WINNER - Arts & Culture – Alex MacDonald with Cathy Macdonald and Claire Byers (2nd right) and Laura Cameron-Lewis (far right from Creative Scotland)

The 5th Scottish Gaelic Awards were held at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow on Wednesday 15 November with more than 200 guests in attendance.

The main award of Lifetime Achievement was bestowed on Dr Finlay MacLeod from Shawbost and Adabrock – the widely-respected author, broadcaster, teacher and historian.

Also winning an award was Alex Macdonald, Head of Performing Arts & Cinema at An Lanntair arts centre in Stornoway and one of the stalwarts of the centre as it has developed over the years. Alex took home the Arts & Culture Award (Sponsored by Creative Scotland) for the most outstanding contribution to Gaelic Culture in 2016/2017.

Another Lewis- based winner was Comunn Eachdraidh Nis which won the Events Award for the event which best promotes and supports the Gaelic language. This related to their trip last year to the battlefields of France and Belgium.

The award was presented to Dr MacLeod on behalf of Bòrd na Gàidhlig by Donald MacLeod, Board member of Bòrd na Gàidhlig who said: “Dr Finlay has been involved from early on in key developments in Gaelic education, broadcasting, the arts, writing, publishing and much more.

Urram nan Gàidheal/Lifetime Achievement – Dr Finlay with Cathy and Donald Macleod

“Dr Finlay has spent a lifetime studying many of the aspects of life in the Western Isles and he has worked tirelessly on a range of initiatives that have contributed to life in Lewis and further afield.

“He is an expert on a wide range of topics including chapels, healing wells, place-names, the Lewis Chessmen, island photography, archaeology, the land struggles and the place of religion and education in communities.

“Over the years Dr Finlay has provided many people with detailed information, advice and, most importantly, encouragement to pursue different projects.

“Dr Finlay and his wife Norma have welcomed many students, journalists and writers to their home where they provide support, guidance and friendship.

“Many individuals and groups have recognised the immense contribution Dr Finlay has made to Gaelic.

“Tonight we recognise the contribution he has made and we are delighted to present him with this Lifetime Achievement Award.

Among the other award-winners were Arthur Cormack who was awarded the Best Contribution award which recognises his efforts in standing up to ill-informed and often incorrect media criticism of Gaelic while Pàdruig Morrison from Grimsay North Uist and who is a student in Edinburgh won the Young Gaelic Ambassador award.

The Scottish Gaelic Awards were first staged in 2013 by the Daily Record newspaper with support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig and support also comes from HIE, Creative Scotland, MG ALBA and the private sector company Thorntons Investments..

  • Learner Award: Organising Committee - Buidheann Disathairne
  • Arts & Culture Award (Sponsored by Creative Scotland): Alex MacDonald
  • Event Award: Comunn Eachdraidh Nis
  • Community, Heritage & Tourism Award (Sponsored by Highlands and Islands Enterprise): Fife Gaelic Development Group
  • Best Contribution Award (Sponsored by Bòrd na Gàidhlig) Arthur Cormack
  • International Award (Sponsored by MG ALBA)  Robert Currie
  • Innovation in Education Award: Lasadh
  • Young Gaelic Ambassador of the Year Award: Pàdruig Morrison
  • Gaelic as an Economic Asset Award (Sponsored by Thorntons Investments): Fèisean nan Gàidheal
  • Lifetime Achievement Award : Dr Finlay MacLeod