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  • 29 April 2016

    Festival of Architecture launches ScotStyle

     

    Voting is now open for ‘Scotstyle’ and it’s up to the public to vote for their favourite building of the past 100 years as a part of the Festival of Architecture 2016 and Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. The results will be announced at the Festival’s Finale event in November and voting will take place on the festival website www.foa2016.com/scotstyle or votes can be cast in person at the touring exhibition.
    The list includes two Glasgow banks, the Bon Accord Baths in Aberdeen and Tongland Power Station in Kirkcudbright.  Also on the list are a wee concrete bothy in Sutherland (known, ironically, as the Hermit's Castle) and a fashion designer's studio near Galashiels as well as buildings on Bute, Skye, Tiree and Orkney.  More prominent architectural gems include the arches at the City Chambers in Glasgow, the Scottish Parliament and Stirling University.
    Today (Wednesday 27 April) also sees the launch of the ‘Scotstyle: 100 years of Scottish Architecture’ book, which documents each of the 100 best buildings, ten from each decade, and gives some fascinating insights into architectural trends over the past 100 years alongside the story behind some of Scotland’s most beloved buildings.  The book also celebrates the centenary of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) who are curating and managing the Festival.  
    The nationwide touring exhibition will premiere at The Falkirk Wheel then tour across the length and breadth of Scotland at venues including; St. Conan’s Kirk on Loch Awe, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and New Lanark Heritage Centre and the Pier Arts Centre in Orkney, with a debate and book signing at the Scottish Parliament during the Festival of Politics in August. 
    The list was selected from more than 400 nominations put forward by members of the public, with a group of architects, critics and architectural historians whittling it down to 100 properties. 
    Neil Baxter CEO RIAS said:
    “Even before it starts its tour Scotstyle 2016 can boast of being the most popular ever exhibition of Scottish architecture. The demand from venues throughout the land has been huge- so much so that three versions (sponsored by Lockton, Clyde and Co and Forestry Commission Scotland respectively) will be touring for the rest of this year to over thirty venues.” 
    “The exhibition and the accompanying book were only possible through the generosity and the brilliant input of our ten expert authors. This is a unique and special celebration of 100 years of Scottish achievement.”
    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland's Director of Events said:
    “From textiles and technology to architecture and fashion, Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is shining a spotlight on some of Scotland’s greatest assets, as well as its unique hidden gems.”
    “Scotland is world renowned for its rich, built heritage – it has buildings that make people look up and streets steeped in history. ‘Scotstyle’ presents a wonderful opportunity for the public to visit the free exhibitions taking place across the length and breadth of Scotland, whilst also being able to cast their vote in honouring some of our most treasured, innovative and iconic buildings and residences.”
    Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Canals said: 
    “As a partner of the Festival of Architecture, we are delighted to host the launch of the Scotstyle exhibition and book at The Falkirk Wheel.  It’s fitting in the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design that the Scotstyle exhibition premieres on the site of one of Scotland’s most iconic and innovative structures.”
    To cast your vote, order a copy of the book and find out more about the exhibition tour, visit www.foa2016.com
    Scotstyle 100 years of Scottish Architecture 1916 – 2016 is available now from the RIAS Bookshop, Rutland Square Edinburgh and exhibition venues with a retail outlet.
    ISBN- 978-1-873190-71-5 | RRP £25 |210x210mm | softback | 240pp | full colour throughout

    Voting is now open for ‘Scotstyle’ and it’s up to the public to vote for their favourite building of the past 100 years as a part of the Festival of Architecture 2016 and Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    The results will be announced at the Festival’s Finale event in November and voting will take place on the festival website www.foa2016.com/scotstyle or votes can be cast in person at the touring exhibition.


    The list includes two Glasgow banks, the Bon Accord Baths in Aberdeen and Tongland Power Station in Kirkcudbright.  Also on the list are a wee concrete bothy in Sutherland (known, ironically, as the Hermit's Castle) and a fashion designer's studio near Galashiels as well as buildings on Bute, Skye, Tiree and Orkney. More prominent architectural gems include the arches at the City Chambers in Glasgow, the Scottish Parliament and Stirling University.


    Today (Wednesday 27 April) also sees the launch of the ‘Scotstyle: 100 years of Scottish Architecture’ book, which documents each of the 100 best buildings, ten from each decade, and gives some fascinating insights into architectural trends over the past 100 years alongside the story behind some of Scotland’s most beloved buildings. The book also celebrates the centenary of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) who are curating and managing the Festival.  


    The nationwide touring exhibition will premiere at The Falkirk Wheel then tour across the length and breadth of Scotland at venues including; St. Conan’s Kirk on Loch Awe, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and New Lanark Heritage Centre and the Pier Arts Centre in Orkney, with a debate and book signing at the Scottish Parliament during the Festival of Politics in August. 


    The list was selected from more than 400 nominations put forward by members of the public, with a group of architects, critics and architectural historians whittling it down to 100 properties. 


    Neil Baxter CEO RIAS said: Even before it starts its tour Scotstyle 2016 can boast of being the most popular ever exhibition of Scottish architecture. The demand from venues throughout the land has been huge - so much so that three versions (sponsored by Lockton, Clyde and Co and Forestry Commission Scotland respectively) will be touring for the rest of this year to over thirty venues.” 

    The exhibition and the accompanying book were only possible through the generosity and the brilliant input of our ten expert authors. This is a unique and special celebration of 100 years of Scottish achievement.


    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland's Director of Events said: From textiles and technology to architecture and fashion, Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is shining a spotlight on some of Scotland’s greatest assets, as well as its unique hidden gems.

    Scotland is world renowned for its rich, built heritage – it has buildings that make people look up and streets steeped in history. ‘Scotstyle’ presents a wonderful opportunity for the public to visit the free exhibitions taking place across the length and breadth of Scotland, whilst also being able to cast their vote in honouring some of our most treasured, innovative and iconic buildings and residences.


    Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Canals said: As a partner of the Festival of Architecture, we are delighted to host the launch of the Scotstyle exhibition and book at The Falkirk Wheel.  It’s fitting in the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design that the Scotstyle exhibition premieres on the site of one of Scotland’s most iconic and innovative structures.

     

    To cast your vote, order a copy of the book and find out more about the exhibition tour, visit www.foa2016.com


    Scotstyle 100 years of Scottish Architecture 1916 – 2016 is available now from the RIAS Bookshop, Rutland Square Edinburgh and exhibition venues with a retail outlet.

    ISBN- 978-1-873190-71-5 | RRP £25 |210x210mm | softback | 240pp | full colour throughout

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 29 April 2016

    Big, Bold and Colourful – Spring Fling Rural Mural Welcomes the Public

    Last night saw the official launch of Spring Fling Rural Mural, the biggest, brightest and boldest project so far from the recently established Upland arts organisation.

    SFRM involved creating six large and colourful murals on three buildings in the depths of the Dumfries and Galloway countryside and three more in the urban hearts of Glasgow, Berlin and Newcastle.

    All have now been completed and the public are invited to enjoy six very different artworks in vividly contrasting locations.

    The project is part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and is also intended to shine a spotlight on Spring Fling – Scotland’s premier open studios contemporary visual art and craft event, which is run by Upland.

    Guests at a special launch event at The Lighthouse, in Glasgow, saw a short film about the making of the murals and had the chance to meet members of the international arts teams that collaborated on SFRM.

    Among those present were the SFRM lead artists and project managers, Amy Whiten and Ali Wyllie, of Glasgow-based Recoat arts agency.

    Clare Hanna, Upland Director (maternity cover), said: “This has been a huge achievement – with artists from across Scotland and Europe working together to create large, colourful and fun artworks in some of the most sparsely and the most densely populated places you can think of.

    “Dumfries and Galloway has an amazing artistic community and one of our aims, through projects like SFRM and the Spring Fling weekend itself, is to provide a showcase for all that talent.

    “We hope that people in Glasgow, Berlin and Newcastle will enjoy the murals we have gifted to them. We also look forward to welcoming visitors from all across the UK and Europe to visit Dumfries and Galloway for Spring Fling, and to see our rural murals here, at the end of May.

    “This was the biggest and boldest project that Upland has run since it was established last year and shows just how ambitious we are to spread the word about the excellence of visual art and craft in our region.”  

    The key theme of SFRM is “exchange”. This has involved exchange of places and sites and of skills and ideas, bringing together some high-calibre established and emerging artists from south-west Scotland with some of the best mural artists practicing today.

    The Spring Fling weekend will see 94 artists and makers across Dumfries and Galloway throw open their doors to the public from 28 to 30 May. 

    Councillor Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council Events Champion, said: “Dumfries and Galloway is the inspiration for many superb artists and craft makers and Spring Fling’s Rural Murals showcase beautifully the chemistry that can exist between artist and landscape.

    “We may be a rural region but we are completely outward looking in our attempts to promote Dumfries and Galloway and welcome cultural tourists. The council is committed to creating the right conditions for artists to flourish here and I hope many people can take a road trip to visit this wonderful trio of murals.”

    SFRM is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and by Creative Scotland.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “Spring Fling Rural Mural is an ambitious project to promote the expertise of the artists and makers of Scotland’s south west to a wider audience than ever before, and we are delighted to support the event once more in our Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    “We hope that, engaged by the murals in Dumfries and Galloway itself, as well as those in prominent positions in Glasgow, Newcastle and Berlin, as many people as possible are encouraged to make the trip to Scotland for what is set to be another outstanding Spring Fling event in 2016.”

    The artists and the sites in Dumfries and Galloway:

    The Mossburn Animal Centre, Hightae. On the side of a large, stone farm building at this centre for ill-treated and abandoned animals. It is visible from B7020. The creators were Berlin-based arts duo 44flavours (Sebastian Bagge and Julio Rölle from Germany) and Dumfries and Galloway visual artist Rory Laycock.

    Meiklewood Farm, Ringford, Castle Douglas. Tellas, from Rome, teamed up with Kirkcudbright-based Morag Macpherson to create a mural on a large steading near the A75.

    • Craigdarroch Arms Hotel, Moniaive. Amy Whiten and Ali Wyllie from Recoat collaborated with Morag Paterson from near Thornhill. Their mural is on a gable end at a pub renowned for hosting arts events.

    The artists and the sites in the cities:

    Berlin: 44flavours and Rory Laycock, created a five-storey mural at Kurfürstenstraβe 15/16 2. Hinterhof Rechts 10785. The inspiration for the work was imagined flags for a world without borders.

    Glasgow: Recoat worked with Morag Paterson to paint another five-storey work, this time in The Barras, which shows city skylines and flying geese – the inspiration is the interconnectedness of the world today. It can be seen at On the Corner, 253-257 London Road.

    Newcastle: Tellas, from Rome, and Morag Macpherson created their own large-scale work at the Toffee Factory, Lower Streenbergs Yard, Keyside, Walker Road, Ouseburn.

    Spring Fling has close links with Newcastle, Berlin and Glasgow, having previously held events and exhibitions in all three cities.

    Visitors to Spring Fling can also still see some of the 2014 murals. The original project included created artists like 1010 and Will Barras.

    Category: International Events

  • 28 April 2016

    PIPING LIVE! CELEBRATES THE ‘MOMENTS THAT MATTER’ 2016 HEADLINERS REVEALED TODAY

    Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival, the world’s biggest week of piping, will return to Glasgow from 8th – 14th August, 2016. The festival headliners was unveiled today by projection mapping a series of incredible images onto the National Piping Centre.

    All images were crowdsourced via Piping Live!’s social media channels to celebrate the fact that Scotland’s national instrument has provided the soundtrack for so many of life’s big moments throughout history. From marching onto the battlefield to the mesmerising opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, to wedding ceremonies and funerals; bringing in the New Year, to celebrating Scottish heritage the world over – bagpipes are always at the heart of huge moments.  Everyone has an emotional reaction when they hear the pipes begin to play – whether that be joy, sadness, nostalgia or hope – making the instrument like no other.

    Festival organisers brought the images to life by having a lone piper perform a haunting medley of the best known tunes in front of the projection, before inviting the public to enjoy this year’s big moment – Piping Live!

    Now in its 13th year, Piping Live! is the biggest festival of its kind. Attracting 40,000 people from around the globe each year to watch over 5000 international pipers perform at 150 events across the city.

    Some of the hottest names in traditional music will perform this year, including RURA, Anxo Lorenzo, Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton and the world famous Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

    Band performances will take place in George Square and on the steps of The Royal Concert Hall.  The annual Pipe Idol competition and fan favourite, the International Quartets competition will return to the festival, while the Pipers Market’ will be back in George Square, providing the best fresh and local food and drink from across Scotland.

     The weekend will also see the most important piping competition in the world take place in Glasgow for the 30th consecutive year, as The World Pipe Band Championships returns on 12th and 13th August. Each year 8,000 pipers from more than 200 countries travel to Glasgow Green to compete to be named best in the world for piping and this year will see Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band defend their title after becoming the first Scottish band to win the coveted title in more than a decade.

     Roddy MacLeod, Festival Director of Piping Live!, said: “Bagpipes strike an emotional chord with people all over the world. There’s no other instrument that can make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck quite like the pipes. From major historical events, to personal moments like weddings and graduations, to shared moments of triumph like the Commonwealth Games or a cup final – bagpipes have set the scene for so many powerful memories at home and throughout the world.

     This year’s line-up is all about celebrating the rich history and international diversity of the bagpipes while heralding the future with some of the most exciting new players in the traditional music scene.”

     Ross Ainslie, performing at this year’s Piping Live!, said: “Piping has allowed me to travel all over the world and make a career out of something I love. Some of my earliest memories in piping were listening to Gordon Duncan's "Just for Seumas" album on the way to practices with the the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band in Pitlochry and I’ve been completely inspired in the music since. Piping Live! is a great week for catching up with pals old and new.”

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted to support Piping Live! in 2016, an event which promotes this incredibly significant aspect of Scottish history and culture.  The pipes are recognised the world over as a symbol of Scotland and we are excited at the prospect of venues across the city of Glasgow coming alive to the sound of songs new and old for the week-long festival in August.”

     Joe Aitken, Head of Major Events at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Every year, tens of thousands of people from across the UK and overseas are drawn to Glasgow in August as the city becomes the epicentre of world piping. Piping Live! is at the heart of that attraction, providing visitors with the opportunity to experience a truly spectacular week of superb traditional Scottish music and culture. As the festival enters its 13th year, its continuing popularity reflects the quality and diversity of the programme while reinforcing Glasgow’s reputation as a world-class major events destination.”

    Tickets for Piping Live! are on sale Saturday 30th April at 9.00am and available by logging onto www.pipinglive.co.uk 

    Category: International Events

  • 27 April 2016

    Brodies Invitational Returns To Gleneagles With Star Studded Line-Up

    On Friday 10th and Saturday 11th June 2016, the prestigious grounds of the Gleneagles Hotel will once again play host to the must-see tennis event of the summer, with legends of the sport descending on Auchterarder to do battle for the Brodies Invitational, under the patronage of Judy Murray.

     

    The star studded line-up includes British tennis legends Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski, former world number four Thomas Enqvist and Wimbledon finalist Cedric Pioline, while some of Scotland’s most talented juniors will also get the chance to play against the greats.”


    For more information on events and tickets please visit http://bit.ly/1NA0IA3

    Category: Racquet Sports

  • 27 April 2016

    Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2016/2017 Fund closes 9 May

     

    Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2016/2017 Fund closes 9 May 
    Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme is designed to celebrate the spirit and fun of Scotland’s winter season, all warmed up with a range of exciting events and activity throughout the country.
    Applications for the events and festivals sector across Scotland to apply for Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2016/2017 funding close on 9 May 2016. 
    A total fund of £390,000 is available to support a range of both existing and brand new events that provide significant opportunities to celebrate of one or more of Scotland’s three national days including St Andrew’s Day (30 November 2016), Hogmanay (31 December 2016) and Burns Night (25 January 2017).  
    For more information click here >>

    Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme is designed to celebrate the spirit and fun of Scotland’s winter season, all warmed up with a range of exciting events and activity throughout the country.

    Applications for the events and festivals sector across Scotland to apply for Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2016/2017 funding close on 9 May 2016. 

    A total fund of £390,000 is available to support a range of both existing and brand new events that provide significant opportunities to celebrate of one or more of Scotland’s three national days including St Andrew’s Day (30 November 2016), Hogmanay (31 December 2016) and Burns Night (25 January 2017).  

    For more information click here >>

     

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 27 April 2016

    EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES THE WORLD PREMIERE OF TOMMY’S HONOUR AS THE 2016 OPENING NIGHT GALA

     

    Edinburgh, April 2016 – Edinburgh International Film Festival is delighted to announce that enthralling drama Tommy’s Honour will open the 70th edition of the festival on Wednesday 15th June 2016.
    Shot entirely on location in Scotland, Tommy’s Honour is based on the true story of golfing pioneer and legend Tom Morris and his turbulent relationship with his son Tommy. Acclaimed and award-winning actor Peter Mullan (Sunshine on Leith) and Olivier-winning Jack Lowden (War & Peace) take on the roles of father and son and lead a fantastic ensemble cast including Ophelia Lovibond (W1A), Peter Ferdinando (Hyena) and Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) in the role of Alexander Boothby. Key cast will be in attendance on Opening night.
    Tommy’s Honour tells the story of Tom Morris’ relationship with his son Tommy, who showed a remarkable talent of his own and matched his father's sporting achievements. However, despite their shared passion, father and son clash over the unwritten rules of social class, culminating in Tommy’s marriage to a woman of lower standing who hides a shameful secret in her past. Tommy must choose between family loyalty and his dreams of forging his own path with the woman he loves beside him.
    Director Jason Connery commented: "It's so exciting! I remember standing in the middle of a field in Fife during the shoot and saying to Peter and Jack, Tommy's Honour might get into the Edinburgh International Film Festival, not in our wildest dreams did we think it would be the Opening Gala opening. That's fantastic!"
    Producer Bob Last adds: “It's an honour to be back at EIFF for an Opening Gala, it means a lot to have Mark Adams and his team's support for Jason Connery and our fantastic cast's telling of an iconic Scottish story. We look forward to introducing our film to Scotland and to the Gala being the first step in taking Tommy's Honour to an international audience.”
    Producer Keith Banks also said: “Our film is a multi-faceted story that resonates across universal themes including father/son relationships, class struggle, deep romantic love, family love and love
    of a game and a culture. We are thrilled to be able to first showcase Tommy’s Honour to a live
    audience at such a respected international gathering via our world premiere at EIFF."
    Mark Adams, EIFF Artistic Director commented: “We are proud to be staging the world premiere
    of Tommy’s Honour. It is a beautifully made film packed with memorable moments and terrific
    performances and reflects perfectly our intention to keep on bringing great Scottish projects to our
    audience."
    Tickets go on sale at 12pm on Wednesday 27th April.
    Please find a selection of images from Tommy’s Honour here: https://we.tl/siXRlrpblw

    Edinburgh International Film Festival is delighted to announce that enthralling drama Tommy’s Honour will open the 70th edition of the festival on Wednesday 15th June 2016.

    Shot entirely on location in Scotland, Tommy’s Honour is based on the true story of golfing pioneer and legend Tom Morris and his turbulent relationship with his son Tommy. Acclaimed and award-winning actor Peter Mullan (Sunshine on Leith) and Olivier-winning Jack Lowden (War & Peace) take on the roles of father and son and lead a fantastic ensemble cast including Ophelia Lovibond (W1A), Peter Ferdinando (Hyena) and Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) in the role of Alexander Boothby. Key cast will be in attendance on Opening night.

    Tommy’s Honour tells the story of Tom Morris’ relationship with his son Tommy, who showed a remarkable talent of his own and matched his father's sporting achievements. However, despite their shared passion, father and son clash over the unwritten rules of social class, culminating in Tommy’s marriage to a woman of lower standing who hides a shameful secret in her past. Tommy must choose between family loyalty and his dreams of forging his own path with the woman he loves beside him.

    Director Jason Connery commented: "It's so exciting! I remember standing in the middle of a field in Fife during the shoot and saying to Peter and Jack, Tommy's Honour might get into the Edinburgh International Film Festival, not in our wildest dreams did we think it would be the Opening Gala opening. That's fantastic!"

    Producer Bob Last adds: “It's an honour to be back at EIFF for an Opening Gala, it means a lot to have Mark Adams and his team's support for Jason Connery and our fantastic cast's telling of an iconic Scottish story. We look forward to introducing our film to Scotland and to the Gala being the first step in taking Tommy's Honour to an international audience.”

    Producer Keith Banks also said: “Our film is a multi-faceted story that resonates across universal themes including father/son relationships, class struggle, deep romantic love, family love and loveof a game and a culture. We are thrilled to be able to first showcase Tommy’s Honour to a liveaudience at such a respected international gathering via our world premiere at EIFF.

    "Mark Adams, EIFF Artistic Director commented: “We are proud to be staging the world premiereof Tommy’s Honour. It is a beautifully made film packed with memorable moments and terrificperformances and reflects perfectly our intention to keep on bringing great Scottish projects to ouraudience."

    Tickets go on sale at 12pm on Wednesday 27th April.

     

     

    Category: International Events

  • 27 April 2016

    Open Camping Village to Welcome the Next Generation of Fans

     

    Open Camping Village to Welcome the Next Generation of Fans 
    Younger spectators at The 145th Open at Royal Troon this year will be able to take advantage of an innovative free accommodation option after The R&A announced plans for The Open Camping Village.
     
    Situated at the nearby Marr Rugby Club, the camping village will offer free accommodation to up to 500 ticket holders aged 25 and under, ensuring The Open experience is available to even more people.
     
    It is the first time The R&A have offered a camping option and will see two, four and six person pre-pitched tents made available including an inflatable camping bed for each guest.
    Adults over the age of 25 are permitted to book alongside children under the age of 16, while food & drink, shower facilities and free parking will also be available.
     
    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “It is exciting to see the introduction of a new and innovative accommodation option to attract a new generation of spectators to The Open.
     
    “The Championship attracts huge numbers of spectators from around the globe bringing significant economic impact to the region and to Scotland as a whole and any way of opening the Championship up to new audiences is to be welcomed.
     
    “We have a history of innovation in Scotland, particularly in golfing terms, so I am pleased to see the first ever Open Camping Village take shape at Royal Troon this year.”
     
    Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A said, “There will be an exciting festival atmosphere at Troon throughout the week of The Open as thousands of people come together for a true celebration of golf. The new Camping Village will provide a fun and safe accommodation option for young people within easy walking distance of Royal Troon.
    “The Open is a wonderful opportunity for young fans to get up close to their favourite players and we know this will help inspire future generations to pick up a club and take part themselves. Our aim is to make The Open as accessible as possible and the new Camping Village along with discounted Youth Tickets and the Kids Go Free programme are key parts of this commitment.”
     
    This year sees The Open celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Kids Go Free initiative, which allows children under the age of 16 free admission to the Championship when accompanied by an adult. More than 300,000 children have experienced The Open for free since the programme was first introduced at Royal Troon in 1997.
     
    Tickets for The Open are currently available at early season pricing, with prices set to rise after 31 May.
     
    Spectators can register their interest now at www.TheOpen.com/camping with bookings to be taken from early May. 

    Younger spectators at The 145th Open at Royal Troon this year will be able to take advantage of an innovative free accommodation option after The R&A announced plans for The Open Camping Village. Situated at the nearby Marr Rugby Club, the camping village will offer free accommodation to up to 500 ticket holders aged 25 and under, ensuring The Open experience is available to even more people. It is the first time The R&A have offered a camping option and will see two, four and six person pre-pitched tents made available including an inflatable camping bed for each guest.Adults over the age of 25 are permitted to book alongside children under the age of 16, while food & drink, shower facilities and free parking will also be available. 

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “It is exciting to see the introduction of a new and innovative accommodation option to attract a new generation of spectators to The Open. “The Championship attracts huge numbers of spectators from around the globe bringing significant economic impact to the region and to Scotland as a whole and any way of opening the Championship up to new audiences is to be welcomed. “We have a history of innovation in Scotland, particularly in golfing terms, so I am pleased to see the first ever Open Camping Village take shape at Royal Troon this year.” 

     Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A said, “There will be an exciting festival atmosphere at Troon throughout the week of The Open as thousands of people come together for a true celebration of golf. The new Camping Village will provide a fun and safe accommodation option for young people within easy walking distance of Royal Troon.“The Open is a wonderful opportunity for young fans to get up close to their favourite players and we know this will help inspire future generations to pick up a club and take part themselves. Our aim is to make The Open as accessible as possible and the new Camping Village along with discounted Youth Tickets and the Kids Go Free programme are key parts of this commitment.” 

     This year sees The Open celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Kids Go Free initiative, which allows children under the age of 16 free admission to the Championship when accompanied by an adult. More than 300,000 children have experienced The Open for free since the programme was first introduced at Royal Troon in 1997. Tickets for The Open are currently available at early season pricing, with prices set to rise after 31 May. 

     Spectators can register their interest now at www.TheOpen.com/camping with bookings to be taken from early May. 

