Royal Celtic Society ArmsThe Royal Celtic Society

For nearly 200 years, the Royal Celtic Society has been at the cutting edge of activity to support the language, literature, music and culture of the Highlands and Western Islands of Scotland. The Society holds regular events for members, awards medals for excellence in music and literature and sponsors a wide range of organisations dedicated to the traditions, language and arts of the Highlands and Islands.

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Commissioner HoganThe Society's Chairman and Vice Chairman were invited to attend the launch of the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH) in hte French Consulate (formerly the Lothian Chambers) on George IV Bridge recently.

Representatives attended from across the Scottish heritage and cultural spectrum to hear speeches from, inter alia, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop and Phil Hogan, the European Union Commissioner from Ireland, who is taking the lead on this initiative.

As Commissioner Hogan explained, "2018/19 sees an unparalleled series of initiatives and events across Europe to get people closer and more involved with their cultural heritage."  The purpose is to eincourage Europe's nations to share and appreciate each other's heritage and "to reinforce a sense of belonging to a common European space."

The programme has been inspired by a number of challenges facing the heritage sector, including changes in the way people participate in cultural activity, environmental threats and, most significantly, illicit trafficking in artefacts.

EYCH will comprise a series of initiatives at international, national and regional level.  The Royal Celtic Society's monthly public lecture series have been registered as official EYCH events.  This popular series will resume for the 2018/19 season on Wednesday 12th September when tartan scholar Peter Eslea Macdonald will address us on the development of tartan and Highland dress.  Peter's lecture will take place at 1.00 pm in the striking surroundings of the Dome Room in Edinburgh's New Register House.  All are welcome.

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