One of Scotland’s best-known Gaelic singers has signed up to help promote the town’s hosting of the world’s largest celebration of Gaelic culture – the Royal National Mòd – in 2022.
Award-winning singer, dancer, journalist and TV presenter Joy Dunlop has joined the Mòd Phàislig Local Organising Committee, which is planning the nine-day festival, due to return to Paisley three years from now in October.
And Joy is already helping develop Renfrewshire’s next generation of traditional music talent – by tutoring some of the young people involved with Gaelic music group Fèis Phàislig.
Fèis runs a year-round programme of activity giving young people a chance to get involved in the Gaelic arts – and will be showcasing their talents with an interactive performance called Stramash as part of the programme for Sma’ Shot Day, this coming Saturday.
Joy took a break from rehearsals with Fèis to look ahead to the Mòd 2022. The event – run by An Comunn Gàidhealach – will be in Paisley for the second time, having debuted here in 2013.
The previous event was the second-largest in Mòd history, with 8,000 people over nine days, a £1.4m economic impact for the area, and a tremendous festival atmosphere around the town.
Joy said: “I’m really looking forward to Mòd Phàislig in 2022. We had a great Mòd in Paisley last time and I’m sure we will have excellent events again.
“Paisley is a central location which will help take the event to new audiences and there is already some really great Gaelic cultural talent in the town, as I know from working with Fèis Phàislig.”
And any residents looking for a free taster of what is to come should go to The Bungalow in Shuttle Street between 2 and 5pm on Saturday to for Fèis’s first-ever Stramash event.
Some of Scotland’s top traditional musicians will join young up-and-coming talent for a bumper afternoon of music and interactive performances for all ages, with space for dancing.
The Ceilidh Trail group will perform new material ahead of their summer tour and will invite audience members to learn a Gaelic song or two and become part of the band for the afternoon.
Stramash will also return to Paisley later in the year with a free show as part of the Spree festival
Fèis Co-ordinator Grant McFarlane said: “We’re delighted to be part of this year’s Sma’ Shot Day and to bring some traditional music and Gaelic to the event.
“We’ve got a full afternoon of music planned and can’t wait to welcome everyone in for a song, dance or just to enjoy the tunes!”
Sma’ Shot Day is one of the world’s oldest workers festivals and will take place on Saturday between 12pm and 5pm, with around 50 events across 20 different venues in an all-new event site in the area around Shuttle Street, New Street and Brown’s Lane
The parade leaves Brodie Park at noon, led by the tuck of the Charleston drum and throughout the day, the streets around the historic Sma’ Shot Cottages will come alive with music, theatre, poetry, crafts and lots of family friendly activities.