Click on this link to register for the 2018 Convention in Victoria, BC

NAMA Convention Registration Form 11-30-17  (Word File) THIS BLUE LINK WILL OPEN THE REGISTRATION FORM – JUST PRINT IT OFF AND COMPLETE ONE PER DELEGATE. MAKE YOUR  CHECKS FOR REGISTRATION OUT  to North American Manx Association.”  Or click here for PDF. NAMA Convention Registration Form 11-30-17

The official hotel of the 2018 convention is the Hotel Grand Pacific. Convention dates run Evening Thursday, June 21st – Evening Saturday, June 23rd.

Convention Itinerary

Thursday June 21, 2018

12:00         Board Meeting

18:30         General Meeting and Buffet Dinner


Friday June 22, 2018

9:45            Orca Spirit Whale Watching, Adventure in Zodiac (if registered)

10:00         Orca Spirit Whale Watching, Sight-seeing larger vessel (if registered)

13:30         Tea at the Fairmont Empress (if registered)

20:00         Evening snack in conversation in 1st Vice President’s suite

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Illiam Dhone Commemorated at Hango Hill

Onlookers gathered as usual on the 2nd January at the site known as Hango Hill, near Castletown, to commemorate the death of Illiam Dhone who was executed at this windswept location during the seventeenth century.

A landmark event on the Island’s calendar organised by Mec Vannin and the Celtic League (Mannin branch), proceedings got underway with speeches by Bernard Moffatt and Mark Kermode, both of whom referred to the sudden death of Manxman Roy Kennaugh. Fiercely proud of his homeland, he played an important part within several Island organisations, including Mec Vannin, the Celtic League, Michael Heritage Trust and the Celtic Congress, as well as a member of Michael Commissioners.

They were followed by the two main speakers at the event, Peter Crellin who gave the oration in Manx Gaelic on the subject of the Island as a ‘seat of Celticism’ and Dr John Callow who followed with the oration in English detailing his own interpretation of historical events from Illiam Dhone’s life.

Dr Callow is a well known writer, screenwriter and historian of Manx descent, whose teaching and research interests lie primarily in the fields of Early Modern British and European political, social and cultural history, (especially seventeenth century politics), witchcraft and popular culture. He has been the Director of the Marx Memorial Library, based in London, since 2006.

The commemoration concluded with a wreath laying by Eddie Power of Ballasalla at the base of Hango Hill before the crowd dispersed to either the church service at Malew Parish Church, or to The George in Castletown where a music session was soon underway.

Valerie Caine

© January 2018

(Courtesy of the Southern Chronicle)

Christmas Cultural Events on the Isle of Man

   If you’re looking for something a little different during the festive season, there’s an excellent opportunity to participate in a number of long standing Manx events which will give an insight into the unique cultural identity of the Isle of Man.

This year’s Mollag Ghennal will be returning to Douglas, setting up at the Manx Legion Club on Market Hill, but promises a great line-up of singers, dancers and musicians as well as a tantalising supper from the Mollag Kitchens.

Many of the usual favourites will be there, including Rachel Hair and her fine set of young harpists Claasagh (off to the Edinburgh Harp Festival next year), solo artist Matt Kelly and the Jamie Smith All Stars – comprising Malcolm Stitt, David Kilgallon and Ruth Keggin. They will be joined by the jazzed up Clasht Vooar with their very distinctive style, up-and-coming youngsters Scran, Caarjyn Cooidjagh and of course the Mollag Band themselves. Look out too for Skeddan Jiarg, a popular inter-generational local dance group who will be performing the old White Boys Dance which forms part of an historical play, at one time regularly seen on Island streets at this time of year.

Starting at 7.30pm prompt on the 29th December, tickets priced at £13 available from Shaktiman, Celtic Gold, Thompson Travel and Peter Norris.

