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Royal National Md
The Caithness Md - Thurso 2010
Friday 8th October - Saturday 16th October
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15 May 08
Royal National Mod of 2010 - The Fringe Events

The next meeting has been arranged for Wednesday 28 May in the Ormlie Lodge Club Hut, Brownhill Road, Thurso at 8 pm.
For those who have been to the last meetings it would be great to see you again and also great to welcome new folk along.
So, please feel free to come along and put your ideas forward so that we can programme a series of diverse and interesting events.
Predominantly the National Mod will be taking place in Thurso and Wick but we'd like to see as many events happening in as many locations that will engage as many folk from the area as possible. Perhaps you would like to set up a sub-committee to organise events in your own town/village?
We need lots of ideas, lots of support and lots of volunteers to make this a success for our area! If you can't make the meeting but are interested in obtaining more information.
Alex Patience/Katrina Scott
Email northtuath@yahoo.co.uk
National Mod 2010, Local Fringe Committee Convenors

29 April 08
Tha deasachadh a' Mhid Niseanta Roghail, a ghabhas ite san Eaglais Bhreac airson na ciad turais riamh am bliadhna seo, ag adhartachadh gu soirbheachail leis a' chomataidh niseanta agus ionadail a' danamh obair mhir anns gach roinn.

A bharrachd air tachartasan a chumail gus airgead a thogail, tha comataidh ionadail na h-Eaglaise Brice trang le gnothaichean dealbhachaidh a' Mhid agus tha sgioba eagrachaidh a' Chomuinn an-drsta a' snrachadh nan iteachan far an tid tachartasan-farpaiseach agus eu-fharpaiseach- a chumail bhon 10mh-18mh An Dmhair 2008.

As didh isteachd ri beachdan nam farpaiseach tha An Comunn Gaidhealach air iomadh atharrachadh mr a dhanamh air na riaghailtean agus air a' chlr-eagair. Chithear na h-atharraichean seo air www.the-mod.co.uk agus gerr-chunntas dhiubh gu h-seal:

a. As didh stiiridh bho iomadh cernaidh tha Fo-chomataidh a' Mhid air aontachadh gun lean sinn riaghailt an taghaidh chiil gu teann am bliadhna seo. CHA GABH SINN IARRTASAN A THA ANMOCH NO CERR. Bheir sil air na
riaghailtean ra 's an clr-eagair airson tuilleadh fiosrachaidh.
b.. Feumaidh gach farpaisean ann am farpaisean nam Bonn [Seann Ns, r agus Airgead] an taghadh deireannaich aca fhin a chur a-staigh leis a' chel eile-ceann-latha 31st An Lnasdal.
c.. Chan urrainnear pirt a ghabhail ann am farpaisean nan inbheach agus farpaisean na cloinne san aon bhliadhna. Tha sin a' ciallachadh gum feum farpaiseach a tha 18 pirt a ghabhail ann an Farpaisean na Cloinne NO Farpaisean nan Inbheach. (Chan eil an riaghailt seo a' buntainn ri cisirean far am faodar seinn ann an cisir nan inbheach bho 16 bliadhna a dh' aois)
d.. Bho Md 2008 air adhart faodar farpaisich, clann agus inbhich, ran a thaghadh a tha ainmichte anns an roinn eile. e.g faodaidh inbheach ran a thaghadh bho rain ainmichte na cloinne
e.. Tha farpaisean pobaireachd aig a' Mhd Niseanta uile fosgailte do gach re phobaireachd.
f. CUDROMACH: ' S e "Mo rn geal dleas" an t-ran ainmichte airson
Farpais A271 (Sarah Weir). Gheibhear seo bho oifis Inbhir Nis.
g. CUDROMACH: S e "Oran Coire Cheathaich" an t-ran ainmichte a-nis airson Farpais A234 (Oban Times Gold Medal) a tha ri fhaotainn ann an leabhar nan inbheach airson farpais A271.

