairy tree and woeful things happened”. It seems once we scratch the surface and dig below our newfound modernity, there still remains a profound intrigue and respect for the Fairyy Folk. Listeningg to these stories made

me wonder. How many of these tales and encounters with the Fairy Folk were resting in the back of Irish people’s minds, remaining untold and potentially forgotten? I had already begun working on my new album of stories and had selected a number of much loved Irish folk tales. Now I was on a mission to include stories that had previously not been recorded. First of course, I had to gather them. So I did what most people would do and put the word out on Facebook, asking friends to share any stories about the Fairy Folk they might have. I got a strong response, with lots of friends describing brushes with mysterious characters and unusual goingson around Fairy forts and trees. But when a message came through from my cousin, my attention was immediately drawn to it. “Dad has stories about Granny and Grandad in Myshall”. This was my cousin Josephine, and the grandparents she was referring to were my father’s p parents. Myy ggrandmother Nancyy

Photo by Laelia Milleri. Dress by Claire Garvey Couture.

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passed away when I was about ten years old so my memory of her, though fond, is blurred through youth-tinted glasses. My grandfather James passed away when my father was nine. So I had resigned myself to the notion that some fragment

be entertained for hours on end by my grandfather’s stories. Lo and behold, my grandfather was a storyteller. In the months that followed I got into the

Photo by Laelia Milleri. Dress by Claire Garvey Couture.

Photo by Laelia Milleri. Dress by Claire Garvey Couture.

of James’ character would remain with my father, but for us grandchildren, he would remain elusive. I also, ashamedly, felt that James was of such a distant generation having being born in 1901, that even had I enquired about him, I wouldn’t have discovered anything to connect with. My cousin’s dad and my uncle Jim lives in Graiguenamanagh, County Kilkenny, in the homestead where my father was raised. Kindly he agreed to a chat with me. I wasn’t sure what to expect. As we sat down at the kitchen table I wondered if our meeting would last only as long as the cups of tea in our hands. Thankfully this was not the case, and two hours later after countless anecdotes, we called it an evening. Jim had brushed away the cobwebs and recounted many of the tales that his father James had told over half a century ago, first hand experiences with the Fairy Folk and the supernatural. It was surreal. Not only was I hearing these gripping and magical stories from my grandfather, but I was beginning to form a picture of the person he was by peeking between the lines. He played card games with neighbours, he took a break from work every day at one o’clock to listen to a radio drama and indeed, he shaved once a week, on a Sunday, before going to mass. In those two hours I learned more about my grandfather than I had ever thought I would. However, one detail struck me far more than anything else I heard that day, when Jim described days in which visitors would call to the house and

was regaling family and friends with his stories. Now I can share his stories with my audiences and I’ll do what I can to keep our tradition of storytelling alive.

studio and recorded my album ‘Scéal’. I included a number of my grandfather’s stories. Making it that bit more special, my father lent his voice to a selection of the stories, and my brother, also named James, performed the role of our B.A. (Hons.), M.A., LL.B. grandfather for the Barrister & Solicitor recordings. I will never know what Employment Law, Human Rights, my grandfather Workers' Compensation, Real Estate would have thought about the album, Serving the Irish community what he would have said about since 1995 his grandson and namesake James speaking words I imagine he would have uttered, or how he would have felt about my efforts to keep his stories alive. I can only hope that he would feel proud. What I do know is that he is no longer so elusive or intangible to me. I found a connection. Long before I had spoken 466 Dupont Street, Toronto, Ontario M5R 1W6 my first word, let Tel. (416) 537-0108 x2 Fax (416) 537-1604 alone told a tale, alanmcconnell@magma.ca my grandfather *Practicing in association with Fink & Bornstein, Barristers & Solicitors




First Time Home Buyer

So You’re Thinking About Buying A Home? By Rory O’Donovan


uying a home can be regarded as one of the biggest financial investments a person will make. It takes planning, preparation and time, but it can also be very exciting. As a first time buyer having a good understanding of all the steps that are involved will give you peace of mind when you set out on finding your new home. This summery guide looks to point out the steps involved when purchasing a property so as to give a potential buyer a clear picture of what to expect. Do your research, ask lots of questions, go to some open houses and make a list of your do’s, don’t, wants and needs. Keep in mind, proximity to local transit and highways, employment, parks, schools, retail, shopping etc. Being informed and understanding what is involved when buying your first home will

provide peace of mind and make the process a fun experience.

STEP 1: FINANCES First step is to understand your finances. Know your monthly income and expenses and start planning to get that downpayment together. Talk to a bank or mortgage broker and find out exactly how much mortgage you can comfortably afford and get pre-approval for. Knowing exactly how much you can afford gives you a much better understanding of what neighbourhoods you can be focusing your attention, and on what type of property. As a first time home buyers you should consider looking into the Home Buyer’s Plan RRSP loan which allows you to access up to $25,000 of your RRSP savings to help finance your downpayment on a house. What is the Home Buyer’s Plan? This could help in lowering or eliminating the need for CMHC mortgage insurance. Keep in mind this money has to be paid back within a 15 year period. First Time Home Buyer’s are also entitled to a land transfer tax rebate. Mortgage Insurance Mortgage default insurance, commonly referred to as CMHC insurance protects the lender in the case the borrower defaults on the mortgage. It is required on all mortgages of up to $1,000,000 with down payments of less than 20%, which



are known as high ratio mortgages and it is calculated as a percentage applied to your mortgage amount. Mortgage default insurance is very helpful for first time homebuyers allowing them to purchase a home with a minimum of 5% downpayment for a property up to $500,000 and an extra 10% downpayment for properties over $500,000 up to $1,000,000. Refer to my calculator page which will calculate the exact monthly costs of the mortgage plus the Land Transfer Tax (LTT) and the (CMHC) costs per month. Mortgage Calculator As general rule, your total monthly housing costs should not be more than 32% of your gross household monthly income. These costs include mortgage payments, property taxes, heating expenses and 50 per cent of your condo fees, if applicable. Also your total monthly debt load shouldn’t exceed 40% of your total monthly income. These costs include in addition to your housing costs, credit card debt, car loans, lines of credit, personal loans or any other debt. After all these calculations, if the numbers don’t look encouraging, you may want to pay off some other loans, save for a larger down payment, lower your target home price, consider the same type property in a more affordable neighbourhood or take a look at your budget to see where you can spend less.

STEP 2: ONLINE SEARCH / REALTOR The internet can be very helpful for you to get a sense of what’s available but keep in mind, it’s not a complete picture of the market or all potential properties available. The majority of buyers like to do a lot of online research before contacting a Realtor. The most comprehensive website for property searches is realtor.ca, allowing you to narrow your search to a specific area, property type, price range and key features. The best way to understand different markets and what is exactly happening in them is to speak to a real estate professional. Realtors are a wealth of knowledge and are submersed daily in the activities of different

markets. The reality is when you are sure you want to purchase a property the sooner you consult a real estate professional the better. A great Realtor working on your behalf will do an in-dept needs analysis to find all the properties suitable for you, set up a time to view the homes and guide you through the selection process. With knowledge and skill a Realtor will help navigate you through the many different steps involved in purchasing a home from start to finish. Choosing the right Realtor is important, someone with plenty of knowledge and experience that is a good fit. Referrals from someone you trust are always a good option or try to find someone who does a lot of business in your areas of interest.

STEP 3: SEARCHING & VIEWING PROPERTIES Once a relationship has been established with a Realtor you will receive daily listings of properties that fit your criteria. Your Realtor will also provide advice and feedback about each property of interest. When you have reviewed and picked your preferred properties the viewing process begins. It could be the first property you look at or the fifteenth, we view properties until you find the right one and make that offer. Note: Depending on the type property, price and location a bidding war may be part of the offer process. In part due to the lack of inventory, low interest rates and increased population in recent years bidding wars have become more popular in Toronto. Having a good Realtor on your side is paramount.

STEP 4 : MAKING AN OFFER & NEGOTIATING Your real estate representative will put an offer together on your behalf on a legal document know as an (Agreement Of Purchase and Sale). At this stage your agent will have conducted a comparative market analysis (CMA) complete with recently sold comparable properties, active, expired and other historical data to determine the market value of the home. This information is important when negotiating a fair price. During the preparation process of the offer your agent will discuss closing dates, deposit cheques, clauses and conditions. Standard conditions would be finance and inspection and it is always strongly recommended you never leave them out. Your agent will be able to advise on further conditions if necessary to protect the buyer. Once the offer is finalized your agent will go over and explain in detail all the terms and conditions in the offer. Once the offer

is explained, understood and signed, your agent will present and negotiate the offer on your behalf.

STEP 5: ACCEPTED OFFER / CONDITIONS / REMOVAL So at this point the price and terms have been agreed and accepted. You now have a firm or conditional offer in place. The deposit cheque is either provided with the offer or within 24 hours of acceptance of the offer, it will depends on what is agreed upon within the offer. On acceptance the buyer will also provide their lawyer and lender details. If you have conditions, now is the time to start the process of satisfying those conditions in order to meet the deadline and firm up the purchase.The two most common conditions are finance (mortgage) and inspection. When it comes to a condominium a status certificate is provided. An inspection can also be carried out on a condo but they may vary. The status certificate provides a wealth of important information in relation to the building and the particular unit for sale. The buyers lawyer will usually go through this document and point out issues of concern if any. The status certificate provides information on the rules, bylaws, reserve fund, condo fees, pets, the condo board, special assessments, legal action, potential renovations and much more. Buying a condo (resale) Conditions have to be met within a certain deadline. If the buyer is happy with the result of the conditions they may waive or fulfill them. If the buyer is unhappy with the results of the conditions then this is the opportunity to back out of the deal. Notice has to be give when conditions are being waived or fulfilled and acknowledged by the other party.

CLOSING COSTS Once all the conditions have been waived or fulfilled the deal now becomes firm and the next step is closing day. Typically you will have anywhere between 30 to 90 days before closing day. During this time your lawyer will carry out a title search on the property. It is normal that the exchange of money and title be complete before keys are released which could be late in the day. The home buying process doesn’t just involve having a percentage down payment

and getting a mortgage for the remainder. There are a number of other costs that you need to be aware of also. A list of the most common costs and closing costs to be aware of: Before Closing Costs Deposit - usually around 5% of the purchase price Home Inspection - $350 - $550 Property Appraisal - $400 - $500 normally paid by the lender Closing Costs The balance of the Purchase Price - This will come from your lender, it will form your mortgage and it is the purchase price less the initial deposit. Legal Fees - approximately $1,800 Adjustments for Tax - reimbursement to seller for prepaid tax, amount varies. Adjustments for utilities, condo fees etc -reimbursement to seller for prepaid Land transfer tax (LLT) - LTT Calculator Title insurance - $250 - $400 Property Survey - $1,000 - $2,000 After Closing Moving Expenses - approximately $1,000 Immediate Repairs & Maintenance Renovations Utilities Connection Charges

TRANSACTION DOCUMENTS These are the main transaction documents used in the process of buying or selling residential real estate. These documents are the plain english version summarizing each clause giving the reader a better understanding of what they mean. Buyer Representation Agreement (BRA) Agreement Of Purchase & Sale Agreement Of Purchase & Sale / Condominium Resale) Listing Agreement / Authority to Offer for Sale) Becoming a home owner is a smart move towards investing in your future. We all need somewhere to live so why not own that roof over your head. To some the thought of purchasing a home can be a daunting task but to others it’s a step in the right direction. Deciding to take that step and become a home owner takes commitment, preparation and planning. It is all this preparation and planning that helps us make our best decisions, ultimately reaching our real estate goals and becoming a home owner.



Irish Person

of the Year By Cormac Monaghan


rian Farmer, who recently retired from 21 years as President of the Gaelic Athletic Association in Canada, was honoured as the 2016 “Irish Person of the Year” at a function in Toronto in early March. Over 350 people attended the lunch in Brian’s honour, including His Excellency Ambassador Ray Basset and his wife Patricia.

Heaney; CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, John Furlong; and ex CEO of Bank of Montreal, Matt Barrett. Brian Farmer emigrated from Clonmore, Co. Armagh in 1974 and has been synonymous with the Gaelic Athletic Association in Canada over many of the years since then. The uniqueness of the GAA and its special place in Irish culture and Irish life is well documented. In honouring Brian the IPOY committee also sought to acknowledge the special place the GAA holds in our community. Many Irish in Canada know first-hand the impact the friendships and indeed rivalries gained from participation in the local GAA scene have in helping an immigrant build a life here in Canada. Aside from helping keep Ireland’s national games alive and kicking here as Chair of the County Board, Brian has been to the fore in initiatives such as the visit of the GAA AllStars to the SkyDome in the early 1990s, the legendary annual Powerscreen ‘Sevens’, and the victorious participation by Team Canada in the Gaelic Football World Cup in Dubai last year. Brian has brought these same leadership skills to his business life, having founded and

“A no show is better than a bad show” This is the 26th year of the award, which seeks to recognise those in the Irish Canadian community who either through their contribution to community associations, or through accomplishments in their respective fields, have brought distinction to the Irish in Canada. It is a Toronto based community event and so of course the majority of the award winners over that time have been from within that community, but in many years, the achievements of the honourees span across Canada, as is the case for Brian Farmer. Other past honourees include Hockey Hall of Famer and Olympic Gold Medallist, Geraldine 16


built up the successful Canadian distribution arm of Irish heavy equipment manufacturer, Powerscreen. “A no show is better than a bad show” is a phrase Brian has often been heard to utter, meaning that if something it is worth doing, it is worth doing ‘right’, and certainly bad shows were few and far between on his watch. Through his dogged determination to see things done properly and his personal integrity, enthusiasm and charisma, Brian Farmer has left a lasting legacy within the Canadian GAA, and is no wonder such a large crowd gathered in Toronto to be there on the day to celebrate with him, his wife Chris and their proud family. The IPOY committee also coordinates the annual raising of the Irish flag over Toronto City Hall. The flag-raising precedes the luncheon, and this year the duties were performed by husband / wife team, DJ Kelleher and Jacinta O’Hanlon. The Irish person of the year is chosen by the committee based primarily on nominations received from the broader community. The committee comprises the following: Cormac Monaghan, (Chair), Kitty Freely, Ann Looney, Anne-Marie O’Donnell, and Angela O’Murrai. Nominations or indeed any questions or feedback can be directed to the committee at ipoytoronto@gmail.com. Pencil in Sunday March 5th for the 27th installment!

A TASTE OF IRELAND Nothing’s sweeter than a fresh Irish Sausage, rashers or black and white pudding from your own backyard. We even have Irish Boiling Bacon!



