Valerie Caine's blog

Celtfest Isle of Man - A Fresh New Look for a Familiar Festival!

There's a fresh new look for a familiar festival later this month as the much cherished Yn Chruinnaght Inter-Celtic Festival steps forward with a resplendent new make-over, in an effort to introduce Manx and Celtic culture to a wider audience.

With Yn Chruinnaght as the organising force behind the festival, Celtfest Isle of Man will focus this year on a fine selection of upbeat Celtic music, showcasing some of the finest bands and solo artists from Ireland and Scotland - with a number of concerts to suit all tastes at the Centenary Centre in Peel.

Isle of Man: New Film Reveals Details about the Manx Tradition of Bollan Bane

Wearing a sprig of Bollan Bane (aka mugwort or white wort) in your lapel on Tynwald Day (the Isle of Man's National Day) has long been recognised as a colloquial protection against 'themselves' or the fairies, but the release of a new film by Culture Vannin reveals further interesting details about this long held tradition.

Isle of Man: Isle of Architecture Celebrates with Concert in Peel Lifeboat House

As part of the closing events for the year long initiative Isle of Architecture, a special concert reflected a diverse use of a very special building in Peel.

Isle of Architecture is a celebration of the built environment, encouraging appreciation of the Island's rich, architectural heritage, as well as exploring the future of building on the Isle of Man itself.

Isle of Man: Remembering Manx Commonwealth Games Gold Medal Cyclist Peter Buckley

With Cyclefest in the can and the British Cycling National Road Championships looming on the horizon, it's a fitting opportunity to remember the Island's first gold-winning Commonwealth Games medallist who set the pace in cycling during the 1960s, but died tragically in the midst of his ongoing success.

Peter Buckley was born in Peel to Joan (née Quayle) and Louis Buckley, a member of the Peveril Camp Guard, and although he later relocated to Oldham in Lancashire he always maintained he was proud to be a Manx man; returning regularly for training.

Isle of Man: Manx Internment Camp Music Concerts Break New Ground

A unique collaboration between some of the brightest talent from the Royal College of Music and the Ensemble Émigré, professional soloists and a selection of young performers from the Isle of Man, highlighted an important aspect of internment on the Island during World War II and broke new ground during the process.

With performances at The Studio Theatre in Ballakermeen High School and the Erin Arts Centre, local audiences were treated to a fabulous presentation of music composed by internees housed in various camps across the Island.

Isle of Man: Visiting Harp Ensemble Enjoy Cultural Exchange

Local traditional music group Croan yn Tead recently hosted a very successful visit by The Lissenhall Harp Ensemble from Ireland who journeyed to the Island from Dublin.

Both groups joined forces to rehearse their joint sets at the Mitre Hotel in Ramsey in preparation for their forthcoming concert, but managed to fit in a visit to the House of Manannan in Peel. After their brief sojourn in the west everyone returned to the Mitre in Ramsey for a mighty music session, with more than thirty musicians from both groups taking advantage of the weekly Irish music session.

Isle of Man: Swift Action Needed to Encourage Local Bird Population

Our contemporary lifestyle may have brought additional benefits to Island life, but for one annual summer visitor from Africa it has made a significant impact on their much needed habitat.

The Manx Ornithological Society, in conjunction with Manx BirdLife, have now joined forces under the banner of Swift Action to assess the breeding population of the swift, and monitor current numbers after a visitor from Tasmania noted a decline in the local population in comparison to a previous visit and suggested setting up a project to help them.

Isle of Man: Music Composed in Manx Internment Camps Highlighted in Island Concerts

A unique collaboration between some of the brightest talent from the Royal College of Music, professional soloists and a selection of young performers from the Isle of Man (second concert only) will highlight an important aspect of internment on the Island during World War II later this month.

Isle of Man: Celebrate Mann's Milling Heritage at Kentraugh Mill

The merry month of May heralds the popular National Mills Weekend across the length and breadth of the British Isles, and with it comes an annual opportunity for the public to experience the rich history of Kentraugh Mill in the south of the Island.

Isle of Man: Architecture on Sea - The Buildings that Made the Seaside

As part of the initiative Isle of Architecture, author, historian and enthusiast Dr Kathryn Ferry recently gave an illustrated talk based on the changing face of seaside architecture at the Centenary Centre in Peel.

Dr Ferry spent her early years by the sea in North Devon, but was further stimulated in her architectural interests by childhood holidays by the sea. And although now better known as an architectural historian, writer and broadcaster on a number of seaside related subjects, her first academic interest was Victorian architecture and design.

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