     

  • 26 April 2016

    RED BULL ENDORSEMENT GIVES FORT WILLIAM WORLD CUP WINGS

     

    RED BULL ENDORSEMENT GIVES FORT WILLIAM WORLD CUP WINGS
    Fort William’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup has been named No.1 on a list of the top 5 bike events for spectators in 2016 by major mountain bike sponsor, Red Bull.
    Famed for its extreme descents, stunning views and hugely animated crowds, the Highland occasion has become arguably the most popular stop on the eight-event World Cup circuit.
    Indeed, it is the only World Cup event to place within Red Bull’s global top 5, being joined by occasions in Canada, USA, Czech Republic and Estonia. 
    Highland Council, BUFF and Silverline are also among the supporters of the event, which has been funded through EventScotland’s International Programme annually since 2003. 
    This year’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Fort William, will take place on June 4-5, when the town will come alive with thousands of enthusiasts aiming to catch a glimpse of some of the sport’s biggest stars, including 2015 champion Rachel Atherton and the legendary Steve Peat, who will retire from World Cup racing at the end of the year. 
    Since joining the World Cup schedule in 2002, the Downhill at Fort William has become famous as a full-on, no compromise charge down the face of Aonach Mor, the 9th highest mountain in the UK. As competitors are well aware, the 2.8km course requires superb physical strength, instant reflexes, excellent bike control, an unerring eye for the right line and a lot of bottle.
    Rock gardens, rock slabs, big jumps and technical natural sections add to the challenge all the way to the magnificent finishing section, where an incredible wall of sound awaits the competitors. 
    For the spectator, the difficulty of the terrain makes for one of the most exhilarating spectacles on the mountain biking calendar and, with new features and jumps incorporated in 2016, the upcoming edition looks set to be the best yet. 
    Excited at the prospect of returning to Scotland, World Champion, Rachel Atherton, said:
    "I’m stoked to be racing at Fort William again. Winning there last year was an amazing rush and the support from the home crowd is epic. There’s such a buzz and everyone really gets behind the riders. 
    “The track is fierce - long, fast and brutal - with a gnarly woods section which catches a lot of riders out, so you really get to see some mad skills. There’s no better feeling than flying through the Scotland arch into the arena and sprinting for the line. And it’s awesome that those who can’t make it trackside can still catch all the action on Red Bull TV.”
    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: 
    “The Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is an incredibly important event for Scotland, attracting thousands of visitors from around the world to the Highlands and promoting Scotland’s image as the perfect stage for events covering all cycling disciplines through global media coverage. 
    “Year upon year, thousands of bikers make their way to Fort William and this incredible endorsement from Red Bull is a clear indication why. For the mountain bike spectator, there is no better experience to be had anywhere, and we should take great pride in having such a tremendous event of international acclaim in our own back yard.”  
    Mike Jardine from Rare Management, organisers of the Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF 4X Pro Tour weekend, said:
    “Coming top in the Red Bull ranking is a fantastic endorsement of Fort William’s legendary status. We’ve got true Legends of the sport, such as Steve Peat, six-time Fort William winner Greg Minnaar and three-time World Champion Rachel Atherton competing in front of an incredibly passionate and vocal crowd, at a venue that has an unrivalled reputation within the global mountain biking community. How good is it? There’s only one way to find out. Come and join us in the Highlands on 4-5 June.”
    Prices remain unchanged from last year’s event, with tickets costing from £14 for adults and £8 for children aged 6 – 17 years old. Family packages are also available starting from £36. 
    For further information and tickets for the Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Downhill and the BUFF 4x Pro Tour, log-on to http://fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk/ 

    Fort William’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup has been named No.1 on a list of the top 5 bike events for spectators in 2016 by major mountain bike sponsor, Red Bull.


    Famed for its extreme descents, stunning views and hugely animated crowds, the Highland occasion has become arguably the most popular stop on the eight-event World Cup circuit.


    Indeed, it is the only World Cup event to place within Red Bull’s global top 5, being joined by occasions in Canada, USA, Czech Republic and Estonia. 


    Highland Council, BUFF and Silverline are also among the supporters of the event, which has been funded through EventScotland’s International Programme annually since 2003. 


    This year’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Fort William, will take place on June 4-5, when the town will come alive with thousands of enthusiasts aiming to catch a glimpse of some of the sport’s biggest stars, including 2015 champion Rachel Atherton and the legendary Steve Peat, who will retire from World Cup racing at the end of the year. 


    Since joining the World Cup schedule in 2002, the Downhill at Fort William has become famous as a full-on, no compromise charge down the face of Aonach Mor, the 9th highest mountain in the UK. As competitors are well aware, the 2.8km course requires superb physical strength, instant reflexes, excellent bike control, an unerring eye for the right line and a lot of bottle.


    Rock gardens, rock slabs, big jumps and technical natural sections add to the challenge all the way to the magnificent finishing section, where an incredible wall of sound awaits the competitors. 
    For the spectator, the difficulty of the terrain makes for one of the most exhilarating spectacles on the mountain biking calendar and, with new features and jumps incorporated in 2016, the upcoming edition looks set to be the best yet. 


    Excited at the prospect of returning to Scotland, World Champion, Rachel Atherton, said:
    "I’m stoked to be racing at Fort William again. Winning there last year was an amazing rush and the support from the home crowd is epic. There’s such a buzz and everyone really gets behind the riders. 
    “The track is fierce - long, fast and brutal - with a gnarly woods section which catches a lot of riders out, so you really get to see some mad skills. There’s no better feeling than flying through the Scotland arch into the arena and sprinting for the line. And it’s awesome that those who can’t make it trackside can still catch all the action on Red Bull TV.”


    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: 
    “The Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is an incredibly important event for Scotland, attracting thousands of visitors from around the world to the Highlands and promoting Scotland’s image as the perfect stage for events covering all cycling disciplines through global media coverage. 
    “Year upon year, thousands of bikers make their way to Fort William and this incredible endorsement from Red Bull is a clear indication why. For the mountain bike spectator, there is no better experience to be had anywhere, and we should take great pride in having such a tremendous event of international acclaim in our own back yard.”  


    Mike Jardine from Rare Management, organisers of the Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF 4X Pro Tour weekend, said:
    “Coming top in the Red Bull ranking is a fantastic endorsement of Fort William’s legendary status. We’ve got true Legends of the sport, such as Steve Peat, six-time Fort William winner Greg Minnaar and three-time World Champion Rachel Atherton competing in front of an incredibly passionate and vocal crowd, at a venue that has an unrivalled reputation within the global mountain biking community. How good is it? There’s only one way to find out. Come and join us in the Highlands on 4-5 June.”


    Prices remain unchanged from last year’s event, with tickets costing from £14 for adults and £8 for children aged 6 – 17 years old. Family packages are also available starting from £36. 


    For further information and tickets for the Fort William UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Downhill and the BUFF 4x Pro Tour, log-on to http://fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk.

    Category: International Events

  • 25 April 2016

    Dundonald Links to host Scottish Open for first time in 2017

    Dundonald Links, in North Ayrshire, Scotland, will host the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open for the first time in 2017.

    Located near the town of Irvine, Dundonald Links – which is undergoing major renovation works – will follow on from Castle Stuart Golf Links, the host venue for the 34th edition of Scotland’s national Open from July 7-10, 2016.

    The stunning 7,100-yard, par 72 layout was designed by the highly-acclaimed golf course architect Kyle Phillips, whose creations also include Kingsbarns, one of the three venues for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, and The Grove, which will host the British Masters supported by Sky Sports for the first time this year.   

    Since being acquired by Loch Lomond Golf Club in February 2003, Dundonald Links has played host to numerous professional and amateur tournaments, including the European Tour Qualifying School First Stage, a qualifier for the Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex and, most recently, the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open, which returns to Dundonald Links this year. 

    After hosting the 2015 Ladies Scottish Open, which featured World Number One Lydia Ko and Solheim Cup player Suzann Pettersen, the club’s owners devised plans for a structural overhaul which included the construction of a new clubhouse, scheduled for completion at the end of 2016.

    On the course itself, under the guidance of Kyle Phillips, several of the greens have been increased in size and three of the putting surfaces have been levelled in selected areas to soften their contours, thereby providing organisers with more options when setting up for tournament play.

    Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “We are delighted to announce that the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open will be staged at Dundonald Links in 2017. Following this year’s tournament at Castle Stuart in the north, this will ensure that Scotland’s national Open is showcased as widely as possible across the country.

    “Special thanks goes to our two partners in the Scottish Open – the title sponsors Aberdeen Asset Management, and the Scottish Government – whose joint vision and commitment to improve and expand this great tournament has enabled us to make this announcement today.

    “We also extend our gratitude to everyone at Dundonald Links for the work they have done at the golf club, and the work that they continue to do. I know all our Members will look forward to the challenge the course will present to them next July.”

    Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, said: “Since becoming title sponsors of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in 2012, it has been our ambition to complete the geographical spread of the tournament by taking it to Scotland’s west coast following successful events at Castle Stuart, Royal Aberdeen and Gullane. We are therefore delighted with today’s announcement confirming the stunning Dundonald Links as the host venue in 2017.”

    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, which manages the Scottish Government’s investment in the event, said: “Scotland is the Home of Golf, and as such is fortunate to have an abundance of world-class golfing venues the length and breadth of the country.

    “I am delighted that Dundonald Links, one of the outstanding courses on the west coast, will host the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in 2017 and continue the commitment of rotating the event around the country.”

    Bill Donald, General Manager of Loch Lomond Golf Club and Dundonald Links, said: “The course changes will enhance what was already a fantastic spectator experience, with natural amphitheatres surrounding many of the holes.

    “Crowds of ten thousand turned up for the Ladies Scottish Open last year, and we’re hoping for more of the same this year. Broadcasters around the world will be covering the final day of the tournament live, and I am sure that anyone who tunes in will be impressed with what they see.

    “It will also give us a bit of a dry run ahead of hosting the Scottish Open next year, and that is a great opportunity which many host venues don’t get. So we’ll be more than ready by the time the Scottish Open comes around.”     

    Councillor Willie Gibson, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “North Ayrshire Council is delighted to welcome the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open to Dundonald Links in 2017.

    “This part of Scotland is fortunate to have so many championship golf courses capable of staging top-class events, including the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open which, last year, attracted tens of thousands of spectators. The Council, through our ‘Team North Ayrshire’ approach, has worked with our partners to bring this prestigious event here, and we look forward to delivering a first-class tournament for everyone to enjoy.”

    For 15 successive seasons, from 1996-2010, the Scottish Open was held at Loch Lomond Golf Club, the owners of Dundonald Links. During that time, Thomas Bjørn (1996), Lee Westwood (1998), Colin Montgomerie (1999), Ernie Els (2000 and 2003), Retief Goosen (2001), Graeme McDowell (2008) and Martin Kaymer (2009) all lifted the trophy.    

    Category: International Events

  • 23 April 2016

    GLASGOW WINS BID TO HOST 2019 EUROPEAN ATHLETICS INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

    The European Athletics Indoor Championships will come to Scotland in 2019 after Glasgow was awarded the event by European Athletics following a successful bid.

     

    The event will be held at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena, which earlier this year hosted the prestigious Indoor Grand Prix, the world’s No.1 indoor athletics event, and the British Athletics International Match from 2013 to 2015.

     

    More than 600 athletes from the 50 European Athletics Member Federation countries are expected to participate in the three-day event, making it one of the biggest sporting events ever to be held in Glasgow.

     

    Glasgow previously hosted the European Athletics Indoor Championships at Kelvin Hall in 1990. More recently it was staged in Birmingham in 2007.

     

    European 800m champion and Scottish record holder, Lynsey Sharp, is confident that Glasgow can deliver the best-ever European Athletics Indoor Championships in 2019. She said:

     

    “This is great news for Glasgow, for athletics in the UK in general and Scotland in particular. I’m sure it will be an amazing championships that athletes and the community will be proud to be part of. Competing in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 was a fantastic experience and I can’t wait to compete on home turf again.

     

    “Scotland has proved that we can host great major athletics events and I’m confident that 2019 will be the best-ever European Indoor Championships.”

     

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:

     

    “We are delighted that Scotland has been awarded the right to host the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, one of the world’s most prestigious athletics events and one that will enhance the country’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.

     

    “Securing this event for the Emirates Arena, just a few months after the inaugural European Championships, cements Glasgow’s position as one of the world’s leading sporting cities and places Scotland at the very heart of European sport. We look forward to working closely with European Athletics in the coming months to deliver this landmark event in one of our flagship venues.”

    Category: Athletics

  • 21 April 2016

    CITY TO CITY MEETING, SPORTACCORD CONVENTION IN LAUSANNE

    Over 50 representatives of cities, regions and countries attending this year’s SportAccord Convention, have reached an overwhelming consensus to move forward with the formation of an international association of event hosts.

    The representatives met at the City to City session facilitated by members of a working group who have been investigating the feasibility of forming an organisation for “not-for-profit” investors to share knowledge of hosting international events.

    During the session, representatives learned from the successes and challenges of a number of recent events hosted at destinations across the world.

    Representatives also provided feedback on different models of how destinations could share knowledge and raise international standards in hosting events.  The working group will now take this feedback and develop a plan to formalise cooperation between destinations.

    Members of the working group to date include:

    Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development
    Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance
    EventScotland
    Fáilte Ireland, National Tourism Development Authority
    London & Partners
    New Zealand Major Events
    Sport Event Denmark
    USA National Association of Sports Commissions

    Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events at London & Partners said “The very productive session at SportAccord Convention has again demonstrated the benefits of sharing experiences of hosting events.  By working together I believe all investors in major events will generate greater long term value, whether they are public bodies, rights-owners or commercial sponsors.”

    “Sharing knowledge of hosting events is very important and cooperating with other hosts in a trusted environment will benefit all of us,” said Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events added: “Events and tourism have a hugely beneficial symbiotic relationship and this initiative can only do good for the industry.”

    Category: Industry News

  • 20 April 2016

    GLASGOW BREAKS INTO THE WORLD’S TOP FIVE BEST SPORTING CITIES

    Glasgow has continued its meteoric rise up the global rankings of the world’s top sporting cities after it climbed three places to finish fifth in the world at the prestigious 2016 SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities Awards.

    Glasgow was also named the number one city in the world in the Legacy category in reflection of its longstanding commitment to increasing participation and creating new sporting opportunities for citizens in the lead up to and beyond the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    And in a further award Glasgow was named Best Small City by population band beating Amsterdam, Calgary, Doha and Vancouver in the process cementing the city’s position as a world leading sports city. The announcement was made at the SportAccord Convention in Lausanne.

    The SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities Awards, which are held every two years, are the internationally recognised and longest established rankings of the world’s top sports hosts. Glasgow secured a ranking of eighth in the world in 2014, having moved up one place from ninth in 2012. The city made its debut in the 2010 rankings when it finished in 11th place.  

    The news comes during a golden era for sport in the city. Building on the success of the best ever Commonwealth Games, just last year Glasgow delivered the FIG World Gymnastics Championships, the IPC Swimming World Championships and two historic Davis Cup ties. 

     The World Gymnastics Championships were credited with setting a new benchmark for the sport with FIG President Professor Bruno Grandi, saying that they were “even better than the Olympic Games”. Around 80,000 spectators watched a record 594 gymnasts from 87 nations during the 10-day event.

     In 2017 Glasgow will host the World Badminton Championships and the city will also co-host the inaugural European Championships in 2018 – an exciting new multi-sport event that will bring together the existing European events in athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon along with a new team golf event. Around 3,025 athletes will travel to Scotland as part of a total delegation of around 8,500 including officials, media and others.

     Chief Executive of Glasgow City Council, Annemarie O’Donnell, said: “Glasgow’s sporting reputation has never been higher. Our rise as one of the world’s top sporting cities has been secured thanks to our investment in world-class facilities, our international events programme and our commitment to increasing participation and leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.

     “In recent years we have spent close to £200million building new and improved sports venues such as the Emirates Arena, which has helped us attract some of the world’s biggest and best events. But we never live on past glories in Glasgow and are already looking forward to the 2017 World Badminton Championships and the 2018 European Championships.

     “To be ranked fifth in the world at the SportBusiness Ultimate Sport City Awards and to have won the Legacy Award and Best City in world in our population band is testament to our city’s love of sport.”

     Rachael Church, Head Judge and Founder of Ultimate Sports Cities, said: "It is no surprise to me that Glasgow continues to move up the rankings of the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities awards and has won the Legacy Award.

     “Glasgow is an all-rounder when it comes to hosting major sports events, choosing ones that fit carefully devised objectives while at the same time showcasing a vibrant sports-mad city. The legacy benefits of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will continue for generations to come and are to be applauded and admired."

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “In recent years, the City of Glasgow has flourished as one of the world’s leading sporting cities. Following the monumental occasion that was the XX Commonwealth Games, Glasgow has continued to deliver events of international importance and earn the praise and admiration of federations worldwide.  

     “The latest Ultimate Sport Cities ranking is a tremendously encouraging endorsement for all Scottish partners who are involved in bringing major sporting events to Glasgow and, with many other significant events on horizon, we are confident that the city’s star will continue to rise still further in the future.”

     The overall top 20 is as follows.

     1 - New York

    2 - London

    3 - Melbourne

    4 - Auckland

    5 - Glasgow

    6 - Calgary

    7 - Copenhagen

    8 - Manchester

    9 - LA

    10 - Tokyo

    11 - Sydney

    12 - Berlin

    13 - Paris

    14 - Singapore

    15 - Gold Coast

    16 - Vancouver

    17 - Dubai

    18 - Amsterdam

    19 - Doha

    20 - Cardiff

     The shortlisted cities were ranked by SportBusiness’ expert judging panel, who all have extensive knowledge of sports events and the destinations that host them. The shortlisted cities were also evaluated in population bands according to the size and volume of events hosted between 2012 and 2020 alongside a range of other criteria including:

    venues
    transport and infrastructure
    accommodation
    event strategy
    government and public support
    legacy
    quality of life
    security
    marketing/promotional ability/branding.

    Category: Industry News

  • 20 April 2016

    George Square facelift revealed ahead of Homeless World Cup 2016

    A stunning arena – transforming the site - will be built with seating for 3,500 spectators around three different pitches. The “main pitch” will have seating on all four sides.

     The 48 men’s and 16 women’s sides will participate in a week-long celebration in the heart of Scotland’s friendliest city, from 10-16 July, which for the duration aims to be the, “most inspiring place on the planet.”

     It is expected that about 100,000 supporters will attend the tournament. In addition to each of the pitches, there will be space for music, merchandise and more.

     Adapting George Square is a complicated process, given a number of historic monuments and the city’s Cenotaph, which will be fully respected in the course of creating the event.

     The tournament takes place in Scotland as part of a three way partnership between the Homeless World Cup Foundation and principle funders, the Scottish Government and Glasgow Life.

     Homeless World Cup Co-Founder Mel Young comments:

     “George Square is a unique location to host this year’s Homeless World Cup. Our mission is to bring the tournament to the centre of the cities we visit, because homelessness isn’t something that should be tucked away. We need to talk about it, therefore being here was very important.

     “The nature of the site means it’s an interesting build which has involved a real multi-agency approach, particularly with our colleagues at Glasgow Life, but we’re confident that when the wrappers come off for real in July, Glasgow will be amazed – and ready to join a real celebration.”

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland, which is managing the Scottish Government’s investment in the Homeless World Cup, said:

     “The Homeless World Cup is set to be an incredibly important event for Scotland, inviting people, who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience our warm welcome, to the country and generating discussion about the issue of homelessness at all level of society.

     “It puts Scotland at the heart of a global movement and will ensure that the eyes of the world centre on Glasgow, which we believe will be the most inspiration place on the planet over the course of the tournament.

     “The look and feel of the arena will, of course, have a massive part to play in this, and these artists impressions give a terrific indication of the transformation that George Square will undergo in time for the first kick-off on July 10.”

     Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said:

     “The Homeless World Cup will be one of the highlights of a spectacular year of sport in Glasgow. George Square will come alive as thousands of fans cheer on teams from across the globe during what is shaping up to me an inspiring and unmissable festival of football.”

    Category: International Events

  • 19 April 2016

    ALL EUROPE’S MAJOR FREE TO AIR BROADCASTERS TO TELEVISE INAUGURAL EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 2018

    All of Europe’s major free to air broadcasters will televise the inaugural European Championships in 2018, it was announced today.

    The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which holds the broadcast rights on all platforms, has confirmed coverage across the top five markets, BBC in the United Kingdom, ARD/ZDF in Germany, France Televisions in France, RAI in Italy and TVE in Spain.

    These countries represent a major part of the potential television audience of 1.03 billion for the event which will bring together the existing championships of some of the continent’s biggest sports for the first time and be co-hosted by Glasgow and Berlin.

    Agreements to broadcast the new multi-sport event on free-to-air have also been concluded across Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Belgium and others.

    The existing European Championships of athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon will be brought together for the first time, and a new Golf Team Championships will also be introduced onto the European stage.

    Around 1500 athletes will compete in Berlin through 7-12 August as part of the European Athletics Championships, while approximately 3025 athletes will visit Scotland for the other six events between 1 – 12 August.

    This new sporting partnership will create a compelling broadcast event on the world stage every four years.

    Stefan Kürten, Director of Eurovision Services & Sports Rights at the EBU, said: “The EBU and its members are proud to be part of this milestone event for European sports on free-to-air; this event will feature the best of Olympic summer sports in Europe – all competitions for the widest public.”

    European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen, co-chair of the 2018 European Championships Board said: “It is fantastic that at this early stage there is already such a huge interest and commitment from the free-to-air major broadcasters for the European Championships. We are pleased that our long-standing and valued partnership with EBU continues to pay dividends in increasing the popularity of athletics. With the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships being part of the European Championships, we will have the perfect platform to promote our sport across the continent and worldwide to what we hope is an unprecedented television audience.”

    Fellow co-chair Paolo Barelli, President of the Ligue Européenne de Natation (European Aquatics), said: "We have brought our individual European championships together in this way to help grow broadcast and commercial opportunities and to continue to encourage participation in our great sports. I am therefore delighted that the major markets across the continent are helping ensure our partnership will be a tremendous success as we create a compelling, must-see event.” 

    Colin Hartley, Championships Director of Glasgow 2018, said: “Working with the EBU to stage this exciting new concept for some of the leading sports in Europe is one of the major reasons Glasgow was attracted to becoming one of the Host Cities and we are delighted that the major broadcasters, including of course the BBC, have shown such confidence in Scotland’s ability to work in partnership to stage what will be a compelling and entertaining product for audiences across Europe and beyond.”

    Frank Kowalski, Berlin 2018 Managing Director, said: “We are convinced that the path our summer sports have chosen to position themselves even more effectively against the power of football is the right one. We will work to create the best synergies between the sports and the two host cities. The new format will be very entertaining.”

    www.europeanchampionships.com

    Category: International Events

  • 18 April 2016

    International Artists Create Berlin Mural of Flags for a World Without Borders

    Scottish artists, collaborating with a well-known German duo, have created a large-scale mural inspired by the idea of flags for a world without borders.

    The painting, which is a gift to the city, is on a large scale, covering the side of a five-storey building.

    Amy Whiten and Ali Wyllie of Glasgow’s Recoat urban arts agency, and Rory Laycock from Dumfries and Galloway, spent a week painting the bold new mural on the wall at Kurfürstenstraβe 15/16 2. Hinterhof Rechts 10785.

    Their partners were Kreuzberg-based artists and designers Sebastian Bagge and Julio Rölle, of the renowned 44 Flavours.

    The Spring Fling Rural Mural (SFRM) project is organised by the Upland arts agency in the Scottish region of Dumfries and Galloway and is being staged as part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    The central theme for SFRM 2016 is exchange – and this has been reflected by exchanges between artists and countries and between city and country.

    Julio Rölle said: “We liked the idea of imagining the flags of a world without borders. With all that is happening in the world right now the issue of borders is hugely important – and it’s something that everyone will have their own ideas about.

    “And it’s not even necessarily about borders between countries – there are also the borders within our own minds and creativity. So we hope people will imagine their own stories about the flags and what they mean.”

    Phase 1 of this year’s SFRM saw teams of street artists from Scotland, Germany and Italy coming together to create three large murals on buildings in the Dumfries and Galloway countryside.

    Phase 2 involves the same teams going urban and creating three more murals –as gifts to the cities of Berlin, Newcastle and Glasgow.

    Clare Hanna, Upland Director (Maternity Cover, said: “Art is a wonderful way to bring people together, and we hope this mural will bring real pleasure for people in Berlin.

    “We have been incredibly fortunate to be able to bring street artists like 44 Flavours to Dumfries and Galloway to help create murals in the heart of the Scottish countryside. It’s great to be able to respond by coming over to Berlin and working with them again to create this fantastic new mural as Scotland’s gift to the city.”

    Amy Whiten said: “SFRM has been a wonderful experience for us where we have worked with some very talented artists who have strong work ethics and a dedication to creating multi-layered beautiful murals. The artists have all learned a lot from the cultural and artistic exchange.”

    Rory Laycock, who is an emerging Scottish artist, said: “This collaboration has been amazing for me. It has raised my skill set and made me think about scale and my artwork in a whole new way. I found it really interesting to create permanent artworks that become a dialogue between you and the viewer.”

    SFRM is part of Spring Fling, Scotland’s premier visual art and craft open studios event, which will see 94 artists and makers across Dumfries and Galloway throw open their doors to the public from 28 to 30 May.  The Scottish murals will be one of the main attractions as visitors from all over the world travel between studios.

    Spring Fling has close links with Newcastle, Berlin and Glasgow, having previously held events and exhibitions in all three cities.

    SFRM is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and by Creative Scotland.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “The purpose of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is to celebrate some of the most important aspects of Scottish culture, and Spring Fling’s Rural Mural project does just that in some of our most important neighbouring markets.

    “We’re confident that the creation of these stunning works by internationally-renowned artists will be an important showcase for Spring Fling and will encourage many visitors travel to Dumfries and Galloway for the event next month.”

    It is hoped that people who like the urban murals may want to visit Dumfries and Galloway for the Spring Fling weekend. The Dumfries and Galloway sites are:

    The Mossburn Animal Centre, Hightae. On the side of a large, stone farm building at this centre for ill-treated and abandoned animals. It is visible from B7020. The creators were Berlin-based arts duo 44 Flavours (Sebastian Bagge and Julio Rölle) and Dumfries and Galloway visual artist Rory Laycock.

    Meiklewood Farm, Ringford, Castle Douglas. Tellas, from Rome, teamed up with Kirkcudbright-based Morag Macpherson to create a mural on a large steading near the A75.

    Craigdarroch Arms Hotel, Moniaive. Amy Whiten and Ali Wyllie from Recoat in Glasgow collaborated with Morag Paterson from near Thornhill. Their mural is on a gable end at a pub renowned for hosting arts events.

    Visitors to Spring Fling can also still see some of the 2014 murals. The original project included created artists like 1010 and Will Barras.