However, as this year’s festivities draw to a close, the cultural calendar wouldn’t be complete without the old rural event known as the Oie’ll Verree. Once ubiquitous throughout the Isle of Man, this a rare opportunity to absorb the delights of a true Manx evening of Manx music and dancing, as well as other items such as recitation and short comedy sketches.

But undoubtedly the highlight of the evening is the Manx Gaelic play performed by the Michael Players RBV.

This year it will be The L’il Smook by the prolific J. J. Kneen, a comedy based on the exploits of Mrs Qualtrough’s endeavours to stop her husband from smoking and was the prize winner of the 1913 Yn Çheshaght Ghailckagh play competition. Recognised as the greatest Manx linguist of his generation and one of the most important scholars of Manx subjects, J. J. Kneen was awarded a Knighthood from the King of Norway.

The annual Oie’ll Verree will take place at 7.30 pm on Friday, 5th January 2018 at the Ebenezer Hall, situated opposite the old Isle of Man Bank on the main road through Kirk Michael. Tickets priced at £7.50 (including supper) are available from 9th December by phoning Mike Clague on 878328.

And finally there’s also a chance to pop down to the Masonic Hall in Peel where a new song in Manx Gaelic will be chosen to represent the Isle of Man at the Pan Celtic International Song Contest, to be held in Letterkenny, Ireland, during April of next year.

Now a firm fixture on the calendar, the winner of the local event, Arrane son Mannin, will also receive a cash prize sponsored by Culture Vannin. Any genre of music is acceptable, but the song must be new and original and performed in Manx Gaelic, and is open to soloists or groups including up to 6 people. Adjudication will be based on lyrics, music, performance, good Manx pronunciation and phrasing during the performance itself.

The event begins at 7.30pm on Saturday 6th January, 2018.

Valerie Caine

© December 2017

(Courtesy of Manx Life)

Introducing The Manx Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ManxSPCA)

Stubbin – a large Manx cat with no tail, very overweight

The ManxSPCA is the Isle of Man’s only all animal rescue centre. It does not receive government funding even though, at more than 120 years old, it is viewed by many as a Manx National Treasure.

The Society works hard to advise and educate the community about animal welfare, but sadly it deals with an ever-increasing number of abuse and neglect cases. Every year it deals with more than 8,000 calls from the community asking for help. These calls range from reporting abandoned or unwanted pets, through to expressing concerns about the welfare of wild animals such as garden birds, hedgehogs and seals.

Snowy the Westhighland Terrier – his owner was prosecuted for animal cruelty

The Society rehomes hundreds of dogs, cats and ‘small furries’ every year, and its Kennels, Cattery and Small Animals Unit are always full, with a constant turnover and demand for space. The Aviary is quieter in the winter months, but comes alive with a wide variety of birds during the summer. All the animals are given high quality veterinary care, and many benefit from enrichment and behaviour programmes.

The Society provides a vital service to the Island’s community and its environment. You can find out more by visiting its website; and to see what’s happening day-to-day please go to its Facebook page (listed as ‘ManxSPCA’). Set in the middle of the beautiful Manx countryside, it’s also a great place to visit.

Loaghtan Sheep – very underweight when they first came to us

Island Represented at Cornish Festival

With the popular Cornish festival Lowender Peran on schedule for early November, Manx participants will soon be packing their musical instruments and dancing shoes for this annual extravaganza, but this year’s invited group could prove to be a bit of a red herring.

Lowender Peran is a long established event set up to encourage recognition of both Cornwall’s heritage and links with their fellow Celts in a relaxed and informal setting, which has proved highly successful. The Cornish people have a proud history of a distinctive, expressive identity, recognising and valuing not only their own roots and personality, but those of others. Although largely known for perennial favourites such as the ubiquitous pasty, the eye-catching stargazy pie and, of course, the area’s stunning scenery, many Cornish people acknowledge that in order for Cornwall to survive as a distinct entity, each generation needs to show those up-and-coming that culture too has a presence within that list.

