Prestigious Mòd competition to commemorate Kennedy Gold Medallists

An Comunn Gàidhealach are pleased to announce the addition of a prestigious new competition at this year’s Royal National Mòd in the Western Isles. The competition is confined to both male and female former winners of An Comunn Gàidhealach’s Gold Medal. Entrants will be expected to perform one song of their own choice.

The competition winner will be awarded a new trophy being presented in memory of the late Calum Kennedy and his wife Anne Gillies, both of whom won the prestigious An Comunn Gold Medal in 1955 and 1952, respectively. The new trophy is being donated by the Kennedy family who will be represented at the Mòd to make the presentation.

A similar competition had existed for past winners of the Gold Medal and other solo competitions, but it was discontinued after the 1953 National Mòd in Oban. Interestingly, Calum was one of the competitors in that event, and went on to win the An Comunn Gold two years later in Aberdeen, which proved to be a springboard for him to world-wide success on the stage.

President of An Comunn Gàidhealach, John MacLeod today said: “An Comunn Gàidhealach are really delighted to present such a prestigious competition at this year’s Mod in the Western Isles which we hope will attract many of the great former Gold Medalists from different generations. It is also very fitting that the competition will be held at Mòd nan Eilean Siar in memory of the highly-respected Calum Kennedy and his wife Anne Gillies, who with their family were household names in Gaelic singing and musical entertainment. They were wonderful ambassadors for Gaelic, bringing our language and culture to a world-wide audience, and this will be a great opportunity to honour their memory.”

Fiona Kennedy, Calum and Anne’s eldest daughter said: “My sisters, Kirsteen, Morag, Morven, Deirdre and myself are very proud to give an award in our parents’ memory. In many ways they were a golden couple, blessed with hauntingly beautiful voices which delighted and moved audiences at home and abroad.  Winning the Gold Medal  at The Mod was where it all started for them and was definitely the catalyst for their careers and they never forgot that. They loved taking part, the preparation and build up every year, the friendships, the fun, the laughter and the ceilidhs!   We know they would be thrilled to have this new competition in their honour.”

Entries must be submitted by May 31st 2011 and can be submitted online at, or by post to: An Comunn Gàidhealach, 109 Church Street, Inverness, IV1 1EY. As with other Mod competitions, competitors must submit the words of their chosen song to An Comunn Gàidhealach by 30th June 30th.

For any further information on rules etc, please visit and