    Category: International Events

  • 15 April 2016

    TOLLCROSS INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING CENTRE SET FOR SENSATIONAL WEEKEND OF ACTION AT BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIPS

    Glasgow’s Tollcross International Swimming Centre is set for one of its best weekends ever as the 2016 British Swimming Championships draws to a close.

    The British Swimming Championships is one of the final chances to see the nation’s best swimmers in action in home water ahead of the Rio Olympic Games this August.

    Friday will see one of the most anticipated events of the Championships when world champion Adam Peaty goes head to head with Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Ross Murdoch and Olympic silver medallist and home favourite Michael Jamieson in the men’s 200m breaststroke.

    Also in action on the Friday double Commonwealth Games silver medal winner Lauren Quigley, World Championships gold and bronze medallist Siobhan-Marie O’Conner and Francesca Halsall who has won medals at Commonwealth, European and world level all in action in the women’s 100m freestyle.

    Saturday will see Scottish swimming sensation Hannah Miley, who has already won the women’s 400m individual medley at this year’s British Championships, battle it out with Jaz Carlin in the women’s 400m freestyle. City of Glasgow Swim Team’s Camilla Hattersley will also be in action.

    And on Sunday former City of Glasgow swimmer Robbie Renwick leads a star studded line up in a host of events. Calum Jarvis, James Guy, Siobhan-Marie O’Conner and Craig McNally will also be competing in what promises to be a thrilling final day of competition.

    Director of Sport at Glasgow Life, Ian Hooper, said: “If the opening sessions are anything to go by we are in for an incredible final three days of action at the British Swimming Championships at Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

    “The atmosphere has been incredible and I am sure that will move up a level over the weekend as the country’s top swimmers continue their preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. It is going to be an unmissable last few days and you can still be part of the action.”

    British Swimming Chief Executive, David Sparkes, said: “It is great to be back in Glasgow where we saw exciting new talent emerge in British Swimming in the Commonwealth Games. These exciting new stars are now fighting hard to gain selection for Rio later this summer.

    "We have been delighted to see all the Glasgow swimming fans supporting our athletes and with a few places left in the stands we hope to see a full house over the weekend."


    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “With Olympic qualification at stake, the concluding sessions of the British Swimming Championships are sure to provide a hugely exhilarating experience for spectators at Tollcross, where dreams of Rio could either be realised or dashed.

    “Some of Great Britain’s strongest medal hopes for the Rio Games will be doing all they can to earn their passage to Brazil and fans from all over Scotland have a terrific opportunity to cheer on their favourites in Glasgow this weekend.”

    Tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk/feature/british-swimming starting at just £6 for concessions (U16 and 60+) and £8 for adults. Family tickets (2 adults and 2 concessions) start at just £22.

    The British Swimming Championships is being delivered in partnership between British Swimming and Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council with funding support from UK Sport and EventScotland.

    TISC has hosted some of the world’s most prestigious events including the 2013 Speedo Duel in the Pool, the swimming competitions at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships. It will also host the 2018 LEN European Swimming Championships as part of the inaugural European Championships, which is being co-hosted by Glasgow.

    Originally opened in 1997, TISC is Scotland’s premier swimming venue and one of the largest facilities of its kind in Europe. It reopened to the public in May 2013 following a comprehensive £14million refurbishment carried out in advance of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.  

    Category: International Events

  • 15 April 2016

    Dreaming of the finish – Etape Loch Ness riders get a sweet incentive on the final miles of epic cycle

    Riders taking part in endurance cycle event Etape Loch Ness will get a sweetener to entice them across the line after a bakery agreed to serve up its signature cake to cyclists as they power towards the finish.

    Harry Gow has just been announced as a support sponsor of the 66-mile sportive – and will be giving cyclists the chance to refuel at the final feed station with one of their famous dream rings.

    Dream rings – a cream-filled sweet bun topped with icing – have a legendary status in the Highlands and are one of the family bakery’s best-selling products. Now they will be served up to over 4,200 cyclists taking part in Etape Loch Ness on April 24.

    Fraser Gow, a director of the firm, says, “It’s not exactly a carrot on a stick, but we hope that handing out dream rings as the riders approach the final 10 miles will give them the push they need to start dreaming of the finish line.

    “My dad is now 81 but he still rides his bike everywhere – he gets the balance right between enjoying his cake and being active.  After cycling 56 miles to the final feed station and after taking on the King of the Mountain stage, the cyclists will have more than earned their dream ring.

    “Dream rings are one of our biggest sellers and I’ve heard of people travelling for miles across the Highlands just to buy one. Some people even claim to have a borderline addiction to them!

    “We know a lot of cyclists taking part in Etape Loch Ness will be coming from other parts of the UK and even overseas – they might think that shortbread is synonymous with Scotland, but anyone in the Highlands will tell you that our national confectionery should really be the dream ring.

    “Joking aside, we are very pleased to support an event that is encouraging people to visit the Highlands and brings a spin-off to local businesses. It’s been great to see it grow over the last couple of years, and we hope it will go from strength to strength.”

    Harry Gow will also donate chocolate crispy cake and tiffin from their new range of tray bakes – which also includes rocky road, millionaire shortbread, and cereal bars – into finisher goody bags.

    The bakery, which is run by Harry and his children Fraser, David, Jane and Sara, become the first to win the title of Scotland’s Baker of the Year in 2012.


    Harry Gow prides itself on baking everything from scratch: the bakery uses only the best ingredients and works very hard to ensure its products are every bit as tasty  - or tastier -  as homemade baking.

    Event director Malcolm Sutherland says the chance to refuel with the legendary local dream rings is just another reason for cyclists to fall in love with the event.

    Entry for Etape Loch Ness sold out in just 51 hours when entries opened last October – the third year in a row that the sportive has been fully subscribed.

    He adds, “If it’s not enough that riders get to cycle one of the most beautiful routes in Scotland on traffic-free roads, now they get to do it while eating one of the most amazing cakes they will ever taste.

    “Cycling is a very sociable sport: for lots of clubs that go out on runs, their route is quite often dictated by where they can stop for coffee and cake. I suppose you could say that the final feed station is the ultimate cake stop.

    “We are delighted that Harry Gow is so committed to supporting Etape Loch Ness – I have no doubt that some riders will set very fast times this year as they push towards the final feed station to grab their cake, and then on to the finish line powered up by dream rings.”

    Etape Loch Ness starts in Inverness and follows a 66-mile closed-road route around the iconic loch.

    Following the A82 along the northern side of the loch, the route passes through Fort Augustus onto the south side for the most challenging leg of the course – the King of the mountain – a 4.8 mile climb which rises to 380m in height. The route then continues around the southern side of the loch before returning to the Highland capital.

    For more information visit www.etapelochness.com, or follow Etape Loch Ness on social media on Facebook www.facebook.com/etapelochness and Twitter @EtapeLochNess For further information about Harry Gow, visit www.harrygow.co.uk.

    Category: Cycling

  • 15 April 2016

    Motherwell and Edinburgh gear up for Tour Series return this May

    The Scottish rounds of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series in Motherwell and Edinburgh have been officially launched along with further details of both events, which will welcome some of Britain’s top male and female cyclists to race in Scotland.

    Motherwell will begin the week on Tuesday 17 May hosting the opening round of the women’s series, plus a men’s race on the same 1.2-kilometre Hamilton Road circuit as in 2015, before Edinburgh returns to the Pearl Izumi Tour Series on Thursday 19 May with an event based around the Grassmarket and Edinburgh Castle.

    The race will take place on a new, 1.6-kilometre circuit, once again including the cobbled climb of Victoria Street as used in 2014, but this year turning left to take in the Lawnmarket and Johnston Terrace below Edinburgh Castle, before returning to the Grassmarket via West Port.

    In addition to the main race Edinburgh will also host a corporate Pro-Am relay, sponsored by Brother UK.  The event will see 10 teams of five riders, each joined by a professional cyclist, taking on the Edinburgh circuit from 18:00 in a battle of Scottish businesses and Tour Series partners.

    The Edinburgh event will also be extra special as the Brother Corporate Grand Prix will raise money in aid of former Tour Series Champion James McCallum’s Ride for Charlene, in memory of his late sister.  2011 Champion McCallum, who was among the riders on the Series’ last visit to Edinburgh, will be aiming to break Mark Beaumont’s non-stop, 38-hour, 500-mile ride around the coast of Scotland this June to raise money for Thrombosis UK.

    “Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities you can race your bike in so it’s a real privilege to have an event here, it’s really something quite special,” said James McCallum.

    “It’s one of these courses that has a bit of everything, a cobbled climb, a descent, so you’ve really got to look after yourself and not go into the red too soon, or you’ll never come back out of it. The changes they have made to the course this year are great and will make the race even more competitive.  It’ll be a better race to race, and an even better race to watch.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “I am delighted that the Pearl Izumi Tour Series is set to visit Edinburgh and Motherwell in 2016, which will allow spectators to witness some of the world’s finest cyclists first-hand and right on their doorsteps.

    “Events such as this not only inspire people to become more active but also broadcast terrific imagery of Scotland to audiences internationally, reinforcing the county’s reputation as the perfect stage for both participation and spectator cycling events.”

    It is the first time since the Pearl Izumi Tour Series was created in 2009 that Scotland has held two rounds of the unique, team based series and the second time that both Motherwell and Edinburgh have hosted rounds.

    Cllr Jim Robertson Provost of North Lanarkshire Council said: “This is a terrific event for Motherwell and for North Lanarkshire. Everyone coming along is in for a treat and, as well as top-class competition, the event will be a real family affair offering something for everyone.

    “The skill of the athletes is incredible – it’s hard to grasp the speeds involved. I’d encourage everyone to come along and enjoy this first class sporting occasion.”

    Councillor Adam McVey said: “The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is a fantastic opportunity for people to see Britain’s top cyclists go head to head against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh’s Grassmarket.

    "Cycling is going from strength to strength in the Capital so to play host to another major cycling event is great news. It proved to be a really popular event back in 2014 and I’m sure the Edinburgh public will be out in force to show their support for the riders.”

    Six men’s teams will compete in every round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, being joined at selected rounds by guest teams.  They are led by defending Champions Madison Genesis, alongside JLT Condor presented by Mavic, NFTO, Pedal Heaven, Team Raleigh GAC and Team WIGGINS.

    Twelve teams will compete in the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series race in Motherwell, including Team Ford EcoBoost of reigning champion Nikki Juniper and Commonwealth Games Silver medallist Charline Joiner and the Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa team of last year’s Motherwell winner Katie Archibald.

    The women’s Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series race in Motherwell will begin at 17:30, following on from Scottish Cycling’s support races, which will include Youth, Women’s and Junior and Senior Men’s races, with the men’s professional race at 19:30.

    Support events in Edinburgh will take place on the circuit from 16:00, with the Brother Corporate Grand Prix at 18:00 and the men’s professional race at 19:30.

    Highlights of both Motherwell and Edinburgh events will be shown on ITV4 on the evenings of Wednesday 18 and Friday 19 May respectively and available via catch-up services with the ITV Player.

    Category: Cycling

  • 14 April 2016

    Mountain bike legend gearing-up for emotional farewell at Fort William World Cup

    Former Downhill World Champion and mountain bike legend, Steve Peat, was in Glasgow today (Wednesday, 13 April) to launch the Fort William stage of the 2016 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, set to be his last competitive appearance at the event.

    The fan favourite, known on the circuit as ‘Peaty’, is retiring from World Cup racing at the end of the current downhill season following a career spanning 20 years and including 17 World Cup wins, 52 World Cup podiums and one World Championship.

    This year’s Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF® 4X Pro Tour will take place over the weekend of 4 and 5 June and promises to be more exciting than ever. Work is underway to add new technical features and jumps to the infamous 2.8km downhill course, while a host of attractions will be on offer to keep fans entertained.

    As he prepares for his final World Cup event in front of a home crowd, the 41-year-old rider from Sheffield was joined in Glasgow by up and coming young riders to announce tickets going on sale. He said: “Competing at the Fort William World Cup has always meant a lot to me and it will be an emotional day saying goodbye to the fans and riders for the very last time.

    “The atmosphere at the event is the best on the world circuit and it’s always been a proud moment riding in front of a home crowd. Winning at Fort William in 2005 is still up there as one of the best of my career and while I was really disappointed to miss out on last year’s event through injury, I promise to make my last Fort William one to remember.”

    200 of the sport’s biggest stars, including 2015 World Champions, British rider Rachel Atherton, and France’s Loic Bruni, will be competing as they race against the clock down the slopes of Anoch Mor.

    Alongside the downhill action, famous trials rider and YouTube record breaker Danny MacAskill will also be in attendance over the weekend with his Drop and Roll Street Trials team. The Red Bull athlete will be wowing the crowds with an array of tricks, which has seen the Scotsman build a huge fan base across the world.

    Event organiser, Mike Jardine, from Rare Management, said: “The two-day event is a huge celebration in which riders and fans come together in a family friendly atmosphere for the only UK leg on the World Cup circuit.

    “We expect this year to be extra special as the mountain bike community says goodbye to one of the true legends of the sport. The atmosphere will be electric and we’re looking forward to giving Peaty a true Fort William send-off.”

    Over a quarter of a million fans have descended on Fort William since the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup came to the Highlands 14 years ago, delivering a £30m boost to the Highland economy since 2002.

    The event, which is supported by EventScotland and Highland Council, is the third stage on the UCI World Cup Downhill calendar which kicked-off in Lourdes last weekend. It was recently named as the number one mountain biking event to attend in 2016 in a Red Bull Top 10 list. 

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We have supported the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup for many years now and are looking forward to the 2016 event as much as ever.

    “The event is hugely important for the Highlands and for Scotland as a whole, and we are sure that mountain bike lovers in their thousands are already making travel arrangements for this exhilarating weekend of action, which will include witnessing Steve’s final tilt at the Fort William title.”

    Prices remain unchanged from last year’s event, with tickets costing from £14 for adults and £8 for children aged 6 – 17 years old. Family packages are also available starting from £36. For more details on the event and to buy tickets, visit www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk.

    Category: Cycling

  • 14 April 2016

    Bumper Year for Glasgow International Comedy Festival

    Over 78,000 tickets sold, critically-acclaimed performances from international stars and homegrown talent and over 40 sell-out shows - 14th successful year for the Glasgow International Comedy Festival.

    As the Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF) closes for another year, organisers announce that the eighteen-day festival was a resounding success with 78,177 tickets sold in total – one of the highest over attendances for the event. There were 42 sell out shows altogether.

    A proudly Glaswegian event with a distinctive international flavour, on and off stage memorable moments from GICF 2016 include: Channel 4 Last Leg star Adam Hills stripping to his boxers on the Kings Theatre stage for his show which raised over £3500 for MND Scotland; US stand up and writer on Tina Fey’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Marlena Rodriguez being introduced to haggis pizza on her first ever trip to the UK; and Whose Line Is It Anyway favourite Greg Proops receiving gifts of Tunnocks Tea Cakes, Irn Bru and homemade tablet from the audience at the recording of his cult hit Smartest Man in The World podcast.

    Performers and venues alike lined up to share their love of the festival which is now an established favourite in the comedy calendar.

    Greg Proops said: “Glasgow is the rough and tough adopted hometown I never had. The audience is the keenest, most discerning and the one I am desperate to please… Glasgow has the fairest sense of humour of anywhere on the series of islands known as the UK. I got drunk, I had fish supper and a cabbie went out of his way to tell me he had never heard of me. It was grand.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Glasgow International Comedy Festival has earned a sterling reputation for delivering an outstanding programme of events that attracts thousands of visitors each year, and 2016 was no exception. The festival brings great benefit to venues of all sizes throughout Glasgow and provides a platform for both established and up-and-coming acts to perform in a city known the world over as a centre for comedy.”

    Sarah Watson, Director of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, said: “We’re hugely proud to have delivered another successful festival, with hundreds of shows spreading laughter across the city. The most rewarding things are to look out on a theatre full of people having a great night out, and the brilliant feedback that we get from visiting performers about how much they have enjoyed visiting Glasgow. After our 14th year we are seeing the success of both large venues like the King’s Theatre and Citizens and smaller venues like Yesbar, State Bar, Hug and Pint and The Griffin running a full programme throughout the festival which will really help to consolidate the presence of the event in the city and provide a firm foundation to grow the festival over the next five years.”

    Joe Aitken, Head of Major Events at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB), said: “This year’s Glasgow International Comedy Festival has been another terrific success, driven by its talented local team which works year-round to deliver a packed programme and attract the biggest names in comedy, from home and abroad, to our city. The Festival continues to be a standout visitor attraction on Glasgow’s annual events calendar, which not only generates real benefit for our tourism economy but reinforces our reputation as a must-visit destination.”

    The Glasgow International Comedy Festival will return from 9 – 26 March 2017. Keep up to date with all the latest news by registering at glasgowcomedyfestival.com and follow on Facebook and Twitter @glasgowcomedy.

    Category: Comedy

  • 12 April 2016

    Exhibition Launch Gives a Flavour of Scotland’s Best Open Studios Weekend

    The annual Spring Fling Showcase exhibition was launched on Friday, featuring work from around 60 of artists, makers and designers.

    Well over 100 people turned out for a special preview at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries.

    Among them were Craft Scotland Director Fiona Logue and Dumfries Provost Councillor Ted Thompson.

    The exhibitors are all artists, makers and designers who have been selected for Spring Fling 2016, which is Scotland’s premier contemporary visual art and craft open studios event.

    The showcase runs from 9 April to 21 May and is unusual because it is not only a chance to see finished works, but to discover how they were created.

    Fiona said she was “hugely impressed” by the exhibition and the way it helped people understand the creative processes that go into a piece of art or craft.

    She was also full of praise for Spring Fling and said: “I just wish I could clone it and take it to other parts of Scotland.”

    The Provost added that the arts play an important role in the Dumfries and Galloway economy, generating jobs, income and opportunities and that strong ties between the council and the creative sector are essential.

    He said: “I would very much like to thank Spring Fling for its contribution to the region.”

    Clare Hanna, Director (maternity cover) for Upland the arts agency which runs Spring Fling, said: “We were delighted to see such a big turnout for the launch and hear so much enthusiasm for what Spring Fling achieves.

    “We are very proud to act as a showcase for some of the remarkable creativity that there is in Dumfries and Galloway.

    “Hopefully visitors will enjoy the chance to come to Gracefield and get a foretaste of all the exciting things we have to offer for the main weekend.”

    The exhibition has been curated by Joanna Macaulay, Upland’s Events and Exhibitions Manager.

    Among the participating artists and makers at the exhibition are Morgan Hardie, Archie McCall, Fraser Irvine, Clare Dawdry, Andy Priestman, Angela Lawrence, Natalie Vardey, Amanda Simmons, Clare Melinksy, Denise Zygadlo, Morag Macpherson, Rory Laycock, Suzanne Stuart Davies, Michael Batey, Jo Gallant, Hazel Campbell, Kaz Robertson, Silvana McLean, Hannah McAndrew & Doug Fitch, Patti Lean, Hazel Campbell, Jennie Ashmore, Sarah Stewart, Davy Brown, Cathy Sidhu, Daniel Lacey.

     

    The main open studios weekend features 94 artists and makers all across the region and takes place from 28 to 30 May.

    Visit the Spring Fling website here. 

    Category: Visual & Performing Arts

  • 08 April 2016

    European Sport Tourism Awards

    The inaugural Shannon Group European Sport Tourism Awards aim to recognise and reward innovation and achievement in sport tourism from across Europe. Events, destinations and venues which have made outstanding contributions to the sport tourism industry will be acknowledged in front of a global audience of sport tourism influencers and practitioners.  Entries must be received no later than 5pm Friday 1st May.  All applications must be in English. The 2015 Awards Presentation will be hosted on the evening of Thursday 14th May in King Johns Castle, Limerick.

    For more information on how to enter http://sporttourismsummit.ie/awards/

    Category: Industry News

  • 08 April 2016

    Scottish Clan Fund Opens to Applications for 2017/18 Events

     

    The Scottish Clan Event Fund aims to support the growth of Clan events and expand the visitor experience across Scotland as a whole. The programme is open to Clans and Clan Societies organising events across Scotland which take place out with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
    2017 has been designated the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology and will celebrate Scotland's unique history and heritage with a programme of activity aimed at supporting and driving the nation’s tourism and events sector. The year will celebrate both intangible and tangible heritage – buildings, visitor attractions, archaeological sites; as well as diverse stories, traditions and culture – with a focus on engagement and participation. EventScotland are particularly keen to hear about how planned events and activities will align with and celebrate the Year.
    Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available for activities taking place in Scotland which:
    - Generate economic benefits for specific regions of Scotland.
    - Attract visitors from outside of Scotland to Clan events.
    - Involve local communities by offering opportunities for public engagement and community participation.
    - Have measurable outcomes that confirm additional net spend in Scotland.
    - Benefit the Clans and Clan Societies with increased visitor numbers and increased membership.
    - Take place between 1 July 2017 and 31 December 2018.
    - Grant applications must not exceed 25% of the overall event income.
    Funding is available for activities such as:
    - Strategic marketing.
    - Adding a new element to the event.
    - Hired equipment to improve the visitor experience.
    - Hired equipment to increase capacity.
    - Travel and transport to and from events in rural areas to support community engagement.
    Applicants should first register a 'note of interest in applying' by contacting EventScotland between 8 April and 20 May 2016.
    The deadline for applications is 26 August 2016.
    Click here for more information on The Scottish Clan Event Fund. 

    The Scottish Clan Event Fund aims to support the growth of Clan events and expand the visitor experience across Scotland as a whole. The programme is open to Clans and Clan Societies organising events across Scotland which take place out with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

    2017 has been designated the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology and will celebrate Scotland's unique history and heritage with a programme of activity aimed at supporting and driving the nation’s tourism and events sector. The year will celebrate both intangible and tangible heritage – buildings, visitor attractions, archaeological sites; as well as diverse stories, traditions and culture – with a focus on engagement and participation. EventScotland are particularly keen to hear about how planned events and activities will align with and celebrate the Year.

    Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available for activities taking place in Scotland that:

    - Generate economic benefits for specific regions of Scotland.

    - Attract visitors from outside of Scotland to Clan events.- Involve local communities by offering opportunities for public engagement and community participation.

    - Have measurable outcomes that confirm additional net spend in Scotland.

    - Benefit the Clans and Clan Societies with increased visitor numbers and increased membership.

    - Take place between 1 July 2017 and 31 December 2018.

    - Grant applications must not exceed 25% of the overall event income.

    Funding is available for activities such as:

    - Strategic marketing.

    - Adding a new element to the event.

    - Hired equipment to improve the visitor experience.

    - Hired equipment to increase capacity.

    - Travel and transport to and from events in rural areas to support community engagement.

    Applicants should first register a 'note of interest in applying' by contacting EventScotland between 8 April and 20 May 2016.

    The deadline for applications is 26 August 2016.

    Click here for more information on The Scottish Clan Event Fund. 

     

    Category: Heritage

  • 07 April 2016

    500 days to go to Glasgow's World Championships

    The countdown begins in earnest today with 500 days to go until the TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships 2017 come to Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 21-27 August next year.

    Tickets will go on sale on 6 June but before that, fans who have registered for priority access tickets will have the opportunity to get their pick of the seats when the pre-sale starts on 23 May... and it’s not too late to get on the list if you haven’t already done so. Just go to www.glasgow2017.com to register.

    To mark the 500-day milestone former world silver medallist Robert Blair, who was also a bronze medal winner with Imogen Bankier at the Commonwealth Games, today visited the Easter Holiday badminton camps being staged by Glasgow Life at the National Badminton Academy, Scotstoun.

    The Scotland doubles star gave the children some coaching pointers and talked to them about what it’s like to play in a world championships and the magical feeling you have standing on the podium at the end of a major tournament.

    Robert said: “It was great to see the youngsters enjoying their badminton and hopefully they will get the chance to come and watch the sport’s best players when the World Championships come to Glasgow next year.”

    The Emirates hosted the highly successful badminton tournament at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and is now the established home of the Scottish Open Grand Prix every November.

    BADMINTONscotland has already organised and hosted several global events including the World Championships and Sudirman Cup in a two-week feast of badminton in 1997 as well as the 2007 Sudirman Cup.

    Now the governing body is ready to enhance its worldwide reputation for staging major events. The World Championships promises to be one of the highlights in Glasgow’s 2017 sporting calendar and is being delivered in partnership with Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council and with funding support from EventScotland and UK Sport.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships 2017 will be another opportunity for Scotland to prove that it is the perfect stage for major sporting events and builds upon the nation’s commitment to attract internationally-significant events year-upon-year.

    “It is with great excitement that we pass the 500 days to go milestone to this tremendously important occasion, which will not only bring hundreds of athletes and thousands of spectators to Glasgow, but also inspire Scotland’s next generation to become engaged in sport for the years to come.”

    Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of BADMINTONscotland, said: “We can feel the excitement growing day by day and we want the whole city to get behind this global badminton event coming to Glasgow.

    “We want to build a lasting legacy on the back of these Championships and get more and more people of all ages playing badminton. There won’t be a better opportunity to grow the sport in Scotland.

    “For some of our youngsters the Easter Camps are the first steps in a long-lasting love affair with a sport you can play from childhood to old age. I look forward to seeing many of these youngsters at our Scottish Open Grand Prix in November and at the World Championships next year.”

    Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said: “The countdown is now well and truly on for the 2017 World Badminton Championships – the next major international sporting event to be hosted in Glasgow during what is a golden era for sport.

    “It promises to be a showcase of top-class action with the very best players from across the world set to grace the Emirates Arena – the same venue that gave us so many magical moments during the Commonwealth Games.

    “But it will not just be about world-class sporting competition next summer. Events such as the World Badminton Championships will help inspire the next generation of players which is what we are seeing at camps such as todays. It will also reinforce our reputation as one of the world’s top 10 sporting cities – a position built on our investment in world-class facilities and our international events programme.”

    Tickets go on general sale on 6 June but if you can’t wait that long go to www.glasgow2017.com to register your interest for the priority access pre-sale which starts on 23 May.