Cuiribh fios gu Senaid NicDhmhnaill, Neach Gairm a' Mhid le ceist sam bith air 077151 25608 no janet@macdonald2351.freeserve.co.uk

Tha An Comunn cuideachd ag rdh Soraidh Sln ri Murchadh Moireasdan a bha na oifigear rdachaidh a' Mhid airson ochd bliadhnaichean leis a' Chomuinn. Tha Murchadh air obair mhr a dhanamh thar nam bliadhnaichean son a'Chomuinn 's a' Mhid agus sinn a' guidhe gach soirbheas dha san obair r aige aig GMS.

Preparations for this year's Royal National Mod, which will be held in Falkirk for the first time ever, are progressing smoothly with both the national and local committees working hard to make this year's event bigger and better than ever. With fundraising events successfully underway, the Falkirk local committee are more than ready to greet the Mod in October and An Comunn Gaidhealach's admin team are in the throes of organising the various venues required to accommodate the many events - competitive and non-competitive - which will take place from 10th to 18th October this year.

After listening to feedback from last year's competitors An Comunn Gaidhealach have made several major changes to both the rules and syllabus and intending competitors should visit the National Mod website www.the-mod.co.uk to see these updated versions.

A synopsis of the main changes are included below:

a. Following representations from many quarters, the Mod Sub-Committee have taken the decision to enforce the rule regarding submission of Own
Please refer to the updated Rules and Syllabuses on the website for full details regarding submission of Own Choices, numbers of copies required, etc.
b. All competitors in the Medal Competitions (Traditional Medal, Gold Medal and Silver Medal Series) are now required to submit an Own Choice piece for the relevant Final competition by the date for submission of all Own Choices - 31st August.
c.. No competitor may compete in both Junior and Senior Sections of the Mod in the same year. This means that a competitor aged 18 years may compete in EITHER the Junior Section OR the Senior Section, not both. (This rule excludes Senior Choral competitions, where boys and girls of 16 years or over may sing in a Senior Choir.)
d. As from Mod 2008, competitors in the Senior Section will be able to submit as their Own Choice any piece prescribed in the Junior Section, and vice versa.
e. All Piping Competitions at the Royal National Mod are Open to all Grades of piper.
f.. PLEASE NOTE: The prescribed song for Comp A271 (Sarah Weir) is "Mo rn geal dleas", and not as published in the Supplement. This piece can be obtained from the Inverness Office.
g.. PLEASE NOTE: The prescribed song for Comp A234 (Oban Times Gold Medal) is now "Oran Coire Cheathaich" which is in the Solo Song Book as Comp A271.

Please contact Janet MacDonald, Mod Convenor with any questions about these points on 077151 25608 or janet@macdonald2351.freeserve.co.uk

An Comunn Gaidhealach are also saying a fond farewell to Murdo Morrison who is leaving An Comunn after 8 years as Mod Promotions Manager. Murdo gave a huge amount to An Comunn and the Mod in his time with us and we wish him every success in his new post at Gaelic Media Services.

5 March 08

The newly formed local branch of An Comunn Gaidhealach held its inaugural ceilidh in the MacKays Hotel on Saturday night 1st March. Royal National Mod Gold Medallists Riona Whyte and son Alasdair from Salen on the Isle of Mull were guest artists supported by a full programme of local musicians and singers. Winning pipers from last year's local Mod held in Thurso, Craig Harvey and Keith Baxter took part in the programme whilst Craig's elder brother Andrew, also from Thrumster was the guest opening piper. The evening was attended by Mod Promotions Manager, Murdo Morrison and guest compare was Iain Archie Morrison, Banff but originally from Berneray in Harris. Local Convenor of the National Mod last year in Fort William, Charlie MacColl travelled north to lend support. The ceilidh attracted visitors from all over, from the Isle of Lewis, Glasgow, Aberdeen and south of the border as well as from all over the county. Among local artists were Philip Todd from Wick, the local Folk Group Ceol bho Thuath, Melvich Gaelic Choir, Clarsach Playing sisters Amy and Kirstin Todd, Fiddler Carol Anne MacKenzie from Thrumster and local folk singer Celia MacDougall.

The local branch of An Coumm has been set up to help promote the language and culture of Gaelic in the local community in the lead up to the hosting of the Royal National Mod in Caithness in 2010. Murdo Morrison, Mod Promotions Manager said "This was a very enjoyable evening showcasing some of the best Gaelic and musical talent in the county. It was a fine first step towards the organising of the 2010 National Mod and everyone within An Comunn Gaidhealach is looking forward to the Mod being in Caithness."

