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Monday 7th December 2020 marks the beginning of Colmcille 1500, a year-long commemoration of 1500 years since the birth of St. Columba and of his legacy. The year will begin and end on the 7th December, the traditional birthday of the saint.

Colmcille 1500 is being sponsored and facilitated by the partnership programme ‘Colmcille’ run by Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Foras na Gaeilge linking Irish and Scottish Gaelic communities.

The monastic communities founded by Columba interacted over centuries with a wide range of peoples in Ireland in Scotland and northern England, and beyond, into continental Europe. The year will be celebrated in many different ways by diverse communities and organisations. Some will focus on the spiritual and religious legacy of the saint; some will be interested in the historical and archaeological angle; whilst others will celebrate the linguistic and cultural links between the Gaels across the globe.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Foras na Gaeilge will focus on the linguistic and cultural links between nations, with a range of events planned for launch week including:

• A series of video messages from individuals, groups and organisations celebrating Colmcille 1500 will be shared on the Colmcille Facebook page and on www.colmcille.net
• An online cèilidh will be held on the Colmcille Facebook page to celebrate and showcase both languages, music and culture.
• Bòrd na Gàidhlig will launch their Colmcille fund. This is an annual fund which is open to everyone and supports projects which look to strengthen ties between Gaelic speakers in Scotland and Ireland.

Some of the events planned for the year of Colmcille 1500 include:
• Showcase Scotland will create a short promotional video about Gaelic in Scotland, with funding from Bòrd na Gàidhlig. This will be aimed at promoters of festivals and cultural events from abroad. There will also be an online reception/presentation (akin to the live Gaelic Showcase in years gone by).
• Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Foras na Gaeilge will encourage Gaelic medium schools to connect through projects from both sides of the Irish Sea.
• Bòrd na Gàidhlig are in talks with delivery partners to create a new online resource for schools which will teach basic phrases in Scottish Gaelic and Irish so that children (and adults) can connect in the language.
• Throughout the year, CHARTS, the Argyll based Scottish culture & heritage organisation, will announce the winners of their monthly arts award scheme and online exhibition to profile and support Gaelic artists work, aligned to themes of Colmcille: https://www.chartsargyllandisles.org/ 

Join us on social media through the #Colmcille1500 and #Colmcille hashtags and connect with the diverse Colmcille community online. Follow us on Instagram @Colmcille and like @Colmcille1500 on Facebook to keep updated on all our latest news.

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