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My Journey to Winning 6th World Irish Dance Championships!! By Michaela Hinds


t was five months before the World Irish Dance Championships and, like every other day I was in the dance studio, working away. I was alone, getting in the last days of practice before the Canadian Championships where I was to defend my title for the 12th time. I was working on my hard shoe dance and in the middle of a Spring! That is something we do in the air! As I landed my foot hit the ground in an awkward way I fell and I saw my ankle bone hit the floor with such a force….. I don’t remember falling….I just remember opening my eyes in pure pain and in tears, in shock! Off to the Doctors and X-rays showed that I had fractured four bones in my foot. A few days later I received the news from a sports medicine doctor that I had to withdraw from the competition. This was devastating for me but I wasn’t going to give up that easily. My goal was to win my 6th World Championship in Glasgow, Scotland, 2016. It was really important for me to compete. At this point I already held the record for the youngest winner ever. If I achieved the win this year I would be the only Canadian and the first girl in the North American Region with that many titles to her name. My journey to recovery began with SWAT, the number one Canadian physiotherapy clinic in Mississauga, Ontario. Together with Dr. Dave Giannone and Dr. Jason Pajaczkowski, I worked numerous hours a day for four months, rehabilitating my ankle, in the hope that I would make it back to the world stage. During the first month of rehab I was not allowed to dance. This set me back a month’s preparation for the Worlds. My SWAT team set me on a training routine that helped me stay in proper condition. Then, with two months to go, we hit crunch time. I spent four to five hours a day with my coach Rose Fearon, perfecting every move. She is one of my biggest role models. She believes in me and always pushes me to be the best I can be. 18


Sometimes it’s really tough. The life of a dancer is demanding. You are never able to live a normal life like your friends do but somehow, with a lot of help, I make it all work. For the months of my recovery, however, I dedicated all of my time to dance, school and rehab. I knew it was the only way for me to retain my world title. This dedication paid off. Before I knew it, I was on the plane heading to Scotland. As soon as I arrived, I headed straight to the Royal Concert Hall where the World Championships were being held. I was very excited; looking forward to getting my new dancing costume, as well as seeing my friends from all over the world. The atmosphere was fantastic as usual. Waking up on competition day, I always feel nervous, and this time was no different. I have learned to use that nervousness and turn it into positive energy. A good routine is part of it. On competition mornings I get up and try to eat a little something to get my energy going. Then I begin to get ready. I start by doing my make up, and then I do my wig. This year, before heading over to the hall, I face timed with my mom. She couldn’t attend the Worlds with me for medical reasons. Being at the competition without her wasn’t something I was looking forward to. She is the only one who can keep me focused and calm. However, I was lucky enough to have an amazing support team with me in her place and they helped me get through. With time moving on, I headed

off to the Royal Concert Hall. My next routine is to warm up an hour and a half before the competition starts so I know that I am prepared physically, and in the right mindset to take to the dance floor. On this occasion all the preparation was worth it. After my first two rounds, I felt good and my dance teachers were delighted with how I danced. Now it was time to wait for the recalls to come out. Only the top 30% of dancers in the competition go through to perform in the third and final round. I had to be in that group in order to win. When recalls were called and my name was announced, I prepared for my final dance. This would be my last chance to impress the judges. I put my heart and soul into my performance. Once this round was done, we reached the worst part of the day; waiting for the results. Sitting around with my closest friends we anxiously watched the scoreboard. Finally, the marks were revealed. All the hard work had paid off. You can imagine my excitement as I was crowned world champion for the sixth time, also gaining the coveted highest number of world titles any North American girl has accomplished in this region. I can’t thank my teachers, family and friends enough for all the love, support and belief they gave me. It was a long and tough journey getting to this competition. I wouldn’t have got there without them. One thing I am certain of, it will be a day I will never forget.



Rochelle Hoffmann of Blakey Okanagan School of Irish Dance


hat is your name? Rochelle Hoffmann

If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select and why? Ciara Sexton. She is a five time World Champion of Irish Dance and the star of many Irish dance stage productions and the 3D Lord of the Dance movie! I would love to be in her “shoes” someday. If you were to receive any existing public award, what award would you like to win? Kelowna Outstanding Athlete Award, because Irish dance is a Sport as well as an art!! Who inspires you? My friend, Mackenzie, because I don’t know anyone who works harder than she does. She even came seventh at world’s last year with a crack in her spine!

What are three things on your bucket list? Achieve my competitive potential in Irish dance and dance with Riverdance; Travel to more of Europe; become an excellent Interior Designer. If you had an enormous yacht, what would you name it? Dancer

What is the name of your dance school? Blakey Okanagan School of Irish Dance What does your business/organization do? Teach Irish dance and perform locally and for benefits and fundraisers.

If you could foresee a single day of your future in its entirety, what date would you select? 2022 when I’ve toured with a dance show finished my Irish dance professional designation and ready to start my Interior Design career! What are you passionate about? Irish dance, Interior Design, my family and my dogs. What has been your favourite day of your life, up to this point? The day we went to airport and picked up Buddy, my dog. What has been your proudest accomplishment? When I achieve 26th at the World Championships. Where is your favourite place to dine in Kelowna? What do you like about it? Original Joe’s – because they serve lots of great food! What is your favourite activity or event in Kelowna? Why? WildPlay Kelowna – I love climbing and the zip lines!



Where can people find you or your business online? www.blakeyschool.com Where can people find your business on Facebook? Blakey Irish Dance

What is your mission? To be the best Irish dancer, Interior Designer and human being I can possibly be!

If I could change one thing about Kelowna, it would be: I would create more bike paths.

If you could achieve one thing within your field, what would it be? I would love to become a World Medal Holder. Where do you want to be in five years? Living in Kelowna and achieving my dreams! I love it here! Who do you consider to be a forerunner within your field? Michael Flatley What three qualities do you feel that you exemplify? Hard work; perseverance; common decency/community service. What would you like to say to your dance mates? Work hard and keep your eyes on your goals! With a lot of hard work and perseverance, and a little luck, you can achieve them. How does your business/organization impact the community? I like to think that we entertain and provide support where we can. We also provide a good way to exercise and have fun. If you were trapped in an elevator with several wealthy investors from any field, which field would you want them to be experts in? What would say to them/talk about? I would love for them to be experts in the arts, and in particular dance and I would talk to them about making Irish dance a more recognized vocation, like ballet or hip hop.

What do you think makes Kelowna great? The climate, lake and mountains. My choice for the Kelowna In Focus spotlight is: Brandt Fralick Some general comments I would like to share are: I am a very fortunate person and I am so happy I’ve been able to pursue my dreams, live in peace and help in the community. I see so much opportunity in the Okanagan and hope to be able to come back here after my education and continue to contribute. Irish dancing accomplishments: Since I started dancing at the Championship level at the age of 10, I have been the Western Canadian Champion four times and have been top 10 in North America three times. I am about to attend my 8th World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland and hoping that I will again recall as I have the past three times, placing 26th last year. I have also attended other major overseas competitions and have recall medals from

each one. A dream of mine is to someday tour with a professional show and so last summer I attended an Irish dance camp called Studio2Stage (www.studio2stage.ie) for nine days, along with Lauren from our school. We put together a full professionalstyle show in that time and it was a most amazing experience, so much so that I am attending again this year. One of the highlights of the whole experience was that I created my own audition! I also love creating choreography and hope to do that and teaching someday. I am so fortunate to have wonderful teachers and peers in my dance school – thanks for your support and friendship everyone! Source: Kelownanow

Working with the Irish Communitiy, both new and established, to find value and security in their new Toronto home.

dslowey.com • home@dslowey.com



My First World Irish Dance Championships!! ps!!


dancing has gone from nda Keane, was born strength to strength. in Belfast but it wasn’t Enda is now, at almostt until some years after n 11, the three times Eastern his family moved to Canada that Canadian Oireachtas he first tried Irish dancing. It all Champion. He finished started at a festival on the Lakeshore third at Nationals, near Humber Campus, Ontario. qualifying to compete in Performances from some Irish the 2016 World’s for the dancers were part of the program first time ever. The World’s d’s and Enda, aged six, followed their are always held during thee steps while they danced. It was Easter holidays and 5,0000 suggested that he should take it up dancers descended on this is and as his parents had connections year’s destination, Glasgow, ow, at The Graham School of Irish all eager to compete for Dance he went along to try it out. He took to it like a natural, although Thumbs up it’s a recall!!!! the coveted trophies. Enda da his father went on to capture 11th swears his place; a fantastic accomplishment for his first rst dance moves appearance there. His ambition for the future ure are certainly not is to move up the placings until he stands genetic. atop the podium with the Globe trophy The Graham in his hand. For the time being, however, school has been his sights are set on the North American a great place for Championships to be held during July this Enda to hone year, in Orlando, Florida, which he will work rk his skills. It has towards while balancing dancing with his become like a other major passion of ice hockey. Enda second home, as currently plays with a local hockey team, The he the school has a Ice Warriors at “AA” level and finds jugglingg brilliant family his dance career with playing rep hockey feel to it. Under very difficult at times. He pursues both the tutelage of with enthusiasm, leaving his coaches and mother/daughter supporters in no doubt that, whether it be Enda and his teacher team Sheila through hockey or Irish dancing, Enda willl Sheila Graham (Graham and Alexandra be no stranger to podium placings in School of Irish Dance) Graham, his the future.

Enda far right. 22



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BC Dancers


the Tatoo

fter a lengthy audition process and keeping their fingers crossed, three Highland dancers from the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, have been selected to be a part of the 2016 Edinburgh Military Tattoo Highland Dance Team. Isabella Connolly (18), Chauntal Rosborough (20), and Skye Ferguson (21) will travel to Edinburgh, Scotland to perform in front of thousands on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle.

Skye Ferguson (Keri’s Highland Dance Studio) All three dancers have and continue to perform at a Championship level in Highland Dance. A notable moment for Isabella in her Highland dance career was becoming a BC provincial Isabella Connolly (Aberdeen School of Highland Dance) The three dancers began dancing at the age of three in their mother’s studios. Isabella Connolly from the Aberdeen School of Highland Dance located in Chilliwack BC, recently graduated High School in 2015 and continues to be active not only in the Highland dance community but also studies various forms of dance styles as well. Chauntal Rosborough from Aviemore School of Highland Dance located in Vernon BC, is currently dancing with The Heather Jolley Highland Dancers in Burnaby BC, as she pursues a History degree at Simon Fraser University. Skye Ferguson from Keri’s Highland Dance Studio located in White Rock BC, is completing a degree in Education at Simon Fraser University as well, and is currently a principal dancer in the Diskordanse Contemporary Dance Company.



Chauntal Rosborough (Aviemore Highland Dance School & The Heather Jolley Dancers) The girls look forward to spending the month of August in Scotland, dancing alongside performers from around the world. As an experience of a lifetime, they are honoured to have been chosen by the

Performing for 220,000 audience members is a true highlight in their Highland dance careers. dancer representing British Columbia at the Canadian Interprovincial Championships. In addition Isabella’s cousin, Skye has also represented BC for many consecutive years and as a BC Champion she has placed in the top six at the Canadian Interprovincial Championships. Finally, Chauntal Rosborough currently holds the 1st runnerup position at the Western Canadian Open Championship and has placed top six at the Canadian Interprovincial Premiership competitions.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo’s dance director Aileen Robertson. Performing for 220,000 audience members is a true highlight in their Highland dance careers. If you would like more information about the Edinburgh Military Tattoo visit the website: http://www.edintattoo.co.uk

The World Irish Dance Association

By Rachel Gibbins, WIDA Examinations Coordinator


he World Irish Dance Association (WIDA) is a non-profit organisation devoted to promoting Irish dance around the world. Since its founding in 2004, WIDA has developed a global presence and currently includes over 140 schools in 21 countries – and continues to grow at a fast pace!

Two dancers from Germany enjoying Brighton

WIDA recently hosted The European & World Championships in Brighton, UK. We’re exhausted – but proud to have held our

biggest and best event yet, with over 1,500 completion entries and dancers from 88 schools in 26 countries attending. Canadian dancer Jessica Tanguay, currently living in the Netherlands, represented her school and country in the European Grade Feis, are also running a teachers’ exam session in placing on the podium in the primary and Lake Erie, USA, in June 2016. Please contact intermediary grades in the U12 age group, us through our website if you are interested and in a World Championship Show team, in applying (www.irish.dance – syllabi are which only just missed out on the podium also available here). We’re hoping for further spots. The standard has come on leaps and growth in this region – watch this space! bounds (no pun intended!) yet again this year Already a number of Canadian dancers are – and not only in countries with a tradition progressing to more difficult grades – so it’s of Irish dance. In fact, we crowned only a matter of time before they earn their European champions for 2016 from not only Ireland and the U.K., but also from the USA, Germany, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, which shows the development across the board. We’re really excited about next year’s event and our upcoming All Ireland’s and US Opens! What’s next for Canada? Although we have not (yet) had extensive growth in Canada, we are U15s Championship hosting grade exams in Kitchener in Summer 2016. Grades 1-3 are teacher qualifications. In the meantime, we’re completely open to any dancers, including thrilled with our current development, with those outside of WIDA, and provide a over 50 feiseanna in the 2016/2017 calendar great basis of understanding of the simpler across all regions, including USA, Hong movements and Irish phrases. Grades 1-7 Kong, Europe, New Zealand, are being examined for WIDA members. We Australia, etc.