Local Mod Convenor for the National Mod in Caithness in 2010, Chairman of the local branch of An Comunn and Gold Medallist from Thrumster, Raymond Bremner said that the committee were very pleased with the turnout showing the level of strong local support for Gaelic activity, the language and culture in the local area, particularly in light of the recent debate within the Highland Council over Gaelic bilingual signage that is currently in the news. Mr Morrison paid tribute to all the guest artists and local support in his vote of thanks at the end of the evening and hoped that this level of support would continue to develop.

16 February 08
Following the setting up of the Royal National Mod Local Organising Committee who are charged with preparation for the County of Caithness' hosting of the Royal National Mod in 2010, please note that Meur Ghallaibh den Chomunn Ghaidhealach - Caithness Branch of An Comunn Gaidhealach is delighted to invite everyone to the inaugural Ceilidh Dance of the new branch to be held in the MacKay's Hotel in Wick on Saturday 1st March, 7.30 pm.

The local branch are very proud to have their very good friends Alasdair and Riona Whyte (Gold Medallists) from the Isle of Mull as their guest artistes at their first ceilidh. Both Alasdair and Riona have been very good friends of the local Melvich Gaelic Choir. They appeared as guest artistes at Lyth Arts Centre near Wick last year, helping to host Gaelic Song workshops as part of the Ceol aig Tuath project run by the choir during the Year of Highland Culture.

Alasdair is 21 years old and hails from the Isle of Mull. Alasdair is studying Gaelic and Celtic History at Glasgow University having completed his study course at the Gaelic College in Skye - Sabhal Mor Ostaig. Alasdair is a quality product of the Royal National Mod movement - since he started competing at a very young age he has won several awards at the Royal National Mod, both at Junior and National level culminating in winning the Royal National Mod Gold Medal in Dunoon 2006. Alasdair is no stranger to the county having been guest artist at events previously held in Thurso as well as Lyth Arts Centre.

Riona hails from Morvern and now lives in the village of Salen on the Isle of Mull. Riona has been active in Gaelic Medium Support work and has been an activist of the mod movement since her youth. Having recently completed a contract as a development worker with the parent body An Comunn Gaidhealach, Riona's time is currently taken up with the organising of the very popular Provincial Mod in Mull held annually on the second weekend in September. Riona is also spear-heading a competition to find a "New Song For Mull" which will be held in November later this year. Riona is a founding member of the off-the-wall Oban-based ladies Gaelic choir "Atomaig Piseag" formally known as the Argyll Ladies Centennial Gaelic Choir who won the coveted Esmie Smythe Shield in Stornoway 2005. Riona won the Royal National Mod Gold Medal in Stornoway in 2001.

Both Alasdair and Riona have visited the county of Caithness many times.

Alasdair and Riona will be supported by local guest artistes from the home county of Caithness. There will be a raffle held and admission is 5 and 3 concession. Funds will support the new branch which has been set up to develop the language and culture of the Gael in Caithness and the North of Scotland in the lead up to the National Mod 2010 which is to be hosted in Caithness for the first time in the history of the Royal National Mod.

For further information please contact:
Raymond Bremner, Chairman, Caithness Branch, An Comunn Gaidhealach, Mob 07765 420 971
Murdo Morrison, Mod Promotion Manager, Mob 07803 609 774

4 February 08
Notice For MoD Committee Convenors
Convenors Meeting is to be held in the Reay Hall on 12th February at 7.30pm.

27 January 08
Mod 2010 Committee Gets Up And Running
The Local Organising Committee of the Royal National Mod took the first steps on the 3-year preparation road to receive Gaeldom's biggest festival to the county of Caithness in 2010 - The Royal National Mod.

