Meetings and Events

Festival of Saint Patrick Dinner 2020 – 234th annual

The Charitable Irish Society of Halifax is pleased to announce that Lewis MacKinnon, Gaelic Cultural Affairs Advisor for Nova Scotia, will be guest speaker at this year’s Saint Patrick’s Day Dinner! The evening’s entertainment will be provided by Evans & Doherty, plus Brian Cable at the piano during the pre-dinner reception.

The Dinner is scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 at 6:30 pm, taking place this year at the Brightwood Golf and Country Club in Dartmouth. For tickets, please contact Séan B at 902-497-5030. Best not delay, as we’re expecting a sold-out event! Tickets are available to members and the general public. We look forward to seeing you!

2020 St. Patrick's Day Dinner

Festival of Saint Patrick Dinner 2019 – Celebrating the Irish Connection 

Come celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day on Saturday, March 16 at the Marriott Harbourfront Hotel! This year’s theme, Celebrating the Irish Connection, honours the bond that exists between Ireland and the Irish of Halifax and of Boston. Distance and time may separate us however, the support, respect and camaraderie we have for one another is not forgotten. History has documented the Irish Connection in the face of disaster and it continues, to this day, through the work of first responders, friendships, music and song.

Dating back to 1754, large numbers of fire fighters, members of the Charitable Irish Society of Halifax, played a significant role in the development of the City and of our organization. In keeping with the Irish Fire Fighter legacy, we are privileged to welcome Edward A. Kelly, General Secretary-Treasurer of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) as this year’s keynote speaker.

A Bostonian from an extended firefighting family, he was assigned to the Technical Rescue team that assisted Worcester Local 1009 at the Cold Storage fire in 1999. Kelly was among the hundreds of fire fighters at Ground Zero after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and responded to the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.

A graduate of Harvard, Kelly rapidly climbed the ranks of organized labour and is known and respected for his dedication to the fire service and labour movements.

We are equally pleased to announce Blair Beed as the 2019 Service Award Recipient. A member of the Charitable Irish Society, historian, author and curator, Blair has been active in heritage preservation, serving as consultant on various community projects. Through his weekly guest spot on radio, he continues to keep our history alive. He was a member of the 75th Anniversary Explosion Commemorative Committee and is the author of several books including 1917 Halifax Explosion and American Response. He also curated the exhibit, People in the Face of Disaster: Remembering the Halifax Explosion, in honour of the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion.

Time: 6 p.m. Reception (Enjoy the piano stylings of Brian Cable with a glass of complimentary wine.) 

7:30 p.m. Dinner (Irish cuisine showcased by Executive Chef Trevor Simms)

10 p.m. Ceilidh* (After dinner music and craic with guest performers Wendy McIsaac, Kevin Dugas, Kolton MacDonnell, Cailean MacLean)

*Be sure to bring your dancing shoes as those staying for the Ceilidh will be entered to win two tickets to next year’s dinner!

Location:Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, 1919 Upper Water Street, Halifax
Dress:Black Tie/Dark Business Suit
Deadline for ticket purchase:Tuesday, March 12

Members, friends and family are all welcome to attend. Tickets are $70 each. Tables of 10 available at $700. Call Sean at 902-497-5030 or click here to purchase your ticket securely online via PayPal. Tickets will be available for pick up only at the door.

Special overnight rates are available at the Marriott Harbourfront for guests attending the dinner.

Dietary restrictions should be made known at time of ticket purchase.

We look forward to seeing you on March 16th!


Thanks to the generous support of WestJet, attendees of this year’s dinner will be entered into a draw for two free airfare tickets direct Halifax to Dublin!

CIS Annual General Meeting 2018

View photos from our Annual General Meeting 2018.

Read our 2017-2018 Annual Report. 

Read reflections from Northern Ireland students who participated in Saint Mary’s University’s Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Program.

Join us for our upcoming Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, May 30 at 7 p.m. at the Waegwoltic Club, 6549 Coburg Road, in the Bloomingdale Annex. Free parking available.

