The rich tapestry of Aberdeen’s past will come to light as Aberdeen City Council joins together with local and national partners to bring culture to the fore and cement Aberdeen’s place as a tourist destination through collaborative projects.
SPECTRA, the four-day festival of light, marks the first in a series of collaborative cultural events for the Council when it opens on Thursday (9 February). It supports the Aberdeen 365 event strategy as a core project of the City Centre Masterplan.
Through working with partner organisations such as Curated Place, VisitScotland, EventScotland and Aberdeen Festivals, the Council is aiming to strengthen Aberdeen’s reputation as a tourism destination and support the city’s economic strategy.
Aberdeen City Council Deputy Leader Marie Boulton said: “The commissioned pieces for SPECTRA will be a stunning addition to the celebration of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology but also the longer term aspirations of the City Centre Masterplan. Events have an important role to play in creating a vibrant environment.
“As Scotland and Aberdeen’s reputation as a tourist destination continues to develop, attractions such as SPECTRA will play a pivotal role in the cultural offering that attracts visitors.
“Collaborative projects such as SPECTRA, demonstrate the commitment that our local and national partners have to the development and sustainability of culture in the north-east. The programme provides an opportunity to promote and enhance the long-term economic prosperity of Aberdeen and the wider region by attracting visitors to the city.”
SPECTRA will showcase the richness of Scotland's intriguing history, impressive cultural heritage and fascinating archaeology through a series of specially commissioned installations in city centre locations. Doric Smoorach (Doric Kiss), which is being supported by EventScotland as part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, is just one of those pieces.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland's Director of Events, said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting SPECTRA as part of Scotland’s 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology celebrations.
“2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity and I’m certain the packed programme for SPECTRA will bring our past to life in the context of a modern, innovative and vibrant Scotland.”
SPECTRA 2017 also marks the beginning of the highly successful Aberdeen Festivals season. Made up of some of the biggest and best festivals Scotland has to offer, the programme showcases a diverse range of the talent from arts and science to music and dance.
Aberdeen Festivals Director Angela Michael said: “Working together as Aberdeen Festivals has proven to be a huge success for the festivals as well as the city and wider region.
“SPECTRA is our first festival of a year-long calendar of events and is a spectacular way to kick start 2017 and the national Year of History, Heritage and Archeology.
“Through collaboration, creativity and hard work all the partners involved in the city’s revitalised cultural scene including VisitAberdeenshire, Aberdeen City Council and the festivals in the group are delivering a wonderful programme that repositions the region as a vibrant and exciting place to live, study, invest or visit”.
Details of installations commissions for The Year of History, Heritage and Archeology:
Doric Smoorach (Doric Kiss), supported by EventScotland as part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology will enable both visitors and locals to see their own faces projected on to giant interactive talking heads that will speak and sing tales in Doric verse.
‘Obar Dheathain’ (the Gaelic pronunciation of Aberdeen) sees Double Take Projections return to SPECTRA to explore further chapters in the story of the Granite City. Mitchell Hall in Marischal College Quad will be brought to life in a show of stunning visuals and music, inspired by the Scottish Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology.
Secret Cities. Exploring the hidden and forgotten spaces of Aberdeen through photography and poetry, the Secret Cities project focuses on engaging local groups through tours, and workshops culminating in an exhibition at creative hub, Seventeen. Supported by ‘Stories Stones and Bones’ Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland, artists, Andrew Brooks & Adelle Stripe have created a series that is a celebration of Aberdeen that aims to unearth the history and personality of the city.