People across Scotland are set to experience the country’s biggest ever Winter Festival celebrations this year.
A record £390, 000 will support 22 key cultural events which will form parts of Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2015/16 programme.
An additional £75, 000 has been approved this year to expand the line-up to more areas.Events will take place in 14 local authorities, with new programme activity in four regions not previously involved - Aberdeen, Dundee, East Ayrshire and Falkirk.
Events will run across Scotland from St Andrew’s Day, through Christmas and Hogmanay, to Burns Night to promote and showcase Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage.
The programme will provide an opportunity to celebrate the best in Scottish music, arts, food and drink.
Announcing the funding, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “This year’s programme sends a clear message that Scotland is open for business during the winter period.
“We want to build on Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme year on year. By increasing the funding package available, I hope these dynamic events will engage, inspire and mobilise communities across Scotland, the UK and internationally.
“The programme offers Scotland a chance to promote and showcase itself as a modern and creative nation, while highlighting our contribution to the world. The number of tourists visiting Scotland rose by 5% during 2014 to more than 15 million.”
In addition, the Scottish Government has provided BEMIS with a funding contribution of £46, 050 to support the multi-cultural celebration of the 2015 Year of Food and Drink and Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2015/16. A key element of the wider programme will support specific activity designed by Scotland’s minority ethnic communities in support of the Winter Festivals.
The celebrations begin in the lead up to St Andrew’s Day on 30th November with major events in Aberdeen, Argyll and Bute, Dundee, East Lothian, Fife, Glasgow, Dundee and Perth and Kinross. The Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh will also host a St Andrew’s Day Celebration event. The money also supports the Virgin Money Street of Light which begins on St Andrew’s Day as part of Edinburgh’s Christmas.
Five Hogmanay celebrations will be supported through the fund, with events in The Western Isles, East Lothian, Edinburgh, Falkirk and Stirling.
A range of events will also take place across Scotland to celebrate Burns Night, including Burns Unplugged at the National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh. The Scottish Storytelling Centre will host Burnsfest 2016, while the Big Burns Supper Festival will be held in Dumfries and Galloway. A Big Burns Stramash in the Highlands and Alloway 1759 will take place in South Ayrshire, while Burns Birthday in Mauchline will be held in East Ayrshire.
Further information on all the individual events can be found on www.scotland.org/winter
The events are:
Oban Winter Festival - Argyll and Bute
Cambeltown's Spotlight on St Andrew's Day - Argyll and Bute
Virgin Money Street of Light and Edinburgh's St Andrew's Day Celebration - Edinburgh
Scottish Storytelling Centre's St Andrew's Day Celebrations and Burnsfest - Edinburgh
The Saltire Festival - East Lothian
St Andrew's Day Fusion Festival - Dundee
St Andrew's Day Celebrations in St Andrews - Fife
Glasgow Loves St Andrew's Day - Glasgow
Night at the Museum (St Andrew's Day and Burns Night events) - Glasgow
The City of Perth St Andrew's Day Festival - Perth and Kinross
Aberdeen St Andrew's Day Celebrations - Aberdeen
An Lanntair - Bliandhna Mhath Ur! - Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Family Hogmanay in the Honest Toun - East Lothian
Edinburgh's Hogmanay - Edinburgh
Stirling's Hogmanay - Stirling
Fire and Light at Helix Park - Falkirk
Burns Unplugged - Edinburgh
Scottish Big Burns Supper Festival - Dumfries and Galloway
Burns' Birthday in Mauchline - East Ayrshire
Big Burns Stramash - Highland
Alloway 1759 - South Ayrshire