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Global Gaelic multimedia project launched

Diaspora invited to become part of the story.

Gaels around the world are encouraged to link up through an exciting multimedia project that celebrates and explores identity, language and culture - and you don’t have to speak Gaelic to get involved.

The ‘Struileag Stories’ Transmedia Project is being launched today (Thursday) in Toronto, Canada, by Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison.

Gaels, their descendants and those who strongly identify with Scots Gaelic culture are invited to put themselves and their ancestors on the global map - electronically - via everything from photos, family stories, video and audio clips, to poetry and even recipes.

Struileag, run by Edinburgh-based charity La Banda, aims to capture where people and their ancestors are from, if the latter spoke Gaelic too, and what life has been like for different generations.

The transmedia project received £60,000 funding from the Scottish Government. Other funding partners included VisitScotland, Creative Scotland and Ambition Scotland.

Due to speak at a diaspora breakfast organised by the St Andrew’s Society in Toronto, Ms Robison will say: "In this special year when Scotland welcomes the world, for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Homecoming 2014 and the Ryder Cup, it is entirely fitting that we beat the drum for the Gaelic community scattered across the globe.

"By weaving their stories into Struileag's virtual map, Gaels can connect with each other from continent to continent, as well as helping to form a vital resource bank for future generations.

"The Scottish Government is proud to support La Banda's innovative approach to sharing and celebrating tales from the Gaelic diaspora."

These invaluable resources contributed from members of the diaspora will complement material professionally produced by La Banda.

It is visiting several Gaelic communities worldwide, including in Canada, Australia, South Africa and Russia, researching and documenting stories, as well as developing connections.

In addition, Struileag will premier an epic show called ‘Children of the Smoke’ as part of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games 'Festival 2014' programme, on July 28 at Glasgow Green.

The 75 minute show is also a pivotal Homecoming 2014 event. Gritty and glamorous, it sweeps from Hollywood to Stornoway via Detroit and Woolloomooloo into Glasgow’s big beating heart! Blisteringly contemporary and featuring show-stopping songs, spectacular imagery and exhilarating dance, it will explore and celebrate the importance of indigenous language and its links to culture and identity.

Jim Sutherland, La Banda artistic director, said: “History isn’t a thing of the past, we’re making it now!

“Struileag is reaching around the world to tell the story of the Gael, a people scattered to the wind! La Banda is very grateful for all of the support we have received in the creation of this.”

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “Ancestry is a valuable part to our tourism offering, contributing millions of pounds to our economy every year.

“Retracing the steps of your family is a fascinating and moving experience and one of the many reasons that visitors come to Scotland.

“There is an estimated 50 million people worldwide with Scottish ancestry so it is exciting to hear we now have a project that will connect and unite the Gaelic community right across the globe.”

Notes To Editors

Struileag refers to an imaginary boat passed around at a ceilidh or other gathering. After singing or telling a story, you would say "cuiream struileag seachad orm gu..." / "I pass on the struileag to..." for the next person to do a turn.

Visit stories.struileag.com to get involved.

The Struileag Transmedia Project is one of five projects that have received funding for the Scottish Government to engage with Scotland’s diaspora in 2014.

The Struileag show has been funded by VisitScotland, Creative Scotland, BBC Alba and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Channel website: https://www.icaew.com

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