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Irish, Culture

The Irish have played a significant role in the development of Canada. Sir Guy Carleton (later Lord Dorchester), the first Governor-in-Chief of British North America, was an Irishman. Other distinguished Irish Canadians include Thomas D'Arcy McGee, Arthur Meighen and Lester Pearson.

The Irish contribution to Canadian culture includes Irish music, which is enjoyed from coast to coast. Dancing is also very popular and dancing schools exist in Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray and Hinton. Many of the members of the various Irish dancing clubs that exist throughout Alberta go to Ireland each year at Easter to compete in the world championships.

Irish cultural organizations and sports clubs can be found at Fort McMurray, Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. These organizations offer membership to people of all ethnic origins and are comprised mainly of native-born Canadians. Soccer, or football, as Irish-Canadians call it, is an integral part of their culture. The Calgary Chieftans Gaelic Football Club is a mainly Irish organization as is the Irish Sport and Social Society in Edmonton. Both organizations sponsor local events to promote and sustain the Irish culture in Alberta. To locate publications concerning the Irish Canadian community in Alberta, one might contact the Irish Sports and Social Society for their newsletter, the Edmonton Blarney, or the Irish Cultural Society, located in Edmonton, which also publishes a newsletter.

The Irish in Alberta are most visible on Saint Patrick's Day, which is celebrated by both Irish and non-Irish Canadians alike. The Edmonton Irish community sponsors an annual parade and on that day Albertans are reminded of the Irish presence in the province that has added immeasurably to our rich cultural heritage.

Irish Jig

Irish Jig