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The Shannon Residency at Beinn Mhàbu offers artists the opportunity to live and explore their craft in Mabou, Cape Breton Island, Canada.


Artists are provided with meals, living accommodations, and a workspace for six weeks on Cape Breton’s beautiful western coast known for its living Gaelic culture and unspoiled beauty. (any additional fees not included through residency program.) The historic setting within a newly-renovated building — recognized for educational, community, and spiritual contributions, and beginning a new journey as a cultural education hub — provides a peaceful and reflective space, perfectly suited to the creation of new ideas or development of one’s craft. Opportunities exist to immerse oneself in the living Gaelic culture of the wider region, to engage with the student cohort of the Gaelic Foundations: Living Cultures program, and with North America’s only Gaelic immersion primary school, Taigh Sgoile na Drochaide.

Artists may be based within any medium – writing, poetry/song, visual arts, music, dance, craft, etc.

Proposals may focus on creative expression, research, education, collaborative explorations, etc., according to the artists' wishes. Proposals should demonstrate relevance to Gaelic culture in a Nova Scotia context and how they might contribute to the community of Mabou during their time here. 

To hear from the perspective of past artists, view our Testimonials page.

***Please note that travel costs to and from Mabou, as well as any costs with the artists' work are the responsibility of the artist.***

Four terms, recurring each year:

  • September 1 – October 12, 2024 (Applications closed)

  • October 27 – December 7, 2024 (Applications closed)

  • January 5 - February 15, 2025 (Applications due Jun 30, 2024)

  • March 2 - April 12, 2025 (Applications due Aug 31, 2024)

  • August 31 - October 11, 2025 (Applications open)

  • October 26 - December 6, 2025 (Applications open)

Dates are subject to change and are somewhat flexible on the artists' side

To express interest in this new residency program, please contact or apply through the link below.

Shannon Residency Artists


Sep 1 - Oct 12, 2024

Allan MacDonald

A leading light in the Gaelic musical scene, Allan MacDonald is in demand internationally as a composer, musical director, piper, singer, workshop leader, and lecturer on Gaelic music. One of his myriad gifts is to make pibroch accessible and lovable. His work as a scholar-performer reuniting seventeenth-century piping with its Gaelic roots is influencing a whole generation of pipers. 

Allan has performed at every major Celtic and piping festival on the planet and has had numerous commissions to compose for BBC television. In 1999 and 2004, Allan directed two pioneering series for the Edinburgh International Festival, presenting every aspect of the piping tradition in 13 concerts, linking music with Scottish history and culture. In 2005, he co-directed a six-part television series screened on RTE, BBC3 and ITV—“The Highland Sessions”—addressing the common language and musical traditions of Scotland and Ireland, which won the best documentary music award in Ireland.

During his residency, Allan plans to delve into the research, thinking, and composition he's undertaken over the years, and explore different ways in which to bring it forward to the public. 

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Feb 25 - Apr 6, 2024

Breanndán Ó Beaglaoích

Sé Breanndán Ó Beaglaoích an fear is óige de chlann ceolmhar ó Chorca Dhuibhne, Ciarraí thiar. Tá a shaol caite aige le ceol ag taisteal na cruinne ina aonar, le Buachaillí Na Locha, Beginish, Caoimhín Ó Rathallaigh agus a chlann Bréanainn, Cormac, Conchúbhair agus Cliodhna. Bhunnaigh sé Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh i 2005 le Niamh Ní Bhaoíll. Tá sé gníomhach i gcúrsaí telefíse le fada;Geantraí, Caipíní, Sé Mo Laoch agus fé láthair Slí Na mBeaglaoich. Tá cheithre thaifead aonair déanta aige agus ceann nua ar na bioráin le Rose Morrison ó'n Rinn Bhriotánach, Ceanada.

Breanndán Ó Beaglaoích is the youngest member of a musical family from Corca Dhuibhne, west Kerry. Music has been his life travelling the world on his own, with Boys of the Lough, Beginish, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, and his family Bréanainn, Cormac, Conchúbhair, and Cliodhna. He set up Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh with Niamh Ní Bhaoíll in 2005. He has been involved in television with projects such as Geantraí, Caipíní, Sé Mo Laoch and presently Slí Na mBeaglaoich. He has four solo albums to his credit and another CD on the way with Rose Morrison from Cape Breton.


Breanndán plans to work on new material for an upcoming album with Rose Morrison, put the finishing touches on a book about his life and family book (in print and audiobook) and is excited to engage in cultural exchange with the local Gaelic community.  

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Jan 7 - Feb 17, 2024

Màiri Rankin

First cousin to the hugely influential Rankin Family—legends on the Canadian music scene—Mairi Rankin plays fiddle and step-dances up a storm. Born in Mabou, Nova Scotia, she has been influenced by some of the best Cape Breton traditional musicians and instructors on the island. Being immersed in such a rich musical culture has enabled her to develop her own unique style. Mairi performs with the Cape Breton super-group Beòlach, who’s 2019 release, All Hands, won two Canadian Folk Music Awards, the Fans Choice ‘Entertainer of the Year’ award at the East Coast Music Awards, and a Nova Scotia Music Award. The album also received a Juno nomination in 2021. For the past twelve years, she has also been part of the internationally renowned Celtic group The Outside Track, which is currently touring its fifth studio album, Rise Up. In 2019 Mairi collaborated with cellist Eric Wright from The Fretless and created The Cabin Sessions, which won the Canadian Folk Music Award for Instrumental Group of the Year in 2020.

While back in Mabou, Mairi plans to return to her roots to research and work on tunes that will fuel her upcoming creative projects. She plans on developing material for Beòlach, Rankin & Wright and her own overdue solo album. 


Feb 25 - Apr 6, 2024

Mary Jane Lamond

Mary Jane Lamond, renowned for her sharing of Scottish Gaelic songs and stories, has garnered numerous awards and nominations for her contributions. Dedicated to preserving Gaelic traditions, she travels to Scotland to share Nova Scotia's heritage through performances and workshops. Rooted in Cape Breton, she actively works to safeguard the Gaelic language.

Her musical journey began with her debut album "Bho Thir Nan Craobh," featuring Ashley MacIsaac.

Subsequent albums like "Suas e!" blend classic Gaelic texts with contemporary pop, earning acclaim and nominations. Collaborations like "Seinn" with Wendy MacIsaac and "Patchwork" with Laurel MacDonald explore the intersection of traditional and contemporary culture through music and technology.

As artist-in-residence at Beinn Mhàbu, Mary Jane will continue her work with Cainnt is Ceathramhan / Language and Lyrics, hosting song sessions and teaching students stories from the area. These efforts underscore her ongoing commitment to cultural preservation and education.

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Jan 7 - Feb 17, 2024

Jen Colclough

Jen Colclough is a poet and ESL Instructor from Nova Scotia, Canada. She holds a Master of Arts in Classics from Western University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Acadia University. Her poetry has been published in MORIA Literary Magazine, Open Door Magazine, Tidewise Illustrated Quarterly, Free the Verse, and The Power of Hope Anthology. Five additional poems are slated for publication in 2024 in Ionosphere, and The Forgotten Fragments of Time Anthology. Her original short story, “The Opposite of Hunger,” was published in The Petal Pages in August 2023. Additionally, her article, “Memorialization in Thucydides’ Plague Episode,” was published by the Journal of Ancient History in June 2023. 

Jen Colclough is currently working on her debut historical fiction novel tentatively titled The Thucydides Girl. The narrative draws heavily on archival research and follows the lives of three friends from Nova Scotia serving abroad in the First World War.


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