Light fare and musical entertainment will delight guests and promote socializing. Also, members will hear a presentation on Saint Mary’s University’s Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Program, 2004-2018.

The presentation will summarize the experiences of Saint Mary’s students, faculty and staff who have collectively demonstrated excellence in the promotion and facilitation of Peace Education initiatives in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Belfast, Northern Ireland. For the thirteenth consecutive year, Saint Mary’s students have proudly represented their respective provinces and countries of origin as active and engaged participants in the “Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Program”.

These students most certainly deserve our deepest admiration for all they have done locally and internationally in the name of teaching conflict resolution skills to younger generations. One can easily postulate that every form of human advancement and progress is in some way contingent upon people learning to live and work together in a relatively peaceful manner. Given the fragility of world peace, and especially the fragility of maintaining peace in Northern Ireland, there can be no better time for our students to engage in this important work. The long-term success of this unique project would not have been possible without the consistent goodwill and generous support of the Charitable Irish Society of Halifax. 

Festival of Saint Patrick Dinner 2018


Join us as we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with an elegant and spirited evening on Saturday, March 17 at the Marriott Harbourfront Hotel. You won’t want to miss this year’s signature event as we have a very special guest speaker! 

We are honoured and very excited to be hosting Mary McAleese, Former President of Ireland (1997-2011), as this year’s keynote speaker and Service Award recipient. Dr. McAleese served as the President of Ireland, and was re-elected, unopposed, for her second term in office. The theme of her presidency, ‘Building Bridges,’ focused on reconciliation, justice and social inclusion. Dr. McAleese is a formidable and accomplished woman and politician, and we are privileged to have her as our guest speaker this year.

Additionally, this year’s dinner is noteworthy as we have a second Service Award recipient, Father Albert Cosgrove. Father Cosgrove is celebrating his 50th year of priesthood and while he would be too modest to say, one could certainly ascribe a theme to his 50 years in the priesthood as ‘kindness and respect’ – values he holds dear and which have served as the foundation in his service to the community. It should also be noted that this is first time the Society will be awarding Service Awards at one time to two members of the same family!

Attendees will enjoy a tempting three-course menu and be treated to a host of top-class Celtic performances by some of the region’s most talented artists.  

Time: Reception 6:30 p.m.
             Dinner 7:30 p.m.

Location: Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, 1919 Upper Water Street, Halifax

Dress: Black Tie/Dark Business Suit

Deadline for ticket purchase: Tuesday, March 13

All are welcome to attend. Tickets are $80 each. Tables of eight are $640. Click here to purchase your ticket to this hallmark event securely online via PayPal.

Special hotel rates are available for guests at the Marriott Harbourfront coming to the dinner. The cut-off date for booking is February 23.

Dietary restrictions should be made known at time of ticket purchase.

The Annual General Meeting of the Society is held each year in May.

Executive meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month.

Quarterly meetings are held each year in late January or early February; September with family picnic; November with holiday get-together.

March 17 is a most important day in the lives of the Irish no matter where they live.

Past event: Easter Uprising 100 year Commemorative Plaque

Plaque-UnveilingOn April 28, 2016, at the site of The Celtic Cross, members of the Charitable Irish Society of Halifax, along with Mayor Mike Savage and Dr. Ray Bassett, Irish Ambassador to Canada, unveiled The Centenary Mosaic recognizing the 100th Anniversary 

Pat O'Neil and Jim Stokes The piping in March 17, 2016of the Easter Uprising. Joining them are Cornelius McGuinness, the artist who created the mosaic and Sean Brownlow, the Society’s President.

The mosaic is an Easter Lily, the Irish symbol of Insurrection and Remembrance. The colours of the Lily are those of the tricolour, surrounded in gold. The dates are depicted in red to portray A Terrible Beauty and longevity since. Lastly, the Celtic knots in the four corners symbolize the Four Green Fields of Ireland.

The Society holds regular quarterly meetings and celebrates the Festival of Saint Patrick each March 17th.

In the past, this celebration has been a Saint Patrick’s Day Dinner;  in earlier days, a parade and church service.

The method of annual celebration is entrusted each year to the Executive of the Society.