The communities of Stornoway and the islands of Lewis and Harris, Forres Area and Moniaive/Glencairn Parish, have each won a Creative Place Award.
The Awards were announced to a packed audience at an evening awards ceremony, which took place at Falkirk Town Hall, Falkirk (Wednesday 10 June, 2015), in the presence of the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop. The event was arranged by Creative Scotland in partnership with EventScotland and Falkirk Community Trust.
Since their launch in 2012, the Creative Place Awards demonstrate an ongoing commitment to ensuring that communities across Scotland are supported to create and participate, so that all the hard work andimagination that contribute to the cultural life of Scotland’s communities is recognised and rewarded.
It is the aim of the Creative Place Awards to provide inspiration for people and visitors by encouraging and celebrating the exceptional creative programmes that are taking place in towns, villages and communities across the country and supporting the development of projects that might not otherwise get recognition.
As well as attracting tourists and inward investment, creative and cultural activity helps to support and shape our communities and places – fostering and reinforcing people’s sense of identity and community cohesion.
Creative and cultural projects can deliver real benefits to communities across Scotland. These rewards can be maximised through partnership working, particularly across sectors such as business, planning and culture.
WINNERS:STORNOWAY AND THE ISLANDS OF LEWIS AND HARRIS awarded £125,000 Stornoway and the surrounding villages will use the award for a programme to present and profile a route of artistic and cultural experiences into, throughout and beyond the town, so that Stornoway becomes a recognised gateway to the creative community of the Outer Hebrides.
Key activities include innovative and creative residencies in Stornoway Port Authority, the new Lews Castle Museum and Archive and other key local businesses and venues; traditional and contemporary Gaelic music and performing arts events in intriguing and unusual places; commissioning works to create an arts trail and route through the town; curated exhibitions in pop up venues; walking and Segway tours incorporating digital storytelling; specialist creative business support and a programme of staff development for all partners to raise the quality of the visitor experience.
Elly Fletcher, Chief Executive of an Lantair, said: “We are overjoyed with this result. What a wonderful opportunity this is to celebrate the incredible, creative Gaelic community of Stornoway and the outlying islands of Lewis and Harris. We are delighted and cannot wait to get ourproject - ‘Bealach’ - off the ground, which will see a dynamic partnership from across our community come together to create a route and gateway to Gaelic arts experiences into, throughout and beyond the town of Stornoway. There will be innovative residencies, Gaelic music compositions, productions and performances, trails, exhibitions, tours, bilingual digital storytelling, mentoring for emerging artists, and much more. We would like to thank Creative Scotland and the judges for this fantastic opportunity, which will bring wide reaching recognition to the distinctive, world class Gaelic culture and heritage of our creative island community."
FORRES AREA awarded £100,000 The Forres area community will use the award to support and promote local arts participation in Culture Day 2015; Findhorn Bay Arts Festival 2016; Project ARTS; and Culture Café events. Culture Day is an open doors carnivalesque cultural extravaganza that has previously showcased over 100 arts and cultural organisations in Moray. Findhorn Bay Arts Festival is a spectacular celebration of arts and culture, showcasing artists of national and international renown. This project would build on previous work, offering an enhanced programme and providing a funding pot to assist local artists to develop work and take part. Project ARTS aims to support the creation of a wide range of public art and creative work, which connects with local businesses and community in Forres area. Culture Café would be a regular event held at different locations, focusing on network and development functions in Forres area.
Kresanna Aigner, Director at Findhorn Bay Arts, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Forres Area has won a 2015 Creative Place Award! This award celebrates and acknowledges the creative energy and assets of the Forres area and sets us at the top of our game on a National level.
“The Forres Area Creative Places programme builds on the capacity of the area’s vibrant creative sector by seizing the momentum and energy generated by recent projects and events – now is the time and Forres Area is the place!
“Our Creative Place programme will showcase high quality, professional visual and performing arts, from small to large scale, and will widen and strengthen partnerships across communities and business. The resulting projects will delight, enthuse and engage a wide range of new andexisting audiences, whilst raising awareness of the cultural, social and economic benefits to the area.”
MONIAIVE/GLENCAIRN PARISH awarded £50,000 The award will be used to connect existing cultural activities under three programme strands: visual arts, music and literature. This would support the work of creative professionals based in Moniaive; expand opportunities for people living in Moniaive to be involved in creative activities and promote creative work to attract visitors and support local businesses.
Peter Roberts, said: "The organisers of Moniaive Festival Village are elated to win this award. Arts and culture are really important in supporting the social and economic wellbeing of Moniaive, and this award will enable us to do even more to build a sustainable future for this buzzing little community. We will use it to connect creative professionals with the wider community in a programme combining artist-led community-based arts activities with new works by practising artists. This work will focus on three 'big ideas' in visual arts, literature and music. It will also provide a platform for longer term regeneration projects.
Mike Cantlay OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “The Creative Place Awards are a fantastic way of promoting and celebrating Scotland’s wealth of creative talent. I would like to congratulate Moniaive, Forres and Stornoway on their outstanding achievements, and hope it leads to more visitors coming to see what these ‘Creative Places’ have to offer. Creative industries are a core part of Scotland’s tourism offering, and each of the shortlisted places can be proud of their contribution to our global reputation.”
Rhona Corscadden, Senior Events Manager at EventScotland, said: “Applications for the awards this year were particularly strong, with the final shortlist representing the breadth and depth of creative talent Scotland is home to. These awards recognise the role our communities play in our cultural sector, and the associated grants will allow them to continue to develop and realise their ambitions in the arts.”