FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswick’s Celtic Awareness Week will be officially launched on Monday, April 30, at the exhibition room of the Provincial Archives in Fredericton.

The event will include displays of Irish, Scottish and Welsh heritage, Celtic entertainment and the launch of a website for the New Brunswick Celtic Affairs Committee.

“We welcome everyone to celebrate this week with great pride while learning more about the significant role Scottish, Irish and Welsh immigrants and their descendants have played, and continue to play, in the development of the Canadian and New Brunswick identity,” said Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Lisa Harris, who is also the minister responsible for Celtic affairs. “Our government is proud to be part of this event as New Brunswick Celtic heritage is an important part of our province’s history and identity. It has brought us traditions and beliefs that enrich our culture and contribute to our diversity and quality of life.”

About 40 per cent of New Brunswickers, both francophone and anglophone, can trace some component of their heritage to Celtic origins.

“Separated from their ancestral homes, they wove their beliefs, their labour and their unique talents deep into the soil of their new land, and they continue to do so today,” said Pat Murphy, chair of the New Brunswick Celtic Affairs Committee. “They may have lost their languages, but not their pride, and it is that pride in their ancestry that makes this week so meaningful. The New Brunswick that we know today owes a great debt to the Celtic migrants that helped create, and continue to contribute to, the society that is our province.”

The committee is made up of three groups: the Irish Canadian Cultural Association of New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Scottish Cultural Association and the Central New Brunswick Welsh Society. Together, they work to enhance and develop Celtic heritage and culture in the province.

From April 30 to May 6, communities, businesses and individuals are encouraged to participate by flying Irish, Scottish and Welsh flags, organizing lectures or entertainment activities, setting up displays of their Celtic heritage, or organizing family walking parades.

A list of Celtic Awareness Week events will be available on the New Brunswick Celtic Affairs Committee’s website after its launch on Monday, April 30.