St. Brigid’s Festival Vancouver is a week-long online celebration of healing, light, and creativity with workshops and discussions for Irish women across the world.

St. Brigid’s Festival Vancouver is a week-long online free festival featuring academic, cultural, and wellness sessions dedicated to celebrating women through the medium of Ireland’s mythical matriarchal figure, Brigid.

Despite Brigid’s origins in mythology and religion, St. Brigid’s Festival Vancouver is non-religious. All are welcome -- both men and women -- from across North America and beyond.

Festival Director Maura De Freitas said, “St. Brigid’s Festival Vancouver is an opportunity to celebrate and cherish the legacy of women everywhere, to learn from each other and share ideas.”

Ailbhe Smyth

The expansive program of events will include leading women’s rights activist Ailbhe Smyth, once listed in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People who will also host a presentation on the impact COVID-19 has on women.

Emma Donoghue

Award-winning Irish-Canadian novelist, playwright, and screenwriter Emma Donoghue, well known for her novel “Room,” shortlisted for the Man Booker prize and adopted into an Academy Award-winning film will present the photographs that inspired her latest bestselling novel “The Pull of the Stars” set during the 1918 flu pandemic.

Monica Williams

Proudly supported by the Consulate General of Ireland in Vancouver, academic, peace activist, and former Northern Ireland politician Monica Williams will speak about her documentary “Wave Goodbye to Dinosaurs.” 

Wave Goodbye to Dinosaurs is the extraordinary story of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition, a cross-community party formed in 1996 by local working- and middle-class women. Frustrated with the stalemate of local politics, the women ran a door-to-door campaign to win two seats at the historic peace talks, which culminated in the Good Friday Agreement. Wave Goodbye to Dinosaurs is a compelling example of how grassroots activism can bring about real change.

“Legends & Mythology of Brigid” 

A storytelling session focused on the “Legends & Mythology of Brigid” will present Irish storytellers -- Philomena Jordan, Dolores Whelan of Brigid's Way Celtic Pilgrimage, and Anthony Murphy of Mythical Ireland.

Suicide prevention

With a strong emphasis on wellness and mental health, the St. Brigid’s Festival includes a panel discussion on suicide prevention and recovery during COVID-19, hosted by Darkness into Light Vancouver.

“Women Leading Change”

Additionally, the Ireland Canada Chamber of Commerce will lead a panel discussion on the topic of “Women Leading Change” featuring three dynamic Irish women in business -- Rachel Mockler, Niamh Cunningham, and Joan Sheehan.

“Irish Feminism: A Love Story”

Dr. Emer O'Toole, Associate Professor of Irish Performance Studies at Concordia University, Montreal will present on the topic “Irish Feminism: A Love Story”.

“Letters from the Diaspora” 

Cultural workshops include a performance reading of “Letters from the Diaspora” under the direction of Dr. Dara Culhane, Professor of Anthropology at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver,

Coinciding with the traditional festival of St. Brigid’s Day, this comprehensive series of events will be presented online throughout the week of January 31 to February 7, 2021.

Admission to all sessions of the St. Brigid’s Festival Vancouver is FREE. All sessions are listed in three-time zones, PST / EST and GMT. Attendees can register at www.brigidfestivalvancouver.com. You can follow the St. Brigid’s Festival Vancouver on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

*Cover artwork produced by Irish artist Deirdre Keohane.

*This St. Brigid's Day purchase an Irish Heritage Tree for that special woman in your life.*

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