    Category: Racquet Sports

  • 06 April 2016

    Edinburgh International Festival 2016 Programme Announced

    Today Festival Director Fergus Linehan unveiled the 2016 Edinburgh International Festival programme. This year’s International Festival runs from Friday 5 to Monday 29 August, welcoming 2,442 artists from 36 nations to perform in Scotland’s capital city. 

    Fergus Linehan said: ‘The International Festival is an invitation from the people of Scotland to people from all over the world to join us in an unparalleled celebration of creativity, virtuosity and originality.  The calibre, ambition and passion of the artists and ensembles in this year’s programme combined with Edinburgh’s electric Festival atmosphere, will make for an unforgettable experience for newcomers and International Festival veterans alike.’

    • Some of the world’s greatest artists and ensembles perform at the International Festival in 2016
    • Artists making their first appearance at the International Festival include Cecilia Bartoli, Youssou N’Dour, James Thierrée, Barry Humphries and Mogwai
    • Major productions from two of the world’s leading opera festivals, Salzburg Festpiele (Norma) and Festival d’Aix en Provence (Cosi fan tutte)
    • An epic celebration of the start of the festival season, Deep Time is an animated artwork which will transform Castle Rock and Edinburgh Castle
    • Major classical music artists include Sir András Schiff, Maxim Vengerov, Daniil Trifonov, Mikhail Pletnev, Anja Kampe, Karen Cargill and Sir John Eliot Gardner
    • Celebrated director John Tiffany returns to Scotland with the European premiere of his Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie
    • The 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare is celebrated with events across the programme and international re-imaginings of three key plays
    • Visits from world leading orchestras including the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Russian National Orchestra
    • Scottish artists take centre stage in a series of concerts celebrating contemporary Scottish music
    • The Hub plays host to a nightly house show hosted by Scottish stage and screen star Alan Cumming
    • Events for families and young people, including two contrasting dance theatre works

    Unveiling his second International Festival programme, Linehan revealed a rich mix of world-class artists and ensembles from across the performing arts, alongside a superb showcase of Scottish-based talent.

    Major artists appearing in the programme include renowned Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli, legendary Australian satirist Barry Humphries, revered conductor Herbert Blomstedt, Oscar-nominated singer ANOHNI, world-renowned ballerina Natalia Osipova, celebrated director John Tiffany, UK ensemble Cheek by Jowl, post-rock icons Sigur Rós, celebrated Scottish actor Alan Cumming, Edinburgh’s own Mercury Prize-winners Young Fathers, leading conductor Marin Alsop, acclaimed pianist Daniil Trifonov, Senegal’s most celebrated musician Youssou N’Dour and work by choreographer Crystal Pite.

    The start of Edinburgh’s festival season is celebrated with a free, public outdoor event at 10.30pm on Sunday 7 August. Deep Time is a digitally animated artwork using the iconic locations of Edinburgh Castle and Castle Rock as the rugged canvas for projections and illuminations inspired by the city’s past. The event explores 350 million years of Edinburgh history, uncovering the unique geology of a landscape formed by volcanic activity, while celebrating the intellectual legacy of the city and in particular James Hutton, the Edinburgh scientist and ‘father of modern geology’.  Hutton’s work greatly contributed to the evidence-based academic revolution of the Scottish Enlightenment and shifted modern thinking about how the world was formed. Deep Time is set to a specially compiled soundtrack of music by Scottish rock band Mogwai and is produced by Tony-award winning 59 Productions, creators of the acclaimed Harmonium Project that launched Festival 2015. 59 Productions will employ cutting-edge 3d animation and projection techniques to create the event, also working in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, with academics from across the science, arts and humanities faculties contributing. The event is free but ticketed, with full event and booking details released on 20 June.  Fergus Linehan also named 59 Productions as Associate Artists of the International Festival for the next three years:  ‘59 Productions have, time and again, created innovative and compelling work in the fields of music, theatre, opera, film and visual arts while pioneering the use of new technologies. We are delighted to be working with such a remarkable group of artists over the next three years.’

    The world’s foremost classical musicians gather once more in Edinburgh with 42 concerts and recitals in the Usher and Queen’s halls. Visiting orchestras include the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Russian National Orchestra. Major soloists performing include pianist Daniil Trifonov, who gives three concerts throughout the International Festival, Sir András Schiff, Richard Goode, Maxim Vengerov and Mikhail Pletnev, as well as world-class singers including Anja Kampe, Karen Cargill, Stuart Skelton and Vitalij Kowaljow. On the podium, acclaimed conductors include Herbert Blomstedt, Sir Antonio Pappano, Yannick Nézét Seguin, Marin Alsop and Donald Runnicles.  Outstanding choral moments bookend the Usher Hall opening and closing concerts, which feature the Edinburgh Festival Chorus performing Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Schoenberg’s rarely performed Gurrelieder.

    Celebrated Director John Tiffany returns to Scotland with the European premiere of his production of Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie, running at the King’s Theatre for two weeks. Originally created with American Repertory Theatre in Boston, the show transferred to Broadway in 2013 to huge critical acclaim; Ben Brantley of the New York Times hailed Tiffany’s ‘stunning production... which promises to be the most revealing revival of a cornerstone classic for many a year to come.’ The production stars Tony-award winning American stage and screen actor Cherry Jones as Amanda Wingfield. John Tiffany’s Black Watch for the National Theatre of Scotland toured the world to universal acclaim and his Broadway production of the musical Once won eight Tony Awards. As Associate Director of the National Theatre of Scotland he directed The Bacchae at the 2007 International Festival. John is currently in rehearsals for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, opening in London’s West End this summer, of which he is co-writer and director. 

    2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, whose work resonates throughout the programme. Three theatre companies present contrasting international perspectives on his work. Renowned theatre maker Thomas Ostermeier returns to the International Festival with a reworking of Richard III in a critically acclaimed production from Berlin’s Schaubühne Theatre; Cheek by Jowl, led by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, unites with Moscow’s Pushkin Theatre for their International Festival debuts with Measure for Measure, a compelling production which draws parallels with modern Russia. British-born director Dan Jemmett and his French-based company Eat a Crocodile bring Shake, a five-piece re-imagining of Twelfth Night. The Bard’s influence also extends through the classical music programme with Shakespearean-inspired music from Rossini, Bellini, Verdi, Berlioz, Strauss and Tchaikovsky in concerts at the Usher and Queen’s halls.

    A special concert series celebrates the remarkable reach and international success of Scottish contemporary music. From post-punk to post-rock, art-school infused pop, Scots traditional and modern folk, electronica and hip hop - with some events fusing music with film and animation - these concerts shine a light on the unique character of modern Scottish music and the artists working within it. The line-up includes Lau’s Martin Green working with collaborators from Portishead, The Unthanks and Mogwai in the world premiere of Flit, Greg Lawson’s monumental reworking of Martyn Bennett’s masterpiece Grit which was originally commissioned by and premiered at Celtic Connections, Edinburgh’s Mercury Prize winning Young Fathers, Glasgow electronic artist Hudson Mohawke’s production work with ANOHNI and Oneohtrix Point Never, the world premiere of Wind Resistance from folk singer-songwriter Karine Polwart, documentary Where You’re Meant To Be with live performance from Aidan Moffat, Scottish rock band Mogwai with a live performance of new album Atomic, the folk, jazz and classical Indian fusion of Yorkston/Thorne/Khan and a special performance from post-punk pioneer Emma Pollock. This series is supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund. 

    The home of the International Festival, The Hub, will be the venue for a nightly house show which runs throughout August, as well as hosting seven intimate concerts. One of Scotland’s best-loved artists Alan Cumming takes up residence over three weeks and 20 performances, with his cabaret show, Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs! Alan dispenses seductive songs and intimate stories featuring very personal reinterpretations of the songs he loves to sing.

    The International Festival continues to programme work for young people and families, including two contrasting dance pieces. Fusing dance, storytelling and interactive animation, Chotto Desh is the first family show created by Akram Khan, reworked from his Olivier Award-winning autobiographical solo show DESH. Raw is a dynamic and gritty dance theatre work from Belgium’s Kabinet K, made by young people for young people. The International Festival also continues to offer great value for young ticket buyers aged 18 and under, with a discount of 50% available on selected events from the opening of ticket sales. Students in full time education are entitled to a discount of 30% from 6 July onwards, with £8 tickets available for those aged 26 and under, on the day of performance. The International Festival’s year-round work with young people includes a three-year residency at Castlebrae Community High School, now in its second year, with workshops and events as well as a bespoke mentoring and work experience programme. This summer includes a visit from International Festival artist Alan Cumming, to talk about his life as a performer and actor to pupils and staff at Castlebrae.

    Edinburgh’s summer festival season will again be brought to a spectacular conclusion on Monday 29 August with the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert. Over 400,000 fireworks will burst into the sky above Edinburgh Castle, choreographed to live music from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Estonian conductor Kristiina Poska, continuing 2016’s Shakespearean celebrations with two interpretations of his best known love story, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and the Symphonic Dances from Bernstein’s classic West Side Story. Ahead of the Fireworks Concert, there will also be a Schools Concert taking place at the Ross Theatre in Princes St Gardens on the morning of Monday 29 August, with school children invited from across Edinburgh to hear live music from SCO VIBE, a fusion orchestra open to young musicians aged 11–18. 

    Tickets for all events at the International Festival go on sale on Saturday 16 April at 10am, unless signed up for priority booking which opens on Wednesday 6 April at 10am.

    Category: International Events

  • 06 April 2016

    BT Murrayfield aiming for bumper Guinness PRO12 Final

    Scottish Rugby’s BT Murrayfield Stadium is on course to deliver one of the biggest Guinness PRO12 finals ever.

    Ticket allocations for the 2016 Final on Saturday 28 May, which will be hosted in Scotland for the first time, already show an expected crowd larger than the 2015 edition in Belfast, which Glasgow Warriors famously won.

    Scottish Rugby, which is hosting the Final, has teamed up with Edinburgh Council, EventScotland, MarketingEdinburgh and the Guinness PRO12 to promote the event to both dedicated rugby fans and ‘big eventers’ who travel to destination cities to be part of one-off occasions.

    Advertising campaigns are planned across Scotland, as well as Ireland and Wales, to promote what will be a great sporting occasion, combined with an opportunity to visit Edinburgh.

    A crowd in excess of last year’s Belfast Final is expected at BT Murrayfield, with thousands of tickets due to be sold as the season reaches its finale.

    With only three rounds left of the regular Guinness PRO12 season, up to six teams are still in with a chance of finishing in the top four places, which would put them in the play-offs and a chance to reach the Final at BT Murrayfield.

    Defending Champions Glasgow Warriors are currently in fourth place, with a game in hand on teams above them in the league, putting them in a decent position to finish in the top four places.

    Edinburgh Rugby set themselves the target of winning all remaining matches to push for a play-off place, with a home game versus Cardiff and two away fixtures against Irish opposition in Munster and Leinster respectively.

    Martin Anayi, Managing Director of the Guinness PRO12, said: “The Guinness PRO12 Final is the flagship event for our championship and we look forward to welcoming fans from all teams in the league to Edinburgh to watch the finale of our season against the backdrop of a great city in which they can explore and enjoy. 

    “We are delighted that supporters from across the four nations that compete in the Guinness PRO12 are supporting the event and will ensure that no matter what teams make it to the Final on 28 May that it will be a celebration of rugby and a great and memorable event to be part of.”

    Scottish Rugby’s Chief Operating Officer, Dominic McKay, said: “We are very proud to be hosting the 2016 Guinness PRO12 Final at BT Murrayfield. We are fortunate to have both an amazing, rugby friendly city for fans to enjoy and an iconic stadium for them to visit at what promises to be a showpiece Final. The interest in the Final is growing every week and we look forward to welcoming the successful teams and their supporters on Saturday 28th May.”

    Tickets for the Guinness PRO12 Final (Saturday 28 May) are available now from scottishrugby.org.

    Category: Rugby

  • 05 April 2016

    SCOTLAND TO SHARE EVENTS EXPERTISE WITH INTERNATIONAL INDUSTRY OFFICIALS

    Scotland will reinforce its leading position in staging major events over the coming weeks, with VisitScotland and EventScotland personnel playing key roles in a number of high-profile engagements during the month of April.

    On Tuesday April 5, Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, will deliver an address at a unique Franco-British ‘Sport is Great’ forum hosted in Paris by UK Trade & Investment, the government agency which seeks to boost the success of UK businesses in international markets. The day-long conference will bring together high-level speakers and leading voices from the French and British sports industries to debate key issues and discuss forthcoming major events.

    Specifically, Mr Bush will provide an overview of Scotland’s vision for the events industry detailed within the national event strategy, Scotland the Perfect Stage, and discuss the economic, social and cultural importance of bidding for and delivering major events.

    On the same day, Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, will also be engaged in the French capital, at the headquarters of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. There, Mr Turner will advise the OECD Tourism Committee on the role played by Scotland’s events portfolio in driving tourism. 

    Later in the month, Messrs Bush and Turner will be called upon to share Scotland’s expertise at the annual SportAccord Convention, taking place at the Swiss Tech Convention Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland. From April 17-22, the World Sport and Business Summit will bring together International Federations and officials from all levels of sport and related industry sectors to discuss key challenges, address business opportunities and drive innovation.

    On ‘City Day’ (Tuesday April 19), Mr Turner will first take part in the ‘City-to-City’ gathering, attended by representatives from regions, cities and countries who are encouraged to share experiences and lessons learned. The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships will form the basis of a presentation on the role played by Scottish partners in delivering that landmark event and the example this provides to other municipalities.

    Mr Bush will then play a central role in the City Forum, a ‘go-to’ event for delegates which boasts an excellent line-up of speakers who will assess the impact of sporting events. He will be joined on stage by BBC World journalist and anchor, David Eades, to discuss the process through which cities can determine which sporting events to bid for and when it’s the right time to ‘just say no’.  

    Ahead of the ‘Sport is Great Forum’ in Paris, Mr Bush said:

    “Scotland’s status as a leading event destination is now acknowledged worldwide and this has been cemented by our best practice approach to bidding for, securing and delivering major events.

    I am delighted that both Stuart and I have been asked to share the knowledge and expertise that Scotland has demonstrated in recent years through the staging of events like the XX Commonwealth Games, 2014 Ryder Cup and 2015 World Gymnastics Championships, in Paris and at the SportAccord Convention.

    “These invitations to present to some of the leading figures within the global sporting events sector about what we have learned, as well as the skills and knowledge we now possess, are a huge endorsement of the progress made by all parties within Scotland’s events industry.”

    Nis Hatt, Managing Director of SportAccord Convention, said:

    “Over the years, Scotland has continued to win and host world class events. Its success is self-evident with the growing list of past and future sporting events, placing Scotland firmly on the international map as a desirable ‘go-to’ destination for sport.

    “EventScotland’s success is a great example of the opportunities and value the SportAccord Convention brings to host cities, by helping to put them in front of key decision-makers for sport.”

    Category: EventScotland News

  • 05 April 2016

    BRITAIN’S BEST SWIMMERS SET FOR TOLLCROSS AHEAD OF RIO 2016 OLYMPIC GAMES

    Britain’s best swimmers are set to go head to head in Glasgow next week as they continue their preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

    The British Swimming Championships takes place at Tollcross International Swimming Centre (TISC) between Tuesday 12 and Sunday 17 April and will feature the nation’s very best swimmers. It will be one of the final chances to see them in action in home water ahead of the Olympic Games this August.

    Leading the medal charge at the British Championships will be Glasgow born Michael Jamieson – who has won silver medals at Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European level and former City of Glasgow swimmer Robbie Renwick – a gold medallist at both Commonwealth and World level.

    Both swimmers are looking forward to returning to the venue that has played such an important part in their respective careers and are promising the crowd will be blown away by the level of competition at the Championships. 

    Jamieson said: “It will be great to be back at Tollcross. It is such a special venue and the fans are brilliant. They always get behind us and I am sure they will raise the roof again next week at the British Championships.

    “The very best swimmers in the country will be in action so the standard will be incredibly high. It is going to be a brilliant event and I’m really looking forward to be a part of it all. It will be unforgettable for the swimmers and fans alike.”

    Renwick added: “I have so many happy memories of competing at Tollcross and it will be great to see the fans again at the British Championships. They really love their swimming and it is a pleasure to perform for them.

    “The noise is something else in the venue. Everyone was talking about the Tollcross Roar during the Commonwealth Games and I have no doubt it will be the same when we get back there next week.”

    Tickets are available from here starting at just £6 for concessions (U16 and 60+) and £8 for adults. Family tickets (2 adults and 2 concessions) start at just £22.

    Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said: “Over the years Tollcross International Swimming Centre has played host to a number of top events and the British Swimming Championships fits into that category.

    “Both Michael and Robbie know exactly what it is like to compete at Tollcross. The atmosphere is incredible and that will be the case again next week as the country’s top swimmers continue their preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. It is shaping up to be an unmissable event.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “As the final opportunity to see the UK’s finest swimmers in action before Rio, the British Swimming Championships is set to be an absolutely thrilling occasion full of excitement and drama.

    “We are delighted to welcome such a prestigious event to Scotland and I’m sure that Michael and Robbie are going to relish the opportunity of competing at Tollcross in front of a sell-out home crowd once more.”

    The British Swimming Championships is being delivered in partnership between British Swimming and Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council with funding support from UK Sport and EventScotland.

    TISC has hosted some of the world’s most prestigious events including the 2013 Speedo Duel in the Pool, the swimming competitions at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships. It will also host the 2018 LEN European Swimming Championships as part of the inaugural European Championships, which is being co-hosted by Glasgow.

    Originally opened in 1997, TISC is Scotland’s premier swimming venue and one of the largest facilities of its kind in Europe. It reopened to the public in May 2013 following a comprehensive £14million refurbishment carried out in advance of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. 

    The facility now includes a 10-lane 50-metre competition pool, a six-lane 50-metre warm-up pool, 2,000 permanent seats and one of the largest and best equipped Glasgow Club health and fitness facilities in the city, with close to 100 of the very latest cardiovascular and strength and conditioning stations.

    TISC is one of the busiest Glasgow Club facilities in the city. Attendances at the venue stand at 1.5million since it reopened in May 2013. 

    Category: International Events

  • 01 April 2016

    Scottish Event Awards 2016 Opens for Entries

    The Scottish Event Awards is back for its 9th successive year to recognise and reward those often behind the scenes. Whether you are an event organiser, promoter, supplier, in-house team or venue the Scottish Event Awards is your platform to shine in 2016.

    Entry Deadline – 5pm Friday 20 May
    Nominations announced – 3pm Wednesday 13 July
    Scottish Event Awards – Radisson Hotel, Glasgow – 5 October


    You can find out more about the categories, register to enter and download an entry pack at www.scottisheventawards.net. New in 2016 is a public vote award for Event of the Year.  Entries will be shortlisted by the judges and sent out to a public vote to award the winner. 

    EventScotland is Headline Sponsor of the 2016 awards, Paul Bush, VisitScotland Director of Events, said:

    “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the Scottish Event Awards 2016.  The awards reflect the strength of the Scottish events industry which is now worth £3.5 billion to the Scottish economy. Scotland is the Perfect Stage for events and we encourage everyone in the industry to share their excellent work and achievements by entering when the time comes.”

    For more information and to begin your entry check out www.scottisheventawards.net or contact pepe.terry@thedrum.com.

    Category: Industry News

  • 01 April 2016

    Malt and moo-sic: Speyside farmers launch bid to produce beef to rival world famous Kobe beef from Japan

    Farmers on Speyside are being urged to lead a fight back for the Scotch whisky industry after a Japanese malt was named best in the world - by feeding their cattle a daily dram.

    Watch the video here.

    A nip of our national drink - coupled with a diet of high quality feed from distillery by-products - could produce meat so succulent and tender that it will rival Japan’s famous Kobe beef.

    And it is thought that playing cattle upbeat traditional Scots music, in much the same way that Kobe herds enjoy classical sounds, will further enhance the quality of the beef.

    Now there are calls from organisers of the world renowned Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival for local farmers to help further trial the theory.

    Thousands of visitors from all over the globe visit the annual Festival, and organisers are concerned about the level of attention being focused on Japanese whisky.

    Ann Miller, a director of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, says, “We do not believe there is anywhere on earth that produces better malt whisky than Speyside - and millions of whisky drinkers agree.

    “We were genuinely shocked and dismayed when Yamazaki was named the best whisky in the world, but we are firm believers in the old adage of don’t get mad, get even.

    “And that is exactly what we intend to do. All the signs indicate that introducing Speyside malt into a cow’s diet and using animal feed created from distillery by-products gives the meat a lovely, whisky-tinged flavour.”

    The incredible discovery was made by Speyside farmers Ali Rolfop and Joe King, who have a herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle.

    They were mucking out a byre one evening on their farm, Ure Gullybale, near the distillery town of Keith and poured a bottle of single malt Scotch into a water trough.

    Ali explains, “I’m a big fan of two of Speyside’s most famous products – malt whisky and traditional music – and so I decided to share these with our cattle.

    “The next day, we noticed their coats were shiny and their eyes were bright. We’ve since been sharing a bottle of malt with them and we even have some local fiddlers come down to perform. We tasted the beef from the herd for the first time a couple of weeks ago and it is sensational - there is definitely a hint of whisky in the meat.”

    The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival takes place from April 28 to May 2 and is one of the biggest events of its kind anywhere in the world. It comprises almost 500 different events, from distillery tours to whisky tastings, from ceilidhs to comedy nights, and from whisky themed dinners to outdoor events.

    Ann adds, “With all this focus on Japan, I suppose we are a little worried that the thousands of visitors who fly in from all corners of the globe to enjoy our Festival might be tempted to go there instead.

    “But while Japan may have been able to produce some decent drams, it doesn’t have the history and heritage of Scotch whisky. We’ve been producing the best whisky in the world for generations - no beef about it – and while they have learned how to make whisky from us, we’re now learning from their farming techniques.”

    Tickets for all events in the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme are available to buy now at www.spiritofspeyside.com The Festival is also active on social media – facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside on Twitter and on Instagram.

    Category: Comedy

  • 31 March 2016

    EUROPEAN ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS LEGACY PLANS FOR STRATHCLYDE COUNTRY PARK WILL SERVE LOCAL COMMUNITY FOR YEARS TO COME

    European Rowing Championships legacy plans for Strathclyde Country Park will serve the local community for years to come, according to the governing body for World Rowing (FISA).

    Following the federation’s first technical visit this month, Matt Smith, FISA’s Executive Director, said the Park’s loch would not only provide an excellent venue for the 2018 event but deliver economic, social and sporting legacy for the local community and host city of Glasgow.

    Strathclyde Country Park in North Lanarkshire will welcome 600 rowers as part of the inaugural 2018 European Championships, a new multi-sport event on the world stage. The Park will also host the triathlon during the 12 days of competition.

    Staged by the Host Cities of Glasgow and Berlin, the 2018 European Championships will bring together the existing championships of athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon as well as include a new Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles.

    Around 3025 athletes will come to Scotland as part of a total delegation of 8500 including officials, media and others. A further 1500 athletes will compete in Berlin in the European Athletics Championships.

    With the number of television viewers for the event projected at a potential 1.03 billion – with many more across digital channels – Glasgow and Scotland will be promoted across multiple European markets as a leisure and business destination.

    As part of improvements being made ahead of the event at Strathclyde Country Park, the iconic timing tower is to be extended to ensure the loch remains on the roster of world-class rowing venues well beyond 2018.

    Matt Smith said: “The Strathclyde rowing venue is one we know well as it has hosted a number of international events in recent years. With the extension to the finish tower as well as several other improvements, we are confident that it will not only provide an excellent venue for the 2018 European Championships of Rowing, but will continue to serve the community for a long time to come.

    “This is approach is very much in line with World Rowing’s strategy which prioritises a sustainable economic, social and sporting legacy that will be available to the local community and affordable for host cities. I am convinced that Strathclyde and the City of Glasgow will benefit from this rowing venue. "

    Colin Hartley, Glasgow 2018 Championships Director, said: “It was a pleasure to host FISA’s first technical visit along with our partners from Scottish and British Rowing and North Lanarkshire Council.

    “We have pledged to work together to deliver not only a fantastic rowing competition which will project Strathclyde Country Park as a destination and world- class rowing venue across Europe and the wider world, but ensure that the event is delivered sustainably and to the benefit of the local community which is a priority for all the delivery partners.”

    Category: Sailing, Boating & Rowing

  • 30 March 2016

    St Peter’s Seminary illuminates Scotland on the world stage

    Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events has once again been reinforced over the last ten days with NVA’s ‘Hinterland’ offering capacity audiences of almost 8,000, the opportunity to rediscover the unique architectural features and dramatic allure of St Peter’s Seminary, and its surrounding landscape in Cardross.

    The event which was supported by EventScotland and is a key highlight of both the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and the Festival of Architecture 2016, has illuminated Scotland on the world stage in a new and exciting way through incredible imagery and thought-provoking reviews.  Events such as Hinterland shine a spotlight on Scotland’s hidden gems and our outstanding built heritage which is a major tourism asset.  

    Of course, events of this scale don’t happen overnight.  The success of Hinterland is testament to the vision, determination and passion of many individuals involved including the creative team, the local community and the event volunteers who demonstrated real #ScotSpirit in turning an ambition into a reality, for all to appreciate.

    Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland said:

    “Hinterland offered attendees a chance to celebrate a building of world significance at a key moment in its evolution.  Whilst it was important to explore its historical context, I believe Hinterland has also left people feeling inspired by its future journey.”

    “Last week’s investment announcement presents an important step in the journey towards the planned transformation to create one of the UK’s most significant new cultural venues, which in turn will enable even more audiences to appreciate this hugely significant building.” 

    Commenting on his Hinterland experience, Peter Higgins, Creative Director - Land Design Studio, London said:

    “Hinterland was a triumph - it was a unique experience like nothing I have seen before.  All I ask for is more!”