Errigal Mountain - Photo Source: Tourism Ireland CELTIC CEL C E TIC TIC C CANADA CANA CA NAD NAD ADA | SPRING SPR S SP PRIN P ING NG 2016 NG 2016 201 20 16

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A Rose

Upon the Blood A

are still settling another venue in Bray and Rose Upon the Blood is a play also Cravan. We will be performing at The written, directed and produced Cork Arts Theater, May 12, 13, 14th. Then by a woman, focusing on women. we take the ferry to Bere Island, where we Grace Gifford, a political cartoonist, and will perform at The Bere Island Heritage Joseph Plunkett, Artistic Director of a Centre for two nights. Once back home, we theatre company were in love; love that was will produce the play in both Kitchener and obliterated by the Easter Rising of 1916. Toronto. We are so thrilled to be bringing Joseph surrendered following a six-day this women-driven production to Ireland, rebellion that changed Ireland’s history, and and back again. was imprisoned in Kilmainham with the rest Women’s Voices Ireland and Canada. All of the leaders. This is where their romantic four of the Canadian team will co-present story, becomes a tragedy. Hours before his a panel on the lack of women’s voices in execution, they were allowed to marry in theatre, with Waking the Feminists. This will the prison’s chapel, and after one last visit take place on May 14th at Cork Arts Theatre. in the middle of the night, the bride became a widow. Several days later, in ‘The Irish Times’, Joseph’s name appeared twice on the same page; once in the marriage column, and again in the obituaries. During the Civil War in 1923, Grace was imprisoned in Kilmainham, as a dissident for her political cartooning. This is where she meets the feisty - lay your cards on the table, Rosie. Sharing their stories of The Rising, we get the women’s perspective on this historical period, which usually focuses on the men. Rosie deftly steers the conversation to the lover’s last ten minutes. Brought to Joseph’s cell in the Julia Krauss (Grace Gifford) & Zach Parsons (Joseph middle of the night, fourteen guards were Plunkett) in a workshop productions - UnHinged squeezed into that cell with them, and the Festival of Disturbing Theatre 2015. Sergeant who informed the couple they had ten minutes, clicked the stopwatch, and FLUSH INK PRODUCTIONS is a cautioned them not to touch each other. theatre company based in KitchenerImagine how Grace must have felt. What Waterloo. Flush Ink was established in could she have said? What did they say? 2006 and incorporated in 2008. Their What did the audience say? signature event is Asphalt Jungle Shorts. The playwright’s background is Irish. Also, they have celebrated women’s voices After a tour of Kilmainham Prison on a trip in theatre since 2007 with their annual She to Ireland two years ago, the story of Grace Speaks. Women’s work. Women’s Words. and Joseph haunted her. When she found UnHinged Festival of DIsturbing Theatre out what happened in those last ten minutes, features plays we are afraid to produced. she knew the story had to be told. Write or Flight - part of the festival, where playwrights are sent to disturbing locations OUR TOUR: to write - well - disturbing plays - in 22 hours Just in time for The Easter Rising - an experiment on how the environment Centenary in Ireland, Flush Ink Productions affects what you write. On the last day of is excited to bring this play, celebrating UnHinged, all these plays are staged. Urban women’s voices in theatre, to where the Scrawlers is our playwright’s development story began. We will be performing at The coalition. Harbour Bar in Bray – May 4 & 5 (the 4th We will be casting three smaller roles in is the actual 100 year anniversary of Joseph Plunkett’s execution). We have performances Ireland, and are so excited at the prospect of working with Irish Artists set for Greystones and Dun Laoghaire. We







ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT AND CAST: Paddy Gillard-Bentley (Playwright/Director/Producer) Founder and Artistic Director of Flush Ink Productions, Kitchener, Ontario. Chair of The Coalition of Performing Artists and past President of The International Centre for Women Playwrights. Paddy has been involved in theatre her entire life. As a playwright, she’s had more than 70 productions of her plays in Canada, USA, UK, Australia and Ireland. Most produced plays include; Shaking the Dew from the Lilies, Bingo Wings, Quantum Entanglement, Howard and the Snake and Well Bread. She’s directed more than 100 plays, and produced over thirty events of Asphalt Jungle Shorts, She Speaks and UnHinged Festival of Disturbing Theatre. Jewels Krauss (Grace Gifford Plunkett) An actor and director based in Toronto, Ontario. She was born and raised in Stuttgart, Germany before she immigrated to Canada six years ago. Her training includes a dramaturgy internship at the Schauspielhaus in Stuttgart, Germany under Hasko Weber. She’s had the privilege of taking workshops and intensives with Push Physical Theatre (New York); Ghost River Theatre (Alberta); Theatre Gargantua (Toronto); Nightwood Theatre (Toronto); Intro to Clown (Adam Lazarus); and studying the Art of Being Present under Laurence Follows from 2012-2014. She has worked with, MT Space, Flush Ink Productions, Tottering Biped Theatre & Theatre TOnight. Rosemary Doyle (Rosie O’Leary) Founding Artistic Director of The Red Sandcastle Theatre in Toronto. She has been an actor, since the tender age of 8. Rosemary prefers to think of herself as a Theatre Person, because she acts, directs,

writes plays, hangs lights and builds sets or costumes on regular basis. Rosemary’s family are from Baltinglass Co. Wicklow, and as a child she spent every summer in Rathbran, near Grange Con. She is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC and is the mother of two teenaged boys. Katharine Mills (Costumes/Stage Manager/Design) Kat has worked with Flush Ink Productions, Lost and Found Theatre, What’sInThere? Productions and Galt Little Theatre and JMDA Productions as both a performer, and in production. Various workshops include: Clown & Bouffon: John Turner, Karen Hines, Adam Lazarus, Movement, improvisation & dance: Natsu Nakajima, Tanya Williams, Pam Johnson, Elske Seidel, Martin Keogh and Classical voice: Laura Pudwell, André Clouthier. She works in graphic design with the City of Waterloo. Katharine is also a playwright, novelist and visual artist.

Here is what some people said about the play. Using a 10-minute silence in real time onstage shows a playwright who is not afraid to take creative risks. I have only seen this device used once at Canada’s Shaw festival, where a fie-minute silence was used for a Brecht play. In Paddy’s play, this silence works beautifully, becoming a character in itself. ~ Coral Andrews (Independent Media Professional A Rose Upon the Blood is unforgettable theatre. I will forever keep with me the feeling of being an observer in that jail cell. It was so moving for us in Canada, many without Irish roots. ~ Kathie Must

The nuance of movement, expression and emotional tension underpinned the entire telling of the story within the cells of Kilmainham Gaol. Paddy has created a written work that transports the audience. ~ Helen Basson (Stratford Festival Canada)

Rose Upon the Blood was a deeply moving piece about The Easter Rising, showing us how much can be said without words. I feel that this being the 100th anniversary of this event makes this the perfect time to bring this fantastic piece of theatre to Ireland. ~ Colleen Matthews Daley (Artistic Director KWLT)

Photo Source: Tourism Ireland CELTIC CEL C CE ELLLTIC E TIC IIC CANADA CAN CA NAD AD ADA | SPRING SPR PR P RING IN NG 2016 2016 20 16 27 7


Gaels By Kerry Mortimer


n Canada’s capital, a Gaelic Football club is at the heart of a thriving Irish community that calls Ottawa home. The Ottawa Gaels, celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015, has seen a surge in participation from athletes of all ages and a boost in visibility throughout the local community. Driving this growth in recent years, has been an emphasis on the development of the club’s youth program combined with a highly successful introduction of the sport to students at local public schools. Since 2000, Gaelic Football has been offered in the grade seven and eight Physical

five and six Physical Education program in the 2014/15 school year. This added an additional 65 elementary schools, a first in Canada. Two highly qualified coaches from Northern Ireland delivered the program to over 7,500 students across three school boards in Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley and for the 2015/16 school year, the participation level is expected to be even higher. Cormac O’Muiri Outside of their school initiative, the Gaels run youth programs in four separate locations • Repairs to all make and models • Air Conditioning across the city • Electrical Diagnosis • General Repairs which culminate in the Annual Mike Robinson Tel: 416-762-6127 Tournament every 717 Runnymede Road Fax: 416-762-1598 September. For the dublinauto@rogers.com Toronto, ON M6N 3V6 past seven years, the

Education program in the Catholic School Board in Ottawa. Each year the program culminates in a city-wide school tournament that sees over 600 kids playing Gaelic Football. The program has enjoyed steady growth, with Gaelic football being added to the grade




club has been hosting summer camps for its youth athletes that has seen between 50 and 75 kids take part each July. These camps and the youth program have been the beneficiary of the Gaelic Athletic Association’s (GAA) goal: to grow Gaelic sports internationally. To help expand the game’s footprint, countries around the world have been paired up with individual GAA councils in Ireland as part of a developmental program. Canada has been twinned with the Ulster GAA, allowing Ottawa to import certified coaches from Ireland to run the schools and youth programs through the spring and summer months. Working with highly qualified coaches in Ireland has helped the Gaels develop a year-round program that allows for further player development and the certification of coaches. International competition has also helped to drive development, for youth and senior players alike. Since the inception of the Continental Youth Championship (CYC) 11 years ago, each summer the Ottawa Gaels have sent youth players to participate in the largest Gaelic Games tournament outside of Ireland. The senior program has been galvanized by the introduction of the World Gaelic Games taking place in Dublin this summer. In August 2016, Men and Women from the Ottawa Gaels will be participating in the World Gaelic games as part of the Eastern Canadian Board representing Team Canada. While the on-field program is flourishing, the team’s impact extends well beyond the pitch. The Gaels act as an anchor to the Irish community that is based in Canada’s Capital. The history of the Ottawa Gaels club dates back to 1975, when it was founded by a group of Irishmen, led by Galway man and long time Ottawa resident, Pat Kelly, co-owner Bradley Kelly Construction and the Heart & Crown group of pubs. For Irish emigrants, the Ottawa Gaels club offers a home away from home and for Canadians of Irish heritage, the opportunity to connect with the Irish community and culture. The Gaels actively engage with the Hon. Ray Bassett, Ireland’s Ambassador to Canada. Mr. Bassett is big

supporter of the GAA and of the Ottawa Gaels, given the club’s proximity to his diplomatic home in Ottawa. Mr. Bassett is often seen attending games and events. The Gaels regularly liaise with other Irish community programs in the city such as the burgeoning Ottawa Irish Film Festival, the popular The SFH Irish Dance Studio and The Irish Society of the National Capital Region, which organizes the city’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. The Ottawa Gaels always bring a large contingent of Gaels supporters and players to join the parade, proceeding through Ottawa’s downtown core. While celebrating the club’s 40th anniversary this past October gave the club and its members the chance to look back on four decades of accomplishments, the Gaels have their eyes set firmly on the future. A growing Gaelic Football program is showcasing the sport to a new generation of local Canadian athletes, while the club continues to

act as a social hub of activity for the local Irish community. Building upon this 40 year old foundation, Gaelic Football and the Ottawa Gaels are well positioned to be a part of city’s cultural and sporting landscape for many years to come. To learn more about the Ottawa Gaels and their programs, visit their website at http://ottawagaels.ca/. You can also follow them on Twitter @ OttawaGaels and like them on Facebook. https://www.facebook. com/OttawaGaels/

Toronto Celtic Football Club By Shane O’Flaherty


host of young Irish pack bags and head to Toronto to increase their bank balances, but a host of former junior and even League Of Ireland players are collecting medals not just dollars in Canada. Canada is more than happy to accept skilled Irish workers, but subsequently welcomed a number of skilled footballers and some of those who packed boots along side their Lyons Tea Bags and Tayto Crisps have literally been tearing up amateur football across the Atlantic. None more so than Toronto Celtic FC. Having won the TSSL Premier Division without tasting defeating and scoring 100 goals in 14 games Celtic entered the Ontario Soccer League (Leinster Senior League equivalent) looking for a challenge. That test never really materialised and the team made up of talented Irish exiles remained

invincible and finished top by a wider margin than the season before and again without tasting defeat. Celtic went on to finish runners up in the central region east last season and look to go one better this year . Celtic, which was formally founded in February of 2010 by a bunch of Celtic supports have moved up 5 divisions since then last year being the first year in 5 they haven’t been promoted. They are currently two divisions from the top league in Ontario for Amateur football. The team is mainly made up of Irish exiles who hail from all over the country, and the manager is an English scouse by the name of Brendan Feeney.

Player and committee member Shane Fla comments “ we are not just a club but a community of friends who try help new players settle here Wether it’s trying to help them with work , point them in the direction of the best pub “ the Rose and crown “ or where they can get miwadi, tatoes(Irish crisps) etc etc . These are necessities when trying to settle away from home. Celtic look to push on this season and win some more silverware . Anyone looking to play or Sponsor the club you can get in contact via the club email torontoceltic2014@gmail.com or shaniefla@gmail.com CELTIC CANADA | SPRING 2016


St. Pat’s GAA Club By Davie Crombie


t Pats GAA Club kicked off our 2016 season with a major fundraising event at Quinn’s Steakhouse in April. The Annual Quiz and Raffle night is a highlight on the Toronto calendar for many inside and outside the club. Ten rounds of ten questions, including a picture round, a famous faces round and an audio round and also many general knowledge questions kept the crowd of over 120 thinking all night! The club would like to thank everyone who donated prizes (over $1,200 in value) for the big raffle. The top prize on the night was a Rory MacIlroy signed flag, closely followed by a $150 gift voucher for Brennan Irish Foods. We would also like to thank the Quinn Family who have made Quinn’s Steakhouse the home for this big night for the last couple of years. And now on to some activities on the field – we have two great teams in the club, a senior men’s and a senior ladies team. Training has resumed for the current season and both teams train at the magnificent all weather field at St Mikes College on Sunday’s at 2pm. We also train Thursday’s during the week and we will eventually be out three times a week when the evenings get a little bit longer. Pat Jordan from Meath takes charge of the men’s team while Sean Morley, a proud Mayo man, trains the ladies team.

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The ladies team took home their first silverware when they won the Ladies Shield Championship last year – a massive achievement in only their third year! This year will be a bit of a change in Toronto GAA circles with the majority of the games moving to Saturdays instead of the traditional Sunday. Many of our members are young and we welcome this decision by Toronto GAA as it ensures that all of our members can mix the competitive side of GAA with the social aspect of the GAA family. And that is the true meaning of St Pats GAA club – we welcome new players every year, and the club becomes a place for networking, friendship and a place of comfort. Many young Irish people come here to Canada every year and it can be very daunting and scary. We try to reach out to new people in the city and help & encourage them on their wonderful adventure. So as we look forward to the new season, we have some key dates and targets in our calendar. First up will be the first league game of the year on May 14th and at that stage we will be able to see how our training up until then has been working out. A week later, both teams will travel together on a

bus to Montreal for their weekend long 9-a-side tournament. This is another great social event to get to know more about eachother and also to see another city in Canada through the club at a relatively inexpensive cost. When the second weekend in September comes around, after a long hot summer (hopefully), both teams will look to contest the Senior Championship Finals. We will also have many other exciting events – Golf Day, World Games, Awards Night, Euro 2016 Games - throughout the year so keep an eye on our website (www. stpatsgaatoronto.gaa.ie) or follow us on twitter or facebook for further details on those events and nights out.

