Manx Gaelic song will be featured at the prestigious international festival, Celtic Colours, in Canada for the first time.

Ruth Keggin, a Manx Gaelic singer, and Scottish harpist Rachel Hair are taking part in the festival, which takes place in the Atlantic province of Nova Scotia this weekend.

Rachel, who is well-known in Manx musical circles for her work teaching the harp for Culture Vannin, had previously met and performed for the festival director Dawn Beaton at industry showcase events in Scotland, where agents and festivals see musicians perform and decide who to book.

Celtic Colours has a particular focus on languages this year, to celebrate the United Nation’s International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032), and, with their strong focus on Manx Gaelic song, Ruth and Rachel were booked to play.

Ruth said: ‘It’s very exciting to be booked to perform at a festival that Rachel and I have both long wanted to play at, and very special to be able to share the Manx language and music with audiences.

‘I think it’s hugely important for the Isle of Man for the language, songs and music of our island to reach such large international audiences at such a prestigious festival.

‘As a Manx speaker, I’m particularly interested to find out more about Nova Scotia Gaelic, and the indigenous language of Mi’kmaw’.

As well as performing on Saturday and Sunday (October 7 and 8), the duo are delighted to be performing in the festival’s opening concert tomorrow (Friday), alongside stellar acts including contemporary Scottish fiddle band Blazin’ Fiddles and Canadian folk group Le Vent du Nord.

The concert,The Universal Language, celebrates indigenous languages and the universality of music.

It will only be a flying visit for Ruth and Rachel, who have a busy performing schedule, but they are both looking forward to hearing their musical colleagues, with whom they will share concerts.

The duo, who first met a decade ago at a trad music session in the island, will perform songs and tunes from their 2022 album Lossan.