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Lewis MacKinnon

Executive Director of Gaelic Affairs

Government of Nova Scotia

I'm a paragraph. Click once to begin entering your own content. You can change my fLewis MacKinnon is Executive Director of Gaelic Affairs, a Division of the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, Government of Nova Scotia. He is a Gaelic teacher, editor, public speaker, musician, songwriter, singer, and language and cultural activist.ont, size, line height, color and more by highlighting part of me and selecting the options from the toolbar.

He was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and raised in Lower South River, Antigonish County. Prior to his work in government, Lewis spent 11 years in the Corporate Sector.

Lewis graduated from St. Francis Xavier (SFx) University in 1992 with a Major in Political Science and a Minor in Celtic Studies. Since then he has been involved in numerous initiatives which promote and transmit Gaelic language and culture in Nova Scotia.In May 2011, he graduated from SFx with a Master’s in Celtic Studies. The focus of his thesis is on the extent of Gaelic language and culture in and around Inverness Town, Cape Breton Island as experienced, remembered and shared by members of his father, Joe MacKinnon’s family.

In October 2011, he was honored as the first non-Scot Gaelic poet laureate at the Royal National Mòd, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland.Since 1994, he has been a member of the Jug In Hand Band; performing throughout Atlantic Canada; having recorded on three full length CDs. In 2006, Lewis released his first solo CD titled A’ Seo which is Gaelic for “Here.” In 2008, MacKinnon published a collection of Gaelic poems with English translation, titled “Famhair: agus Dàin Ghàidhlig eile” (“Giant: And Other Gaelic Poems”). In 2010, he completed his first all-English solo recording, titled “Making More Of It”.

In 2010, his Gaelic poem titled Par Pare Refero was shortlisted at the Strokestown Poetry Festival, Ireland. In June 2012, he released his second poetry book, titled “Fleodragan-cabair”/”Raft”. Self-published, poems in this book are composed in Gaelic with English translation.

In April 2013, he was recognized as Scot of the Year by the Scottish Studies Association of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.