5555 Eglington Avenue West, Etobicoke, Ontario M9C 5M1 T: 416-695-9178 F: 416-695-9620 info@irishshebeen.com





Insurance WHAT IS TRAVEL INSURANCE? Travel can involve financial risks. Travel insurance is a financial product that transfers some of that risk to an insurance company. The policy wording describes the coverage and limits that may apply. The cost of just one medical emergency while abroad could be financially devastating. However, many Canadians travel without travel medical emergency coverage, believing government health programs cover everything - they don’t. There are different types of travel insurance. Some insurance covers you for medical emergencies, while other types of travel insurance covers your personal property or the cost of a trip cancellation. Emergency medical travel insurance covers the costs resulting from a medical emergency while you are travelling abroad. This is the most important type of insurance to have in place because the costs of a medical emergency abroad can be high. There are real-world situations where people incurred hundreds-of-thousands of dollars of medical costs to cover a medical emergency abroad. In general, travel insurance should include health, life and disability coverage that will help you avoid large expenses, such as the cost of hospitalization and medical treatment outside Canada.



Ensure your coverage includes or has provisions for pre-existing medical conditions, medical evacuation and repatriation (preparation and return of remains) in case of death. Be sure to seek professional advice to compare and contrast different types of coverage. Trip cancellation and interruption insurance coverage protects the financial investment you made in your trip from unexpected trip cancellations and interruptions. The financial impact of cancellation would not be as great as a medical emergency, however, trip cancellation and interruption is common. So even though the financial risk is not as high, you are more likely to claim this type of insurance. Baggage loss, damage and delay insurance coverage protects your personal property while travelling. This insurance allows you to replace your lost or delayed property while travelling, and the insurance company will reimburse the costs with limits prescribed in the coverage. From this list above it is clear to see that emergency medical insurance coverage is the most important type of coverage to have. Insurance companies often bundle the three types of insurance together at a discount. However, you should prioritize emergency medical coverage over the other types because of the potentially devastating impact of a medical emergency abroad.

SHOPPING FOR TRAVEL INSURANCE Most consumers purchase the first travel insurance that is offered to them. It is often an option when you purchase online, or a travel agent may offer it. While this is convenient, there are many other suppliers to choose from. There are 33 travel insurance providers listed on the OmbudService for Life and Health insurance website. It might be beneficial to compare a number of insurance suppliers before selecting the one most appropriate for your situation. It can be particularly effective to shop around if you are over 60 years of age. Above age 60, insurance premiums for emergency medical insurance increase dramatically. This reflects the higher medical risk that comes with getting older. It is important to consider the pedigree of the company too. Not all insurance companies are the same. Some companies are for-profit companies and some not-for-profit companies. Some companies specialize in travel insurance, while others offer it as part of many financial services. You would need to feel confident that the company can be there for you in the event of an emergency. Don’t pay twice. I’ve often seen travellers purchase travel insurance when they are already covered through another plan. Often, employee benefit plans, professional association plans, or certain credit cards offer some travel insurance coverage. Many Canadians forget about the travel insurance coverage that they already have through other plans. If you have an employee benefit plan you may be able to purchase additional travel insurance through that provider. Be sure to seek professional advice, to help choose the most appropriate plan for you, and to understand the limitations of the plans.

TRAVEL ADVISORIES AND INSURANCE POLICIES A Canadian government travel advisory for your destination could impact your travel insurance coverage. Some insurance companies will not honour medical claims made for injuries suffered in a country for which the Government of Canada has issued an official Travel Advisory. Coverage for injuries resulting from war may also be limited. Insurance policies often have exclusion clauses stipulating regions and/or activities that will not be covered. No matter where in the world you intend to travel, make sure you check the Country Travel Advice and Advisories. If a Travel Advisory is issued for your destination, it may affect your travel health insurance or trigger your trip cancellation insurance. Make sure you understand any terms and

conditions in the policy in regard to travel advice and advisories from the Government of Canada. Visit the Government of Canada website for current advisories.

PARENT AND GRANDPARENT SUPER VISA The new Super Visa makes it easier than ever before for parents and grandparents to visit family members in Canada, allowing them to remain in the country for up to 24 months at a time, without having to renew their status. This visa is valid for 10 years and can permit a single entry or multientries into Canada. Click here for more information.

One of the key requirements for obtaining the Super Visa for Canada is insurance. Super Visa applicants must submit proof that they have purchased private medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company which is valid for a minimum of one year and offers a minimum of $100,000 in coverage for health care, hospitalization and repatriation. About Colin Barry – Canfin Financial Group Colin Barry is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) who works with families and small businesses to plan their finances and make the most of what they have. Visit www. colinbarry.ca for more information. Fee for service financial planning and investments provided through Canfin Magellan Investments Inc. Insurance provided through Canfin Capital Group Inc.

World of

Coronation Street Tour 2

016 marks the 27th annual “World of Coronation Street Tour” - the most successful of all tours offered by Kemptville Travel.com and irish travel.ca since their inception in 1989. Over the years clients from all over Canada and from as far away as down under -Australia and New Zealand - have joined us in a common bond of making lifetime memories. “So glad we did the tour after years of thinking about it” E Hornsby - Kingston ON “Knowledgeable tour guides,interesting site visits, tasty food, well organised trips, great accommodations- A fantastic time” C. Wallace - Vancouver BC “Tour was awesome and I thoroughly enjoyed it” W Myles -Saint John NB “Tour exceeded our expectations, it was Corrie heaven” J & T Simmons - Dresden, ON “A must trip for any Corrie fan” W MacLean - Toronto ON “Everyday was a new experience and leaves me with many happy memories” M Hamilton - Calgary AB This years tour highlights- In first week • group visit to the NEW STUDIOS at media city in Manchester • dinner with a special guest

• private group dinner with a surprise STAR! Second week highlights • rugged scenery of Wales, land of Myths & Legends • colourful seaside towns, Castles and unspoilt beaches • steam train journey travel to almost the summit of Snowdon, • Welsh banquet at 1900 year old Cardiff Castle with the best of Welsh entertainment

If interested please contact Karen Murphy at 416-489-2424 or info@kemptvilletravel.com - visit www.coronationstreettour.com

IRISH TRAVEL.CA For all your 2016 Irish Travel arrangements including flights, accommodations, car rentals, packages and customized itineraries.

...and the finale is a visit to London - the city one never tires of experiencing.

Call the experts Karen, Sean or Rita.

Tour includes airfare from Toronto and special add-on fares are available from various Canadian cities.Almost all inclusive 13 days-12 nights -21 meals and sightseeing all included.

August 27th to September 9th 2016 Email for brochure info@kemptvilletravel.com or visit www. coronationstreettour.com

27th “World of Coronation Street” Tour


416-482-0449 or 1-800-668-2958 www.irishtravel.ca

info@irishtravel.ca CELTIC CANADA | SPRING 2016


The Real

Fiona O’Brien I

have always loved to try and make people laugh, I grew up in Dublin, part of a very loving family where there was lots of laughter, usually to deflect from some sort of drama. As a child I used to perform shows at home with my cousins (there was 28 of us) and force my Mom and her sisters to all sit in the living room and watch us. Great memories of painted smiles on all our mom’s faces. It must have been torture for them, only now as a mother do I realize how patient and kind they were to sit and watch us, also I’m very thankful this was a time before iphones so we had their full attention.

Comedy and performing was always something I wanted to do and to be part of but life and reality got in the way and I never pursued the dream, then my path changed and I took a chance…….. My life was turned upside down in the summer of 2012. I was in a taxi headed to Dublin airport with my three young children and my first husband (currently interviewing for second) and five suitcases. We were, like thousands of other young Irish families, escaping the recession and emigrating to Canada. The husband had been offered a job in Construction in Toronto and we jumped at the chance of a new life, recession free. Lots of tears at the airport saying goodbye to our families and friends with promises of Skyping every day to soften the blow. So began the next chapter, we settled in the suburbs of Toronto, homesickness was a daily demon I battled with. The children started school and made friends, the husband was gone to work from 5am to 8pm, and me, well I was bored out of my mind and looking for jobs. So I took pen to paper and thought to myself sure while I’m not working I may 34


as well have some fun and start writing my stories and jokes and some comedy sketches. I had written a few jokes and sets for a friend in Ireland and he was out on the Comedy scene in Dublin having a blast. I could never get out with him as I was constantly pregnant (or so it seemed) I found myself writing stories every night and shaping jokes and I was really enjoying it, it was like therapy for me. I made friends with other ex pat Moms and we used to share stories to ease the pain of missing home and our families. My marriage broke down in the summer of 2014 and on that New Years Eve I made a decision to no longer just be the wife and mom but I was going to finally pursue this crazy idea of becoming a comedian and doing something to make me happy. And here I was living in one of the best places in the world to pursue this dream Toronto has a fabulous and vibrant comedy scene, I went online and just started googling courses in comedy. I signed up that night for a course with The Second City Training Centre. In March of 2015 I headed off on the Go Train into Toronto and began the course. I adored it, as soon as I walked into that class room and met likeminded people, creative people, excited people, all here for the same reason to try and make people laugh. It was heavenly over the next few months to head in every Saturday to where I felt I belonged and was appreciated and I actually felt like I could do this thing called ‘comedy’. In April 2015 my class graduated at a comedy show in Absolute Comedy, each of us had to get up on stage and do a five minute set, it was nerve wrecking but the adrenaline was pumping through us all and we were there supporting each other. After that first performance I was bitten by the bug and I started trying to find any comedy

rooms with open mic nights that I could get up and practice on. There is no shortage of open mic nights in this city, it is fantastic and sure there may have only been three people in the audience, it didn’t matter I wanted to be up there and try and make those three people laugh. It is an incredibly supportive community and I met new people every time I went out, soon I was being asked to come and do different nights in different venues all over the city. I entered any competitions I could get into, and kept going. I’m only a year on the scene now but I Love it and I’m so thankful to have it in my life. They say things happen for a reason and I firmly believe I was supposed to move to Toronto and start on this path, where it will lead I don’t know but I’m really enjoying it and sure what more could you ask for?? Ok $5 million and a packet of Tayto would be nice ! If you would like to please follow me on Twitter @RealFionaO or on Facebook Fiona O’Brien, where I post any upcoming gigs

Next Generation


in Concert Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 4:00pm, Irish Cultural Centre


he Calgary Irish Cultural Society proudly presents THE NEXT GENERATION LEAHY in concert June 5, 2016 at the Calgary Irish Cultural Centre. Tickets are available on Eventbrite, just $25 adults, $12 kids and family ticket packages are available. Building on three generations of Leahy musical excellence, THE NEXT GENERATION LEAHY are astounding audiences all over North America. Seasoned LEAHY veteran Doug Leahy, together with his wife Jennifer and their six children are keeping the family traditions alive through music, song, and dance. Even the smallest children feel the music pulsing through their veins.

“This family brings pure joy! With their amazing natural and charming delivery, this up-tempo show will never be forgotten.” - Natalie MacMaster Led by Doug, live performances are filled with the high-energy, infectious Celtic-based music people associate with the LEAHY heritage. Fiddle, cello, French accordion and piano blend their voice with song and French-Canadian step-dancing to fill the stage. As for the result, Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains says, “Absolute joy . . . performing so beautifully and playing so well

together. I’ve never experienced anything like this before... simply brought the house down”! For more information about THE NEXT GENERATION LEAHY concert go to calgaryics.org. Doors 3:00pm. Show 4:00pm. For tickets contact David or Lynda at davideprice@shaw.ca

Sing Street S

ING STREET takes us back to 1980s Dublin where an economic recession forces Conor out of his comfortable private school and into survival mode at the inner-city public school where the kids are rough and

the teachers are rougher. He finds a glimmer of hope in the mysterious and über-cool Raphina, and with the aim of winning her heart he invites her to star in his band’s music videos. She agrees, and now Conor must deliver what he’s promised – calling himself “Cosmo” and immersing himself in the vibrant rock music trends of the ‘80s, he forms a band with a few lads, and the group pours their hearts into writing lyrics and shooting videos. Combining Carney’s trademark warmth and humor with a punk rock edge, and featuring a memorable soundtrack with hits from The Cure, Duran Duran, The Police, and Genesis, SING STREET is an electrifying coming-of-age film that will resonate with music fans across the board. Courtesy of Elevation Pictures Corp.




Into Light


arkness into Light is the annual suicide awareness and prevention event which takes place as dawn is breaking all over the world. In 2015, the phenomenal event came to Canada with almost 1,000 people in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto taking part. Last year in Toronto 366 people rose at 5a.m. to walk (or run) from the Jack Layton ferry dock to Ireland park and back, in a community movement to say ‘You are not alone’ and to walk each other from Darkness into Light. Last year saw over 80 venues from Sydney to Vancouver host Darkness into Light events, this year the event will grow to over 110 venues around the world and with over 600,000 people taking part. The Toronto DIL will take place once again from the Jack Layton Ferry Docks to Ireland Park and back again on May 7th beginning at 5a.m.Our ultimate goal is to get 1,000 people walking this year. The demographic for this extraordinary event is quite special in that it truly gathers people of all ages, plenty of people in their 20’s and 30’s as well as older and children and babies. Taking part in this family orientated event is the first step in eradicating the stigma around suicide and mental health because for the children who take part, the conversation has already begun. In Toronto

we work with the local charity Young Ones who work tirelessly to help young people free of charge - with mental health issues. By partnering with local charities, Pieta House, the Irish charity behind all of the Darkness into Light events are reaching more people than any other single mental health charity in the world.

