Finalists 2023

Arts & Culture Award

Sponsored by Creative Scotland

Ceòl is Craic

Founded in 2004, Ceòl is Craic is an organisation that strives to provide a place for contemporary Gaelic music and culture. Based in Glasgow, Ceòl is Craic holds music events by Gaelic as well as non-Gaelic speaking acts - working to showcase the art of older acts alongside contemporary ones. Ceòl is Craic also hosts a film club at which it shows Gaelic film and tv, as well as holding Q&A sessions - and presents a radio show that plays Gaelic music across a wide range of genres.

Cèolas Uibhist Ltd

Based in South Uist, Cèolas Uibhist is a social enterprise dedicated to offering a range of cultural education activities, events, services and more - all based around Gaelic. Providing community events in person as well as online, Cèolas Uibhist works with local as well as national and international communities - and uses its programmes as a chance to educate as well as form an archive of Gaelic resources. Through these programmes Cèolas Uibhist hopes to nurture Gaelic culture, and help people experience Gaelic as a living and vibrant cultural lineage.

Marcas Mac an Tuairneir

Marcas Mac an Tuairneir is a writer, poet and singer who has produced extraordinary works of both music and poetry in Gaelic. Marcas’ poetry collection ‘Polaris’ features 100 Gaelic poems that tackle a range of issues - including the experiences of LGBT people, women, and often forgotten communities of indigenous speakers. In doing so, Marcas’ work highlights often overlooked experiences, and helped weave these experiences into historic and contemporary Gaelic culture - and established Marcas as one of the foremost poets of his day.

Best Contribution Award

Sponsored by Bòrd na Gàidhlig

Alzheimer Scotland West Highland

Alzheimer Scotland West Highland has engaged in projects designed to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia, while also helping people engage with and learn about Gaelic culture. The organisation holds online Gaelic conversations twice a month - providing people with the opportunity to chat and sing - and also hold in person Gaelic gatherings in three different locations. At these gatherings Alzheimer Scotland West Highland have Gaelic stalls and books on offer, offering more opportunities to engage with the language.

Joy Dunlop

As the director of World Gaelic Week, Joy Dunlop has been a tireless advocate for the Gaelic language. The event utilises a range of initiatives to promote Gaelic - including the creation of online content, hosting online and in person events to connect communities, and a small grants fund that provides micro funding to initiatives around promoting Gaelic. Joy has been an integral part of these processes, going above and beyond to provide people with a chance to experience and enrich Gaelic culture.

Yvonne Irving

In 2022, Yvonne Irving became a Gaelic family learning worker - and since then has carried out her role with unfailing passion and dedication. Yvonne has devised a range of activities designed to let new and heritage Gaelic speakers use the language in social situations. These include buggy runs for pre-school families - giving children and parents a chance to get fit and converse in Gaelic. Yvonne has also worked with parents to support their children’s literacy and numeracy, provided Christmas wreath-making and Gaelic workshops, and delivered beginner classes for parents on Gaelic language and culture.

Best Gaelic Content-Creator

Elizana Belcina

As a Brazilian who learned Gaelic, Elizana Belcina provides insight to an experience that many learners of Gaelic might relate to - learning the language without the aid of an immersive environment. Sharing her experiences on Instagram, Elizana showcases her learning process as well as the Gaelic culture she engages with - while also being a keen supporter of campaigns and initiatives to support Gaelic. Elizana’s work shows how the Gaelic community can be a truly global one, and that Gaelic language and culture can be enriching for and enriched by anyone.

Lauren NicFhearghais

Lauren NicFhearghais is a content creator who works to increase engagement and interest in Gaelic, while also raising awareness of important issues. For four years now, Lauren has created Gaelic content on platforms like Instagram and TikTok - from makeup and skincare tutorials to tackling subjects like PCOS, mental health and body neutrality. Lauren’s use of content and approach to important topics has helped engage a wider audience with Gaelic, especially younger Gaelic speakers - and has even inspired people to set up Gaelic profiles of their own.

Young Scot

Young Scot is the national information platform for people in Scotland ages 11-26. The organisation provides info on health and wellbeing, discounts, youth voices and more - and for the last two years have been producing Gaelic content, designed to maintain the presence of the language and culture in the life of young Scots. Among other initiatives, this has included the creation of social media content in Gaelic, the provision of important information in Gaelic - and the setting up of a programme designed to deliver services to young Scots keen to learn the language.

