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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. 

***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:

  • January 7 – February 17, 2024 (Filled)

  • February 25 – April 6, 2024 (Filled)

  • September 8 – October 19, 2024 (Applications closed)

  • October 27 – December 7, 2024 (Applications due Mar 31, 2024)

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

  • February 23 - April 5, 2025 (Applications due Aug 31, 2024)

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.

2024 Shannon Residency Artists

Jenna Colclough photo_edited.jpg

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.

Breanndan photo.jpeg

Feb 25 - Apr 6, 2024

Breanndán Ó Beaglaoích

Sé Breanndán Ó Beaglaoích an té 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.  

Mairi Rankin photo.JPG

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. 

Hamish Moore photo.jpeg

Feb 25 - Apr 6, 2024

Hamish Moore

Hamish has been making, playing and teaching Scottish Bagpipes of many descriptions professionally since 1986. It was in 1986 that he first heard the music of Buddy MacMaster, Dave MacIsaac and Maybelle Chisolm MacQueen at The Philadelphia Folk Festival. This performance and subsequently thousands of other recordings and live performances answered for him all the mysteries of how highland Scottish music should be played. It all made sense and its connection with the dance rhythms is the essential missing link. Hamish spent three summers teaching at Colaisde na Gàidhlig in Cape Breton in 1992, 1993 and 1994. He founded the summer school Ceòlas in South Uist, as well as many other schools in Scotland, North America and Europe. During 2008-2009 he was artist-in-residence in Barga, the Tuscan hill town where so many of Scotland’s long-established Italian families came from and has organized concerts and music schools there in the intervening years. Hamish was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame in 2015.


During his residency, Hamish plans to continue his work and research in helping to celebrate the Scottish Gaelic culture of Cape Breton Island and to foster the reconnection of that precious culture back across the Atlantic in as authentic a form as is possible.


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