For more information; https://www.facebook.com/ Darkness-into-Light-Toronto378815288965721/?ref=bookmarks Twitter : @dil_toronto - Where our #DILToronto is gathering momentum Instagram : DARKNESSINTOLIGHTTORONTO

Photo Credit: DIL



Mark Kelso O

riginally hailing from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Canadian drummer Mark Kelso has made Toronto his home for quite some time. Not only is he a skilled musician who plays drums and percussion but he is also a singer, composer, producer and band leader as well. As a sideman Mark has earned 4 Juno awards and most recently was nominated for the first time this year as a leader with his own group, the Jazz Exiles. Mark has been the head of the percussion dept in the prestigious Humber College music program since 2005. Mark’s ability to play a wide variety of musical styles has helped him become one of Canada’s most sought after drummers. An all around player, he has worked/recorded with a wide array of artists such as Pat Metheny, Donny McCaslin, Laila Biali, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Michael Bublé, David ClaytonThomas, John Allen Cameron, Holly Cole, Larry Coryell, Eliana Cuevas, Hilario Duran,

David Foster, Dave Grusin, Herbie Hancock, the Irish Descendants, Olivia Newton John, Molly Johnson, Chaka Khan, Pat LaBarbera, Donnell Leahy, Natalie MacMaster, John McDermott, Bob Mintzer, Peter Murphy (Bauhaus), Donny Osmond, Danilo Perez, Bonnie Raitt, Maria Schneider, John Scofield, Ron Sexsmith, Soul Stew, James Taylor, Susan Tedeschi, Ian Tyson, Gino Vannelli, Carol Welsman and his own Juno award nominated band, The Jazz Exiles. Mark runs “Groovy Drums Studio” where he records drum tracks for many artists around the world. To date he has played drums on over 290 recordings. Aside from playing many TV and radio jingles and movie soundtracks Mark has also been featured in Drums ETC, Canadian Musician, Drumhead, Drum Scene, The Black Page and Modern Drummer magazines. Mark has also been a featured clinician/performer at the Montreal Drumfest, IAJE, Musicfest, KOSA, Percussive Arts Society, Regina Drum

Festival, The Stickman Drum Experience, Whack Bam Thudd festival, Victoria Drum Festival and the Cape Breton Drum Festival. In Dec of 2015 Mark released his first instructional drum DVD entitled, “Musician First, Drummer Second” to great acclaim. Mark endorses and is a featured clinician for Yamaha Drums, Paiste Cymbals, Evans Drum heads, Headhunters drumsticks and Plunge Audio in-ear monitors. More info can be found at Mark’s web site at www.groovydrums.com

Give A ‘Green’ Gift This

Mother’s Day W

hy not go ‘green’ this Mother’s Day with the ultimate Irish gift? A gift that celebrates your ancestry, reclaims a piece of your Irish heritage, and makes a valuable contribution to the protection of the Emerald Isle’s landscape. With prices starting at just $50 you can become an Irish landowner with Emerald Heritage, a 100% legal and fully authenticated souvenir piece of land that can be passed on to future generations. You are welcome to visit your land at any time, and to use the courtesy title Squireen [an old Irish term for landowner] on utility bills …or maybe just to have some craic with colleagues and friends. Perhaps most important, by purchasing a plot this Mother’s Day you will play a vital part in preserving and protecting this ancestral homeland. In a marked contrast to its Emerald Isle moniker, Ireland is now the most de-forested country in Europe with just

1% of our native trees left standing. Emerald Heritage’s goal, with your help, is to fight back. Every plot sold, every tree planted, breathes new life into a landscape battling centuries of neglect.

MEMORIAL Emerald Heritage also has the antidote to another festive headache. With the focus so close to home it’s the time of year when we think about, and reflect on, those loved ones who are no longer with us. Sometimes, though, we want to do more than just reflect. We want to find a way of expressing that, although gone, they’re definitely not forgotten. This Mother’s Day, Emerald Heritage has also introduced optional 4-foot square and 9-foot square packages, the latter a fitting way to remember anyone with an affinity for the Old Country. Possessing the same ownership rights as

the one-foot square packages (like passing it on to future generations), big brother’s additional benefits include Emerald Heritage planting a tree on your behalf (with the help of our partners The Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust). That potent symbol, representing life after death, is a tangible and lasting tribute that those future generations may even come and visit. Just like the one-foot plots, the land is situated in the glorious Glens Of Antrim, a region renowned for championing all aspects of Irish culture, from the Gaelic language to sport, dance and traditional music. So if you’re proud of your Irish heritage, or know someone who is, why not go ‘green’ this Mother’s Day and buy them the perfect Irish gift? For further details check out www.emerald-heritage.com * The area around Emerald Heritage’s land in the Glens of Antrim was used extensively for filming by HBO’s critically acclaimed Game Of Thrones CELTIC CANADA | SPRING 2016


United Irish Societies Reading of the Proclamation Photo Kevin Murphy

Parade By Kevin Murphy, United Irish Societies of Montreal


ur parade awards banquet on April 2nd officially closed off what we Irish Montrealers call the Irish season. It is so called because it stretches well beyond St Patrick’s day and our parade. The season starts at the beginning of February with our Queen & Court selection evening and ends with this banquet. Over the last two months the Irish in Montreal and surrounding areas took centre stage as we celebrated over 450 years of heritage in this city. More than 50 events organized by the nearly 20 Irish organizations took place in this short period. It is certainly a busy time but we look forward to it each year. The focal point of course is Montreal’s St Patrick’s parade. Although the world knows the famous parades in New York and Boston, 38


Montreal is quietly one of the largest & longest running in the world. This year we celebrated our 193rd consecutive parade. No other city in the world can say they run a St Patrick’s event that was without interruption for a such a time. If you look back at the events that has shaped our country in that timeframe it is quite remarkably. Two world wars, the Great Depression, political unrest and of course the founding of our country. Each year Montreal’s St Patrick’s parade welcomes between 250,000 and 700,000 Montrealers and visitors from across the globe. Always dependant on Montreal’s famous spring weather but regardless it always draws a crowd that shows their appreciation for what the Irish have done in this city and province. The reception they show us as we walk down Ste Catherine’s street is heartwarming and nearly brings a tear to the eye. They come to celebrate our heritage with us but also celebrate Montreal’s unique diversity with the many different cultural communities included in our parade. The parade is inclusive regardless of background, language, religion or political tendencies. It is also viewed the first of many festivities that take place through

the summer. For these reasons, I feel this is why it has been so successful for nearly two centuries. It is with heavy heart that we put away our top hats and shillelagh’s but we have rolled up our sleeves and have already begun planning next year’s parade and events that surround it. We our proud to proclaim that we are an all volunteer organization and as such we spend our free time doing what generations of our forebearers have done. We therefore invite you to join us for our 194th parade to be held March 19th, 2017. We invite you to visit website, montrealirishparade.com, and follow us on all our social media accounts.

Etobicoke’s best pub food. 20 beers on tap and over 130 different whiskeys.

5140 Dundas Street West • Etobicoke, ON M9A 1C2 P: 647-350-5140 • E: info@sjgtoronto.ca

ww w. s j gto ro nto .c a



A Chara,

The Land of the Maple Leaf... We Thank You! By Alan Louthe, Parade Chair, St. Patrick’s Parade Society of Toronto. www.StPatricksToronto.com Photos: Henry Chan


he 29th Grand Marshals Ball at Casa Loma launched the St Patrick’s Parade Society weekend’s events The event was sold out in early December, to the surprise of many. A great night was had based on feedback from those attending. They will all be back is the message I’m happily hearing! The Irish Choral Society sang beautifully, followed with the presence of Her Honour, the Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario attending along with our outgoing Irish Ambassador Dr. Ray Bassett. Grand Marshals Mr. Pat Sheridan and Mr. Sid Ryan honored on the evening with their

guests and family from Ireland and the USA attending. The 2016 Irish Person of the Year Mr. Brian Farmer was present as guest of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Society. It was an excellent evening with an energetic crowd enjoying the evening’s festivities, also attending the ball was Jaime Martino director of operations for the PRIDE parade who was very impressed with the evening’s events and was delighted to be part of the festivities. The Mayor of Drogheda had a special envoy Mr. James Gorman from the Holy Boxing club Drogheda who fled in from Ireland and arrived at the ball wearing a bright green Jacket with the CEO of boxing Ontario Matt Kennedy and made a presentation from for outstanding contribution to boxing in Ireland and 40


Canada working with the youth. The costumed dancers from Brazil fired up the guests. Two Irish dancing schools entertained. The McGuinley School of Irish Dance and the Graham School of Irish Dance performed beautifully. Silver Elvis was in the house and entertained along with the parades long time supporter, Mr. Hugo Straney doing a wonderful job as DJ/MC. All Rite Doors and Systems Inc. once again sponsored all the entertainment and Diageo offset the cost of the venue which is greatly appreciated. The Society thought it was only proper to use this occasion to recognize people in our

community that have added to this great multicultural society we all live in. These chosen were a very few of the many deserving recognition who over the years have made the parade as well as other forms of community involvement, sponsorship and volunteering a way of life. The persons presented with a plaque of appreciation from the Parade Society were Ms. Ann Quinn of the Quinn Group. Ms. Norita Fleming. Ms. Rita De Bono. Ms. Kathleen Keenan. Mr. Sean Harte (GAA), Mr. Bob Skinner. Mr. Mike Ogle and Mr.Troy van Overdijk. The final presentation was special. The

Parade Society recognized Dr. Ray Bassett, the outgoing Irish Ambassador to Canada & Jamaica for his support of the Parade Society, the changes being made and all things Irish. The theme of the parade being the 100th commemoration of the Rising was well received and included many entries for the first time. On Sunday March 13th at 6am, Leprechauns were hard at it, putting the final touches for the 2016 parade. At 12 noon SK8PatricksParade.com (longborders) launched the parade, immediately followed by the Cabbagetown Youth Club fun run. The line of march with Grand Marshals out front led the way. It was estimated just under a million people lined the streets of Toronto. It was a lovely day. We had over 112 groups participating.

This was by far the largest and most well attended St Patrick’s Parade since inception by Steve Whalen in 1988. Steve joined us in celebrating the success of the 2016 parade enjoying the after parade awards at Quinn’s Steakhouse in the Sheraton Hotel. CP24 our media sponsor stepped up their pre parade promotion while also providing viewers at home coverage and live coverage post parade. The Burlington Teen Tour Band with 150 participants, The US Naval Bugle and Drum Band with 85 participants and the Mass Naval Cadet Band sponsored by Kilkenny with 140 participants marched strongly. Floats by McGuinley School of Irish Dance, Dublin, Cork, Donegal, Rose of Tralee sponsored by the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Society, along with many more entries including the Irish Players who dressed up in period costume participated to be nipped at the post by Friends Of Sinn Fein Canada entry for the first time ever, as the best community group. Darkness into Light appearing for the first time promoting their worthwhile cause is to be applauded.

events. We planned and planned again to make it happen with the police, emergency services and all the city event staff supportive of the challenges we faced. The Parade Society are fortunate to have assembled a strong team of talented volunteers assisting the overall organization of the events which will serve the entire Irish community well going into the future. To those countless volunteers, the Toronto Police Services, City Of Toronto staff at all levels, Toronto Fire and our Food Driving Paramedics we thank you. To all those members past and present who added value in any way shape or form to the St Patrick’s Parade Society and especially the many new people whom came forward for 2016 we salute you for your

St. Patrick’s Day Parade was a resounding success with the theme of the parade celebrating the centenary of the 1916 Rising celebrated with a display of heritage, history and culture. The Irish President requested that all 1916 Rising celebrations be open to ALL groups who wish to participate.. The Society in their wisdom 3 years ago put a plan in place to stage a People’s Parade, with a family focused all-inclusive event for 2016. Best County was Dublin for the third time in a row with their GPO, Best band was The Burlington Teen Tour Band with the Best Community group won by the Friends of Sinn Fein Canada who dressed in period costumes and in keeping with the parade theme. It took a year of planning to put the parade together with a dedicated team of young people who prepared to stage these

support and positive influence. The Irish Cultural Society for their grant, as custodians of funds raised from the entire community. To our suppliers who worked to have our products in place, as well as all the many sponsors who supported the parade financially which is essential in order to stage such event, We thank you. Parade Society Vice Chair Shaun Ruddy for his constant support, guidance and energy! Secretary Katharine Burton who keeps us all on our toes, Sarah Harkin Treasurer, Alan Hynes Parade Director, Sinead Brown PR Relations, Eimear Seoighe, Breege Moyne, Declan Martin, Chris Knight, Geoff Stewart, John Cussen and Michael Hartog for our new website, running our search campaign and expanding our social media presence. Josee Landry, William Church , John Molloy. Sean Egan, Sean

Harte, John McFadden, St. Pats Crew, Danny Patton, Sean Finlay, Gary Malone, Patrick Ruddy with all their crews, Paul Wolfenden from Squires Landscaping, Moores Transportation and all of our countless volunteers. We thank you. To all the business leaders and labour sponsors whose sponsorship allowed us the opportunity to stage the largest Irish themed event ever held in Toronto led by our Grand Marshals, both great union leaders Pat Sheridan and Sid Ryan, all the bands, the community groups and the counties one and all we thank you. 2017 is already in the works with a bright future taking shape for The St Patrick’s Parade Society of Toronto set to stage once again, the largest, all inclusive Irish themed events in Toronto that only happens with your continued help and support. Thank you all.



Ireland’s first Catholic Radio Station Radio Maria Ireland R

adio Maria Ireland – the country’s only Catholic radio station – officially launched on 11 February 2016. The internet station began operating in pilot mode on 13 May 2015 and just recently signed a contract with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland to broadcast its services via DAB (digital audio broadcasting). Listeners can now tune in: • By internet at www.radiomaria.ie, • By smartphone and tablet app (download the ‘Radio Maria World Family’ app) from the App Store (for Apple devices) and Google Play (for Android devices), • By DAB radio (DAB receiver required), and • On AudioNow’s ‘call-to-listen’ service at 01 437 3277. This allows listeners without access to computers or broadband to listen live to Radio Maria on landlines and mobile phones. (For listeners in the United States, the ‘listen live’ number is 712 775 8288.) Located on the south side of Dublin at St Anthony’s Business Park, Ballymount Road, Dublin 22 (near the Red Cow intersection), Radio Maria Ireland is just one of 75 radio stations developed by the World Family of

Radio Maria, the international Catholic radio broadcasting service. Radio Maria is a self-financing, notfor-profit radio station that relies solely on the generosity of its listeners to provide its 24-hour, 365-day service. It does not carry advertising. Ostensibly a school of prayer, Radio Maria’s daily programming can be divided into three categories: • Prayer, • Religious instruction, and • Social development. The daily prayer schedule includes Holy Mass, the morning and evening Prayer of the Church, Rosary, the Angelus, Divine Mercy Chaplet, novenas, and the morning and evening Prayer of the Church. Religious instruction includes catechesis, apologetics, scripture study, theology, and more. Social development programmes focus on family matters, finance matters, budgeting, legal affairs that affect listeners in their everyday life, among other matters of interest.

Radio Maria Ireland has been granted a DAB digital radio licence (incorporating satellite and cable services), which places it at the forefront of DAB broadcasting services in Ireland. This will help it reach listeners in Dublin and Cork and their hinterlands, (with Waterford following soon). Radio Maria Ireland is headed up by its Priest Director Dr Michael Ross SDB. Its volunteer president is Mark McDermott (who works full-time as a media professional), while its General Manager, Mr Joyson Joy, is a project management specialist. For more information, please contact: Fr. Michael Ross SDB, Ph.D Priest Director Radio Maria Ireland, St. Anthony’s Business Park Ballymount Road, Dublin 22. Office Phone: +353-(0)-1-4032700 Mobile: +353-(0)-871499263 Email & Skype: frmichael.ross@radiomaria.ie


Project Hope T

he Irish Project Hope Committee is delighted to have this opportunity to thank all those wonderfully generous people who donated to the worthy cause of sponsoring refugees. The response has been typical of the good heartedness of Irish people worldwide. It proves the concern, caring, and understanding of those who know what it feels like to leave one’s native country. We are delighted to have already 42


welcomed Samhar (Mike) Awad into our community. He possibly already knows more about Ireland than most Canadians! He is a delightful young man who is settling into Canadian life with great gusto. He has already formed a band. He sings, plays guitar and violin. We look forward to the arrival of three more families in the near future and the challenge of helping them resettle into this wonderful country of Canada.

