E-Bulletin July 2003



PO BOX 371174 Milwaukee WI 53237-2274
e-mail cwi@celticwomen.org
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Vol. 1. No.5, July 2003

Conference Registrations available now! Click here!

A downloadable registration form is now available at www.celticwomentoronto.org/register.htm

Harbourfront Centre will administer all of our registrations, which should make things easier all around. They can take registrations by phone, fax, in person and on-line. They can accept VISA, MasterCard and Amex as well as money orders and bank drafts. (The latter should be made payable to Harbourfront Centre)

Contact the Harbourfront Box Office at
open Tuesday to Saturday, from 1- 8pm.

Includes Friday night reception and all day Programming at Harbourfront Centre on Saturday and Sunday


EARLY BIRD (Before Aug 15)

MEMBERS - $110


MEMBERS - $135

Advance ($35 at the door) - $30

Must be booked by Sept 15 - $45

*Students must be student members of CWI

DAILY REGISTRATIONS will be available at the door only at a rate of $80 per day ($40 for students)


At the moment of going to press - one Canadian dollar is worth about .72 cents US. This means that a full conference package ($110 registration +$30 concert + $45 banquet = CDN$185) is costing Americans approximately $130 US which is a real bargain for US residents.


The special conference rate of $129 CDN (Regularly $199) turns into about 90 US$ which is an excellent rate for a luxury hotel on Toronto's waterfront, only steps from the Conference location. We hope you will take advantage of the Radisson/Admiral's generous rates, and book early! Rooms are limited.
Ask for the Celtic Women Conference rate.
(there will be a $15/day parking fee which will include in and out priveledges)

Cheaper accomodation is available, but nothing as close to the venue. You can try:


Bed and Breakfast Homes of Toronto 416-363-6362 www.bbht.ca

Global Village Backpackers Inc.
(5 min transit ride or 15 min walk from Harbourfront Centre)
460 King West, Toronto, ON Canada
Toll free 1-888-844-7875 www.globalbackpackers.com
(Dorm $24, Quad $27, single room $60 Fully equipped kitchen for guests to use)


We are thrilled to be able to announce that Norita Fleming will be catering the banquet. Norita is originally from County Cork in Ireland and has her Diploma in Catering from Dublin and Chef Papers from the City and Guilds of London, England. She has run a personalised food service for the past 15 years in Toronto and writes regular food columns for various newspapers. Norita appears regularly on television and radio as an expert in Irish foods and has taught Celtic Hospitality and Cooking at the Celtic College in Goderich Ontario for a number of years.

Norita believes that the Celts held all things related to food sacred, and that this awareness permeates the preparation, serving and eating of meals- bringing a wholeness and blessedness to those partaking.

"The hospitality of food is at the very heart of our existence. We need each other to move well through our journey of life. When we share with generosity of spirit, we reap with generosity of spirit. Food has always been at the centre of celebration as well as every day life. With the awareness of the sacredness of the sharing of food in this way, we bring hospitality into its finest thrust." Norita Fleming

Norita is also conversant in the folklore of food and of Ireland and will bring a special quality to the farewell banquet that will help consolidate the friendships, experiences and learning that we will all bring away from the conference.

We strongly encourage you to plan to stay for the banquet/farewell party, which will start at 5pm and go until 8pm on Sunday. The conference will not be complete without this opportunity to share!

The Toronto Conference committee would like to be able to translate text portions of the website into all of the relevant languages. So far we have volunteers for Irish, French, Cornish and Gallego (the language of Galicia). If anyone can assist with translations into Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Manx or Breton we would be happy to hear from you! The length is approximately 800 words.

International Celtic Presenters

Extraordinary singer, living at present in Wales, Frankie will bring her expertise on ballad and singing traditions "I hold it to be true that part of our essence as human beings is to sing... if we allow ourselves to be robbed of that we are allowing ourselves to be robbed of our full humanity. I don't think that it's an accident that we talk about people 'finding their voice' in that metaphoric and political sense...I think it's important, politically, that each and every one of us say we have the right to our own voice, we have the right to our own musicality, we have the right to express ourselves."