    “Congratulations to all parties involved for making this happen, from the creative passion, funding support, right through to the overall event experience and operational strategy.”

    Click here for more information on the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    Join the conversation using #IAD2016.

    Category: Visual & Performing Arts

  • 25 March 2016

    ‘Eat Perthshire’ Launches to Give Smaller Suppliers Big Opportunities

    An initiative has been launched that brings together the varied catering services of some of Perthshire’s finest producers into a collective offering.

     ‘Eat Perthshire’ aims to provide a single point of contact for event organisers throughout Scotland looking to source catering for events with the capability to handle large numbers matched with the quality and integrity of local suppliers.  

     Developed by Perth and Kinross Council’s inward investment campaign, Invest in Perth, Eat Perthshire was established as part of an overarching plan to support an industry at the heart of Perthshire life.

     LovSushi, a firm that is part of the Eat Perthshire offering, was formed just under four years ago by Ross Brown and Fraser Potter to recreate the quality of sushi they tasted on their travels, prioritising fresh Perthshire produce wherever possible.

     The Lov brand has already expanded strongly into an events catering with 3 units including Mexican and another planned for this year. The company now employs up to 22 seasonal staff, as well as three in full time positions. Ross and Fraser have also purchased another struggling company Cochrane Cottage which offers Fat Free dressings and marinades and is developing from strength to strength. 

     Ross Brown, Director of LovSushi, said:  “The support we have had from Perth and Kinross Council has been tremendous, it has had a direct positive impact on the number of local staff we have been able to take on.

     “At times of tough cutbacks and increased pressure on key services, they have been able to offer business support also securing funding for important events – vital for businesses such as ours.

     “Eat Perthshire is especially exciting for us as we hope to gain contacts, allowing  small businesses to collaborate and prosper locally – that can only be a good thing.” 

     Other businesses confirmed as part of the offering include: Hugh Grierson Organic; Sascha and Hugh Grierson; Fraser Potter and Ross Brown; Tabla;

    Seriously Good Venison; Vikki Banks; The Wee Pie Company; Rose Martin;

    Jim Fairlie, and the Simon Howie Foods Trailer.

     Suzanne Cumiskey, Business Development Officer at Invest in Perth, said: “Food and drink is integral to the economy of Perthshire and I am personally delighted to see the support the industry is getting through truly innovative initiatives and projects.

     “Eat Perthshire is another great way of celebrating the rich produce we have on our doorstep and an opportunity to market it to the rest of the country.

     “Collaboration is great for future growth and is central to everything at Eat Perthshire. Beyond that, the recent UK Craft Distillers conference and Showcasing Scotland have showcased Perthshire firms to a larger audience.”

     Eat Perthshire will be given a dedicated page on the recently revamped Invest in Perth website and is available via www.eatperthshire.com.

    Category: Industry News

  • 25 March 2016

    ALCHEMY FILM & MOVING IMAGE FESTIVAL 2016: PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS

    The 2016 Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival programme has launched! Peruse http://www.alchemyfilmfestival.org.uk/2016/2016-programme/ for the full details on this year’s leading features, installations, short films and everything else in-between. Summaries of the main events are listed below.

     Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival is Scotland’s international festival of experimental film and artists’ moving image. Taking place from 14th to 17th April, the 4-day festival is held in the ex-industrial mill town of Hawick in the Scottish Borders region of Scotland. Alchemy is one of the UK’s only festivals dedicated to experimental and artists’ film, and draws an international crowd of filmmakers and fans of the genre.

     This year’s theme is the ‘Altered State including notions of transcendence, political transition and material change, mental or spiritual transformation, and excavations of contemporary counterculture. 

    The festival is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

    The festival opens with the annual Alchemy Filmmaker Symposium features talks by high calibre and internationally recognised speakers in the world of artists’ film, including Steven Bode (UK), Bryan Konefsky (USA), Lucy Reynolds (UK) and Leighton Pierce (USA). 

    Artist’s Double Bill featuring the Scottish premieres of Red Moon Rising by Vivienne Dick (Ireland) and short films by London based artist Maryam Tafakory. Both artists work with performance, exploring issues of gender representation, visual poetics, politics and religion. Q&A with the directors present.

    Scottish premiere of White Ash (Leighton Pierce, USA) a visual journey into edges of consciousness built upon thousands of images shot on a moving stills camera. The film takes us on a journey through shifting perceptions evocative of meditative and dreamlike states. Q&A with the director present.

    In the World premiere of Silver (Allan Brown, Canada, 2015) a man from outer space sets out to free his father from a hospital. He is bathed in his own inner space of emotional closed circuits, alienation, rings, halos, loops, orbits, cycles, echoes and dream logic. Q&A with director.

    In the World premiere of Silver (Allan Brown, Canada, 2015) a man from outer space sets out to free his father from a hospital. He is bathed in his own inner space of emotional closed circuits, alienation, rings, halos, loops, orbits, cycles, echoes and dream logic. Q&A with director.

    In the UK premiere of Caspar Stracke’s time / OUT OF JOINT (Germany, 2015) the framework of the human condition is probed, by aiming to disrupt its incongruous and programmatic fate; life’s finitude marked by death. Part documentary, part science fiction, OOJ establishes a dialogue between eclectic groups of people united by a common dominator; their work is related to time reversal.

    UK premiere of Jennifer (Nina Danino, UK, 2015). The daily rituals and of an enclosed Carmelite nun are opened to us in this quietly observational and deeply contemplative film. The luminous interiority of the monastic life echoes through the choices that have informed Jennifer’s life and vocation. Q&A with the director present.

    Ettrick (Jacques Perconte, France, 2015). Made in the Scottish Borders, Ettrick traces the landscapes and machinery of the Scottish Borders Woollen mill industry, rendered in an impressionistic arc of abstract colour and movement. A UK premiere, following a recent showing at MoMa in New York. 

    Artists' moving image installations in empty shops, ex-industrial and office spaces around Hawick, including the UK premiere of Grayson Cooke’s Old Growth (Australia), using chemically degradation of film negatives to highlight ecological issues, while Belgium based Gauthier Keyaerts offers immersion into an interactive world of visuals in Fragments #43-44.

    There will be three curated film programmes by international guest curators, including Bryan Konefsky (Experiments in Cinema, USA), Emmanuel Lefrant (Lightcone, France) and Serge Dentin (Rencontres Internationales Sciences et Cinema, France).

    Our local Moving Image Makers Collective will be hosting a special screening of films made by its members. The Collective is a vibrant group of filmmakers that has enjoyed great success with a number of exhibitions and screenings throughout the Scottish Borders and Edinburgh over the last year.

    Film Performances Monteith McCollum’s Hidden Frequencies (USA) is a three movement live cinema performance exploring the history of communication technologies. The French artist Gaëlle Rouard performs live alchemical film manipulations using 16mm projectors, exploring the performative poetics of film as a material.

    Richard Ashrowan, Creative Director: “Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival is now approaching its sixth edition. Our vibrant international programme includes feature films, experimental shorts, video art installations and live performances, screening around 140 films, most of which are World, UK or Scottish premieres. The Festival has grown enormously every year, attracting 850 international film submissions in 2016. We have built a strong international profile and over 50 filmmakers from around the world have confirmed their attendance this year.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland: “We are proud to support The Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, one of the most revered gatherings of experimental filmmaking talent.

    Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events. The strength of this year’s programme is testament to this, showcasing works by both home and top international filmmakers and artists.”

    Category: National Events

  • 24 March 2016

    EDINBURGH ART FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2016 EXHIBITION PROGRAMME 28 JULY – 28 AUGUST 2016

    Edinburgh Art Festival (EAF) today announces its 2016 programme of partner exhibitions and pop-up events, combining ambitious solo and group presentations of international and Scottish contemporary artists alongside major art historical exhibitions and newly commissioned projects. The 13th edition of the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art, taking place in more than 30 venues across the city, will include 43 exhibitions curated by Edinburgh’s leading museums, galleries and artist run spaces, as well as a selected programme of pop up exhibitions and events.

    Highlights will include:

    - New work by leading international artists including Damián Ortega at The Fruitmarket Gallery; an exhibition celebrating 30 years of Inverleith House, featuring work by renowned contemporary artists including Louise Bourgeois, John McCracken, Joan Mitchell and Robert Ryman; an extraordinary showcase of over 110 drawings by the celebrated post-war German artist Joseph Beuys at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s ARTIST ROOMS, shown together for the first time; and the first permanent installation in the UK by Christian Boltanski at Jupiter Artland, alongside new work by French artist Caroline Mesquita.

    - Important presentations of key figures from the Scottish art scene, including the major solo shows of Barbara Rae at Open Eye Gallery and Jonathan Owen at Ingleby Gallery; an exhibition tracing the careers of William Gillies and John Maxwell at City Art Centre; a multi-layered thematic exhibition at Dovecot Gallery, tracing Scottish art from 1945 to the present; new work by Glasgow-based Hayley Tompkins at Jupiter Artland; sculptor Kenny Hunter to be showcased at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop; and a solo show by Jennifer Bailey at Collective, in addition to a new sculptural viewing tower to look into the City Observatory by Birmingham-based Simon & Tom Bloor.

    - A strong focus on portraiture: a major exhibition which traces the history of self-portraits across six centuries at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, showcasing works by influential artists from Rembrandt and Gustave Courbet to Marina Abramović and Ai Weiwei; the first solo show in Scotland of one of the 20th century's most important painters, Alice Neel at the University of Edinburgh's Talbot Rice Gallery; self-portraits by the British photographer Jo Spence at Stills; and the major international photography award, Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015, at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

    - Significant art historical survey exhibitions including the first major international exhibition showcasing the work of Charles-François Daubigny, a key figure in the development of 19th century French landscape painting, and his relationship with Monet and Van Gogh, at the Scottish National Gallery; an exhibition combining Surrealist works of art from four legendary private collections at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art; a major exhibition of Celtic art at the National Museum of Scotland featuring over 300 objects from across the UK and Europe, assembled in Scotland for the first time; and an exhibition celebrating four centuries of ‘The Art of the Garden’ at The Queen’s Gallery Palace of Holyroodhouse.

    - Multi-media collaborations, including new work by Canadian duo Donovan & Siegel at Edinburgh Printmakers; and new work commissioned by New Media Scotland’s Alt-w Fund for locations including The Travelling Gallery and City Art Centre.

    - The next generation of talent in Scotland and beyond including Siân Robinson Davies at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop; a group presentation from the studios at The Number Shop; the annual degree show at Edinburgh College of Art; and a group exhibition bringing together new work by Tim Dodds, Emma Hart and Susan Mowatt at Rhubaba.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:

    “As the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art, we are delighted to be supporting the Edinburgh Art Festival 2016. Taking place in some of the capital’s leading art spaces, it is with great excitement that we look forward to the presentation of new works by emerging artists, as well as the exhibition of significant historical pieces. With a strong free-to-attend element, and links to the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we are confident this year’s festival is set to be one of the most popular among art-lovers yet.”

    For more information, visit the Edinburgh Art Festival website here.

    Category: Visual & Performing Arts

  • 23 March 2016

    Hinterland captures hearts and minds

    Over the last week, NVA’s much anticipated Hinterland has been offering capacity audiences the opportunity to rediscover the powerfully exposed superstructure and unique architectural features of St Peter’s Seminary for the first time in 30 years.

    The event which is supported by EventScotland and is a key highlight of both the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and the Festival of Architecture 2016, has put Scotland on the world stage in a new and exciting way, positioning the country as an inspiring mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time. 

    Capturing the hearts and minds of those lucky enough to have secured a sold-out ticket to the event, it has been wonderful to see the incredible images, reviews and engagement across all channels from visitors, local community and worldwide media. 

    And so today, it is with great delight that both the Heritage Lottery Fund and Creative Scotland have announced 4.2 million funding to continue breathing new life into St Peter’s Seminary. The investment will see key elements of the building restored whilst others will be consolidated to allow the public safe access to large scale events and performance as well as to smaller community activities. The triple-height chapel will be partially restored and converted into a 600-capacity venue while the former sacristy and crypt will be a focal point for exhibitions. It is expected that over 200 people will become involved as volunteers.

    Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland said:

    “In the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, Hinterland has given audiences the first opportunity to experience the potential new purpose of St Peter’s Seminary whilst celebrating the lasting legacy of Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein’s ground-breaking architecture.”

    “Events such as Hinterland not only create lasting memories for many, but they shine a spotlight on Scotland’s hidden gems and reinforce the country’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.”

    “Today’s investment announcement presents an important step in the journey towards the planned transformation to create one of the UK’s most significant new cultural venues.  NVA’s vision to transform the building and the surrounding estate into the truly unique arts venue it deserves to be is a fitting tribute to this iconic building of world significance.”

    Click here for more information on the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 23 March 2016

    GLOBAL GOVERNING BODY ACCLAIM FOR 2015 IPC SWIMMING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

    IPC Swimming has commended organisers of the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow after a study by Sheffield Hallam University revealed overwhelmingly positive feedback from spectators at the event.

    The report, commissioned by the championships’ funding partners, British Swimming, EventScotland, Glasgow Life and UK Sport, and carried out by SHU’s Sport Industry Research Centre, indicated 89% of the total attendance of 3,882 spectators at Tollcross International Swimming Centre were willing to recommend the spectator experience to their friends and family.

    Importantly, responses also pointed towards a tangible legacy impact of the World Championships, with around 63% of those questioned stating that they felt inspired to increase their own participation in sport and active recreation as a result of attending the event.

    The praise comes one month ahead of the British Para-Swimming International Meet at Tollcross from April 23-27, which closely follows the British Swimming Championships taking place at the same venue from April 12-17.

    Xavier Gonzalez, IPC CEO, said:

    “This survey is evidence of the fantastic all-round experience that spectators had in Glasgow and at Tollcross. It is highly encouraging to see that the vast majority of people who came to the competition would recommend it to their family and friends, and also that people felt inspired to do more sport.

    “Another crucial measure of success is the perceived accessibility of the Championships, from ticketing to infrastructure and training of event staff and volunteers.

    “Aside from the exciting sporting action it is crucial that major international para-swimming competitions leave behind a tangible legacy for future generations. I believe that Glasgow 2015 has fulfilled this mission.”

    Fans in Glasgow were treated to an exceptional display from 13-19 July 2015, as athletes from 65 nations took to the water. Event highlights included the toppling of no fewer than 38 world records, seven golds in seven days for Brazil’s Daniel Dias, top honours for British Swimming’s Ellie Simmonds in the 200m Individual Medley and the emergence of Tully Kearney, who won four gold medals.

    Among the other findings of the report was particularly positive feedback on event planning; disability awareness; and facility adaptations and services from respondents who reported having a long-term illness or disability.

    In the areas of Ease of Booking Tickets (79%), Ease of Booking Travel and Accommodation (73%) and Information on Accessible Facilities at the Venue (75%) around three-quarters of spectators rated these services as Very Good or Good in their responses.

    Perhaps even more encouraging were findings that no spectators with an impairment or disability provided a negative rating of Poor or Very Poor in regards to the Disability Awareness of Event Staff/Stewards/Volunteers or Disability Awareness Among Other Spectators, with 79% and 72%, respectively, returning either Very Good or Good in their feedback. 

    Crucially, the spectator experience relating to necessary facilities and services at Tollcross International Swimming Centre was also met with widespread approval. Responding to the provision of Accessible Toilets, Lifts and Ramps and Assistance in Moving Around the Venue, 63%, 61% and 67% of spectators questioned responded positively*. 

    In promotion of the Paralympic Movement in the United Kingdom, the event proved to be incredibly effective. Of those UK residents surveyed at the event, 92% ‘Strongly Agreed or ‘Agreed’ they would be more likely to follow the progress of British Swimmers in the build-up to Rio 2016 than they had for previous Olympic/Paralympic Games.

    In addition to £1.54m net additional spend for Scotland as a direct result of the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships, these findings are warmly welcomed by event partners, British Swimming, EventScotland, Glasgow Life and UK Sport, and indicate excellent governance and event organisation.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:

    “The IPC Swimming World Championships was a tremendous event for Scotland, bringing together the world’s finest Paralympic swimmers for an immensely exciting and entertaining meet at Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

    “We are delighted by both the praise from IPC Swimming and the results of the study by Sheffield Hallam University, which are testament to the efforts of event partners who successfully strived to create a highly memorable experience for spectators and participants alike.”

    *N.B. Respectively, 23.3%, 24.4% and 16.7% of those surveyed responded ‘Don’t Know/Not Applicable’ in their feedback relating to the provision of Accessible Toilets, Lifts and Ramps and Assistance in Moving Around the Venue, suggesting access to these facilities was either not required or had not been used at the time of interview.

     

    Category: International Events

  • 22 March 2016

    Stars and Supercars Rev Up for Scotland's New IGNITION Festival

    One of the major names in Scottish motor sport – iconic rally driver Jimmy McRae – was guest of honour at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) this morning (Tuesday 22 March) for the official launch of IGNITION, a brand new motoring festival destined for Glasgow this summer (5-7 August).

    Supercars including a Lamborghini Huracan and Ferrari 458 Spider, and competition cars including the successful Red Bull RB6 Formula One racing car and Colin McRae’s famous Subaru Impreza rally car provided a fitting backdrop as organisers presented further plans. It was announced that the festival not only will include a special tribute to the late Colin McRae featuring several of the rally legend’s famous cars and bikes, but also that his father Jimmy, himself a five times British Rally Champion, would inaugurate the event’s bespoke Street Circuit driving Colin’s world championship winning rally car.  

    The Top Gear Live Stunt Team was also in action taking over one of the halls with an impressive display of precision driving, giving just a glimpse of what will be on offer in the live action zones at the event in August.

    Enthusing about the upcoming festival, Jimmy McRae said: “Scotland is steeped in motor sport heritage, with champions on two, three and four wheels. It’s an exciting event for Glasgow and motoring fans north of the border. I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel on the Street Circuit – it will really bring the event to life and give the audience a unique experience.”

    Event Director Jeremy Vaughan, commented: “It’s an honour to have Jimmy on board for IGNITION. Jimmy won the British Rally Championship five times and still competes today in historic rallying - he really is a legend. Jimmy inaugurating the circuit in Colin's 555 Subaru WRC winning car will be a very special moment for the event and the city."

    Further highlights planned for IGNITION include power laps by BBC Top Gear’s tame racing driver The Stig, beautiful displays of classic cars and memorabilia plus homages paid to some of the world’s finest motor sporting heroes. 

    Scotland’s own F1 star, David Coulthard will also take to the specially constructed Street Circuit in the Red Bull Racing RB7, giving fans a unique opportunity to see and hear a Formula One machine up close.

    There will be further track action from race, rally and supercars – as well as bikes – to make 5-7 August one of the most exciting weekends on this year’s motoring calendar.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “As the first event of its kind to be staged in Scotland, we are delighted to be supporting IGNITION Festival of Motoring and are sure attendees are set for a thrilling experience.

    “The event is expected to attract visitors from all over Scotland and even further afield, for what will be an exciting weekend of motoring action that will fully utilise the outstanding facilities in and around Glasgow’s SECC.”

    Joe Aitken, Head of Major Events at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “We're really looking forward to hosting the inaugural IGNITION Festival of Motoring. The announcement of the Street Circuit is incredibly exciting as it marks a UK first for Glasgow and will put the city right at the heart of the action.

    “It makes perfect sense for IGNITION to make its home in Glasgow as we're a city that's always on the move and we have a history of welcoming the world's elite supercars and drivers, having previously provided the backdrop for thrilling scenes in the Fast & Furious 6 movie as well being the starting point for the iconic Monte Carlo Rally.

    “Today's announcement reinforces Glasgow's enviable reputation as a world-class destination which works with major event organisers to create show-stopping events that pack a real punch for audiences.”

    Full details can be found via the show’s official website www.ignitionfestival.co.uk  

    Category: Motorsport

  • 21 March 2016

    Date announced for Solas Festival 2016

    Set amongst the picturesque Perthshire countryside, Scotland’s weekend-long arts festival returns for its seventh year with a diverse and colourful mix of live music, cinema, poetry, visual art, performance and family-friendly fun. The festival will celebrate Scotland's Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

    SAVE THE DATE: 17 19 June 2016 @ The Bield, Perthshire, Scotland

    This intimate midsummer festival, with a similar cross-arts approach to Lattitude, sees the latest Scottish bands and the best trad and folk musicians perform alongside quirky performance art, award-winning spoken word and discussions as part of the talks programme – in a welcoming all-age environment.

     Attracting performers from across the UK, the festival features a theme each year and this year the focus is ‘Beyond Borders’, challenging the concept of boundaries, from freedom of movement and the physical borders experienced by refugees to some of the ‘borders’ that are a part of daily life for all of us, be they social, political, economic, spiritual or cultural.

    Solas festival chair Graham Bryce said: “We’re gearing up for our most ambitious programme of music, arts and family-friendly activities yet.  Our 2016 festival theme is ‘Beyond Borders’; whether borders are musical, cultural, geographical or political, we’ll be challenging them with the help of musicians, artists, thinkers and festivalgoers from Scotland and beyond”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the always popular Solas Festival through our National Events Programme in 2016. Set in the scenic surrounds of Perthshire and presenting a diverse weekend-long programme of family-friendly activity, it is sure to be a huge hit with lovers of visual art, performance and music.”

    Solas will host a number of exciting one-off events and will this year feature some unusual new additions. There will also be a special BBC broadcast direct from the site. More details to be announced soon.  

    Social media/links: @SolasFestival | #Solas2016 | www.solasfestival.co.uk | www.facebook.com/SolasFestival

     Solas Festival is supported by Creative Scotland, EventScotland and Perth & Kinross Council

     

    Category: National Events

  • 18 March 2016

    Hinterland: The launch of Scotland’s Festival of Architecture 2016 opens to sell out audiences.

     

    Hinterland: The launch of Scotland’s Festival of Architecture 2016 opens to sell out audiences.
    Tonight, 18 March, Hinterland marks the official launch of Scotland’s Festival of Architecture with a large scale public art event at St Peter’s seminary, presenting a key highlight of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
    Following the official opening in Helensburgh by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop MSP, Angus Farquhar Creative Director of NVA, David Kinniburgh Deputy Provost Argyll & Bute Council and David Dunbar PPRIAS and Chair of the Festival of Architecture, audiences will be transported to the semi ancient woodland of Kilmahew to discover St Peter’s Seminary at Hinterland.
    Local residents were among the first to rediscover the site and witness its transformation at a special preview yesterday evening (17 March). [Event experience quotes from Cardross audience to follow this evening at 9pm]
    Almost 50 years to the day since the seminary opened, Glasgow based public art charity NVA presents Hinterland, the inaugural public art event in the ambitious long term plans to reclaim the future of this world-renowned architectural masterpiece.
     
    NVA’s much anticipated Hinterland will subtly re-animate one of Scotland’s most iconic 20th century buildings with monochromatic light installations, projection and a specially commissioned work by composer Rory Boyle, performed by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, trumpeter Bede Williams and percussionist Tom Lowe from the University of St Andrews. 
    Hinterland offers capacity audiences the opportunity to rediscover the building’s powerfully exposed superstructure and unique architectural features for the first time in 30 years to coincide with the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. This is an important step in the journey towards the planned transformation to create one of the UK’s most significant new cultural venues due to open in 2018.
    Over sixty people have volunteered to help deliver the event;
    Sara Melville from Glasgow who helped to create one of the installations in the woodland with our event partners ACT (Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust) said, 
    “It was a great few days out in the sunshine! With lovely people using natural materials to create some features in the amazing landscape of Kilmahew.”
    NVA offered a range of mentorships for those interested in developing their skills in design, music and event production.  This gave the mentees an opportunity to work alongside key creative and technical staff to gain experience and insight in to what is involved in delivering major public art.   
    Ruari Lambert, who is in a mentoring partnership with NVA’s Associate Visual Director James Johnson said, “My background is in product design and mechanical engineering. It was during my degree at the Glasgow School of Art that I became involved in performance and through it found a new outlet for my need to design experiences. 
    “It’s a great opportunity to learn from James Johnson and the rest of NVA’s creative team in an incredible setting and I am certain the experience will contribute to developing my ideas in melding design and environment to create performative experiences in Scotland.”
    Hinterland is a creative collaboration between Angus Farquhar (director), James Johnson (visual director), Rory Boyle (composer), University of St Andrews Music Centre and St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, Phil Supple (lighting director), NOVAK Collective (projection design), and from 85A art collective - Dav Bernard, Zephyr Liddell, Robbie Thomson & Pete Sach (installations).
    Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of NVA said, “I am really pleased by the way local people have responded to the work we are doing at the seminary at this point in its transformation. The event has sold out and we have audiences coming from across the UK and Europe.  The subtle composition of lighting, projection and choral music beautifully echoes the site history and will give audiences a strong impression of its creative potential. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how people respond to it over the next ten days.”
    Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said, “St Peter’s is a building of world significance which continues to inspire and I am very much looking forward to seeing it in a new light during Hinterland. 
    “The event marks the start of the Festival of Architecture, a major part of 2016’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, and I can’t think of a better way to mark the year than by seeing one of Scotland’s architectural gems brought to life in such a stunning and creative collaborative performance.”
    Neil Baxter, CEO Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) said, "Bringing together an extraordinary, sculptural, modernist ruin, music and creative magic within a unique, historic woodland setting, Hinterland is a superb launch event for our year-long, Scotland wide, Festival of Architecture.
    “It also presents a vision of how Gillespie, Kidd and Coia's long abandoned masterpiece might be reinvigorated to the benefit of the local community and wider Scotland. This sell-out is the first must-see highlight of this very special Festival. It will endure long in the memory as a special moment."
    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said, “In the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we have the opportunity to put Scotland on the world stage in a new and exciting way, positioning the country as an inspiring mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time.”
    “NVA’s ambitious proposal to reclaim the future of the St Peter’s Seminary complex and its surrounding Victorian-designed landscape has not only gained worldwide attention and brought communities together, but ultimately the significance of the story has captured the hearts of many, far and wide.  Those lucky enough to have secured tickets to the sell-out event, will I’m sure, enjoy one of the hottest tickets of the year.”
    Hinterland is produced by NVA on behalf of Kilmahew / St Peter’s Ltd and is the official launch event of the Festival of Architecture 2016 which is supported by EventScotland and Creative Scotland. The event is a key highlight of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Supported by Forestry Commission Scotland, Reigart Demolition, Argyll & Bute Council and EventScotland.