If you would like to support this humanitarian cause, donations can be made online to https://community.archtoronto. org/sslpage.aspx?pid=416. Please select “Holy Rosary Parish, Toronto” and then select “special projects” or by cheque payable to; Irish Project Hope, Holy Rosary Parish 354 St. Clair Ave. W. Toronto M5P 1N4 Attn: Eithne Heffernan

Single Malt

Whisky By Bobby Jameson


am a great fan of single malt Scotch and my Canadian friends often ask me, “What is the difference between a single malt and a blended whisky”? Basically, a single malt Scotch whisky is the product of one specific distillery, and has not been mixed (blended) with whisky from any other distilleries, whereas a blended whisky is a blend of many single malt whiskies and grain whiskies. There are four major yet distinct whisky distilling regions – Speyside, Highland, Lowland and Islay, with other smaller regions such as Islands and Campbeltown. To be classed as single malt, the whisky must have been distilled at a single distillery using a pot still distillation process, from a mash of malted grain, which in Scotland, is barley. A single malt Scotch must be distilled in Scotland and matured in oak casks in Scotland for at least three years. (Most single malts are matured longer, typically ten years minimum.) The age statement on a bottle of single malt Scotch is the number of years the whisky spent maturing in casks. Very few whiskies are bottled from a single cask, and the mixing of spirits with different amounts of ageing is allowed; the age statement reflects the age of the youngest whisky in the mix. Where to begin? Well, there are approximately 125 distilleries spread throughout the major whisky producing regions of Scotland and each of these regions has its own particular distinctive style of malt whisky. Although it is not possible for two malts to be identical, (even if the distilleries that produce them were to stand side by side), it is usually possible to discern in which region of Scotland a particular whisky was created. My own favourite region is Speyside, but that is not to say I do not enjoy the flavours of the other whisky regions, as to be honest, there are not many bad ones! How should you drink a single malt Scotch whisky? That’s a question often asked by the beginner and one which raises differing opinions but I will answer it from my own personal point of view. There is a certain protocol to be followed and I would recommend the use of a nosing glass, such as The Glencairn Glass. Remember – this is an experience to be savoured, it is not a shot drinking contest!

Initially, pour a healthy measure of your single malt whisky into the glass. Hold the glass up and have a look at the colour. Swirl the whisky around, holding the glass close to each nostril to introduce yourself to your “guest”. Take some time to sense the aromas and ask yourself, “What do I smell in here”? Citrus, burnt oak, toffee, vanilla, orange peel, seaweed – some or all those things and more! It will depend on the properties of the barrel in which the whisky has been matured. Take a sip of the whisky, roll it around your mouth, side to side, back to front and all around the gums, before slowly swallowing that delicious golden liquid. Take a deep breath through your mouth, and exhale, to allow the sensations to unravel. You will then be able to compare your initial assessment of smell against palate, as the rewarding after taste will provide a lingering finish. Then add only one or two tear drops of spring water to the glass. Swirl the whisky around again, and take another sip, same as before, only this time, you will taste an entirely different drink; it is quite fascinating how those few drops of water will release the full flavour of the whisky to provide a completely different experience. I like to use a pipette or an eye-dropper for this purpose, to make sure I don’t drown my whisky. It is also important not to use tap water, distilled water or carbonated water, as these will only adversely impact the taste of your whisky. Stick to spring water and enjoy.

Let’s start alphabetically then, and take a look at Aberlour, a small town which lies slap-bang in the in the heart of the Spey valley. The distillery was founded in 1879 however, distillation at the site goes back further, to at least 1826. The name Aberlour is Gaelic for “the mouth of the babbling brook”, and the source of the water, (always the key ingredient

for any single malt Scotch) is several springs on the nearby mountain of Ben Rinnes, which gives its’ name to the Benrinnes distillery, also located in the same town. Aberlour is a single malt of the highest quality that consistently delivers and I have yet to be disappointed by any of their bottlings. The pricing is set at a very reasonable level and hopefully that will be maintained. For a long time, Aberlour appeared to have lived in the shadow of The Macallan as the prime single malt distilled in sherry casks, but that situation has changed in recent years and the range of whiskies now produced by the distillery shows a character which is heavily influenced by sherry casks. Aberlour can be found in Canada at LCBO and the following ranges are available. Age



10 year old



12 year old



16 year old



18 year old






If visiting Scotland, the town is located on the A95, 12 miles south of Elgin on the way to Grantown-on-Spey in a beautiful and picturesque part of the country. From Glasgow or Edinburgh, drive north and take the A9 to Inverness. At Boat of Garten, take the A95to Grantown-on-Spey and Aberlour. Tours of the distillery are highly recommended and available online for £35 (about CDN $70 at todays’ rate of exchange). Full details of the distillery can be found on the official website at www.aberlour.com CELTIC CANADA | SPRING 2016


Emma Donoghue Talks to us About the Adaption of Her Own Novel Room for the Big Screen By John Galway


mma Donoghue is an award winning novelist, literary historian, screenwriter and mother. Born in Dublin she emigrated to Canada and now lives in London Ontario. She recently, of course, adapted her own novel Room for the big screen. The film premiered at TIFF this past September and has been on a roller coaster ride of critical acclaim and award nominations ever since. Room was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture and Emma was nominated for her work in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. John Galway was privileged to have been able to sit down with Emma for Celtic Canada as she took time out of her hectic schedule to chat about her work and the success of the film: Celtic Canada Growing up in Dublin, then spending time in the UK before ultimately settling in London Ontario - how have your life’s journeys influenced your writing and the stories you want to tell? Emma It’s definitely caused my writing to move geographically: my first two novels were set in Dublin, then I wrote a book of fairy tales which was set nowhere in particular in pre-modern Europe, then I started writing historical novels which were set in England, then a contemporary one called The Landing set in Ireland and Canada and then I’ve done a couple of novels set in the United States. So there’s been a kind of widening of the pool I suppose. I think the great thing about emigrating twice is that it kind of yanked up my cultural anchors so that I feel free to set a novel just about anywhere and in any time as well. I did a Phd in in England and I think those years of historical research left me with a feeling that effectively a library or the internet is a time machine and if I want to set a novel in 1502 then why not! Where I think some writers feel that their writing absolutely has to come out of the circumstances in which they are living - their time and their place - where I just feel that I 44


can go anywhere that my imagination or research skills can take me. Celtic Canada Ireland has a deep history of story-telling while Canada’s literary tradition is still relatively young. How would you contrast the two traditions? Emma Well the Canadian one might be more recent but it’s extremely good! I find writers get a lot of respect in Canada, I think we are seen as central to the culture. I think sometimes in America - writers there can feel as though they are somewhat off to one side of pop culture. One thing I like about the Canadian literary tradition is that women have been the big names in it for a long time. People like Carol Shields, Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro where as the Irish literary tradition is more dominated by a handful of male names. So as a woman and a writer, sometimes I feel that there is all the more room of me in the Canadian tradition. Another great thing is that Canada has really let its immigrants into its sense of itself so you get writers like Rohinton Mistry or Michael Ondaatje who are just seen as absolutely representative of Canada. So I find the loose Canadian sense of national identity actually makes it very accommodating and welcoming for an immigrant like myself. Celtic Canada Shifting to Room, how did the story come to you and why did you feel that you must tell it? Emma My children were age four and one, and I was fascinated by parenting but had never thought of writing anything about it because I couldn’t think of an original story line … I mean I couldn’t just say “woman has baby” that’s nothing new! So when I heard about the Fritzl case in Austria, and that just happened to be the first of these long term kidnapping cases I heard about, I thought that that would be actually a fascinating premise which would allow me

Phto Credit: Punch Photographic

to lift and isolate the parent-child bond from the world and to test it. To ask whether it could make up to you for all the rest of the world you were missing. But that idea would only really have struck me because I had small children of my own. Celtic Canada Adapting a novel, which often looks into the inner thoughts of a character, to film in which all thoughts must be expressed by actors is often a challenge. How did you find the process of adapting your own work with Room? Emma There are challenges but I’m not sure it was any harder to adapt my own novel than anyone else’s - it’s not as if I felt wedded to every detail. You know if you feel that seriously protective of your work then I don’t think you should adapt your own work. But I have always liked adapting work - I once wrote something for TV which didn’t get made so I adapted it to a short story - I like to move things back and forward between different forms - I did a play based on my book of fairy takes for instance so I welcomed the challenge. It was great to take the fundamental story and the fundamental structure in the novel Room and use totally different techniques to tell the story. As you say, it brings out different facets. The novel has more psychological detail but the film gives a wonderful physicality to the characters and in particular when you are dealing with a small child - you know they

are so physical - they say so much through their bodies. It was absolutely wonderful to see Jack embodied through the marvelous performance of Jacob Trembly from Vancouver - the film really gives Jack a body and in particular it allow Ma, the mother, to step forward and to be seen in her own right. To allow us to really see how she is managing her daily struggles. How she keeps her spirits up and make things fun for Jack even though it is a prison for her. I think film offers several advantages for telling a story like this. Celtic Canada And how would describe walking on set the first day and seeing the recreation of the room for which the novel/film is named? Emma It was great! It not as if I wanted everything to be exactly as it was in my head because you see in the novel you are in the head of a 5 year old and they don’t usually comment on things like what their mother looks like or decor. His head was full of characters like the spoon he played with but not visual specifics so I had no particular stake in what characters looked like. The funny thing about the room was because in the novel Jack thinks of it as just his familiar home - so it’s quite pleasant to him whereas of course the camera shows things much more coldly and objectively. So when I stepped into the set of Room I thought first of all it’s so small how could you possibly live here! how ugly, how grimy, how nasty everything is. The great thing about the film is it shows all that - the low budget nastiness of this prison. Also the little moments of visual magic and delight he finds in it - so I think the film manages an amazing kind of double perspective that way. It shifts back and forth between making the room look small and making it look big and making it look ugly and making it look beautiful. Celtic Canada Director Lenny Abrahamson and you worked very closely together - how was that experience? Emma It was bliss…the best working relationship I have ever had in my life! He was enormously generous. He used to fly over to London Ontario in mid-winter and sit around with me for a week at my kitchen table and work with me on my script. It’s funny, I got to work with him so directly that I only since learned from other screen writers that this is not normal at all. With Lenny and me it was a constant flow of Skype sessions and phone calls and I just

learned so much from him. It always felt like a very collaborative relationship. It never felt as if I was arguing to make it more like the book or he was arguing to change it all…. not a bit. Celtic Canada Since TIFF where the film won the Grolsh People’s Choice Award it’s been a whirlwind I’d imagine! How have the last few months been leading up to all the Oscar buzz? Emma It’s been a bit nuts! I keep thinking the travels are over and then there’s more of it! So it’s all going to go on ’til mid-March when we go to the Canadian Screen Awards where Room is up for eleven awards! It’s funny, I am absolutely thrilled the film is doing so well but it does mean a sort of non-stop atmosphere of publicity and people asking me about my clothes and all this kind of thing!

Photo Credit: Elevation Pictures

Celtic Canada When the dust all settles, what’s next? Emma Well I have been working right thru this cause that’s the only way to stay sane. When you are doing a lot of flying and so on, you start to feel completely unreal unless you actually do the writing. Otherwise you feel like you are just pretending to be a writer. So I have a novel coming out in the autumn set in 19th century Ireland. It will be my first one set in Ireland in some time actually and it’s really a kind of reckoning with my cultural heritage of Catholicism. And then in a total contrast I’m writing a kid series set in contemporary Toronto that will be coming out next spring. That will be my first book for kids with illustrations and so on which again is a bit more like doing a film – it’s very collaborative - to let the illustrator bear a lot of the meaning. It’s been great fun




Rose of

The Rose of Tralee International Festival is one of Ireland’s largest and longest running festivals, celebrating 57 years in 2016. The heart of the festival is the selection of the Rose of Tralee which brings young women of Irish descent from around the world to County Kerry, Ireland for a global celebration of Irish culture. The festival also includes street entertainment, carnival, live concerts, theatre, circus, markets, funfair, fireworks and Rose Parades. This year THE Rose of Tralee International Festival has won an Accenture Digital Media Award - the Oscars of digital media in Ireland. The extended 2016 Rose of Tralee International Festival will take place from Wednesday 17th to Tuesday 23rd August in Tralee. For details on how to become the next Rose of Tralee or to visit this year’s Festival, go to www.roseoftralee.ie, Facebook or @RoseofTralee_ on Twitter. The ‘Access All Areas’ coverage of the 2015 Festival came out on top in the Best Use of Social Media Category ahead of major brands such as HB Ice Cream, Uncle Ben’s Ireland, Life Style Sports and Avonmore. 46


Toronto Rose Centre Shannon Rushe (Toronto Rose Centre Chair)


he Toronto Rose of Tralee is one of the Toronto Irish Community’s longest running events celebrating 52 years in 2016. The Toronto Rose Selection is an opportunity to showcase the stories, talents and causes that are important to Irish-Canadians and new Irish women in Toronto. The Toronto Rose of Tralee is presented by the Irish Cultural Society of Toronto, a not-for-profit, volunteerrun organization which supports and funds activities, events and organizations that promote Irish Culture and Sport. The Toronto Rose Selection is one of the organization’s flagship events; we have been lucky that this event has been so well supported and attended in the past, and are looking forward to another successful event in 2016! The Rose Selection in Toronto is a series of events. The first is a Meet and Greet with the entering Roses and the Toronto Rose Committee. This year, our event was hosted at the Hot House Café, where Roses and a member of their family joined us to hear about how the Toronto Selection proceeds, and the changes to the festival in Tralee now that all Roses go directly to Kerry and get to participate in the entire festival. Our Roses then had the opportunity to get to know each other through a series of silly “get-to-know-you” questions and hear from previous Toronto Roses about their experiences with the selection process. The Roses will have the opportunity to share their stories and “wow” our judges at our interview day, hosted at P.J. O’Brien’s Irish Pub. The Roses each have an individual interview as well as group interviews, and of course some time to connect with the other Roses. The final event in the Toronto Rose Selection Gala where the Roses, their families and friends, and members of the Toronto Irish Community come together to celebrate the stories and

Toronto Roses

2015 Toronto Rose Erika Healy achievements and Daithi O Se of our Toronto Roses through their on-stage interviews and hear the announcement of our 2016 Toronto Rose! This year, we are hoping that we can connect this event more strongly to not only the Irish community in Toronto, but also to the city that our Rose represents on an international stage. As a result, we are adding an additional event to our selection process. We are having a minitour day around Toronto stopping at various iconic landmarks and connecting with business and organizations associated with our sponsors and the Toronto Irish community. Some 2015 Toronto Rose Erika of our stops along Healy and 2014 Toronto the way include Rose Katie Blundell a bit of training with the Toronto Camogie Club, trying on hats and fascinators at David Dunkley’s Fine Millinery Shop, and meeting members of the community at The Rose and Crown Irish Pub, sponsors of the winning 2015 Toronto Rose. We are hoping that this exciting addition to our selection process will not only show our appreciation for our various community sponsors and supporters, but will also give our Roses the opportunity to build long lasting friendships, have a laugh, and get the full “Rose Experience”. We hope that you will follow our Roses on their journey over the next month, and look forward to seeing some of you at our Selection Gala on May 28th (for information about the event or for tickets, please visit www. torontoirishculturalsociety.com). Thank you to our 2015 Toronto Rose Erika Healy for representing Toronto so well in Ireland last year. The Toronto Rose Centre Committee also wants to wish our 2016 Toronto Roses (Amy, Caitlin, Cassandra, Claire, Emily, Kaitlyn, Kathleen, Kylie, Louise, Meadhbh, Melanie, Petra and Rachel) the best of luck this year – welcome to the Toronto Rose family!

