Culture & Heritage

Victoria County is indeed bless with an amazing culture & heritage from Iona to Bay St. Lawrence. Community & Provincial Museums & Insititutions, municipal heritage & archives , community organizations and volunteers help preserve and celebrate our culture & heritage.

Gaelic College, St. Ann’s  – The Gaelic College was founded in 1938 by Rev. A.W.R. MacKenzie as a school devoted to the study and preservation of the Gaelic language and Celtic arts and culture. Situated in the heart of one of the earliest Scottish settlements in Cape Breton, the College began as a school of Gaelic language in a small log cabin overlooking St. Ann’s Bay.From its humble beginnings, this unique institution has expanded and gained an international reputation for its contribution to the maintenance and preservation of the language and culture. The only institution of its kind in North America, students of all ages and ability travel here from around the world to study. Our top calibre instructors offer programs in Scottish traditional disciplines including Gaelic language and song, music, dance and crafts.

Nova Scotia Highland Village Museum, Iona –  The Highland Village Museum is an outdoor living history museum that tells the story of Gaelic settlement in Nova Scotia. We are located on a stunning 43-acre property overlooking the majestic Bras d’Or Lakes in Iona, Nova Scotia, the heart of central Cape Breton. Our 11 historic buildings are staffed by costumed animators who are passionate  about sharing the Gaelic culture of our ancestors. We also host special events and programs throughout the year.

Giant MacAskill Museum –  Dedicated to promoting and preserving the life history of Angus MacAskill and the local Scottish heritage. The museum houses personal artifacts belonging to the giant including his clothes, chair, bed, walking sticks and grist mill. Also on display are other articles of human interest dating as far back as the early 1800s. Included within the museum is a small genealogy centre containing a family tree of the MacAskill family, with limited information on other residents in the area.

North Highlands Museum & Cultural Centre, Cape North – Celebrating the History & Culture of Northern Cape Breton Island. Museum and Historical Exhibits, Culture Centre, Active Blacksmith Forge, Gift Shop, Genealogy Software, Settler’s Garden,  CAP Site & WIFI.  Presentations, Music, Quilt Show at Culture Centre July – August.

St. Paul’s Island Lighthouse & Museum, Dingwall  – Canada’s ocean shoreline, at 243,000 kilometers, is the longest in the world. Just minutes off the world famous Cabot Trail, you will find Canada’s first and only federally designated “heritage” lighthouse on any of Canada’s three oceans. Built in 1915 and relocated to Dingwall in 2010, the St. Paul South West Lighthouse is also the first cast iron lighthouse constructed in Canada.

Victoria County Heritage & Archives – In 2001, Victoria County celebrated its one hundredth and fiftieth anniversary.  Prior to 1851, the area which is now defined as Victoria County was part of Cape Breton County. The county was officially proclaimed in April of 1851, and as Queen Victoria was ruling Britain, it was deemed appropriate to name the newly formed county in her honour.  It was also in 2001, that the Municipal Council made the decision that an archives should be established in order to preserve all the surviving municipal records along with other related materials and that these records be housed in a suitable environment within the Court House in Baddeck.