    Tonight, 18 March, Hinterland marks the official launch of Scotland’s Festival of Architecture with a large scale public art event at St Peter’s seminary, presenting a key highlight of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    Following the official opening in Helensburgh by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop MSP, Angus Farquhar Creative Director of NVA, David Kinniburgh Deputy Provost Argyll & Bute Council and David Dunbar PPRIAS and Chair of the Festival of Architecture, audiences will be transported to the semi ancient woodland of Kilmahew to discover St Peter’s Seminary at Hinterland.

    Local residents were among the first to rediscover the site and witness its transformation at a special preview yesterday evening (17 March). 

    Almost 50 years to the day since the seminary opened, Glasgow based public art charity NVA presents Hinterland, the inaugural public art event in the ambitious long term plans to reclaim the future of this world-renowned architectural masterpiece. 

    NVA’s much anticipated Hinterland will subtly re-animate one of Scotland’s most iconic 20th century buildings with monochromatic light installations, projection and a specially commissioned work by composer Rory Boyle, performed by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, trumpeter Bede Williams and percussionist Tom Lowe from the University of St Andrews. 

    Hinterland offers capacity audiences the opportunity to rediscover the building’s powerfully exposed superstructure and unique architectural features for the first time in 30 years to coincide with the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. This is an important step in the journey towards the planned transformation to create one of the UK’s most significant new cultural venues due to open in 2018.

    Over sixty people have volunteered to help deliver the event; Sara Melville from Glasgow who helped to create one of the installations in the woodland with our event partners ACT (Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust) said, “It was a great few days out in the sunshine! With lovely people using natural materials to create some features in the amazing landscape of Kilmahew.”

    NVA offered a range of mentorships for those interested in developing their skills in design, music and event production.  This gave the mentees an opportunity to work alongside key creative and technical staff to gain experience and insight in to what is involved in delivering major public art.   

    Ruari Lambert, who is in a mentoring partnership with NVA’s Associate Visual Director James Johnson said, “My background is in product design and mechanical engineering. It was during my degree at the Glasgow School of Art that I became involved in performance and through it found a new outlet for my need to design experiences. 

    “It’s a great opportunity to learn from James Johnson and the rest of NVA’s creative team in an incredible setting and I am certain the experience will contribute to developing my ideas in melding design and environment to create performative experiences in Scotland.”

     Hinterland is a creative collaboration between Angus Farquhar (director), James Johnson (visual director), Rory Boyle (composer), University of St Andrews Music Centre and St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, Phil Supple (lighting director), NOVAK Collective (projection design), and from 85A art collective - Dav Bernard, Zephyr Liddell, Robbie Thomson & Pete Sach (installations).

    Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of NVA said, “I am really pleased by the way local people have responded to the work we are doing at the seminary at this point in its transformation. The event has sold out and we have audiences coming from across the UK and Europe.  The subtle composition of lighting, projection and choral music beautifully echoes the site history and will give audiences a strong impression of its creative potential. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how people respond to it over the next ten days.”

    Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said, “St Peter’s is a building of world significance which continues to inspire and I am very much looking forward to seeing it in a new light during Hinterland. 

    “The event marks the start of the Festival of Architecture, a major part of 2016’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, and I can’t think of a better way to mark the year than by seeing one of Scotland’s architectural gems brought to life in such a stunning and creative collaborative performance.”

    Neil Baxter, CEO Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) said, "Bringing together an extraordinary, sculptural, modernist ruin, music and creative magic within a unique, historic woodland setting, Hinterland is a superb launch event for our year-long, Scotland wide, Festival of Architecture.

    “It also presents a vision of how Gillespie, Kidd and Coia's long abandoned masterpiece might be reinvigorated to the benefit of the local community and wider Scotland. This sell-out is the first must-see highlight of this very special Festival. It will endure long in the memory as a special moment."

    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said, “In the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we have the opportunity to put Scotland on the world stage in a new and exciting way, positioning the country as an inspiring mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time.

    “NVA’s ambitious proposal to reclaim the future of the St Peter’s Seminary complex and its surrounding Victorian-designed landscape has not only gained worldwide attention and brought communities together, but ultimately the significance of the story has captured the hearts of many, far and wide.  Those lucky enough to have secured tickets to the sell-out event, will I’m sure, enjoy one of the hottest tickets of the year.”

    Hinterland is produced by NVA on behalf of Kilmahew / St Peter’s Ltd and is the official launch event of the Festival of Architecture 2016 which is supported by EventScotland and Creative Scotland. The event is a key highlight of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Supported by Forestry Commission Scotland, Reigart Demolition, Argyll & Bute Council and EventScotland.

    Photo credit: Alaisdair Smith

     

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 17 March 2016

    HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LAST WEEK OF EUROPE’S LARGEST COMEDY FESTIVAL

    As the final week of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF) approaches, remaining highlights include a special tour of Loch Lomond and Glengoyne Whisky Distillery with Vladimir McTavish; some of the most exciting comedians working in the States right now presented in regular GICF sell-out America Stands Up, solo shows from household names like Adam Hills, Reginald D Hunter, Julian Clary and Frankie Boyle, and an evening with local star Michelle McManus.

    The Rabbie's Loch Lomond & Glengoyne Whisky Comedy Tour takes place on Wednesday 23 and Sunday 27 March and sees Vladimir McTavish entertain daytrippers with an improvised commentary as they visit Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and Balloch Country Park, and receive a complimentary tour and tasting at Glengoyne Whisky Distillery as part of the event aboard a Rabbie’s Tour bus.

    The final week of GICF keeps up the pace with something to see every day for all tastes and budgets: critically-acclaimed stand up from Frankie Boyle at the Clyde Auditorium; character comedy from Scot Squad’s Chief Commissioner Cameron Miekelson, improv from Paul Merton and chums; the best of the US comedy scene in America Stands Up; and a debate on comedy, women and feminism with Standard Issue, are just some of the events lined up.

    Headline acts and household names set to appear include Reginald D Hunter, Adam Hills, Mark Steel, Ardal O'Hanlon, Julian Clary, Shappi Khorsandi and Mark Watson. Local stars are out in force with Des Clarke, Michelle McManus, Fred MacAulay and Janey Godley all performing, while the Festival continues to showcase some of Glasgow’s most creative up and coming talents including Fern Brady, Chris Forbes and Jamie Dalgleish.

    Joe Aitken, Head of Events at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Glaswegians are renowned for their hospitality and good humour, so it’s no surprise that we’re home to one of the world’s best comedy festivals. In the last week of Europe’s largest comedy festival, I am sure that residents and visitors alike will enjoy the diverse line-up of home-grown talent and international acts set to perform across a variety of city venues.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Glasgow International Comedy Festival has once again delivered an outstanding programme, featuring some of the most exciting comedians from across the UK and even further afield. “The final week, in particular, presents a number of occasions to enjoy the unique and varied talents of a special line-up of acts and I would urge as many people as possible to take advantage of this opportunity before the festival concludes on March 27.”

    Keep up to date with all the latest news by registering at glasgowcomedyfestival.com and follow on Facebook and Twitter @glasgowcomedy.

    Category: International Events

  • 17 March 2016

    Barrel of laughs: Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival aims to find a high roller on the streets of the world’s malt whisky capital

    The casinos of Las Vegas may have their high rollers, but the streets of the world’s unofficial malt whisky capital will soon have their very own barrel rollers. Visitors to the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival will have the chance to compete in the ancient ‘sport’ of barrel rolling - a tribute to the warehousemen who perform the task on a daily basis.

    The event takes place in Dufftown – recognised as the hub of Scotland’s whisky industry because it is surrounded by seven distilleries, including the world famous Glenfiddich – and takes place over a 50m track.

    It is just one of many quirky events taking place at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival from April 28 to May 2 in the heart of Scotland’s best known – and best loved – whisky producing region.

    Thousands of visitors from all over the world will descend on Speyside to raise a glass to the national drink at almost 500 separate events. The programme includes distillery tours, exclusive tastings, food events, music, comedy and outdoor activities for whisky connoisseurs and novices.

    Barrel racing takes place on a closed road in the town centre of Dufftown on Sunday, May 1 and has been organised by the Dufftown and District Community Association. Nicola Alexander, a trustee of the group, says the event will offer something very different.

    She adds, “The idea came about because we wanted to do something different from all the tours and nosings and tastings, but still keeping with the whisky theme. We hope the community will come out for this event, along with the visitors, and enjoy the Festival spirit.

    “Competitors will be asked to race a 50m track and back up again, when the other member of the team will take over and do the same. The winner will be the fastest team.

    “Before the race, two experienced warehouse men from a local cooperage will show everyone how's it’s done. We hope to make this a yearly event and even get all the local distilleries to have a competition between each other.”

    The event is open to teams of two – individuals can be paired up – and there’s even prizes on offer for the fastest finishers. The action takes place under the shadow of Dufftown’s iconic clock tower from 2.15 – 3.15pm. It forms part of the wider Dufftown Whisky Street Festival, with lots of Scottish entertainment throughout the afternoon.

    For those who still have the energy, there’s the chance to take in all seven of the town’s distilleries in the 7 Stills Race. The course will take in all the famous and lesser known names and offers a varied and challenging route. The race takes place from 2pm to 6pm.

    Other quirky events on the programme include the opportunity to canoe down the mighty River Spey and sample some drams inside a tepee at the end of the trip; trying out craft skills by carving a wooden whisky tumbler and needle felting a Highland cow; and taking part in a ‘dramble’ through the Quarrelwood in Elgin where experts from renowned whisky merchants Gordon and MacPhail will discuss the importance of wood in whisky production.

    There’s also a women-only event, Whisky Women & WAGS. Dufftown whisky expert Michelle Myron will be leading a walk around the local distilleries, showing how chocolate is the perfect match for whisky. And there’s even the chance to enjoy a whisky pancake breakfast at Grantown YMCA – with a special limited edition Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival topping.

    Whisky festival manager Pery Zakeri says, “We pride ourselves on offering something for everyone, regardless of their level of interest in whisky. It’s possible to come and enjoy the Festival and the atmosphere without touching a drop – although we thoroughly recommend that all our visitors give the region’s fantastic whisky a try.

    “There are almost 500 events on the programme this year and we defy anyone not to be able to find something that they will enjoy.”

    Tickets for all events in the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme are available to buy now atwww.spiritofspeyside.com The Festival is also active on social media – facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside on Twitter and on Instagram.

    Category: Heritage

  • 16 March 2016

    INVITATION: CITY TO CITY MEETING FEATURING EVENTSCOTLAND, 19th APRIL 2016, LAUSANNE

    Representatives of cities, regions and countries attending this year’s SportAccord Convention, have been invited to attend the City to City session at the SwissTech Convention Center in Lausanne on Tuesday 19 April 2016.

    The session will be hosted and facilitated by members of a working group who have been investigating the feasibility of forming an organisation for “not-for-profit” investors to share knowledge of hosting international events.

    Subjects of importance to bid cities and regions will be discussed, and all conversations will be designed to permit open exchanges of experience and ideas. Issues on the agenda will include those relating to the bid process, economic impact, legacy, governmental and private sector support, and matters of concern to any bid city or region.

    An additional topic will be the potential development of an international association or collective of cities and regions who host major events. In recent months a working group has met several times in an attempt to develop the concept to the point where all cities and regions can become involved. Members of the working group to date include:

    Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development
    Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance
    EventScotland
    Fáilte Ireland, National Tourism Development Authority
    London & Partners
    New Zealand Major Events
    Sport Event Denmark
    USA National Association of Sports Commissions

    The meeting will be held from 9:30 am to 12:30pm at the SwissTech Convention Center in Lausanne.

    Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events at London & Partners said “Cities like London have come to recognise the value of major events in developing our economy and society.  We are always seeking to learn from colleagues around the world and we hope to see representatives from every continent participating in the discussion.”

    “The impact of hosting international sport events has provided a significant boost to the Canadian economy,” said Rick Traer, CEO of the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance. “The legacy facilities provide much needed infrastructure for athletes to train and to encourage a healthy lifestyle for all Canadians. The tangible and intangible benefits of hosting these major events are important reasons for working together, sharing our knowledge and learning from the experiences of other countries.”

    Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark commented: “From a rather small country point of view I am convinced that sharing best practice and knowledge across borders and continents would benefit all of us, the right holders and the hosts as well.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events added: “Major events make a vital contribution to the Scottish economy and, in recent years, staging some of the world’s most prestigious events, such as the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, has brought about substantial benefits for the nation.

    Our progress has been greatly aided by knowledge sharing and discussing best practice with other leading event-hosting nations and I look forward to the further opportunity of doing just that at the City to City session at SportAccord.”

    Category: National Events

  • 15 March 2016

    UNIFYING AND VIBRANT EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS BRAND UNVEILED AHEAD OF INAUGURAL EVENT IN 2018

    A unifying and vibrant brand has been launched by the participating sports to promote the new European Championships which will be staged for the first time in Glasgow and Berlin in 2018.

    Watch the brand launch video here.

    The dynamic Mark of a Champion is the star-like logo representing the vision at the heart of the multi-sport championships brand – to create a must-attend, must-watch experience that elevates the status of European Champions.

    With the number of television viewers for the event today revealed to be projected at 1.03 billion – with many more across digital channels – Glasgow and Scotland will be promoted across multiple European markets as a leisure and business destination.

    The inspiring shapes and colours of the logo - created in partnership by the sports, Host Cities Glasgow and Berlin and broadcast partner the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) - come together to represent the defining moments that create champions.

    Attending the launch of the brand in Glasgow, Great Britain swimmer Ross Murdoch spoke of his “golden moment” when he won Commonwealth Games gold in the pool in 2014 in Glasgow and said he couldn’t wait for the prospect of another chance to be a champion in front of a home crowd.

    Funded jointly by the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, the new event will be run in partnership and allow Glasgow and Scotland to continue to build on the economic and sporting legacy achieved by staging the Commonwealth Games. A cultural, tourism and sporting partnership is also planned with the key market of Berlin.

    Almost 300,000 European leisure visitors spent £73 million in Glasgow in 2014, taking up 1.2m bed nights in the city. Of those, Germany was Glasgow’s leading European market, with 63,000 visitors spending £14m over 206,000 bed nights.

    And with sport now contributing more than £360m of added value to the Glasgow economy and tourism bringing £687m to the city in 2014, attracting events of this calibre has become key to the city’s economic success. Almost 30,000 people are employed in tourism related activities in Glasgow, with sport supporting a further 10,000 jobs across the city.

    The multi-sport event in 2018 will bring together the existing European Championships of athletics, aquatics, cycling, golf, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon with around 3025 athletes coming to Scotland as part of a total delegation of around 8500 including officials, media and others. A further 1500 athletes will compete in Berlin in the European Athletics Championships.

    Ross Murdoch said: “Multi-sport events bring out the best in athletes and also in the fans who love getting behind their nation. The moment I won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will live with me forever. It was an incredible feeling and those are exactly the type of moments that will be at the heart of European Championships.“Glasgow and Scotland has shown time and time again that it has the ability and experience to deliver world-class events and I would love to make the inaugural 2018 European Championships in my home country part of my sporting journey.”

    London 2012 Olympic gold medallist and six-time world champion Katherine Grainger CBE, who narrated the brand launch film, said: “For every athlete a major championship like the Europeans is extremely important. Whether it is your first time on the team or on the podium, beating your biggest rival,  breaking records or winning gold, it all adds up to so many special moments that will stay with you for ever.

    "Bringing a number of sports together in 2018 in Glasgow and Berlin will raise the European Championships to a new level and make it even more exciting to be part of for athletes, coaches and spectators alike. l am already getting excited about 2018.  The countdown has already begun!”

    Jamie Hepburn, Scottish Government Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said: “I’m delighted that the Scottish Government has been able to support the 2018 European Championships. This is a totally new concept in European sport, so it’s tremendous that we can be at the forefront of that, welcoming all these world-class athletes to Glasgow, and other venues across Scotland. We have a growing reputation when it comes to hosting major events like this, and I’m sure the people of Scotland will embrace these championships as only they can.”

    Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “I am delighted that Glasgow’s vibrant personality shines through this new event brand. We have worked together with these amazing sports to create something that reflects all of our values by embracing our ambition, our strength in unity and our ongoing journey to provide opportunities for all of our citizens through the power of sport and culture.

    “The fact that the city will be hosting an event watched by more than one billion people across Europe is a golden opportunity for us to use the magical moments that the athletes, our fantastic home crowd and our many visitors will create to showcase everything we have to offer as a visitor destination.”

    Category: International Events

  • 15 March 2016

    Three World Cup medals for British gymnasts in Glasgow

    Great Britain took three medals at the 2016 World Cup in Glasgow in front a packed home crowd in the Emirates Arena.

    World Champion Max Whitlock took gold in the men’s competition after an impressive performance, finishing ahead of Brazil’s Arthur Nory Oyakawa Mariano in silver with Britain’s Dan Purvis clinching the bronze. In the women’s event, powerhouse Claudia Fragapane took the bronze behind the USA’s Mckayla Skinner and Germany’s Elizabeth Seitz.

    With three competitors and three medals, it was an impressive outing for the GB team in one of the first major competitions of the season.

    South Essex’s Max Whitlock, fresh from his historic World Championship win back in Glasgow just last year, started off strongly on the floor. With just a few adjustments on landing he opened well to score a 15.033. Moving on to the piece where he is the reigning world champion, the pommel horse, Max didn’t disappoint the home crowd and completed his routine beautifully for a world class 15.500. Over on the rings, Max continued his good form the score 14.333 and on the vault he then completed his extremely difficult triple twisting Yurchenko scoring 15.133. Staying steady on parallel bars, Max then scored 14.500 to put him well above the rest of the field heading into the final rotation. On the high bar, the piece of apparatus that denied him an all-around medal at the 2015 Worlds, Max looked calm and confident, finishing his routine for a 14.800 and all-around total of 89.299 to top the standings. 

    Max commented after: “I’m very happy my target was to do clean routines across all six pieces in my first Glasgow World Cup so I’m really happy. I really enjoy competing in Glasgow it’s a place I look forward to coming too knowing the crowd are really supportive. There’s plenty more competitions coming up quickly now and we all know what’s at stake with Rio the final aim, so to start off this way with World Cup gold is a great feeling.”

    Southport’s Dan Purvis also started off strongly on the floor, relishing the home crowd support, scoring a 14.566. Dan then had a few issues on the pommel horse and had to fight hard to stay on but fought well to keep his routine going, much to the delight of the crowd scoring 13.200. Looking to make up some ground, he then produced a solid rings routine for 14.400 and a steady vault (14.633). On the parallel bars, one of his favoured apparatus, Dan performed a world class routine for 15.166. It was then a close battle on the last piece of apparatus the high bar for podium finishes, but Dan did his job and performed cleanly to clinch the bronze medal with 14.500 and score an all-around total of 86.465.

    After receiving his medal, Dan said: “I’m pleased with the outcome, happy that I recovered after pommel horse and battled through. The crowd were fantastic, there’s always a bit of pressure and expectation in Scotland but it’s also great fun and they really encourage you. It’s a solid start to the season aiming for the British Championships; I’ll be working on pommel next week I know that!”

    Bristol’s Claudia Fragapane began her competition with a strong double twisting Yurchenko on the vault, placing second and scoring 14.466. On the bars she unfortunately had to count a fall on her first release and catch element but pushed through to score 12.500. On the beam Claudia showed some extremely impressive upgrades, including a standing Arabian somersault, a standing full twisting somersault and a flick into a full twisting somersault. Just performing one of these skills is extremely impressive; she scored 14.066 for a routine that looks only set to get better as the season continues. Claudia then finished on her best piece of apparatus, the floor where she was lying in 4th position. She didn’t hold back and tumbled her way to bronze with a score of 14.366 to total 55.398.

    Speaking to us after Claudia said: “I feel really pleased overall, first competition of the year with a few improvements to make but happy with where I am at this stage. There’s still more I can add in and work on with a big year ahead so I’ll talk with my coach and continue to train hard. The crowd were brilliant and make it so much fun to compete.”

    Full results and routine video clips can be found on the British Gymnastics dedicated event page.

    Category: Gymnastics

  • 14 March 2016

    GLASGOW “THE IDEAL SETTING” FOR WORLD FIRST STAGING OF FOUR OLYMPIC DISCIPLINE CYCLING CHAMPIONSHIPS TOGETHER IN ONE CITY

    Glasgow is “the ideal setting” for the staging of four Olympic discipline cycling championships at the same time in one city in a world first for the sport, according to the head of European cycling’s governing body.

    Following a visit to Glasgow to begin planning for the 2018 European Championships, the President of the Union of European Cycling (UEC), David Lappartient, said he was hugely impressed with the city’s facilities.

    And he thanked Glasgow for embracing the unprecedented plan to bring the European Championships in Track, Road, Mountain Bike and BMX together for the first time as part of the new multi-sport event.

    The events will attract 650 of Europe’s top cycling names to the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome at the Emirates Arena, the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails, the streets of Glasgow and a new world championship and Olympic standard BMX track to be built in the Knightswood area of the city.

    Mr Lappartient praised the plans for a ‘mini’ skills track for children and young people at the site of the new BMX facility, emphasising that it is essential to attract new young riders to the sport. A new BMX track has been a longstanding part of Glasgow City Council’s strategic plan for cycling aimed at increasing participation and providing the facilities to develop new elite talent.

    The 2018 European Championships will be staged by the Host Cities of Glasgow and Berlin and will bring together the existing European Championships of athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon as well as include a new golf team championships. Around 3025 athletes will come to Scotland as part of a total delegation of 8500 including officials, media and others. A further 1500 athletes will compete in Berlin in the European Athletics Championships.

    With the number of television viewers for the event projected at 1.03 billion – with many more across digital channels – Glasgow and Scotland will be promoted across multiple European markets as a leisure and business destination with the cycling road race route set to showcase the city’s finest landmarks.

    UEC President David Lappartient said: “On behalf of the UEC Management Board, we would firstly like to sincerely thank the City of Glasgow authorities for their warm welcome during our recent visit to Scotland.

    Glasgow will undoubtedly be the ideal setting for the four Olympic cycling disciplines, Mountain Biking, Road, Track and BMX, which are on the sports programme of the first multi-sport European Championships."   

    Colin Hartley, Glasgow 2018 Championships Director, said: “We were delighted to welcome the UEC to Glasgow for the first planning meeting for the four championships we will stage as part of this exciting new multi-sport event.

    “Staging these four disciplines at the same time in Glasgow in 2018 will not only be a spectacular opportunity for spectators to watch some of the world’s top names competing on the roads, track, mountain bike trails and BMX track, but will also showcase a sport that is integral to the city’s plans to increase participation across all types of cycling.

    Category: Cycling

  • 10 March 2016

    Cupar Arts Festival launches with prestigious contemporary art line up

    Cupar Arts Festival is to return this summer with its strongest line up of artists ever.

     Running from 18 to 25 June 2016, the programme will include works from some of Scotland’s most significant contemporary artists - including Charles Avery, Chad McCail and Rachel MacLean – placed in spaces across the Fife market town of Cupar.

    One of the few curated visual art festivals in Scotland, Cupar Arts Festival 2016 will make use of a series of unconventional spaces including hoarding on industrial sites, the town’s historic County Buildings, Burgh Chambers and churches, and the mediaeval closes of the town.   Artworks will be exhibited both within venues as well as outside in public spaces, enabling visitors to experience the artworks by both seeking them out and by stumbling across them. 

    The festival line-up comprises twenty artists including:

    Charles Avery, who has represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale in 2007, participated in British Art Show 7 and the Taipei Biennale.  His work at Cupar Arts Festival will include a large ‘sea monster’ sculpture and a series of six gouache paintings.

    Rachel Maclean, whose video work has won awards at Glasgow Film Festival and been exhibited at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, will show 'Feed Me' a new one hour film commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and British Art Show 8, who have kindly agreed to a one-off screening in Cupar. Rachel will also present a number of other short films throughout the event.

    Kate Downie, who is known for her landscape painting with works held by Glasgow's main public galleries.  In 2013 she was appointed Artist in Residence for the Forth Road Bridge.  At Cupar Arts Festival, her work ‘Gaps, Distortions and Downright Lies’ is a constructed space that will challenge viewers’ perceptions and marks an intriguing departure from her usual two-dimensional work.

    Chad McCail, who has had solo exhibitions at galleries including Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art (Sunderland), Gallery of Modern Art (Glasgow) and Baltimore’s Museum of Art, will present a large-scale outdoor mural on the subject of education.

    Anthony Schrag, who is making a return to the festival, works in participatory manner and last year was commissioned to walk 2500 km from the North of Scotland (Huntly) to the Venice Biennale. His work almost always has a physical element, and this time he will be exploring what lies beneath Cupar. Inspired by the mysterious burn that disappears under the town, re-emerging several times before running into the River Eden he asks ‘What happens in those hidden, liminal places? What beasts and stories grow in those wet, dark places?’

    Maris, a well-established art collective who are bringing a copper ark to the festival, fitted with symbolic reliquaries, and as part of a symbolic pilgrimage.

    Festival Director, Gayle Nelson said:

    “I’m delighted to be able to bring some of the strongest artists working today to Cupar Arts Festival this year. The festival reveals Cupar in a completely different light, encouraging visitors to see new spaces in the town or reevaluate familiar ones in a way that is both stimulating and delightful.”

     Previously an autumn event, Cupar Arts Festival 2016 will take place over one week in June incorporating the summer solstice.  The festival has used the longest day to inspire its theme of liminality (a precise point where one phase ends and another begins).  Artists have been encouraged to use the widest possible interpretation of this theme, allowing responses which might range from changing states in the natural world or in scientific processes, changes in the role of a historic site or building, personal transformation and development, or the interpretation of liminal within anthropology relating to ritual and myth. Liminal relates to a tipping point, a time of change as a new phase is about to be entered into.