Convenor of the local committee, Raymond Bremner, welcomed Royal National Mod Promotions Manager, Murdo Morrison to a meeting held in the Orange Room of the Park Hotel on Tuesday evening 22nd January 2008. Mr Morrison addressed the group and gave an overview of the work that the committee would be undertaking between now and October 2010. This included the setting up of the sub-committees, each charged with a separate function including Venues, Transport, Accommodation, Stewarding and Finance. A number of separate committees each with their own convenor were set up at the meeting however, everyone who wishes to get involved in assisting the committees or becoming involved in the preparation for the National Mod in Caithness 2010 can still do so.

The task of the committees will now be to promote the awareness of the Royal National Mod as a festival and to encourage as many local people to support, host and take part. The dates of the festival which will be hosted during the holiday period of October 2010 are yet to be finalised however it was confirmed at the meeting that the group are focusing on Wick as possible hosts for the start of the festival - the Opening Night and the Fiddlers Rally with Thurso hosting the choral and other vocal competitions. Venues have to be agreed for the Drama finals, Piping Festival, Highland Dancing and a number of other events that will take place during the week long festivities. The group are focusing on The Assembly Rooms in Wick, Hotel Venues, Thurso High School, Thurso College and the All Star Factory Cinemas. Also due to be ready for the time of the festival will be the newly refurbished Thurso Town Hall.

On of the committees has been formed to co-ordinate the ever expanding fringe entertainment which accompanies the festival and they will be focusing on the various literature and musical events that is hoped to take place throughout the county. Well known local duet singers Katrina Scott and Sally Edwards of the Caithness Folk Group Emptyhouse are among the committee members.

The Finance committee will be looking to raise in excess of 20,000 as part of their commitment from the local area to host the Royal National Mod festival. Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise are committed to supporting the festival and it is hoped that the business and tourist industry will also contribute financially.

The committee responsible for co-ordinating accommodation of the several thousand participants and attendants are aware that many of the hotels in Wick and Thurso have already been provisionally booked for the festival. The local community website caithness.org has been a popular source for mod-goers to find accommodation. The committee are aware of Hotels who have had bookings from several choirs in the Western Isles, Argyll, Glasgow and Edinburgh areas already.

The meeting of the local committee for the National Mod took place on the back of the inaugural meeting of the local branch of An Comunn Gaidhealach in the Nethercliffe Hotel on the 8th January. Their inaugural ceilidh will be held in the MacKay's Hotel in Wick on the 1st March 2008 at 7.30pm. Entrance is 5 and 3 concession available at the door.

25 November 07
Ceilidh, Coisir Ghaidhlig Mheallabhaich - Inbhir Theorsa, Tigh-Osda a Phairc, 1mh Dubhlachd 2007
Bu chaomh leinn cuir na'r cuimhne gu'm bith Coisir Ghaidhlig Mhealabhaich a cumail an ceilidh bhliadhnail aca, aig tigh-osda a Phairc, ann in Inbhir Theorsa, air Di-Sathuirne, a cheud latha de'n Dubhlachd 2007, aig leth-uair an deidh seachd.

Dhuibhse th'air a bhi 'n lathair aig ar ceilidh roimhe seo, bi fios mhath agaibh gu'r e deagh oidhch' a th'ann dhuinn uile.

A nochdadh air an ard-urlar bidh ainmean naiseanta agus ionadail, comhla ri comhlan-piobairean og Ghallaibh agus cuideachd ceol bho comhlan-chiuil Dennis Manson.

Tha Coisir Ghaidhlig Mhealabhaich air a bhi trang dha rireabh thar na bliadhna agus seo an cothrom aca cuireadh a thoirt dhan a h-uile duine a thighinn comhladh airson feille a tha a comharrachadh deireadh bliadhna cultur nan Gaidheal, deireadh am proiseact aig 'Ceol Aig Tuath' a fhuair taic bho 'Bord na Gaidhlig' agus 'Awards for All'. A comharrachadh cuideachd gun shoirbhich le buidhean bho buill na coisir a bha strith airson am Mod Naiseanta a thoirt a Ghallaibh ann an 2010, agus a comharrachadh am bliadhna shoirbheachail a bh'aig a choisir a seasamh airson ceanna tuath Alba, ann an Alba fhein agus cuideachd ann an Eirinn.