Best Gaelic Contribution to Media


Released in 2022, DÙTHCHAS is the fourth-ever film released in the Gaelic language, showcasing the daily life of the residents of Berneray in the Outer Hebrides. Using previously unseen documentary footage, DÙTHCHAS explores the life and Gaelic culture of the residents - tackling the decline of the language and culture, and the experience of leaving the island to pursue a new life. Interspersed with interviews with the residents and a stunning score, DÙTHCHAS provides a compelling view of life on the island, and the connection of the residents to their home and culture.


Started in 2008, FilmG is a short film festival that works to showcase and promote the best Gaelic film and TV talent. The festival has seen more than 1000 entries in its 15 year run - and has seen 107 entries for the 2022/23 festival alone, its most ever. FilmG seeks entries from creatives of all experience levels and skill sets - with an under 18 and over 18 category to encourage filmmakers of all ages. FilmG often serves as a showcase and launchpad for emerging Gaelic talent, making it a valuable part of the cultural landscape.

Pàdruig MacCuidhein

During lockdown Pàdruig MacCuidhein, a presenter for BBC ALBA, was able to provide people with some much needed positivity and inspiration - through the series in which he transformed his garden into a vegetable patch. Showing every part of the messy process and leaving out none of the setbacks, Pàdruig’s enthusiasm, authenticity and presenting flair made the programme extremely popular - offering a sense of joy and inspiration during a difficult time. The show’s success has also led to the commissioning of two more series, as well as a Christmas special.

Community Award

Alzheimer Scotland West Highland

Alzheimer Scotland West Highland set up its Gaelic conversations project in an effort to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia. Held online twice a month, the programme involves an opportunity to chat and sing - something that has been found to be extremely beneficial for people with dementia, and is accessible to everyone. Alzheimer Scotland West Highland also hosts in person gatherings in three different locations - providing an opportunity to socialise and learn about the Gaelic language. These events give people with dementia and those that care for them a channel through which to connect and learn together.

Cnoc Soilleir

A joint venture between Cèolas Uibhist Ltd (Ceòlas) and Lews Castle College UHI (LCC UHI). Cnoc Soilleir is a centre dedicated to Gaelic language, culture and arts. Daliburgh in South Uist, Cnoc Soilleir is designed to provide space for a range of activities - including dance, music, language arts and more - making it a vital resource for the preservation and further creation of Gaelic culture, serving residents and visitors alike. The Cnoc Soilleir building is also built to Passivhaus standards, making it an energy efficient and high quality build.

Comunn Oiseanach Oilthigh Ghlaschu

With 191 years of history to its name, Comunn Oiseanach Oilthigh Ghlaschu is the University of Glasgow’s second-oldest society - and has spent years championing Gaelic language and culture in Glasgow and beyond. The society hosts a wide range of events - including social evenings, a weekly conversation cafe, film nights, a piping competition, football matches and more - open to people from the university but also students at other universities in and outside Glasgow. The society strives to give Gaelic speakers a chance to socialise and engage with each other, and build a community and culture together.

Gaelic as an Economic Asset

Sponsored by Highlands & Islands Enterprise


Founded in 2021, Astar is a business that works to help Gaelic organisations deliver projects and events. Providing project management, communications support, event management and more, Astar has delivered a number of important projects - including the Gaelic film festival FilmG, the first ever Gaelic Literature Awards, and working on the Public Consultation of the draft Gaelic Language Plan. With a highly committed team of 5, Astar works tirelessly to help Gaelic projects achieve the success they deserve.

Cùrsaichean Goirid, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Ionad Nàiseanta Cànan is Cultar na Gàidhlig

For 50 years, Cùrsaichean Goirid, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig has provided short courses in Gaelic to people who want to learn the language and better understand the culture. The residential courses strive to make learning an engaging experience, and help people immerse themselves in Gaelic culture - while also providing a range of activities and entertainment opportunities to make people’s time on campus truly enriching. It also offers courses over Zoom, making learning more flexible, and further widening the range of people that can learn about and come to love Gaelic.

