Comunn na Gàidhlig has started the hunt for the Gaelic Community of the Year and Gaelic Business of the year, 2011. Following successful competitions in 2010, where 20 nominations were received, CnaG is today, Tuesday 8th March, delighted to launch the 2011 awards. It is now seeking nominations for this year’s competitions.
The competitions, being launched by Comunn na Gàidhlig, in conjunction with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, come with cash prizes. The winners in both categories will receive £3000, runners-up will receive £1500 and third place nominations will each get £500.
Co-chomunn na Pàirc, in the South Lochs area of Lewis won the Gaelic Business of the Year, 2010, and Staffin, in the north east of Skye, was awarded the Gaelic Community of the Year, 2010. John Randall, of Co-chomunn na Pàirc, said "We at Co-chomunn na Pàirc were delighted to have won the Gaelic Business of the Year, 2010. The Award has raised the profile of Co-Chomunn na Pàirc nationally as well as locally, and has been helpful in our efforts to progress other projects since the award – for example, the extension of the Ravenspoint building which is currently under way with assistance from Big Lottery Fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.
Nominations for ‘Gleus’, the Gaelic Community of the Year should highlight communities which can demonstrate the use of Gaelic as a spoken language, high visibility of the language in the community, frequency of ‘Gàidhealach’ (Gaelic cultural) social events, the availability of Gaelic education and childcare and the use of Gaelic amongst young people, or those who are making strong progress towards the above.
Entries for Gleus, the Community of the Year competition, may be made by any recognised and clearly defined community throughout the Highlands and Islands. There are no strict limits to the size of the community, be it a township, village or collection of townships or villages as long as the area can be defined as having a sense of belonging to a common community. It is important to note that the award is for a ‘community’ and not for a ‘community event’ although a community event may very well be part of the submission on behalf of a community.
Gnìomh – the Gaelic Business of the Year award will go to the businesses that can best demonstrate a strong use of Gaelic among staff, and with customers, which has a high level of visibility of the language within the company and which uses Gaelic in branding/marketing of the company or its products. Again, businesses making strong progress towards these objectives could be eligible.
Entries for Gnìomh, the Gaelic Business of the Year is open any recognised commercial enterprise operating as a business. It should be operating on a stand-alone basis rather than as part of a wider Group and should not be part of the operation of local authorities, enterprise companies or organisations funded by public agencies.
Donald MacNeill, Chief Executive of Comunn na Gàidhlig, said, “We are delighted to be running these competitions, as part of our contract with HIE, for two reasons. In the first place it is right and fitting that these communities and businesses, who actively use Gaelic, should be supported and recognised, and secondly, it is an excellent way to promote Gaelic to the wider community, affirming how important and useful the Gaelic language is today.”
Information Packs and Entry Forms here for Gnìomh and here for Gleus or from the CnaG offices at Inverness and Stornoway. The entries for both competitions must be received by 30th June 2011. The entries will be considered by a panel of judges made up of representatives from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Comunn na Gàidhlig and the awards will be presented during the summer months.
The Gaelic Community of the Year and Gaelic Business of the Year awards are funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and administered by Comunn na Gàidhlig.