Tha dinnear shonraichte air a chuir air doigh mus toisich an ceilidh. Bidh suil againn cruinneachadh aig an tigh-osda aig ceithir uairean feasgar agus bidh an dinnear a toiseachadh aig coig uairean, 's an ceilidh aig leth-uair an deidh seachd. Tha an dinneir agus an ceilidh a cosg 25. Tha an ceilidh leis fhein a cosg 5 agus 3

Bidh gach ni abhaisteach a dol air an oidhche - raffle, suipeir, ceol agus dannsa, agus tha duil againn ri oidhche mhath.

Deanamh cinnteach gun tig sibh suas airson taic a thoirt de Choisir Mhealabhaich. 'S e deagh oidhche a bhitheas ann dhuinn uile, gu cinnteach.

Moran Taing

Ceilidh, Melvich Gaelic Choir - Thurso, Park Hotel, 1st December 2007
A reminder that Melvich Gaelic Choir will be hosting their annual ceilidh in the Park Hotel, Thurso on Saturday night, 1st December 2007 at 7.30pm prompt.

For those of you who have attended this ceilidh before you will be aware of what a great night it is.

We have national and local guest artistes performing together with guest performances from the Caithness Junior Pipe Band and music from Dennis Manson and his band.

Melvich Gaelic Choir have had an extremely busy year and this is their opportunity to invite everyone to join with them in a combined celebration of the end of the Year of Highland Culture and the Ceol Aig Tuath project funded by Bord na Gaidhlig and Awards for All, the securing of the bid to host the Royal National Mod in Caithness in 2010 submitted by a group of choir members and also the successful year that the choir have had representing the North of Scotland all over Scotland and in Ireland.

A celebration Dinner has been organised before the ceilidh. Arrival at the Park Hotel at 4pm for 5pm. Dinner at 5pm and ceilidh following prompt at 7.30pm. Cost for the Dinner and Ceilidh is 25. Ceilidh only is 5 and 3 concession.

Raffle, Supper, Music, Dance and Entertainment throughout the evening.

25 November 07
An Comunn Gaidhealach - Meeting
Just to let everyone know that a meeting will be held to constitute a branch of An Comunn Gaidhealach in the Pentland Hotel, Thurso on Tuesday Evening 27th November at 7.30pm in the meeting room on the 1st floor.

The main aim is to create a branch of An Comunn Gaidhealach in Caithness. One of the main functions of the branch will be to co-ordinate the activity in preparation for the National Mod 2010. Other objectives of the branch will be outlined at the meeting. There will be a representation of An Comunn Gaidhealach Directors at the meeting and Janet MacDonald will be attending as National Mod Convenor.

Please try and attend the meeting whether it is just through interest and to show support or to be part of the team. Your presence will be greatly appreciated.

22 October 07
Socio Economic Impact Study Of 2005 Stornoway MOD
If you want to know what the potential impact of a MOD arriving in an area then a read of the recently produced socio-economic impact study may give you some idea. Although overall numbers of that MOD may have been slightly down on previous MOD's due to distance to the Western Isles it still had a huge affect on the area with in excess 1 million spent in just over a week in Hotels B&Bs, shops, restaurants, pubs, taxis etc.  In Caithness the impact may well be even greater if the infrastructure, marketing etc is put in place in the run up to 2010.

Royal National Mod, Stornoway 2005HIE Innse Gall and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (The Western Isles council) commissioned an evaluation of the Royal National Mod 2005. The overall objective of the study was to evaluate the social and economic impacts of the event.

The 2005 Mod was held in Stornoway between 14 and 22 October 2005, and this impact study was commissioned to:

  • Provide a detailed profile of Mod visitors; to include key characteristics, behaviour and spending patterns.
  • Ascertain the impact of the Mod on the economy of the Western Isles in terms of direct, indirect and induced benefits including employment.
  • Assess the key factors and motivations of Mod 2005 attendees, with particular reference to the effectiveness of associated marketing.
  • Identify areas of improvement for the future which could further maximise the socio-economic benefits of hosting a national Mod.

20 October 07
2010 MOD Coming To Caithness
The 2010 MOD will be held in Caithness following the announcement this week by the president of An Communn Gaidhealach.  The flagship music festival will bring the best of Gaelic music and singers into the county in a ten day long extravaganza where up to 6000 people will arrive over the period of competitions and festivities.  Running alongside the main MOD is a growing Fringe festival that like the Edinburgh fringe is getting bigger every year and these days has its own separate packed programme of events and entertainment aimed at locals and visitors.

