What is Newfoundland-Labrador Irish Connections?
- Newfoundland Labrador Irish Connections (NLIC) is a non-profit community organization dedicated to sharing and celebrating our Irish culture and promoting connections between Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, Ireland, and the broader Irish diaspora. Our mission is to facilitate, develop, and promote cultural and historical experiences that celebrate and preserve these connections.
What is the Ireland-Newfoundland Gathering?
- The Ireland-Newfoundland Gathering, organized in collaboration with our sister organization in Ireland, Irish-Newfoundland Connections (INC), is an annual event designed to promote cultural, historic, and community ties between Southeast Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador.
- The Gathering began as the “Festival of the Sea” in 2005, and has alternated annually between the Irish southeast and Newfoundland/Labrador ever since. It consists of a nine-day program of cultural events and celebrations designed by the respective host communities.
- The Gathering is divided into three legs, or “modules,” usually lasting three days each. A different community hosts each module, allowing for a wide variety of events and experiences.
- The most important aspect of the Gathering is that Newfoundlanders meet and form connections with people and families in southeast Ireland. One of our primary objectives is that attendees form lifelong transatlantic friendships. To accomplish this, attendees are billeted with host families in each community. In a typical Gathering, attendees can expect to stay with three separate host families.
- Performers, particularly (though not exclusively) musical performers, are an essential component of the Gathering. Gathering events provide an excellent opportunity for performers to showcase their talents, gain experience, and form new friendships and collaborations. The “marquee event” of each Gathering is the annual Aloy O’Brien Concert, where Irish and Newfoundland performers take the stage together.
- From 2016, Gatherings in both Ireland and Newfoundland will be held in August.
I would like to attend a Gathering in Ireland – how can I take part?
- The Ireland-Newfoundland Gathering takes place in Ireland in even-numbered years. In the winter or early spring of that year, NLIC will send out an “Attendee Application Form.” This will be posted here on our website, on our Facebook page (Newfoundland & Labrador Irish Connections), our Twitter page (@NLIrish) and it will be circulated via our e-mail listserv. Those interested in attending any Gathering event should join our e-mail list. You can do this by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and letting us know you wish to be added to the list!
- The application form includes information on cost of the “event pass,” transportation, details regarding payment, and the dates of any information sessions in the lead-up to the Gathering. The form can be scanned and e-mailed to our email@example.com address, or returned via traditional mail to P. O. Box 8151 Stn. A; St. John’s, NL; A1B 3M9.
How much does attending a Gathering in Ireland cost?
- The fact that attendees are billeted with Irish host families makes the Gathering an extremely cost-effective way to experience the ancestral Irish-Newfoundland homeland. The cost of the full event pass varies from year to year, depending on the individual host communities and the Canadian dollar-Euro exchange rate. In 2016, the full event pass cost CDN $575.00. The optional transportation package (which provides for ground transportation in Ireland) cost CDN $300, for a total of CDN $875.
Does my “Event Pass” cover air travel to Ireland?
- No! The full “Event Pass” for the Gathering includes access to all Gathering events, accommodation, and most meals. Attendees also have the option (and are strongly encouraged) to buy a “transportation package,” which will secure a seat on the bus to/from Dublin airport, and to/from all Gathering events in Ireland.
- The Event Pass does NOT include airfare. All attendees, including performers, are responsible for arranging their own air transportation to/from Ireland.
I am a performer based in Newfoundland, and would like to attend a Gathering in Ireland. How can I take part?
- As with the regular Attendee Application Form, in the winter or early-spring of even-numbered years, NLIC will issue a “Call for Performers” on our website, our Facebook page (Newfoundland & Labrador Irish Connections), our Twitter page (@NLIrish) and via our e-mail listserv. Newfoundland-based artists interested in performing in Ireland must fill out this form to be considered. In addition to the completed application form, applicants must submit a brief biography and a short electronic sample of recent work.
Do I have to be based in Newfoundland/Labrador to attend a Gathering in Ireland?
- Although the overwhelming majority of our attendees are Newfoundlanders, there is no requirement that you be based in NL! Our events should appeal to anyone with an interest in Irish history, culture, music, and community.
How can my community host a segment of the Ireland-Newfoundland Gathering?
- Newfoundland and Labrador hosts the Gathering in odd-numbered years. As in Ireland, it is divided into three modules, each hosted by an individual community. Hosting a leg of the Gathering is a wonderful way to showcase your community to a large group of Irish visitors.
- In the spring or early summer of the year BEFORE the NL Gathering (about eighteen months in advance) NLIC will issue a “Call for Hosts” on our website, our Facebook page (Newfoundland & Labrador Irish Connections), our Twitter page (@NLIrish) and via our e-mail listserv. Municipal Councils are encouraged to form committees to draft the application, which should consist of a written “expression of interest,” a draft schedule of events for the three-day module, and a preliminary cost analysis/budget. Successful communities will be notified within sixty days of the application deadline. Please encourage your municipal/town council to apply!
How can I become involved with NLIC as a volunteer?
- Newfoundland Labrador Irish Connections is run by a working, volunteer board of directors. If you are interested in joining our board, please send a short letter of interest and curriculum vitae to firstname.lastname@example.org.