Mary Condren's work is in the forefront of feminist theory. She explores Celtic mythology and finds new and empowering metaphors for women to live by. "Mary Condren's brilliantly researched account of the decline of female power in Western civilisation ("The Serpent and the Goddess") provoked considerable controversy and debate. Exploring uncharted territory, it precipitated an unprecedented amount of research and publication on Celtic religious origins and societal structures. Over a decade later, the book is widely regarded as the pre-eminent book in its field, a classic study of gender, power, and spirituality. "

Margaret Bennett grew up in Skye and Lewis and she was just leaving her teens when she emigrated to Newfoundland, which she describes as paradise to a folk musician. "She is a folksinger of great sensitivity and versatility, and is undoubtedly one of the major figures of the modern Scottish Revival. There can be few scholars on either side of the Atlantic who succeed in combining such a wide range of skills as Margaret Bennett. Margaret embodies all that is best of the spirit of Scotland." Hamish Henderson

While Lydia now lives in Montreal, she is originally from Bulgaria where she did her Fine Arts Degree at Sofia University. This area of Europe is one where Celtic and Thracian tribes came in contact during the Iron Age. Lydia's award winning contemporary art is most recently focused on projects that require extensive research into history and symbols. She is interested in the historical function of art as well as its form.

Blacksmith Ann Catrin, originally from Bangor in North Wales, works in forged metal to produce highly finished, often sculptural and decorative objects at her workshop in Caernarfon. One of her most well known pieces is ‘Love Tokens’, a series of exquisite objects reminiscent of the traditional Love Spoons in which she re-interprets the theme in a contemporary manner through the use of a different material. "The scale of each project or commission varies greatly, however balance, proportion and simplicity are the key features in my work. With a boldness in design, the work is either hot forged, fabricated or a combination of the two. My work has a powerful simplicity, showing strength in visual impact, with a purposeful restraint in blacksmithing technique. I am a firm believer of the notion of ‘form follows function’."

Poet Mary O'Malley was born in Galway in 1954 and has travelled widely, but returned to Ireland to become organiser for the Cuirt Festival. She is also a member of the Poetry Council for Ireland. "...she won’t be pigeon holed as some kind of predictable earthy feminist. She is acutely aware of the risks of romanticising the bonds between women, writes deftly about their cruelties, and wittily about the easy clichés of “the earth girls” who like to see womb shapes anywhere. O’Malley wields her pen like a knife to cut the subject into its exact size and proportions, a pitiless yet compassionate artistry that sparkles with memorable imagery and the clarity of emotional honesty; the existence of hope beyond illusion, the flower in the spring that buds out of the dark earth."
Katie Donovan, 2002


Anthropologist Amy Hale takes a multidisciplinary approach to Celtic Studies and will focus on Cornwall. She has edited an important anthology of essays concerning Celtic culture: "The primary aim of "New Directions in Celtic Studies" (ed. Amy Hale and Philip Payton) is to focus on contemporary issues and to promote interdisciplinary approaches within the subject. Written by international scholars and practitioners in fields such as folklore, ethnomusicology, art history, religious studies, tourism and education, the book brings together in one volume a wide range of perspectives. It responds to the recent questioning of the viability of the notion of 'Celticity' and the idea of Celtic Studies as a discipline and points to a renewed vitality in the subject. New Directions in Celtic Studies is divided into four sections: popular culture and representation; commodities and Celtic lifestyles; contemporary Celtic identity and the Celtic Diaspora; Celtic praxis."

Eileen is returning for her third Celtic Women International Conference. In demand because of the versatility of her playing (she will be accompanying some of the other presenters) Eileen is also a welcome returnee for her wonderful sense of humour

Attendees of last year's conference will be happy to hear that Nolwen Monjaret will be re-joining us. Her delightful style, her songs and stories and her love and knowledge of her Breton heritage won all of our hearts and we are pleased to be able to feature her again.


"Celtic Routes" the 6th Annual Celtic Women International conference (and the first to be held in Canada) is based around the notion of journeys, particularly the journey that the Celts made when they crossed the ocean to Canada. What kinds of contributions have they made to Celtic culture? How has the Canadian experience influenced the Celts? What has happened to traditional singing and storytelling on its way from the kitchen to the world stage? Since the Celts emerged in the Danube River Valley around 800BC they have been journeying: crossing paths with other cultures, learning, growing and developing into the vibrant multifaceted culture that we know today. Archaeology, anthropology, history, language, storytelling art and music are all part of the growth - both here in Canada and abroad.

We will offer a mix of Canadian Celtic and International women who will bring you their expertise on these and other topics. We invite you to come and begin a journey with us into the Celtic past present and future - we hope it will last long after the conference is over.

For details click here

Bulletin editor: Catherine Crowe crowe@quicklinks.ca

Send mail to editor@celticwomen.org with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2003 Celtic Women International
Last modified: August 03, 2004