This Thursday, “A Different Tune” has partnered with QAHN’s “Heritage Talks” to bring you a free afternoon of Irish culture, music, and history with a range of speakers, musicians, and dance experts. Join us over on the Heritage Talks Live Facebook page beginning at 1 pm.
Read on for bios and a schedule of the afternoon.
See you then!
1:00 PM – 1:05 PM Welcome words by Heritage Talks project director, Christina Adamko
1:05 PM – 2:00 PM Building a Monument Park: The Fight for the Irish Commemorative Stone, by Fergus Keyes
2:00 PM – 2:20 PM Celtic music by multi-instrumentalist Roy McLaren
2:20 PM – 2:50 PM Interview with Irish dance instructor Bernadette Short and researcher Rachel Hoffman. Glenn Patterson of QAHN’s “A Different Tune” project will lead the interview.
2:50 PM – 3:30 PM Donovan King, founder of Haunted Montreal Ghost Tours will tell a bone-chilling Irish-Montreal ghost-story
3:30 PM – 3:50 PM Celtic/Jazz flute player David Gossage closes the afternoon with traditional music and original compositions.
Fergus Keyes, Director, Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation
Fergus Keyes has had a lifelong interest in the general history of Montreal, Quebec, and Canada. Based on his heritage, his special focus has been on the Irish immigration and contributions to Quebec. For over 10 years, the Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation has been dedicated to building a beautiful world-class memorial park around the Black Rock on the Montreal side of the Victoria Bridge to remember more than 6000 Irish victims that died and were buried in the the area in 1847. Fergus Keyes, a founding director of the organization, will provide details on this journey from a concept to reality – and the many difficulties, as well as positive steps that have been encountered along the way. Keyes will discuss some of the main historical elements of this topic as well as bring the audience up to date on the latest developments, including the recent discovery of numerous human remains at the site.
Roy MacLaren, Multi-Instrumentalist, The Narrows
A native of Quebec’s Eastern Townships, Roy’s introduction to Celtic music was through his first instrument the highland bagpipes. After receiving a grant from the Quebec government to study the piping traditions of Brittany, France, he discovered the tin whistle and spent time travelling and playing in Ireland and Scotland. While living in Nova Scotia, Roy has recorded and performed with musicians such as Joel Plaskett, Buck 65 and Al Tuck. Residing in Quebec’s Eastern Townships once again, he still performs with Halifax-based Celtic group “The Narrows” who play a range of repertoire from the Newfoundland, Irish, Cape Breton, and Québécois traditions.
Bernadette Short, Bernadette Short School of Irish Dancing, Commission Certified Irish Dance Adjudicator
Bernadette came to Montreal from her native Dublin in early 1974. From age 6 she was a pupil of the renowned Peter Bolton School of Irish Dance in Dublin and participated in many festivals and competitions throughout Ireland until moving to Montreal. There, she became involved in passing her knowledge and passion for Irish dance and culture to her new friends across Quebec. Over the years, she has fostered and spread the traditions of Ireland enriching the community where she lives and abroad. She is not only an Irish dance teacher, but is also a qualified adjudicator, much in demand across North America. She has judged major championships around the world including the World championships and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the school she created.
Rachel Hoffman, Concordia University
Rachel studies anthropology and Irish studies at Concordia University, exploring the historical roots that link an Irish-speaking past with a present-day Quebec. Her particular interest surrounds Irish music, dance and language, and the cultural space they occupy.
Donovan King, Haunted Montreal
Donovan is an Irish-Montreal historian, teacher, tour guide and professional actor. As the founder of Haunted Montreal, he combines his skills to create the best possible Montreal ghost stories, in both writing and theatrical performance. King holds a DEC (Professional Theatre Acting, John Abbott College), BFA (Drama-in-Education, Concordia), B.Ed (History and English Teaching, McGill), MFA (Theatre Studies, University of Calgary) and ACS (Montreal Tourist Guide, Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec). He is also a certified Montreal Destination Specialist.
David Gossage, Composer, Improviser, Multi-Instrumentalist
David Gossage is one of Montreal’s most respected and experienced musicians. Once cited by Gazette music critic as “Montreal’s secret weapon” multi-instrumentalist David switches from flute to guitar, whistles and harmonica with ease and in virtually all styles of music.
He attended the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and later received his degree from Concordia in Montreal specializing in theory and composition. Over the years David has played in all styles of music including African, classical, rock and funk, but he is probably best known for his jazz and Celtic playing. He has headed his own groups in both these styles and is considered one of the pioneers of the acid jazz scene here in Montreal.
David currently tours with his new band Dave Gossage and the Celtic Mindwarp. He has played in North American venues from New Mexico to New York City and from Louisiana to the Baffin Islands and all over Europe. David also teaches Jazz at the Schulich School of Music at Mcgill and Concordia University.