Western Canada Rose Centre By Moira Quirke


he Western Canada Rose of Tralee Centre was established in 2007. The event has been held at the “Irish Centre”, the home of the Irish Sports and Social Society, every year since then. The Irish Sports and Social Society was founded in 1962, and the “Irish Club” as it was known originally, opened in 1988. The club is the hub for all cultural activity in Edmonton, and promotes Irish Dance, Gaelic games and traditional music. It was a perfect fit as the principal sponsor for the Rose of Tralee Festival, and is very proud of their association with the event. When the offer to host the Rose of Tralee selection in Edmonton was made available, the executive had no hesitation in getting involved, and creating the opportunity for young

women in Western Canada to experience the excitement of the festival. It was also an opportunity to expose the larger world audience to the breathtaking beauty of the Rocky Mountain scenery of Western Canada. The response to the event has been very positive, with many entrants from British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Many generous sponsors have come forward from the local Irish business community and have provided wonderful support. The Rose of Tralee has now become part of the Society’s cultural calendar, and is a very popular event with members, and their Canadian friends also. A colourful feature of the event from the beginning was the presence of ceremonially dressed members of The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, (RCMP) as

escorts for the entrants. In 2016 the Western Canada Rose will celebrate its tenth anniversary. The success of the event is due to the incredible dedication of the volunteers, and their on-going commitment to fostering all things Irish. The young women of Western Canada with Irish connections, have shown great potential, and have created many success stories in all areas of endeavor in education, business and community service. The Rose of Tralee Festival ensures that these talented women will have the opportunity to meet and become friends with their peers from all over the world, and continue the proud tradition of co-operation, friendship and independence that is their Irish heritage.

Newfoundland Rose of Tralee Centre By Cindy Purtill


hat’ya’at, by’s? What’s that? Ye wants to know about the Newfoundland & Labrador Rose of Tralee? Take dis cuppa tea, now’s I’ll tell ya... Once every year, an event happens to gather together a people with a common heritage to celebrate where they came from; who they are, and how that past has shaped them as a person today, moving into the future. That event is the Rose of Tralee. A celebration of Irish Heritage in young women throughout the world, uniting them as one entity in a circle of friendship, the Rose of Tralee Festival occurs every August in County Kerry, Ireland. Newfoundland & Labrador has had the honour of participating in 3 selections; this year marking our 4th entry. With Newfoundland & Labrador’s history being rich in Irish heritage, traditions and culture spanning many generations, our participation in the Rose of Tralee Festival is a natural reflection of those characteristics. ‘Tis a family, ye see? We’ve had the 2012 NL Rose, Katrina Bartellas of St. John’s; in 2013, Erica Halfyard of St. John’s and in 2015, Nicole Neary of Bell Island! This year, so far, we have 7 young

women from around the Province already entered... and our application process doesn’t close until April 15. Imagine! Our Gala luncheon Selection is slated for Sunday, May 29 at the Uptown Theatre (Yuk Yuk’s) on Kenmount Road in St. John’s. Tickets are $40.00 each and will be available at the door. Pre-booking is available by calling 1-855-503-0303. Our Roses full two weeks of activities commence Wednesday, May 18 with a visit to the Rooms for the Roses to explore Ireland’s history in NL, followed by an afternoon Meet & Greet Tea; a visit to the Centre for Newfoundland Studies at MUN for the Roses to explore their own Irish roots in NL; a Kitchen Party; fundraising events around St. John’s and more! Our fun doesn’t stop here! We give back to our community by way of volunteering at various events with our Senior population & at Ronald McDonald House, as well as VOCM Cares and other events on a regular basis throughout the year. We have been very fortunate to have a number of businesses join our family as sponsors such as VOCM/Steele Communications; Hillview Terrace Suites;

Artisan Streetscapes; Avis Car RentalSt. John’s Airport; The Bridal Salon; Chatters Salon & Spa; Mark Christopher Photography; The Celtic Fiddlers & The St. Pat’s Dancers; The Ireland Funds as well as Leave It To Us Productions. With the ongoing support of these businesses, we are able to secure a solid event for our Rose entrants and their families. Some shockin’ good! Are you a strong woman? Do you know your roots, and do you live your Irish heritage? Are you the daughter of a wind driven people? A Newfoundland & Labradorean… proud to represent the rocky island in the Atlantic sea that is our home? Are you the next Rose of Tralee? Applications are now being accepted until April 15. Gala Dinner & Selection at the Uptown Theatre, St. John’s, Sunday May 29, 2016 For more information, please visit www. newfoundlandroseoftralee.ca Now…what are ye waiting for?

Continued on page 48. CELTIC CANADA | SPRING 2016


Continued from page 47 - Rose of Tralee

Rose of Tralee Ottawa Centre


ello from Canada’s Capital, Home of the Rose of Tralee Ottawa Centre! The Ottawa Rose Selection is held at the Residence of the Irish Ambassador to Canada after a weekend full of events during Ottawa’s Irish Festival Since joining the International Festival in 2009, the Rose of Tralee Ottawa Centre hosts an annual Ottawa Rose Selection where local, young, modern Irish women have the opportunity to be selected as The Ottawa Rose. Applicants do not have to go through any heats to take part, but can apply directly to the Centre. The 2016 Ottawa Rose Selection took place March 11th-13th. Applicants participated in a number of community events, volunteer outreach, and a radio show in addition to their individual, group, and on-stage interviews. Members of the public who met with 2016 Ottawa Rose Applicants over the course of the weekend were impressed by the calibre of these young women; each representing themselves and their sponsors well. Applicants are hosted at Les Suites Hotel Ottawa for the duration of the Selection weekend. In 2016, they toured historic buildings of Ottawa including the Chateau Laurier and Parliament Hill. They spent time with the residents of St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa and were guest hosts for the Gaelic Hour radio show. They also enjoyed a traditional night out with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann at a festive dinner and ceilidh. At the Rose Selection event itself; guests were entertained by on-stage interviews and party pieces from 10 Applicants hoping

to become the 2016 Ottawa Rose. The Rose of Tralee Ottawa Centre is pleased to announce that Sarah Griffin was selected to represent Ottawa. She will be one of four Canadians participating in the Rose of Tralee International Festival in Ireland this August. Sarah has an Honours Bachelor of Arts with specialization in Linguistics and a Minor in Celtic Studies from the University of Ottawa as well as a diploma from Dawson College in Modern Languages. She would 2016 Ottawa Rose, Sarah Griffin. like to complete a one-year graduate Photo Credit: Andre R Gagne Photography certificate, starting in the fall, to be a Communicative Disorders Assistant. Born in be a part of an organization that celebrates Montreal, Sarah now lives outside of Ottawa the Irish diaspora and the fantastic young in Lanark County. This 23-year old’s focus women that belong to it. for the past 11 years has been competitive The success of the 2016 Ottawa Rose Irish dancing with Moran Academy in Selection Weekend would not be possible Deux-Montagnes, and Sue Fay Healy without our Sponsors and Partners: Les Irish Dance Studio in Ottawa. Sarah has Suites Hotel Ottawa; Aer Lingus; Surgenor competed at multiple championships, her most recent being the 2015 All Ireland Championships in Killarney, Co. Kerry. In the same year, Sarah received an Ireland-Canada University Fund (ICUF) scholarship to study Irish for a month in Galway. Her paternal greatgrandfather emigrated from Co. Carlow and maternal great-great-grandfather left Co. Kerry, both to settle in Quebec. Since becoming the Ottawa 2016 Applicants and Ottawa Rose Sarah Griffin participating in the Rose, Sarah St. Patrick’s Parade downtown Ottawa. Photo Credit: Rose of Tralee Ottawa Centre has attended numerous community Automotive Group; Embassy of Ireland events including the St. - Canada; The Gaelic Hour; St. Patrick’s Patrick’s Day Luncheon at Home of Ottawa; Saint Brigid’s Centre the National Irish Canadian for the Arts; D’Arcy McGee’s Irish Pub; Cultural Centre; both the Murphy Ford Sales Ltd., Pembroke; Andre R Ottawa and Montreal St. Gagne Photography; The Scottish and Irish Patrick’s Day parades; and the Store; Irish Women’s Network of Ontario; Irish Film Festival of Ottawa EPM; Sue Fay Healy School of Irish Dance; hosted the first weekend of The Conways; Trillium Academy of Irish April. We know this is only Dance; John’s Repair Service ; Catrysse the beginning of her amazing Former Ottawa Roses Laura Hay (left) and Claire Conway (far Veterinary Services; Patty’s Pub; Bradley year. The Irish in Canada and right) congratulating Sarah Griffin on becoming the 2016 Ottawa Kelly Construction Ltd.; The O’Briens; Irish Rose at the Selection, hosted at the Official Residence of the Irish specifically, Ottawa, have a Society of the National Capital Region long history. We are proud to Ambassador to Canada. Photo Credit: Andre R Gagne Photography. 48


Ireland Fund of Canada By Jane Noonan


n Friday March 11, 2016 over 1100 people gathered to support the Ireland Fund of Canada at its annual St. Patrick’s Day Lunch. This event, now in its 34th year, is the largest and longest St. Patrick’s Day Lunch in the world. It has become a must-attend event in the Toronto calendar and this year was no different. The day kicked-off with a pre-reception in the Quinn Family Pub, a space built specifically for this event. Custom cocktails were provided by Diageo and guests were entertained with traditional Irish music. It was the perfect start to an event that’s a bit more than a lunch! As guests enjoyed a gourmet 3-course lunch, they were entertained by fabulous dancers from Celtic Dance Centre in Toronto. This young energetic group have been performing at the lunch for a number of years and are always a hit. We were so pleased to have Alan Doyle, from great big sea, act as emcee

The Calgary

and entertainer. He kept guests laughing, singing and dancing throughout the event. Alan invited his band mates to perform solo acts and guests were wowed by the unbelievable fiddle playing of Kendal Carson. Cory Tetford’s a cappella rendition of Amazing Grace left guests speechless. Alan, Cory and Kendal then led guests in an impromptu dance party! The St. Patrick’s Day Lunch is the biggest annual fundraiser held by the Ireland

Fund and raises much needed funds for charities throughout the island of Ireland and Irish focused charities across Canada. If you’d like to know more about the Ireland Fund, check out their website at www.theirelandfunds.org/canada. And save Friday March 10, 2017 for next year’s St. Patrick’s Day Lunch.

Fianna GAA By Elaine Dineen


he Calgary Fianna Gaa was established by Patrick Mansfield in 2014 and ever since this little club has gone from strength to strength. With seven committee members and Paddy at the helm it has been a long, busy but rewarding road. We are passionate about keeping our Irish roots alive and kicking! We take pride in teaching our eager kids to enjoy the unique Gaelic Football experience through weekly training sessions. We have recently had the pleasure of a visit from one of the top 5 GAA referees in Ireland, Mr. David Gough, who came to speak to the kids at our St. Patrick’s Day celebration. We are also hoping to participate in the upcoming Alberta cup in Calgary and Red Deer in June and July.

It is heartwarming to see the happiness on the children’s faces as they enhance their skills and socialise with Irish/Canadian connections. We are proud to welcome children of all ages and nationalities to participate in our historic sport and would love more to become part of our enthusiastic team and enjoy making history with the first children’s GAA club in Calgary. We have a registration day coming up on the 14th May from 12-2pm at Bishop O Byrne High School football field and would like to extend an invitation to all to come along with your kids if they are between the ages of 4 and 17 and join our expanding club.

Please feel welcome to visit our website on www.calgaryfiannagaa.teamapp.com, check our Facebook page “Calgary Fiannagaa” or email us on calgaryfianna@gmail.com Warm welcomes, fun & fitness guaranteed. CELTIC CANADA | SPRING 2016


The Wild Atlantic Way Now Virtually Impossible to Miss! irtual Reality Tours of the Wild Atlantic Way Piloted by Fáilte Ireland at International Tourism Fair in Berlin


áilte Ireland today announced that it has captured a number of unmissable experiences along the Wild Atlantic Way for virtual reality (VR) viewing, giving people the chance to remotely experience 3D tours of the coastal route. Piloted last week at the international tourism fair ITB in Berlin, VR gives Fáilte Ireland the chance to show buyers and potential visitors just what they are missing. The experiences will be shared on the Oculus store where millions of people with VR headsets can download and enjoy them, further promoting Irish tourism across new and innovative channels globally. The tourism authority are also investigating the possibility of integrating the VR experiences across their Tourist Office network and ultimately offer it to trade and industry partners to use for their own promotional activity. Speaking today, Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Marketing, Noel-John McLoughlin said: “Virtual Reality is proving to be a game changer in how experiences are consumed and this technology is set to be the most exciting innovation in travel and tourism marketing during 2016. I am delighted to say that Ireland is leading the virtual charge and is at the forefront of this new wave of innovation. “With these virtual tours of the Wild Atlantic Way, we can bring the excitement and thrill of the world’s longest coastal route directly to buyers, consumers and media and allow them to truly sample what Ireland has to offer.” The Virtual Reality (VR) experiences created by Fáilte Ireland, starring some of our partners in the promotion of the Wild Atlantic Way, include: • Beach horse-riding experience on one of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches with the imposing Ben Bulben Mountain as a backdrop - with Ursula Schweiger O’Connor from Island View Riding Stables; • Climbing one of the tallest sea stacks in Europe, in the wonderful northern headlands of Donegal - with Iain Miller from Unique Ascent;



• Surfing the crest of a wave directly below the iconic Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare - with world renowned champion surfer, Ollie O Flaherty; • Cycling through some of the most beautiful rugged landscapes on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way - with Patrick O’Regan from Burren Way Mountain Bike Tours. Last week (9th to 13th March 2016), Fáilte Ireland piloted the use of these experiences on VR headsets at ITB Berlin, one of the world’s largest tourism trade fairs with 10,000 exhibitors from 187 countries and territories and with approximately 100,000 international trade visitors and members of the public in attendance. The experiences were extremely popular and drew a great response from those who tried them with one overseas user commenting: “You forget it’s a 3D/360 experience and you think its reality. It really gave me the full experience of the Wild Atlantic Way - I never knew you could do that in Ireland, it was amazing.” For more on the making of the VR films and the reception they received, visit our YouTube channel The virtual reality experiences were commissioned by Fáilte Ireland and filmed during February by Big O Media using specialised cameras to create suitable material to stream through Samsung VR Gear and Occulus Rift Technology.

