French press immersed in Manx culture in the run up to major presence at Festival Interceltique de Lorient

MEDIA RELEASE - Culture Vannin

Image attached: Manx dancers Grainne Joughin and Ali Carroon (credit Jiri Podobsky)

French press immersed in Manx culture in the run up to major presence at Festival Interceltique de Lorient

The Isle of Man welcomed a group of French journalists to its shores last weekend in anticipation of the Island’s participation at the forthcoming Festival Interceltique de Lorient in Brittany (7-16 August). For the first time in the 45 year history of the Europe’s largest Celtic festival, the Isle of Man has the privilege of being an honoured nation in partnership with fellow Celtic nation, Cornwall, and over 100 Manx musicians, singers, dancers and visual artists will represent the Island there this summer.

During a wide-ranging tour organised by the Department of Economic Development and Culture Vannin in conjunction with Manx National Heritage, TV channel France 3, Director of the Heymann Renoult PR agency, and journalists from high profile newspapers Les Echos, Ouest France and Le Telegramme all enjoyed a weekend exploring the Island’s culture, history and scenery.

The journalists sampled locally produced food and drink, experienced the renowned TT course, visited archaeological and historical sites and travelled on various forms of heritage transport. Volunteer Manx delegate for the festival, Ealee Sheard, accompanied the group for some of their stay, and the journalists met some of the participants from the Manx delegation. TV channel France 3 filmed practices and performances with dance team Ny Fennee and Rushen Silver Band, two of the larger groups who will be representing the Island in Lorient this summer.

On Saturday evening, the House of Manannan provided an atmospheric setting for an informal reception and showcase of Manx culture, language and produce, organised by Peter Young of Event Management Solutions in conjunction with Culture Vannin. The press were treated to performances from guitar and mandolin duo Strengyn, Gaelic choir Caarjyn Cooidjagh, fiddle player David Kilgallon, who played excerpts from his new Inter-Celtic piece “The Gathering” (sponsored by the Malcolm Scott Dickinson Trust) which will be performed at the opening gala night, Manx singer Cairistiona Dougherty, who will be performing in Alain Pennec’s musical ensemble for the screening of silent movie, “The Manxman”, plus there was a stunning dance display from Grainne Joughin and Ali Carroon, plus mini dancing siblings Frank and Lowenna Joughin. Bumbee cages by Dessie Robinson and John ‘Dog’ Callister were on show, and Manx art exhibition coordinator for FIL, Nicola Dixon represented the Manx artists whose work will form part of a major art exhibition in Lorient. The journalists also enjoyed a queenie cookery demonstration, with commentary from Head Chef for the Manx/Cornish pavilion, Yohann Bonjus. Representatives from Isle of Man food and drink producers were also present to tell the journalists more about what the Island has to offer mainland Europe.

“The Department of Economic Development was delighted to support Culture Vannin with the visit of the French journalists. With 800,000 visitors expected to the festival in Lorient later this year positive press coverage will help promote the Isle of Man as a visitor destination and true Celtic nation and will enhance awareness of our presence in the Main Pavilion at the festival.”

Festival Interceltique de Lorient is Europe’s largest Celtic festival and attracts visitors from all over the world and over 300 journalists from across Europe. In conjunction with Cornwall, the Isle of Man will take over the main pavilion in the town, offering 14 hours of live entertainment each day, a restaurant and bar selling Manx food and drink, tourist and cultural information, and Manx products for sale. Manx culture will also be presented throughout the festival programme with several major events focussing on the Isle of Man.

This year’s presentation represents a working partnership between the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, Culture Vannin, the IOM Arts Council (DEC), DEFA, DED, MNH and local businesses on the Manx side and Cornwall Council and the Cornish Language Partnership in Cornwall.

For more about the festival, check out their website:


The Isle of Man and Cornwall join forces for major presentation in Brittany this August:

A taste of Europe's largest Celtic festival, Festival Interceltique de Lorient, from a Manx perspective:

Magical, mythological exhibition from Manx and Cornish artists in Lorient, Brittany this summer:

FIL promo video featuring the music of Manx band Barrule:

Dr Breesha Maddrell

Stiureyder  ~  Director, Culture Vannin  01624 695784 and 01624 676169

Thie ny Gabbyl, Ynnyd yn Ollooscoill, Shenn Raad Valley Chashtal, Doolish, Mannin IM2 1QB

The Stable Building, The University Centre, Old Castletown Road, Douglas, Isle of Man IM2 1QB

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