It’s a banner which has been picked up with gusto over the years, leading to the all encompassing Lowender Peran, which this year will be moving to a new destination at the Hotel Bristol in Newquay – set on the majestic cliff top and enjoying wonderful views of Tolcarne Beach.

The Isle of Man enjoys a long standing friendship with the Cornish crowd, which continues this year with one of the newest local groups Skeddan Jiarg (Manx Gaelic: Red Herring). Established in 2014, it’s a healthy cross-section of young adults and their children who have come together in the west of the Island to practice and display Manx dancing both at home and abroad. Distinctive and vibrant at every opportunity, you’ll find them tackling a combination of both traditional and newly created dances from as young as three years old!

Valerie Caine

© November 2017

(Courtesy of Manx Tails)

Isle of Man from the Air – Drone documentary

A teaser from Duke Video.

COMING 2018 – THE ISLE OF MAN FROM THE AIR One of our most popular films for many years, and highly acclaimed, the original IOM From The Air set a new standard for quality and depth of interest in aerial documentaries when we made it in 1999. Now we have a fleet of high tech drones and 4K cameras to make a new film that will take the viewer to places never seen before and add an entirely new and fascinating perspective to our knowledge of the ‘Jewel of the Irish Sea’. Shot in high definition 4k quality and filmed over a 12 month period, our team have captured a host of the Isle of Man’s most intriguing locations via a drone. From the rugged, sea beaten cliffs of the south to the wide and rich north there’s so much of the Isle of Man that is seen best from above. We’ll take you on a journey to the heart of the island for Tynwald Day, the south and the famous Stevenson lighthouses, Groudle Glen and the pretty Victorian miniature railway and many more wonderful locations! ‘Isle of Man from the Air’ is available to pre-order soon on Blu Ray, Download and DVD at

Come and see Barrule on the East Coast!

The Washington D.C. Manx society is planning an outing to Maryland on October 21st to see this talented and exciting trio. As well as attending this concert, they’re also going to go out and row a Viking Longship with the Longship Company ( Check out the Washington Manx page by clicking the Tab above for more details.

Upcoming Gigs

Manx Performers Fly the Flag at Lorient Inter-Celtic Festival

Recognised as one of Europe’s largest festivals, the Lorient Inter-Celtic Festival will be celebrating the Year of Scotland this month, with the prospect of more than seven hundred and fifty thousand visitors attending an extensive programme of events.

Some of those singers and musicians will be representing the Isle of Man, which has a number of both historical and cultural links with Scotland.

Although the ten day festival programme will showcase a whole variety of Scottish themes, it won’t all be about kilts, bagpipes, whisky and haggis, but there will be an opportunity to enjoy a selection of traditional fare and discover more about Scottish culture through the medium of exhibitions, lectures and film.

There’ll be a range of Manx performers flying the flag for the Isle of Man, including a number of up and coming singers and musicians who are continuing to garner global recognition for their talent and expertise.

New band on the block, Birlinn Jiarg, was invited back to feature in the official programme after being spotted at the Manx Pavilion last year. Their music is set apart by the unusual combination of low whistle and clarinet, but has now grown to include guitar, bouzouki, bodhrán and concertina.

Also representing the Isle of Man will be newly formed Manx duo Annym made up of talented local performers Isla Callister and Cairistìona Dougherty, who have recently relocated to Glasgow to further their studies. They will be joined by Scottish harpist Rachel Hair and a small number of Manx dancers who will perform at various venues, with a Manx dance workshop at the Salle Carnot.


Additionally, members of Rushen Silver Band will be returning to the festival after their highly successful Lorient debut in 2015. They will have a prominent position in the Grand Parade, but will also feature in the televised Nuit Interceltique evenings. Members of the band are also working in collaboration with a Scottish Pipe Band and a Welsh male voice choir, culminating in a joint presentation of Conquest of Paradise at the finale.

There’ll also be the ever popular Manx Pavilion, organised again this year by Peter Young and supported by Culture Vannin and the Isle of Man Arts Council, with daily entertainment from a range of Manx artistes.