Addressing the advantages and applications of the new technology, Amanda Horan, Sales Development Officer with Fáilte Ireland who piloted the demonstration in Berlin, pointed out: “This is brand new technology and Fáilte Ireland wants to exploit ‘early mover advantage’ to ensure that Ireland stands out and that we can grab attention for new experience brands such as the Wild Atlantic Way. “The reception we received in Berlin proves that this accessible and interactive technology can open up great potential for Irish tourism and, already, we are planning how we may incorporate it into our tourist office networks as well into the many trade fairs and industry platforms where crucial travel decision making takes place. “Emerging technology like this will also significantly influence our ongoing experience development work – along the Wild Atlantic Way, across Ireland’s Ancient East and in Dublin - as we strive to improve the interpretation and animation of storytelling at key sites.” Source Tourism Ireland



Donal Skehan D

onal Skehan is a food writer, food photographer and television presenter living in Dublin, Ireland. Inspired by a family of passionate food lovers who have worked in the food industry for over 60 years, cooking and eating hearty home cooked food has always been a way of life. Throughout his cookbooks and TV series, Donal’s recipes are accessible, inspiring and encouraging for the everyday home cook. Donal got his start in the world of food when he started a food blog in 2007, he was offered a book deal which coincided with his first television series. Donal is now one of Ireland’s most popular food profiles. His television career has seen him learning the secrets of Italian cookery from 13 incredible Nonna’s on FOX

International’s “Grandma’s Boy”, judge some of the UK’s finest young cooks on BBC’s “Junior MasterChef ” and use his Swedish language skills while he presents Sweden’s biggest food show “Mitt Kok”. Donal’s YouTube channel has been incredibly popular and with 3 weekly videos, over 11 million views and 295,000

Keeping an open mind and a positive approach to what you eat is one of the most important steps when it comes to improving your health.

ROAST LAMB WITH ROSEMARY & GARLIC I love using the classic combo of garlic & rosemary to flavour lamb. An easy side dish to serve alongside the roast lamb is simply braised baby gem, with peas in white wine and thyme. In springtime, wild garlic appears all across Ireland in shaded woodland areas. It is easy to recognise from its distinctive garlic smell. The leaves can be harvested and treated like any salad leaf or used to make a pesto to serve alongside the lamb.

Serves 6 For the lamb: 1 leg of lamb, on the bone (roughly 2½ kg to serve 6-8) 4-5 garlic cloves, sliced into slivers 3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves finely chopped 3 tbsp of rapeseed oil Sea salt and ground black pepper For the wild garlic pesto: (optional) 100g of wild garlic, washed and dried 50g of pine nuts 75g of Parmesan or mature Coolea cheese, grated 350ml of extra virgin olive oil or Irish rapeseed oil For the braised baby gem and peas: 1 tbsp of butter 100g of smoked streaky bacon, roughly chopped Zest of 1/2 lemon 75ml of white wine A few thyme sprigs 50ml of chicken stock 200g of frozen peas 6 spring onions, trimmed and sliced in half 6 baby gem lettuce, sliced in half 52


subscribers worldwide, it has become one of his most successful platforms to date. Apart from food, Donal is an accomplished food photographer and shoots high end images for publishing houses in the UK.

Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400°F/ Gas Mark 6. Place the lamb in a large roasting dish. Make a number of incisions all over the lamb and stud with the garlic slivers and rosemary sprigs. Drizzle with rapeseed oil and generously sprinkle with sea salt and ground black pepper. Place in the oven to roast for 15 minutes per 500g (1lb) for medium rare or longer if you prefer your meat more well done. Remove from the oven and rest under tin

foil before serving in thin slices. Optional: For the pesto place all the ingredients in a food processor or pestle and mortar and blitz until smooth. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Set aside. For the braised baby gem and peas, melt the butter in a large high sided frying pan. Fry the bacon until sizzling and crisp. Pour in the wine and allow to sizzle for about 30 seconds before adding the thyme sprigs, lemon zest and chicken stock. Add the peas

to the liquid and then nuzzle in the spring onions and Baby Gem lettuce. Cover with a lid and cook for about 5-8 minutes until the lettuce is just braised. Serve with slices of the warm lamb.

You’ll Need Roasting dish Food processor or pestle and mortar (if making pesto) Large high sided frying pan

MIKADO COCONUT CREAM CAKE When I was growing up, if Mikado biscuits were in the house, they didn’t last long. This cake is a small homage to them with a light sponge layered with jam, covered with a sweet marshmallow frosting and decorated with desiccated coconut.

Serves 12 For the cake: Butter, for greasing 4 large eggs 170g caster sugar 120g plain flour 1⁄2 tsp baking powder For the filling and frosting: 340g strawberry jam, strained through a sieve 4 large egg whites 225g caster sugar 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract 1⁄2 tsp cream of tartar 50g desiccated coconut Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and grease and line a 20cm diameter springform tin with baking parchment. To make the sponge, beat together the eggs and sugar until they are pale and fluffy. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and fold gently into the egg mixture, until you are left with no lumps. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on the middle shelf for about 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool slightly in the tin and then turn it out onto a wire rack. When the cake is completely cool, use a bread knife to divide the cake into two even layers. Sandwich the layers with the strawberry jam, reserving a couple of tablespoons for the top and set aside on a cake stand. To make the frosting, place the egg whites, sugar, vanilla extract and cream of tartar in a large heatproof bowl sitting over a pan of gently simmering water. Using a hand-held electric whisk, beat on low until the sugar has dissolved completely (check with the back of a spoon against the bowl). Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to beat for 6 minutes until the mixture has transformed into soft and glossy peaks. Fill a piping bag fitted with a 3mm nozzle with half the marshmallow frosting and then use a palette knife to spread the remaining mixture all over the cake. Pipe the other half of the frosting in two rows all around the outer edge of the top of the cake and then carefully spread a little jam into a disc shape on the centre of the cake. Sprinkle the outer edge of the jam disc with coconut and then gently press the remaining coconut up the side of the cake.

You’ll Need 20cm diameter springform tin Standalone mixer or electric hand whisk Medium mixing bowl (if not using standalone mixer) Sieve Wire rack Bread knife Heatproof bowl Medium saucepan Piping bag 3mm piping nozzle Source Donal Skehan CELTIC CANADA | SPRING 2016


Destination Delicious 2016 is Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink


ut simply, Northern Ireland is destination delicious. Here, out of a landscape of lush green fields, fresh pure lakes and crystal clean Atlantic and Irish Sea waters, a distinct food culture has developed, with a focus on the very best local ingredients. But how do you celebrate what’s already a mouthwatering occasion? Easy: every month in 2016 a different food or drink theme will be celebrated across the whole of Northern Ireland! Take your pick, your tastebuds will thank you for it.

From top left: Established Coffee, Belfast; Bushmills Inn, County Antrim; Balloo House, County Down; Sheelin Brewery, County Fermanagh; Pat O’Doherty, Lough Erne


Love Dairy, Love NI Meat, Bread & Baking, Brewing & Distilling... these are just some of the fantastic themes you can taste during 2016 LOCAL FOOD AND DRINK HEROES Wherever you go in Northern Ireland, you’ll naturally find fabulous food and drink, but you’ll also hear stories of the passionate people who rear, make, cook, distill and serve these feasts to your table. Take Bernie McClelland, who asked his chef proprietor at Rayanne House to recreate the Titanic’s last meal – after all, they are in the home of the Titanic in Belfast. Or husband and wife team, Fiona and David Boyd-Armstrong, who built their own baby distillery a few years ago and now make their Shortcross Gin using only botanicals grown in their own garden!

And the folks at Ballygally Castle Hotel had so much fun when HBO’s Game of Thrones was filming nearby that they decided to launch their own themed afternoon tea – just taste their Dothraki Trifle with Mini Dragon’s Eggs!

Of course, all that great produce needs to be handled with respect and a legion of excellent chefs, from Noel McMeel at Lough Erne Resort in County Fermanagh to Derek Creagh at Harry’s Shack in Portstewart, County Londonderry, certainly know what they’re doing. It’s what makes travelling here so rewarding – from small village delis to luxury resorts, there’s a real sense of creativity, quality and innovation. Created by you... Want to brush up on your own skills, or learn something new? Cookery schools in Northern Ireland will broaden your culinary vision, with panoramic backdrops that really elevate the experience. Just look at the Belle

Isle Cookery School on the magnificent Belle Isle Estate in County Fermanagh, or the Mourne Seafood Cookery School, in County Down overlooking pretty Kilkeel Harbour. It’s a great way to create something new. Source Tourism Ireland





Ireland Pavilion T

he Ireland Pavilion located at The Hershey Center – Sportszone (Lobby) is sure to be a show stopper at this year’s Carassauga: Mississauga’s Festival of Cultures! This will be the 2nd Year for The Ireland Pavilion who finished 3rd in the Top Compliance Awards in their first year! Opening Night Ceremony, May 27, 7:30 pm is held at the Outdoor Stage at the Mississauga SportZone parking lot and is a kaleidoscope of color and cultures showcased in the exciting Parade of Nations . This launches the three-day Festival and is a celebration of all the countries represented at the Festival, clearly depicting the cultural

Carassauga: Mississauga’s Festival of Cultures • May 27, 28, 29 2016

diversity of the City. Non-stop cultural entertainment throughout the Festival weekend is featured on the Pavilion Stages, which is a main attraction point for visitors. Pavilion Ireland is proud to present nonstop entertainment, including Irish Dancers, various musical bands, a poet plus Hugo Straney will be part of the Opening Night. Tantalize your taste buds!! With many different Irish food offerings, including a Traditional Irish Stew and the toonie taster sampler of two mini sausages, soda bread and coleslaw, Refreshments will be available throughout the weekend, including an Irish favourite!! Twitter information: @IrelandPavilion

(Carassauga) and @grahamid86 (The Graham School of Irish Dancers) Facebook information: www.facebook.com/ IrelandPavilion/ Over 300K people visited Carassauga last year and approximately 25,000 came through Pavilion Ireland Get your Passport now!! cost $10 and all children 12 and under get in free, if accompanied by a passport holding adult. Visit www.carassauga.com for more details or contact Mike Keane at mkeane772007@hotmail.co.uk or Toby Warnell at toby. warnell13@gmail.com from Pavilion Ireland to purchase your passports. Mike Keane 416-827-5480 or Toby Warnell 416-305-4125

Musician Foy Vance Returns with THE WILD SWAN By Michael Barry


he Northern Irish musician and singer-songwriter released his first single in 2006 and has since seen his tracks appear on US TV shows including ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Vampire Diaries’. He has also toured with Ed Sheeran in the UK and the US. Vance is a critically acclaimed singer and songwriter hailing from Bangor, Northern Island and deeply rooted in the rich musical history and aesthetic of the Southern United States. Traveling through America for much of his youth, Foy eventually settled down in Ireland where he worked to put out his debut album Hope in 2007. Gathering the acclaim of both fans and fellow musicians, Foy was invited to tour worldwide with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Marcus Foster, Snow Patrol, Ed Sheeran and Sir Elton John. Foy’s second full-length album, Joy of Nothing, debuted in 2013 on Glassnote Records and was followed up by Foy’s first live recording, Live at Bangor Abbey, recorded in Foy’s hometown. In late 2015, Foy became only the second artist signing to Gingerbread Man Records, a division of Atlantic Records started by 56


Ed Sheeran. Recording for his Gingerbread Man debut The Wild Swan took place at the legendary Blackbird Studios in Nashville, Tenn. with GRAMMY-winning producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Norah Jones, James Bay, Kings of Leon, Of Monsters and Men). Recording legend Elton John is the album’s Executive Producer, and Foy will support Elton on the UK & European legs of his Wonderful Crazy tour this summer. Foy Vance and Ed Sheeran are long-term friends who have frequently toured and collaborated together, for The Wild Swan – an album that makes nods to, and takes cues from, heroes ranging from Noam Chomsky to Ziggy Stardust to WB Yeats – the pair’s relationship moves to another level. “I’m so happy to be releasing Foy’s album on Gingerbread Man Records,” says Sheeran. “I’ve been such a huge fan since the first time I saw him live...I’m constantly blown away with how talented he is. The Wild Swan is an amazing album and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.” One of the impetuses behind Sheeran founding Gingerbread Man Records was to

give musicians he truly believes in complete artistic freedom, and so he made his friend an incredible offer: the chance to make a new album with an Artist-led record company, with full support and without constraint. This freedom enabled the Aberfeldy-based Irishman to craft The Wild Swan entirely to his own vision, in Nashville’s legendary Blackbird Studios aided by Jacquire King, producer of one of his favourite albums, Tom Waits’ Mule Variations. “Mule Variations is not only an exquisitely-written record but a wonderful sounding record,” says Vance. “I actually flew out to meet Jacquire in person before I agreed to work with him because I wanted to look in the whites of his eyes and make sure we’d be on the same page. I didn’t want something too clean, polished and commercial.” For more info, exclusive previews and tour updates, visit foyvance.com.










To seee the rest off the sttory, vissit TulllamoreDEW W.coom Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey is a Trademark of William Grant & Sons Irish Brands Ltd

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