     Cupar Arts Festival is supported with funding from the National Lottery through the Creative Scotland Open Project Fund, EventScotland, the events team at VisitScotland through the National Programme as part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture & Design, and Fife Council’s Strategic Events Investment Fund.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said:

    “We are delighted to be supporting the Cupar Arts Festival for the first time, through our National Events Programme. It is fitting in the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design that the festival will not only showcase work by some of Scotland’s best known contemporary artists, but will also give visitors the chance to explore the historic town’s unique buildings and spaces.”

    Category: National Events

  • 10 March 2016

    Speyside’s hidden distillery gems open their doors for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival exclusive tours

    Whisky connoisseurs from around the globe have been scrambling for the chance to catch a glimpse inside the region’s hidden distillery gems during next month’s Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.

    Just four weeks after event tickets went on sale, over 80 distillery tours – many of them at venues not usually open to the public – have been completely sold out, while more than 50 exclusive whisky tasting events are now full.

    But whisky fans will still find plenty of opportunity to learn more about distilleries in the region – a true powerhouse of Scotland’s whisky industry – when the Festival welcomes visitors from April 28 to May 2.

    There are still tickets on sale which will allow visitors a sneak peek inside some distilleries that are throwing open their doors just for the Festival, ranging from exclusive VIP events down to free tours where guests enjoy a dram at the end.

    And for the real aficionados, there are still opportunities to sample some rare and exclusive Speyside malts at tasting events being hosted by both world-leading brands and distilleries at the smaller end of the production scale.

    Festival manager Pery Zakeri says the speed at which tickets have sold for distillery tours and whisky tasting events has taken organisers by surprise. They expect there will be a further rush on tickets before the curtain rises on the event.

    She adds, “We know that events at distilleries not normally open to the public will sell very quickly, but the volume of tickets sold has been quite staggering. I think people now know that if they want the chance to see inside these distilleries, the only time they are going to be able to do that is during the Festival.

    “But the good news is that some tickets are available, and the quality of the events is exceptional. There are quite a few events where guests are going to be given a very rare opportunity to sample some vintage malts and take part in unique experiences for a very reasonable cost.

    “Our advice would be for visitors to make sure they book their tickets as soon as possible, because we fully anticipate that the vast majority of tours and tastings will sell out in advance of the Festival starting.”

     

    For more information on tours and what's on at Spirit of Speyside, visit the official website here.

    Category: Heritage

  • 09 March 2016

    Cutting-edge technology takes centre stage at events exhibition

    With the multi-billion industry events tourism sector a growing and important contributor to the Scottish economy, industry professionals are meeting for a day of networking, exhibitions and masterclasses at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on Friday 18 March.

    EventIt, which is free to attend and is running as part of Scottish Tourism Week, will showcase some of the most innovative suppliers in the industry and allow participants to trial new ways to connect and engage.

    New applications for technology in the events industry will take centre stage at EventIt.  These include events-technology company N200 who will demonstrate how data can be used to engage event audiences and Edinburgh-based Pufferfish who design and develop new platforms for the display of digital content outside of the confines of traditional flat screen media.  A number of companies have developed specific apps for events including Cvent who specialise in meetings management technology and Maximillion who will be looking to interact with exhibitors and visitors via their Exhibition Explorer app.

    Visitors to the exhibition will be able to attend workshops, networking events and talks from industry experts and EventIt will also provide motivation, inspiration and practical tips for delegates.

    Networking zones will allow delegates to catch-up with peers and ConfBuzz’s ground-breaking connection techniques will enable them to make contact with those individuals most relevant to their particular organisations.

    Guest speakers include Kevin Jackson, UK President of the International Special Events Society; Kathleen Warden, Director of Conferences at Glasgow’s SECC and Marshall Dallas, Chief Executive of EICC. 


    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, says this event signifies the growing importance of the sector to Scotland’s future prosperity.

    “Scotland’s wide-ranging events portfolio continues to grow apace, contributing around £3.5 billion a year to the economy. EventIt will provide companies working in the events and festivals industry with an opportunity to share best practice and gain fresh insights from some of the most inspirational people in the industry.

    “It’s an added bonus that such a high-profile event is taking place during Scottish Tourism Week which highlights how important the events sector is to of Scotland’s wider tourism offering.”

    Judith Wilson, Events Director for EventIt urged companies involved in the sector to take advantage of the chance to visit a number of companies under the one roof on the same day. “This really is a fantastic opportunity for like-minded events professionals to share their experiences, as well as look ahead to the next generation of technology which is integral to the future of the events industry. I’d encourage everyone involved in the industry to come along and meet some of the brightest and best in the sector.”

    For more information on how to sign-up to attend the event, the full programme, exhibitors and masterclasses, visit the EventIt website at http://www.eventit.org.uk.

    Category: Industry News

  • 08 March 2016

    DOUNE THE RABBIT HOLE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES LINE-UP

     

    Doune The Rabbit Hole, one of Scotland’s most intimate music and arts festivals, has revealed its
    line-up for this year, taking place at the idyllic Cardross Estate from August 19th – 21st . Scottish
    favourites Admiral Fallow and Treacherous Orchestra as well as Welsh Songstress Cate Le Bon will
    all be performing at the three day event.
    Other newly announced acts include a whole host of Scottish talent including C Duncan, Mungo’s
    HiFi w/ Solo Banton, Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 and Emma Pollock, amongst others. Adding a
    splash of international flavour to the line-up is the Italian longtime tropical and jazz DJ, Clap! Clap!;
    Rough Trade signee, Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts; and Japanese duo, Sax Ruins, featuring worldrenowned
    drummer Yoshida Tatsuya. Not to mention the masterful Awesome Tapes From Africa
    who has performed coveted slots across the world including many a Boiler Room session, London’s
    Café Oto and our very own CCA in Glasgow.
    Described as ‘heaven’ by Clash Magazine, Doune The Rabbit Hole has been named among the
    best of family-friendly festivals by the likes of The Herald and this year will be no different. Having
    started life in 2010 near the town of Doune (hence the name!) the festival has since moved to
    Cardross Estate. Set near the tranquil Lake of Menteith (Scotland’s only one!) and within beautiful
    parkland grounds, the festival will not only host a variety of local and international acts but will also
    feature an activity-packed children’s area and a dedicated family campsite. As well as this, Doune
    the Rabbit Hole has also been lucky enough to receive funding from EventScotland to help
    celebrate the Year of Innovation Architecture and Design. This grant will be used to bring a
    selection of artists and architects together to design and build a brand new stage and will feature an
    eclectic programme of new, innovative music to be curated by The Tolbooth in Stirling.
    Doune The Rabbit Hole has previously hosted a diverse bunch of acts from Glasgow indie icons
    The Pastels and SAY award winners Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat through to Optimo’s JD Twitch and
    post-electro outfit Errors. The festival is set to return with a spectacular multi-arts bill over the
    August bank holiday weekend featuring an eclectic mix of acts across a carefully curated line-up.
    Line-up so far:
    Admiral Fallow, Cate Le Bon, Treacherous Orchestra, Mungo’s HiFi w/ Solo Banton, Jeffrey Lewis &
    Los Bolts, C Duncan, Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5, Blanck Mass, Richard Dawson, Clap! Clap!,
    Awesome Tapes from Africa, Emma Pollock, Bombskare, The Destroyers, Sax Ruins, Mickey 9’s,
    Shopping, BABE, De Rosa, Rozi Plain, Iona Fyfe Band, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Vasa,
    Sound of Yell, Woodenbox, Jo Mango, Bossy Love, Teen Canteen, The Crying Lion, Howie Reeve,
    Honey & The Herbs, Massicot, Urang Matang, The Creeping Ivies, Glad Community Choir Sings
    Bowie, Cairo Liberation Front, Upjumped Brass Band, Samedia Shebeen DJs, Hannah Lou Clark,
    Møgen, Alien Lullabies, Raza.
    With an event capacity of only 3000, Doune The Rabbit Hole organisers pride themselves on being
    one of the country’s smallest festivals, giving the event a uniquely intimate and friendly atmosphere.
    Families are warmly welcomed at the festival with tickets for children aged 12 and under available
    for free, so all ages can experience the range of activities over the course of the weekend.
    Jamie Murray, Director of Doune The Rabbit Hole Community Interest Group, said:
    “There is a real sense of community-spirit at Doune the Rabbit Hole and I guarantee you make
    friends for life. It is pretty rare to find an event that embraces a family-friendly culture whilst
    celebrating some amazing music from all genres. Where else would you see everyone, from
    toddlers to pensioners soaking up a festival atmosphere?”
    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted to support Doune the
    Rabbit Hole in 2016 and are confident event organisers have, once again, secured a line-up that will
    draw attendees from all over Scotland. Doune the Rabbit hole demonstrates exactly why Scotland is
    the perfect stage for music events by providing the opportunity for music lovers to witness terrific
    home-grown and international talent while enjoying a unique family-friendly atmosphere and
    stunning scenery.”
    For ticket information and to find out more about Doune The Rabbit Hole 2016, visit
    www.dounetherabbithole.

    Doune The Rabbit Hole, one of Scotland’s most intimate music and arts festivals, has revealed its line-up for this year, taking place at the idyllic Cardross Estate from August 19th – 21st .

    Scottish favourites Admiral Fallow and Treacherous Orchestra as well as Welsh Songstress Cate Le Bon willall be performing at the three day event.

    Other newly announced acts include a whole host of Scottish talent including C Duncan, Mungo’sHiFi w/ Solo Banton, Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 and Emma Pollock, amongst others. Adding asplash of international flavour to the line-up is the Italian longtime tropical and jazz DJ, Clap! Clap!;Rough Trade signee, Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts; and Japanese duo, Sax Ruins, featuring world renowned drummer Yoshida Tatsuya. Not to mention the masterful Awesome Tapes From Africawho has performed coveted slots across the world including many a Boiler Room session, London’s Café Oto and our very own CCA in Glasgow.

    Described as ‘heaven’ by Clash Magazine, Doune The Rabbit Hole has been named among the best of family-friendly festivals by the likes of The Herald and this year will be no different.

    Having started life in 2010 near the town of Doune (hence the name!) the festival has since moved to Cardross Estate. Set near the tranquil Lake of Menteith (Scotland’s only one!) and within beautifulparkland grounds, the festival will not only host a variety of local and international acts but will alsofeature an activity-packed children’s area and a dedicated family campsite. As well as this, Doune the Rabbit Hole has also been lucky enough to receive funding from EventScotland to help celebrate the Year of Innovation Architecture and Design. This grant will be used to bring a selection of artists and architects together to design and build a brand new stage and will feature an eclectic programme of new, innovative music to be curated by The Tolbooth in Stirling.

    The festival is set to return with a spectacular multi-arts bill over theAugust bank holiday weekend featuring an eclectic mix of acts across a carefully curated line-up. Line-up so far: Admiral Fallow, Cate Le Bon, Treacherous Orchestra, Mungo’s HiFi w/ Solo Banton, Jeffrey Lewis &Los Bolts, C Duncan, Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5, Blanck Mass, Richard Dawson, Clap! Clap!,Awesome Tapes from Africa, Emma Pollock, Bombskare, The Destroyers, Sax Ruins, Mickey 9’s,Shopping, BABE, De Rosa, Rozi Plain, Iona Fyfe Band, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Vasa,Sound of Yell, Woodenbox, Jo Mango, Bossy Love, Teen Canteen, The Crying Lion, Howie Reeve,Honey & The Herbs, Massicot, Urang Matang, The Creeping Ivies, Glad Community Choir Sings Bowie, Cairo Liberation Front, Upjumped Brass Band, Samedia Shebeen DJs, Hannah Lou Clark,Møgen, Alien Lullabies, Raza.

    With an event capacity of only 3000, Doune The Rabbit Hole organisers pride themselves on being one of the country’s smallest festivals, giving the event a uniquely intimate and friendly atmosphere.Families are warmly welcomed at the festival with tickets for children aged 12 and under available for free, so all ages can experience the range of activities over the course of the weekend. Jamie Murray, Director of Doune The Rabbit Hole Community Interest Group, said:“There is a real sense of community-spirit at Doune the Rabbit Hole and I guarantee you make friends for life. It is pretty rare to find an event that embraces a family-friendly culture whilst celebrating some amazing music from all genres. Where else would you see everyone, from toddlers to pensioners soaking up a festival atmosphere?

    ”Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted to support Doune the Rabbit Hole in 2016 and are confident event organisers have, once again, secured a line-up that will draw attendees from all over Scotland. Doune the Rabbit hole demonstrates exactly why Scotland is the perfect stage for music events by providing the opportunity for music lovers to witness terrific home-grown and international talent while enjoying a unique family-friendly atmosphere and stunning scenery.”For ticket information and to find out more about Doune The Rabbit Hole 2016, visit www.dounetherabbithole.co.uk

     

    Category: National Events

  • 07 March 2016

    StAnza 2016 ends on a high after another epic year

     StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival has ended on a high with organisers hailing it a huge success.

     Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone said: “We're thrilled that 2016 has been another extremely successful year for StAnza and we were delighted to welcome a huge number of visitors over the five days, many of whom travelled a great distance to join us.

     "Many events sold out and others were live streamed to international audiences which is testament to how exciting and inspiring the programme has been this year."

     The festival was officially opened by StAnza's special guest, Fife singer songwriter James Yorkston. Guests enjoyed readings by Rebecca Sharp, Jane Yolen and Thomas Lynch as well as a performance by University of St Andrews a cappella group, The Accidentals. This year's opening night show was a moving performance of Sea Threads: comings and goings / Sea Treeds: comins an gyaains, a collaboration between award winning saxophonist Tommy Smith, and his celebrated group Karma together with acclaimed Shetlandic poet, Christine De Luca.

     Among the big names from the literary world on the programme this year were Don Paterson, Andrew McMillan, Jo Bell, Lemn Sissay, Pascale Petit, Sean O’Brien, Brian Johnstone and John Burnside. They were joined by Nora Gomringer from Germany, Swedish poet Aase Berg, Jane Yolen and Thomas Lynch from the USA and Australian poet Sarah Holland-Batt and many, many more.  

    StAnza concludes today (Sunday) after five days of over 100 events including performances, readings, music, drama, talks, workshops and a masterclass, open mic events, films, exhibitions and installations involving over 60 artists and thousands of visitors in the Fife coastal town of St Andrews.

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “2016 has been another exciting year for StAnza, showcasing the very best of local and international poetic talent. Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events and in StAnza we have a festival that engages with and inspires its audience, which is testament to the hard work of Eleanor and her team.”

     Eleanor Livingstone added: “Attendance has been excellent this year, and while it’s too early to give exact visitor numbers we are confident we have met our expectations. 2016 has been a fantastic festival for StAnza and while it's always sad when it's over, we’re thrilled to end on such a high.”

    Category: International Events

  • 04 March 2016

    Scotland set for SportAccord as seventh silver partnership is unveiled

     

    SCOTLAND SET FOR SPORTACCORD AS SEVENTH SILVER PARTNERSHIP IS UNVEILED
    EventScotland is delighted to announce that it will take centre stage at SportAccord Convention once again in 2016 as a Silver Partner of the important world sport and business summit.
    The 13th Annual SportAccord Convention is set to take place from 17-22 April at the Swiss Tech Convention Centre in the scenic city of Lausanne, Switzerland. 
    This global gathering of representatives from all levels of sport will mark the seventh consecutive year EventScotland has participated as a Silver Partner, presenting Scotland as the perfect stage for events to key decision makers and sporting officials. 
    In conjunction with partners, EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, will coordinate an engaging exhibition stand (No.133) which represents Scotland’s events industry for the duration of the convention. 
    This will enhance Scotland’s visibility among international sporting federations and events rights holders worldwide and follows an unprecedented period of success which saw the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup come to the country in 2014, and no fewer than three World and two European Championships hosted in 2015. 
    The 2016 European and 2020 World Men’s Curling Championships, 2017 Total BWF World Championships, 2018 European Championships, 2020 LEN European Junior Swimming and Diving Championships and UEFA EURO 2020 are also set to take place in Scotland in future years. 
    Additionally, EventScotland is bidding on Scotland’s behalf for the right to stage the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, with a decision deadline set for April 23 by the European Athletics Council. 
    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: 
    “SportAccord Convention is an incredibly valuable event for Scotland, as we continue to bid for and stage some of the world’s most prestigious events properties. It allows us to showcase Scotland’s capacity for hosting sporting occasions of tremendous significance and our capability in pushing the bar ever higher in their delivery. 
    “Over the last 12 months, events like the 2015 FIG World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, IPC Swimming World Championships and the recent Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix - the No.1-ranked indoor athletics meet in the world – have helped prove that Scotland really is the perfect stage for sporting events, and we look forward to discussing our future vision with colleagues at the convention in April.”
    Nis Hatt, Managing Director of SportAccord Convention, said: 
    “Over the years, Scotland has continued to win and host world class events. Its success is self-evident with the growing list of past and future sporting events, placing Scotland firmly on the international map as a desirable ‘go-to’ destination for sport. 
    “EventScotland’s success is a great example of the opportunities and value the SportAccord Convention brings to host cities, by helping to put them in front of key decision-makers for sport.”
    Held in a different city every year, the annual SportAccord Convention is a unique opportunity for key decision-makers from sport and industry to meet, network, and strategically shape global, regional and national agendas. An exclusive 6-day event with 2000 delegates expected to attend, the Convention is host to annual general meetings of governing bodies, and once again, will welcome a delegation from the International Olympic Committee. 

    EventScotland is delighted to announce that it will take centre stage at SportAccord Convention once again in 2016 as a Silver Partner of the important world sport and business summit.

    The 13th Annual SportAccord Convention is set to take place from 17-22 April at the Swiss Tech Convention Centre in the scenic city of Lausanne, Switzerland. 

    This global gathering of representatives from all levels of sport will mark the seventh consecutive year EventScotland has participated as a Silver Partner, presenting Scotland as the perfect stage for events to key decision makers and sporting officials. 

    In conjunction with partners, EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, will coordinate an engaging exhibition stand (No.133) which represents Scotland’s events industry for the duration of the convention. 

    This will enhance Scotland’s visibility among international sporting federations and events rights holders worldwide and follows an unprecedented period of success which saw the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup come to the country in 2014, and no fewer than three World and two European Championships hosted in 2015. 

    The 2016 European and 2020 World Men’s Curling Championships, 2017 Total BWF World Championships, 2018 European Championships, 2020 LEN European Junior Swimming and Diving Championships and UEFA EURO 2020 are also set to take place in Scotland in future years. 

    Additionally, EventScotland is bidding on Scotland’s behalf for the right to stage the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, with a decision deadline set for April 23 by the European Athletics Council. 

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: 

    “SportAccord Convention is an incredibly valuable event for Scotland, as we continue to bid for and stage some of the world’s most prestigious events properties. It allows us to showcase Scotland’s capacity for hosting sporting occasions of tremendous significance and our capability in pushing the bar ever higher in their delivery. 

    “Over the last 12 months, events like the 2015 FIG World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, IPC Swimming World Championships and the recent Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix - the No.1-ranked indoor athletics meet in the world – have helped prove that Scotland really is the perfect stage for sporting events, and we look forward to discussing our future vision with colleagues at the convention in April.”

    Nis Hatt, Managing Director of SportAccord Convention, said: 
    “Over the years, Scotland has continued to win and host world class events. Its success is self-evident with the growing list of past and future sporting events, placing Scotland firmly on the international map as a desirable ‘go-to’ destination for sport. 

    “EventScotland’s success is a great example of the opportunities and value the SportAccord Convention brings to host cities, by helping to put them in front of key decision-makers for sport.”

    Held in a different city every year, the annual SportAccord Convention is a unique opportunity for key decision-makers from sport and industry to meet, network, and strategically shape global, regional and national agendas. An exclusive 6-day event with 2000 delegates expected to attend, the Convention is host to annual general meetings of governing bodies, and once again, will welcome a delegation from the International Olympic Committee. 

    Category: Industry News

  • 03 March 2016

    Guest Teams announced for Melrose Sevens

    Top international sides will take part in the Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens on 9th April, including teams from ITALY, FRANCE, BELGIUM and EDINBURGH RUGBY. Melrose RFC is also delighted to announce the continued sponsorship from Aberdeen Asset Management as main sponsor for the 2016 event.

     SCOTTISH CLUBS appearing will be GALA, HAWICK, JEDFOREST, KELSO,, PEEBLES, SELKIRK, AYR, BOROUGHMUIR, CURRIE, HERIOTS, WATSONIANS, ABERDEEN RUGBY, HOWE of FIFE, GLASGOW HAWKS, MARR RUGBY, EDINBURGH ACADEMICALS, STEWART’S MELVILLE, STIRLING COUNTY and hosts MELROSE.

     Trevor Jackson, President of Melrose RFC said “I am delighted to announce that Melrose Sevens 2016 is to be sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management and I am extremely grateful to them for their continued support. Since the first sevens at Melrose in 1883, the game has grown into a global phenomenon, and remains one of the fastest growing team sports in the world at this time. With the World Rugby series increasing in popularity each year, and the excitement of inclusion for the first time this year in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, we are delighted to welcome back Aberdeen Asset Management as sponsors of the tournament where it all began. The event will be a 24 team tournament and I am delighted that development sides from France and Italy, the Belgian national side and Edinburgh Rugby will be our guest teams for 2016.

     Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens Convener, Ian Cooper, says he is delighted with the calibre of the sides the event has attracted this year.  “The 2016 tournament looks to be an exciting programme of sevens rugby. With Europe being a topical subject just now we felt European sides would be appropriate. Edinburgh will make their debut, and looking to challenge, will be guest development sides from Italy and France as well as the Scottish teams. In addition, a national team from Belgium will see the club's policy of widening our sevens participation experience even further. With Rugby Sevens being included for the first time as an Olympic event this year in Brazil, the profile of the game has never been higher. We are also extremely grateful to Aberdeen Asset Management for their continued sponsorship. This is the fifth year they have been involved and we appreciate their support. Let's hope the sun shines on The Greenyards on the 9th of April".

     Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management commented:

    “We are delighted to be supporting the 2016 Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens for the fifth year running and in what promises to be a momentous year for the sport.

    With both the game of rugby sevens and our company being founded in Scotland, we are very proud to be associated with this historic event and look forward to seeing the game being played in Rio come August.

    We expect the 126th edition of the Melrose Sevens to be as exciting as ever with a high calibre of local and international talent on show for the 12,000 plus spectators in attendance along with those watching live on BBC Scotland. Rugby sevens is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and this year Melrose Rugby Club will play host to its 33rd annual Junior Sports Clinic. With access to professional coaching and mentoring these young players have an opportunity to become the stars of the future, which is great to see.

    We hope you enjoy the tournament.”

     Scottish Rugby President Ed Crozier said: “What a year for seven-a-side rugby! The game invented in Melrose will be seen in Rio later this year, as rugby returns to the Olympic movement. “Melrose are rightly proud of their role as custodians of the abbreviated game and it’s terrific that they continue to use their tournament as a catalyst for the development of the game, evident from the invitations to teams from Belgium and Italy, for example. “It’s also grand reward for Marr, for the progress they’ve made up the leagues and the style of rugby they espouse, to be invited to Melrose 7s.  “And after the success of Glasgow Warriors over the last two seasons, Edinburgh Rugby now has the opportunity to display their prowess. Good luck to all competing teams.”

    Cllr David Parker, Leader of Scottish Borders Council and local member for Melrose said: “This year’s Melrose Sevens will benefit massively from the arrival of the Borders Railway and for the first time rugby enthusiasts from all over Scotland and beyond have an opportunity to come to our region by train and experience all that Melrose has to offer.  Melrose RFC work tirelessly to put together a fantastic sevens programme and their event is a great day for all the family and enjoyed by a great many Borderers and by those from out with our region. Scottish Borders Council is pleased to play a small part in the Melrose 7s and I have no doubt that the event will be a tremendous success" 

     The Davidson Chalmers VETS Tournament

    “Davidson Chalmers is proud to continue its sponsorship of the Melrose Sevens VETS tournament for the seventh consecutive year.  Since its launch in 2008, the VETS tournament has opened the Melrose Sevens weekend, one of the UK’s biggest annual celebrations of rugby. Veterans’ events are now established as an integral part of social rugby and enjoyed nowhere more enthusiastically than in Melrose, the international home of rugby sevens.“Our long and proud track record in supporting local rugby along with a range of other events and activities in the Borders has culminated in the opening of a new office in Galashiels which further underlines Davidson Chalmers’ commitment to the area.”

    Andy Drane, Partner

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Melrose 7s is always a headline attraction on Scotland’s rugby calendar and we are delighted to support the event again in 2016 through our Beacon Programme. Melrose 7s has additional international significance this year as rugby makes its return to the Olympic Games and we are delighted that the event is set to welcome the Belgian national team and development sides from France and Italy. We are sure they’ll be treated to the finest Scottish hospitality during their visit.”

    Category: International Events

  • 03 March 2016

    Scotland to host two rounds of Pearl Izumi Tour Series

    Scotland will host an entire week of the 2016 Pearl Izumi Tour Series for the first time this May, as both Motherwell and Edinburgh host rounds of Britain’s leading televised cycle race Series.

    It will be the first time that Scotland has had two venues on the calendar for the Pearl Izumi Tour Series since the series began in 2009, coming on the back of last week’s announcement that the Tour of Britain would begin in Glasgow this September.

    Motherwell will host Round Two on Tuesday 17 May before the Series returns to Edinburgh after a year’s absence for Round Three on Thursday 19 May.  As in 2015 Motherwell will also host a women’s race, which will be Round One of a newly expanded six-race calendar for Britain’s top women’s teams.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:

    “I am delighted that the Pearl Izumi Tour Series will return for two stages in 2016, building upon an incredibly varied portfolio of both participation and spectator cycling events in Scotland this year.