Since its inception, the Lorient Inter-Celtic Festival has encouraged both art and sport, as well as the more traditionally perceived elements. Selected highlights of the event include the Bagadoù National Championships, a series of Inter-Celtic Nights and the Grand Parade of the Celtic Nations, including some three thousand five hundred performers wending their way through the streets of Lorient. New for this year is the Inter-Celtic Seas Week (showcasing producers of the Celtic seas) and the Friendship Maritime Parade.

Valerie Caine

© August 2017

(Courtesy of Manx Tails)

All the Fun’s in Peel this Weekend………………………!

     All roads lead to Peel during the first weekend of August, when the popular fishing port comes alive to the sights and sounds of the town’s annual carnival and welcomes a number of vessels to the long standing Traditional Boat Weekend.

Now in its sixty fifth year, Peel Carnival (Sunday 6th August) is recognised as the oldest, continuous carnival on the Island, and organisers invite people of all ages to head west for the festivities, or participate in the parade.

Billed as a great day’s entertainment for all the family, there’ll be plenty of sideshow attractions, stalls and spontaneity to enjoy throughout the day – with some popular favourites returning to the Island especially for the event and a selection of new entertainers to whet the appetites of visitors and locals alike. And there’s a sandcastle competition for those talented creative youngsters.

The highlight, of course, is the Grand Parade, beginning outside the House of Manannan at 2.00pm, wending its way along East Quay, Weatherglass Corner (aka Spit Corner) and Shore Road before terminating at the Creg Malin car park, where there’ll be an opportunity to sample refreshments and enjoy the Mardi Gra atmosphere.

Carnival programmes will be available throughout the town, and if you’ve got time, why not take part in any of the nine categories of the parade – with more than £1,000 of prize money up for grabs!

Meanwhile, boats will start arriving for the annual Peel Traditional Boat Weekend on the 4th of August, giving visitors an opportunity to see them berthed around the quayside, or out in the bay for the delightful Parades of Sail. You can also place your vote for the ‘best boat’ to win the Henry Kelly Trophy at the Sailors’ Shelter on East Quay, where you’ll also find a selection of special merchandise on sale.

Look out too for the St German’s Handbell Ringers on both days and a Vintage Car Rally next to the Transport Museum on Sunday.

One of the highlights of the Peel Traditional Boat Weekend is Saturday’s Quick and Dirty Boat Building competition, culminating in a race across the harbour at 2.30pm.

Further details about both events available on their Facebook pages.

Valerie Caine

© August 2017

(Courtesy of Manx Tails)

Celtfest Isle of Man – A Fresh New Look for a Familiar Festival

   In an effort to introduce Manx and Celtic culture to a wider audience, the much-loved Yn Chruinnaght Inter-Celtic Festival has been given a make-over, but still remains largely based in Peel.

With the committee members of Yn Chruinnaght as the organising force behind Celtfest Isle of Man, a fine selection of Celtic music from Ireland and Scotland entertained packed houses at the Centenary Centre. A choice mix of both visiting and local singers and musicians, the week’s activities got off to a great start with the festival’s opening talk on The Celts by Professor Alice Roberts – a sell-out long before the event!

A busy outreach programme included concerts for eight hundred local schoolchildren.

But there was plenty of entertainment in the daytime too, including a new free, family day called The Gathering. Held at Cathedral Isle of Man (aka St German’s Cathedral), it was a great opportunity to relax and enjoy music and dance, an artisan craft fair and local food and drink, alongside mini workshops and children-friendly activities. There was also a selection of local and visiting performers, yarn-spinner and puppeteer Fi Angwin and a whole host of innovative entertainment.

Organisers of Celtfest Isle of Man were supported by Culture Vannin, the Isle of Man Arts Council, Thornton Chartered Financial Planners, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Conister Bank, Shoprite and the Malcolm Scott Dickinson Charitable Trust.

Valerie Caine

© July 2017

(Courtesy of the North Western Chronicle)