The New Brunswick Celtic Affairs Committee, Inc. (NBCAC) is a volunteer-run, non-profit heritage organization, incorporated in New Brunswick in 2017.
Originally formed in 2010 by representatives of three Celtic associations – the Irish Canadian Cultural Association of New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Scottish Cultural Association, and the Central New Brunswick Welsh Society, to address common concerns, the Committee provides a central focus to explore options for safeguarding and enhancing the Celtic culture of a significant portion of our provincial population.
In November of 2012, as a result of several meetings and months of research into the handling of Celtic matters in other Atlantic provinces, initial discussion points were communicated to the Government of New Brunswick through a document entitled Report and Recommendations to the Government of New Brunswick - Subject: New Brunswick’s Celtic Identity.
This report spoke generally to concerns about the erosion of the Celtic culture in New Brunswick and more specifically to the lack of acknowledgement of the Celtic people as one of the province’s major founding ethnic groups. Also, of great concern was the level of ignorance of the Celtic culture that had led to the practice in New Brunswick cultural policies of lumping the Celtic people into the category of “the various components found in Anglophone culture” as defining in the 2007 New Brunswick Cultural Policy. It was felt that this designation completely disregarded the distinct histories and cultures of Celts who came to New Brunswick and was misleading due to the fact that Celtic New Brunswickers are found in both our Anglophone and Francophone population but are neither English or French. The first designation speaks to language, the second to culture and ethnicity, and the Celtic settlers were unique and separate from the French and English.
In addition to appealing to the provincial government to address the above concerns, it was suggested that, in so doing, and with a more coordinated focus, it would be possible to exploit the links Celts cultivate with the countries of their origins for the cultural and economic benefit of New Brunswick.
In response to continued lobbying by the Celtic Affairs Committee, the following important Government decisions were made: the new Cultural Policy for the Province, published in 2014, identified the Celtic peoples as a founding group in New Brunswick and, in 2016, the provincial government appointed a Minister Responsible for Celtic Affairs and has been working with the NB Celtic Affairs Committee since then.