Gaelic in Sport

FC Sonas - “Seirbheis Ball-Coise Gàidhlig / Scottish Gaelic Football Service”

Set up in 2020, FC Sonas is a football club that endeavours to engage new and existing Gaelic speakers through sport. In providing the opportunity to learn and practise Gaelic in a social setting, FC Sonas works to normalise the use of Gaelic outside of educational settings - and help students become more confident with its use. The club engages in a range of activities - holding games and training camps, producing training videos and materials - and during the pandemic FC Sonas produced a series of videos designed to help people keep active and practise Gaelic.

Gàidheil Ghlaschu

In 2021, Gàidheil Ghlaschu began hosting weekly football games for adults who wanted to enjoy football while engaging with the Gaelic language. Providing people with an informal and active environment in which to learn, Gàidheil Ghlaschu is able to engage people and provide them with a more relaxed experience - and connect Gaelic to everyday life outside of a purely academic setting.

Mairi MacRitchie, BBC Gaelic Sport 

Màiri NicRisnidh has been a longtime champion of Gaelic sport - having produced the radio show nan Gàidhea since it launched, and been a face of BBC Spòrs Gàidhlig and Spòrs na Seachdain. Màiri has strived to show the best of Gaelic sport - promoting friendly and supportive conduct, while also reporting on the serious side of sport. Màiri’s constant work to ensure that Gaelic sport is the best it can be makes her a role model to numerous people, from those who are keen to enter the media to those who just love sport.

Learning Award

Deasbad Nàiseanta Loganair nan Àrd-sgoiltean Ghàidhlig

Deasbad Nàiseanta Loganair nan Àrd-sgoiltean Ghàidhlig is a schools debate competition held in Gaelic - which returned in 2022 after being on hiatus since 2019. Despite the difficulty in revitalising the event post COVID, the team behind the debate did an exemplary job, and the event was a rousing success. Events like this are vital for the study of Gaelic, as they give students the opportunity to practise Gaelic in a unique and engaging way, and showcase the fruits of their learning.

GLEANS (GLE Authority Network Scotland)

GLEANS was established during the first COVID lockdown in an effort to support teachers in delivering Gaelic learning. At first, GLEANS produced a simple Gaelic learning challenge - which proved to be surprisingly popular and spurred the creation of a further set of challenges. These challenges involve pupils recording themselves speaking Gaelic, with the videos being shared bY their school’s social media accounts. This provides an engaging, community aspect to learning Gaelic and gives pupils an easy way to practise and enjoy the Gaelic language.

Sgioba na Gaidhlig, e-Sgoil

Sgioba na Gaidhlig, e-Sgoil set up Misneachd, a small group provision that works to provide targeted support to Gaelic medium pupils. Misneachd supported students during and after the Coronavirus pandemic - providing online and in-person sessions to help them stay up to date with Gaelic learning - and has gone from just talking and listening exercises to include phonics, reading and writing. Misneachd also set up a debate between 12 schools across Scotland - giving students a fun and social way to learn and practise Gaelic.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Allan Campbell

Skye-born Mr Campbell has been at the forefront of the promotion of Gaelic for near forty years, having had a career in broadcasting with the BBC before holding the post of Chief Executive at Comunn na Gàidhlig. As well as serving on the boards of most of the Gaelic organisations over the years, Allan initiated and led the campaign which led to the Gaelic Language (Scotland) 2005 Act and the establishing of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, and he became the first CEO of the Bòrd. Allan’s contribution to Gaelic development was recognised by the award of an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Aberdeen in 2008. Allan Campbell was appointed President of An Comunn Gàidhealach in 2017.

Young Gaelic Ambassador Award

Rachel Kellow

With a degree in Gaelic Education, 24 year old Raonaid is the only teacher in the Gaelic department at Dunoon Grammar School - going above and beyond to support and encourage students in learning the language. Raonaid has carried out several initiatives with this purpose - setting up a Gaelic learners class, organising events to promote World Gaelic Week - and outside of school has set up an adult learners class online. Raonaid scooped the Gaelic Education Award at the 2022 Scottish Education Awards, is also a contributor to BBC Radio nan Gàidheal, and has set up a Gaelic Instagram account that weaves Gaelic into everyday topics like fashion, cooking and lifestyle.