Local organiser and competition winner again this year Raymond Bremner was delighted at the announcement.  Bill Fernie councillor for Wick and chairman of Education Culture and sport was at the MOD for few days said he was extremely pleased with their decision to take the MOD for the first time to Caithness.  Bill said, "This is really great news for Caithness. I have spent a few days looking at how the event has been organised and speaking to a range of people involved to see what we need to know before the it arrives in Caithness.  A huge machine made up of committees and volunteers along with assistance from the council runs in the background for at least a year before any MOD begins and we need to make sure everyone knows what is required. It is obviously a major boost to any area that is awarded the MOD with a spend estimated at 1.5 million in the area over the 10 days of the MOD".  Accommodation will be booked out in Thurso and probably elsewhere as with 2000 competitors and families arriving plus the many visitors coming in to see the events and go to ceilidhs, musical events etc plus the media bandwagon, politicians, writers and many more."  Caithness has not seen anything like it before.

The MOD 10 Days in October 2010 will be the busiest of that year for Caithness.

1 September 07
What Is the MOD All About?

Myrtle Gillies presents a few facts about how the National MOD came to be and what happens over the days of the event.

12 June 07
National Mod 2010 Bid For Thurso Outcome Awaited
Caithness and Sutherland Provincial Mod organisers and the committee will have to wait until the end of June to find out if their bid to host the 2010 National Mod has been successful.

Local organiser and presenter of the bid to host the National Mod in Thurso, Raymond Bremner from Thrumster said that it is a great opportunity for the local area to embrace the wider aspect of Highland Culture of which Caithness is a part.

The Provincial Mod that was held on 9th June 2007  was the culmination of a wonderful week of musical activity following on from the Caithness Music Festival.  The Provincial mod held on one day is a small taste of the whole week of musical activity that the National Mod would bring if it come to Caithness.  If the Mod comes to Caithness over 2000 people will descend on the county including competitors from all over the world, family and friends.  Interest in the event is always intense with media coverage spreading the knowledge and information about any places that the Mod is held.

The Mod is held in the October school holidays in October and would undoubtedly be one of the biggest events in Caithness in 2010 if it comes to the furthest north point in the Highlands.

The 2009 MOD will be held in Oban


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22 January 2008

Meur Ghallaibh den Chomuinn Ghadhealaich
Caithness Branch of An Commun Gadhealach

18 August 2008
17 June 2008

28 January 2008
8 January 2008

12 June 07
The Provincial Gaelic Mod season is in full swing with events having taken place throughout Scotland showcasing some of the major up and coming Gaelic stars of the future. The Provincial Mods, supported by Caledonian MacBrayne who are the main commercial supporters of the Royal National Mod, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Brd na Gidhlig and the Royal Mail Group offer opportunities for potential National Mod competitors to rehearse their Mod pieces.

Caithness and Sutherland Provincial Mod took place last weekend returning to Thurso for the first time in 21 years with the adjudicators including Beathag Mhoireasdan, Rhona Lightfoot and Isobel Mieras. With Thurso bidding to host the Royal National Mod in 2010, the event offered local people the opportunity to find out what would be involved in staging the national event if the Thurso bid is successful. The Caithness Mod also featured competitors from throughout the area and visiting competitors from areas such as Inverness with Saffron Hanvidge particularly impressive in the singing competitions.

Murdo Morrison, Promotion Manager for the Royal National Mod attended both the Lewis Mod and the Caithness & Sutherland Mod which ended with a packed ceilidh dance and prize-winners concert in the Royal British Legion Club in Thurso on Saturday night.

Mr Morrison said "The Caithness Mod was a big success ending with a packed final event featuring many of the prize-winners from the local area and also some from further afield. Beathag Mhoireasdan and Kenneth Nicolson also went down very well as visiting guest artists at the closing ceilidh.

The Royal National Mod

2008 Falkirk MOD
10th to 18th October 2008

 2009 Oban Mod
9 - 17 October 2009

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