By Mary MacLellan
First published on 2017, December 7, Latest Issue

On Sunday, December 17 at 3:00pm the historic Parish of Arisaig will host a very unique and entertaining concert in the church which served many generations of Roman Catholic worshippers for the past 139 years.

The Parish of Arisaig dates back to 1792 and is the oldest Parish of Catholic Highland settlers in Nova Scotia.

In 1792 the first small primitive church was raised  on a site near the present Arisaig Wharf. The church was dedicated to St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland. The first pastor was  Fr. James Mac Donald from Morar, Scotland. A large rock cairn now stands on this  site,  erected  to  recognize the  Centennial Celebration of the church which was  held on July 16’1978 . This is an official  Province of Nova Scotia Historic Site.

In 1808 the second church, which stood on the site of the present church, was built. The building was 40ft. by 20 ft. originally and was subsequently enlarged to serve the ever increasing congregation.

Construction of the present church began in 1874. The chairman of the construction committee was Dougald Grant of Malignant Cove and the tender appeared in the Casket on Feb. 5’1874. Construction was under the direction of Sylvester Donahue who also built St. Ninian’s  Cathedral. The church was  constructed “with Gothic design and was ornamented with magnificent classic architecture.”

The high open ceiling contributes to exceptional acoustics, which will ensure  enjoyment of the concert on Sunday, Dec. 17.

The doors open at 2:30pm. Beverages and Christmas sweets will be served from 2:30 -3:00pm. The Concert will begin at 3:00pm.

Everyone is invited to come and enjoy the performances by a wide variety of talented musicians including: Carillon Singers , New Glasgow,  Troy and Sabra  Mac Gillivray, Tom Mac Donald, Celtic Tenor, St. James Brass Quintet, and Emery Van de Wiel, fluist..and more…

Admission is $15.00 with all proceeds in aid of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish, Arisaig. Tickets can be purchased in Antigonish at Antigonish 5 to $1.00 store, Hawthorne Convenience. In Pictou County at  LBR Convenience, Lower Barney’s River and Chediac Furniture, New Glasgow or by calling chair of the organizing committee, Mary Smith at 902 863 1836.

Washrooms are available just across the road at the Arisaig Parish Community Center  with shuttle service provided to the hall throughout  the Concert.

The church will be decorated for Christmas. Members of the organizing committee, Neil Mac Dougall, Maria Mac Donald, Bob Funke, Mary Mac Innis, Claire Smith, Peter Mac Eachern, Theresa Thompson, Paula Mac Quarrie and Mary Smith, have been working to make this first concert a success. Every effort has been made to make you welcome and to provide a very exciting, entertaining afternoon.


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