    “Events such as this not only inspire people to become more active but also broadcast terrific imagery of Scotland to audiences internationally, reinforcing the county’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.”

    Councillor Jim Robertson, Provost of North Lanarkshire, said:

    “We are very proud to host the Pearl Izumi Tour Series for the second year in Motherwell. Last year’s racing was tremendously exciting and the community turned out in huge numbers to support it.


    “Hosting one of professional cycling’s top events reinforces that North Lanarkshire is a top sporting venue and we are looking forward to an even bigger turnout this year to welcome all the teams.”

    In 2015 Madison Genesis took the win in Motherwell on their way to the overall title in the men’s Series, while in the women’s race Milngavie’s Katie Archibald took the individual win with Fife’s Eileen Roe third.

    Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Sport Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said:

    “Cycling is going from strength to strength in Edinburgh so to have the Pearl Izumi Tour Series return to the city after a two year absence is great news. It proved to be a really popular event back in 2014 and I’m sure the Edinburgh public will be out in force to show their support for the riders.”

    The last time the Pearl Izumi Tour Series raced in Edinburgh there were spectacular individual wins for Jon Mould and Archibald again, while Team Raleigh were the team winners with a line-up including Scotsman Evan Oliphant.

    Craig Burn, Chief Executive for Scottish Cycling, said:

    “Scottish Cycling is excited yet again this year to have the elite racing on our doorstep that the Tour Series brings. This time Scotland gets to host not just one but two stages of the tour, giving twice the opportunity to inspire those who do not cycle to ride, and those who do, to ride more.  

    “Securing and staging elite racing and major events in Scotland is fundamental to achieving our Inspiration to participation strategy. We will continue to utilise events such as the Tour Series to build strategic partnerships with Scotland's local authorities and other stakeholders to drive our wider cycling ambitions with regards to getting more people riding bikes, be it through local clubs, participation programmes, competition or social cycling."

    Motherwell hosted the Pearl Izumi Tour Series for the first time last May, while Edinburgh has hosted the Series once before, in 2014, based upon the Grassmarket. Additionally, the city welcomed a stage start of the Tour of Britain last year.  Further details of both events will be announced in the coming weeks, including a revised Edinburgh circuit.

    Alongside Motherwell and Edinburgh, eight other venues will host the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, including Durham, Stoke-on-Trent and Ramsey on the Isle of Man, where the Series will begin.

    As well as the venues, the six top British professional teams who will race at all ten events in 2016 have been confirmed, led by reigning Champions Madison Genesis.  Joining them at all events will be 2014 champions JLT Condor presented by Mavic, NFTO, Pedal Heaven, Team Raleigh GAC and Team WIGGINS.

    The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is unique in world cycling, focussing on a team concept that sees Britain’s professional cycling teams competing to be the fastest in an action packed, one-hour circuit race.  Highlights of every round are screened on ITV4 and available on demand via the ITV Player.

    Category: Cycling

  • 03 March 2016

    StAnza returns for another epic year celebrating the spoken word

     StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival is back for 2016 with a programme which promises another epic festival for Fife.

     The annual festival which once again boasts an outstanding line-up of literary talent, gets underway. Fife singer songwriter James Yorkston will launch the festival which opens with a performance of Sea Threads: comings and goings / Sea Treeds: comins an gyaains. The performance is a collaboration between Tommy Smith, award winning saxophonist and director of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, and his celebrated group Karma together with acclaimed Shetlandic poet and Edinburgh Makar, Christine De Luca.

     Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone said: "Once again we have strived to create a programme which embraces the wonderful diversity of the spoken word. This year's ambitious programme demonstrates the incredible talent within the poetry world. From our headline acts to some of the newest voices on the stage, our line-up is a vibrant and exciting mix of performance poets and artists who will no doubt make this another year to remember.”

     Over five days Fife's historic university town of St Andrews will come alive to celebrate live poetry in all its forms around this year's two themes. The first, Body of Poetry, looks at poetry which engages with the human body, its needs, appetites and how it changes. As part of the second theme, City Lines, the festival will have a strong focus on Architecture for Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, and will connect St Andrews with various cities worldwide, including Berlin as part of a focus on German poetry.

     The festival takes place from 2 to 6 March with headline acts including Costa Poetry Award winner Don Paterson, Andrew McMillan, Jo Bell, Lemn Sissay, Pascale Petit, Sean O’Brien, Brian Johnstone and John Burnside. They will be joined by Nora Gomringer from Germany, Swedish poet Aase Berg, Jane Yolen and Thomas Lynch from the USA and Australian poet Sarah Holland-Batt along with many, many more.

     

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, added: “StAnza promises to be a fantastic event, showcasing the very best of both local and international poetic talent. In 2016, the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, it is also fitting that the festival will include exhibitions and events focusing on architecture as part of its exciting programme.”

     Other highlights include What's the point of poetry, a poetry and photography exhibition as part of this year's German language focus, HashtagPoetry#, StAnza’s first ever festival exhibition on Instagram; To the Lighthouse, a concert inspired by Virginia Woolf’s famous novel, and A Potter, a Painter and a Poet, an exhibition of the collaboration between artists Paul Tebble and Anne Gilchrist and poet Elizabeth Burns who died in August 2015. And as part of Scotland's Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, architecture features strongly in StAnza’s visual art programme including Building with Words by Lucy Jones.

     Tickets are on sale and can be purchased in person, by phone and online. Full box office details are online at our booking page or telephone the box office on 01334 475000.  

    Category: International Events

  • 01 March 2016

    Scots urged to share #CanalMagic at Red Bull Neptune Steps ahead of 2016 World Canals Conference


    #CanalMagic – a public programme which celebrates the innovation, heritage and economic value of Scotland’s canals - will get underway at the world’s only uphill swimming race in Glasgow.
    Red Bull Neptune Steps, a high-octane swimming race which takes to the water of the Forth & Clyde Canal in Maryhill on Saturday 9th April, will be the first of six Scotland-wide events inviting residents and visitors to share their experiences of Scotland’s inland waterways via social media.
    Under the banner #CanalMagic, which is being organised by Scottish Canals and supported by the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, cyclists, runners, walkers, boaters, canalside communities and local businesses are being encouraged to record what the nation’s 137-miles of canal network mean to them.
    The public will be able to take part in a master-planning workshop for Ardrishaig in Argyll and Bute in April, a design workshop in Bowling in the Spring, a drop in community consultation in Falkirk in May, the Edinburgh Canal Festival in June and the Go Wild community festival in Muirtown Basin, Inverness, in September which will feature designing, building and racing rafts on the canal.
    #CanalMagic invites canal users, from commuters who cycle along the towpath, ramblers spotting wildlife and boaters or paddlers enjoying the tranquillity of journeying along the water, to submit their ‘one of a kind’ photos and videos via Scottish Canals social media channels. 
    The best images and videos will be collated into a short film which will be screened in front of a 300-strong audience of international waterways experts, global academics and business leaders at the World Canals Conference in Inverness this September. 
    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:
    “With Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we have the opportunity to put Scotland on the map in a new and exciting way, positioning the country as a mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time.”
    “Scotland’s canal network acts a great resource for education, recreation, regeneration and tourism.  So whether you’re an adventurous thrill-seeker or you’re more at home taking the dog for a walk along Scotland’s canal network – the #CanalMagic programme is an innovative way of celebrating Scotland’s past, present and future, and has a real community spirit at its heart.”
    Spectators at Red Bull Neptune Steps, the toughest open water race in the United Kingdom, will be encouraged to capture and share moments from the event using #CanalMagic as 200 elite endurance athletes swim 420 metres of cold water, climb 18 metres over eight canal lock gates and push themselves to their limits in a test of speed, strength, and resolve.
    Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Canals, said: “Scotland’s canals attract 22 million visits a year from cyclists, walkers, runners, boaters, paddlers and anglers around the world and we want to capture what makes these 250-year old heritage assets so special to them today. 
    “#CanalMagic will help showcase the role that canals play in communities up and down the country and the fantastic contribution they make to Scotland’s economy. This, in turn, will help us to continue using them in new and exciting ways to create jobs, stimulate business growth, encourage tourism and help drive regeneration across urban and rural areas.”
    He added: “Where better to launch #CanalMagic than at the world’s only uphill swimming race? It would have been unimaginable a few years ago that Maryhill would welcome 3,000 spectators to cheer on Europe’s top athletes competing in a gruelling adventure race but by the end of the World Canals Conference in September, we hope to see many more examples of how canals are being used innovatively to stimulate economic growth and deliver fantastic public value.”
    Con Doherty, world leading junior triathlete competing in the event, said: ‘it’s such a unique racing format, and will be a real test. There’s nothing else that exists like it, and it’s going to push competitors to their absolute limits’. Sign ups for entry to this year’s race will open on 1st March at 10am, opening up the opportunity for 200 participants to swim, climb, and conquer the adventure race like no other. For more information on watching the event or taking part please visit redbull.co.uk/neptunesteps.

    #CanalMagic – a public programme which celebrates the innovation, heritage and economic value of Scotland’s canals - will get underway at the world’s only uphill swimming race in Glasgow.

    Red Bull Neptune Steps, a high-octane swimming race which takes to the water of the Forth & Clyde Canal in Maryhill on Saturday 9th April, will be the first of six Scotland-wide events inviting residents and visitors to share their experiences of Scotland’s inland waterways via social media.

    Under the banner #CanalMagic, which is being organised by Scottish Canals and supported by the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, cyclists, runners, walkers, boaters, canalside communities and local businesses are being encouraged to record what the nation’s 137-miles of canal network mean to them.

    The public will be able to take part in a master-planning workshop for Ardrishaig in Argyll and Bute in April, a design workshop in Bowling in the Spring, a drop in community consultation in Falkirk in May, the Edinburgh Canal Festival in June and the Go Wild community festival in Muirtown Basin, Inverness, in September which will feature designing, building and racing rafts on the canal.

    #CanalMagic invites canal users, from commuters who cycle along the towpath, ramblers spotting wildlife and boaters or paddlers enjoying the tranquillity of journeying along the water, to submit their ‘one of a kind’ photos and videos via Scottish Canals social media channels. The best images and videos will be collated into a short film which will be screened in front of a 300-strong audience of international waterways experts, global academics and business leaders at the World Canals Conference in Inverness this September. 

    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “With Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we have the opportunity to put Scotland on the map in a new and exciting way, positioning the country as a mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time.”

    “Scotland’s canal network acts a great resource for education, recreation, regeneration and tourism.  So whether you’re an adventurous thrill-seeker or you’re more at home taking the dog for a walk along Scotland’s canal network – the #CanalMagic programme is an innovative way of celebrating Scotland’s past, present and future, and has a real community spirit at its heart.”

     Spectators at Red Bull Neptune Steps, the toughest open water race in the United Kingdom, will be encouraged to capture and share moments from the event using #CanalMagic as 200 elite endurance athletes swim 420 metres of cold water, climb 18 metres over eight canal lock gates and push themselves to their limits in a test of speed, strength, and resolve.

    Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Canals, said: “Scotland’s canals attract 22 million visits a year from cyclists, walkers, runners, boaters, paddlers and anglers around the world and we want to capture what makes these 250-year old heritage assets so special to them today. 

    “#CanalMagic will help showcase the role that canals play in communities up and down the country and the fantastic contribution they make to Scotland’s economy. This, in turn, will help us to continue using them in new and exciting ways to create jobs, stimulate business growth, encourage tourism and help drive regeneration across urban and rural areas.”

     He added: “Where better to launch #CanalMagic than at the world’s only uphill swimming race? It would have been unimaginable a few years ago that Maryhill would welcome 3,000 spectators to cheer on Europe’s top athletes competing in a gruelling adventure race but by the end of the World Canals Conference in September, we hope to see many more examples of how canals are being used innovatively to stimulate economic growth and deliver fantastic public value.”

    Con Doherty, world leading junior triathlete competing in the event, said: ‘it’s such a unique racing format, and will be a real test. There’s nothing else that exists like it, and it’s going to push competitors to their absolute limits’.

     Sign ups for entry to this year’s race will open on 1st March at 10am, opening up the opportunity for 200 participants to swim, climb, and conquer the adventure race like no other. For more information on watching the event or taking part please visit redbull.co.uk/neptunesteps.

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 01 March 2016

    WORLD FAMOUS DAVIS CUP TROPHY TO COME HOME TO GLASGOW

    The people of Glasgow are to be given a once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the most famous trophies in world sport – tennis’s Davis Cup – when it kicks off a whirlwind tour of Britain in the city in April.

    Leon Smith’s men made history when they became the first British side to win the Davis Cup in 79 years with a sensational victory over Belgium in the final last November. The historic achievement followed a run of wins that started at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena in March when they defeated USA in the first round. 

    Britain then overcame France in the quarter-final at Queen’s Club before returning to Glasgow in September where they beat Australia in a nail-biting semi-final. The Emirates Arena and the Glasgow fans won special praise from the players during the sensational run with British No 1 and World No 2 Andy Murray saying it was “one of the best atmospheres that he had ever played in.”

    With the final taking place in the Belgian city of Ghent due to Davis Cup competition rules, the majority of Glasgow fans had to settle with watching the event on television at home. But there is no doubting the important role Glasgow played in helping bring the Davis Cup back to Britain for the first time since 1936.

    The Glasgow ties were supported by Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, EventScotland and Tennis Scotland. Following the historic win the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has now confirmed that the Davis Cup trophy is to go on a legacy tour of Britain, with the Scottish leg starting in Glasgow on Friday 1 April. Full details of the Glasgow event will be announced in the coming weeks.

    The event will give the army of fans who roared Britain on to glory at the Emirates Arena the chance to see the iconic Davis Cup trophy in person. The trophy itself dates back to 1900 and was made by Shreve, Crump and Low of Boston, Massachusetts. It currently stands at 110 centimetres high, is 107cm in diameter at its widest point and weighs an incredible 105 kilogrammes.     

    Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “None of us will ever forget the magical moments the British team gave us at the Emirates Arena on the road to Davis Cup glory. Over the course of six days an incredible 42,000 fans lived every point with the players, roaring them on to victory against the USA and Australia. The atmosphere was incredible and the Emirates Roar was born.

    “The luck of the draw meant the final was an away tie with Belgium but this tour will give our fans the chance to see the trophy that they helped win. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we want as many people as possible to come along and be inspired by the trophy – not just tennis fans but also members of the public. 

    “I can’t think of a better location to start the tour than the iconic Buchanan Street right in the heart of our great city. The Davis Cup is coming home to Glasgow.”

    Visit Scotland’s Director of Events, Paul Bush OBE, said: "The Davis Cup matches in Glasgow demonstrated Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events to a worldwide audience and were a terrific example of Scotland’s contribution to the tennis in recent years

    “We are delighted that the trophy is set to visit the city as it embarks on a UK-wide tour, which is fitting recognition for the role that Scotland, and particularly the hugely supportive spectators of Glasgow, played in Great Britain’s Davis Cup success.”

    Tennis Scotland’s Head of Development, Doc McKelvey, said: “We’re delighted that the trophy tour begins in Scotland and it’s extremely appropriate that it will be Glasgow that kicks things off, given the two unforgettable ties we enjoyed at the Emirates Arena last year.

    “Having the Davis Cup going to selected venues throughout the country will undoubtedly attract huge interest and hopefully encourage people of all ages to take up this great sport of ours.”

    Category: Racquet Sports

  • 29 February 2016

    Idlewild set to headline Sunday of ButeFest

    Scottish Alt. Rock behemoths, Idlewild, are set to headline the Sunday night of ButeFest 2016, organisers announced on Thursday night via Social Media.
     The Edinburgh based outfit are the latest act to be added to the bill, which already boasts the likes of The Magic Numbers, Skerryvore, The Scott Wood Band, Tom McRae, Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5, Heron Valley, Talisk, The Youth and Young, The Rezillos among many others. The second ever ButeFest will take place Friday 29th-Sunday 31st July 2016 at King George’s Field, Rothesay.
     Along with 'Tier 2' tickets going on sale this week (offering a saving up to 25% vs. the price of a standard full-weekend ticket) the organisers have this year introduced a limited number of day tickets for 2016. So, festivalgoers will still be able to take in some of the fantastic bands performing across the weekend without breaking the bank.
     As with the festival's debut, the 2016 follow-up promises to be packed with loads of activities and entertainment for the younger ButeFest'ers to enjoy too. Family entertainment confirmed so far includes Professor Pumpernickel, Fellowship of the Thistle, Ian Douglas Storyteller and Gary(Gacko)Bridgens with much more still to be announced! ButeFest 2016 is set to be great weekend out for the whole family with 'under 11's' going free and the return of the incredibly popular ButeFest family ticket deal.
     Tickets can be purchased online at www.butefest.co.uk or locally (saving the price of booking fee) from The Musicker and The Dressing Rooms. For more information about the festival and the line up so far visit the ButeFest website.
     ButeFest 2016 is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and by CalMac.
     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said:
    “We are delighted to be once again supporting ButeFest. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and Emma and her team have brought together another strong programme this year. With a diverse and exciting line-up of music acts and entertainment appealing to people of all ages and tastes, the festival truly has something for everyone.”
     Peter Griffiths, Marketing Manager at CalMac, said:
    "It was exciting for CalMac to be involved with the first ButeFest last year and we're pleased to be able to renew that support in 2016 as the event grows.
     Although it's still early days for the organisers and there are many more acts to announce, it shows all the signs of being another great family weekend. CalMac recently won the Creative Business title at the Arts and Business Scotland Awards for its support of cultural diversity across its network - specifically for the CalMac Culture competitions and ButeFest will, this year, also show case a winner of CalMac Culture Music for the first time." 
     For all those interested in having a go at the CalMac Culture Music title, the competition is now on for budding singer songwriters and bands to try their hand at winning a slot at one of a number of festivals around Scotland, including ButeFest. Go to www.calmac.co.uk/music for full detail on key dates, how to enter and terms and conditions.

    Category: National Events

  • 25 February 2016

    Pushing the boat out: make a date with Crail Food Festival 2016

    One of Scotland’s leading food festivals, the Crail Food Festival (10-12 June), is returning with a host of activities across seven venues and a focus on the area’s fishing heritage as part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    As well as offering the opportunity to taste fresh local seafood, the Crail Food Festival is this year working with the Scottish Fisheries Museum to showcase Crail’s history as a traditional fishing village. 

     With other activities including a new Parents’ Pitstop with a children’s tea party and storytelling in the Marine Hotel, as well as a showcase of local chocolatiers and bakers, the festival is appealing for all ages.

     Now in its sixth year, events are taking place across seven historic buildings in the picturesque East Neuk village.  The festival encourages visitors to explore a wide variety of locations across Crail, from the famous working harbour, Crail’s town hall (this year acting as a ticket hub) and the Legion Hall at the village’s centre to the Kirk Hall and Community Hall, where a bustling Producers’ Market is held.

     Crail Food Festival celebrates the strength of Scotland’s food and drink, in particular local Fife producers with around 80 participants are scheduled to take part.  With the return of the Producers’ Market and a series of new Food Conversations with chefs and food insiders, visitors are given a unique opportunity to find out the stories behind what they’re eating and drinking.

     A new marquee will also be placed close to the village’s historic trading marketplace with food served on Saturday and Sunday. More food stalls will be located at the iconic harbour on Sunday.

     This year, the entertainment carries on into the evening with a grand launch party on Friday evening with a smorgasbord of local produce prepared by East Neuk Cooks and a quiz.  This taste experience will be followed by live music from The Shiverin’ Shakes, who combine a bombastic mix of rock’n’roll, country, gospel and 1950s pop.  The launch party runs in addition to a new Saturday Flavour of Fife banquet with tasting menu, matching wine and guest appearances from local food producers.  Both are ticketed events with tickets going on sale via www.crailfoodfest.co.uk from 1 May. 

     Graham Anderson, the Event Manager said:

    “We’re so lucky in Fife to have such world class food and drink on our doorstep and when it’s combined with a setting as stunning as Crail, the experience really is truly memorable.  This year’s festival programme aims to showcase our local produce whilst providing visitors with more ways than ever before to get hands-on with food and drink – tasting new flavours, finding out the stories behind what they’re eating and of course, enjoying the very best of Fife.  I’d urge everyone to put the festival dates in your diary and come along!”

     Crail Food Festival is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and Fife Council.

     Paul Bush OBE said: 

     “We are delighted to be supporting the Crail Food Festival through our National Programme.  Graham and his team have once again developed a fantastic programme of events, showcasing the very best of the region’s local produce. It is also fitting that the festival is part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design celebrations offering both locals and visitors a chance to explore some of the East Neuk’s rich architectural heritage as part of the event.”

     More information can be found at crailfoodfest.co.uk or follow @CrailFoodFest on Twitter or like the event on Facebook

    Category: National Events

  • 25 February 2016

    Scotland to start 2016 Tour of Britain

    Scotland is set to host Stage One of the Tour of Britain for the fifth time when British Cycling’s premier road cycling event pushes off from Glasgow city centre on Sunday 4 September, with an opening stage to Castle Douglas.

    Having last welcomed the Tour of Britain in 2008, Glasgow will host the Grand Depart of the opening stage, building on the success of hosting the Commonwealth Games and British National Road Race Championships in recent years.

    It will be the eighth time that Dumfries and Galloway has hosted a stage finish of Britain’s biggest professional cycle race, and the third time that Castle Douglas has welcomed a finish of the race. Outside of London no other region has hosted as many stage finishes since the Tour of Britain was revived in 2004.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:

    “We are delighted that the first stage of the Tour of Britain will take place in Scotland for the fifth time and we are sure that cycling enthusiasts from all of the country will be keen to turn out in support of all competitors.

    “Scotland is the perfect stage for cycling events and Glasgow city centre will provide a fantastic setting for the riders as they push off on the first of eight days of competition, before encountering the scenic and challenging countryside of Dumfries and Galloway”

    Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said:

    “Cycling has been at the heart of Glasgow’s rise as one of the world’s top sporting cities in recent years and we are looking forward to welcoming some of the world’s top cyclists back to the city for the Tour of Britain Grand Depart.

    “The people of Glasgow turned out in their thousands to cheer them on at the 2013 British National Road Race Championships and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Road Race events and it will be no different this September.”

    Councillor Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Events Champion, said:

    “Castle Douglas always has been serious about cycling. The town boasts three cycling shops and is proud of its history of twice previously hosting the Tour of Britain. What a great hat trick to bring this superb event back to this scenic market town for a third time!! Castle Douglas is close to beautiful mountain bike trails at Dalbeattie, Mabie and Kirroughtree forests so we believe we are a great location for Stage One of the Tour.”

    Craig Burn, Chief Executive of Scottish Cycling says:

    “Events such as the Tour of Britain inspire those who do not cycle to start, or those who do cycle to push themselves further. The 2013 British National Road Race Championships and the 2014 Commonwealth Games, as well as the launch of the 2018 European Sports Championships have also proven Scotland’s capability and popularity for hosting international cycling events. Scottish Cycling is incredibly excited that Scotland will be hosting the opening stage of the Tour of Britain this year, and look forward to seeing some more elite racing on our doorstep.”

    In both 2005 and 2006 the opening stage of the Tour of Britain ran from Glasgow to Castle Douglas, with Nick Nuyens and Martin Pedersen the respective winners, of both the Scottish stage and the overall race in those editions.  With the town already eagerly anticipating the arrival of the race, local organisers are confident that around 10,000 spectators will turn out to watch riders crossing the finishing line.

    Commenting on the Scottish Stage, Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said;

    “We are very pleased to be returning to Glasgow with the Tour of Britain after a long absence and are looking forward to working with our partners at Glasgow Life, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Cycling and EventScotland to put on a memorable start to the 2016 race.

    “The stage will take in some new roads in Ayrshire for the Tour of Britain, as used in the past by the Girvan Cycle Race, before a very scenic run in to the finish in Castle Douglas, which will look fantastic on the television coverage.”

    The Tour of Britain will finish in the heart of London on Sunday 11 September. Following on from the Scottish opening stage the race will re-start in Carlisle on Monday 5 September for a stage through Cumbria and the Lake District to Kendal.

    Subsequent stages will take the race to Cheshire, Wales and the South West of England, including a summit finish at Haytor on Dartmoor and a challenging circuit race in Bristol on the penultimate day.

    For the fifth successive year fans can look forward to enjoying daily live coverage of all eight stages on ITV4, with the channel broadcasting a three-hour live programme from each stage, plus one-hour of highlights every evening during the race.

    Chain Reaction Cycles continue their partnership with the race and sponsorship of the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Classification, won in 2015 by Team WIGGIN’s Owain Doull, while UK parcel carrier Yodel will continue to sponsor the daily intermediate YodelDirect Sprints classification, which Peter Williams of ONE Pro Cycling won last September.

    ŠKODA remain official car suppliers and sponsors of the King of the Mountains jersey, also won by Williams in 2015.

    The Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step.

    Category: Cycling

  • 19 February 2016

    WORLD CHAMPIONS BACK 2019 EUROPEAN INDOOR BID AHEAD OF GLASGOW GRAND PRIX

    Pupils from Glasgow Gaelic School were given the opportunity to welcome star sprinters Richard Kilty (GB) and Kim Collins (Saint Kitts and Nevis) to Glasgow today, as many of the world’s finest athletes arrive in the city for the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix.

     They were also joined by Jamie Hepburn MSP, the Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, to celebrate the arrival of the world’s no.1 indoor athletics event in Scotland for the first time.

     Taking place at The Emirates Arena in this Olympic year, the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix assumes extra significance in 2016 and is set to feature no fewer than 36 World and Olympic medallists, including London 2012 hero Mo Farah, who will run in the 3000m.

     As reigning World and European 60m champion and former World 100m gold medallist, respectively, Kilty and Collins are among that illustrious cast of competitors and gave pupils an insight into what it takes to become a top-level athlete.

     Both men also spoke about their love for competing in Scotland and shared their belief that Glasgow would be the perfect setting for the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, as one of four cities currently bidding to host the prestigious occasion.

     A decision on the destination of the blue riband event is expected in April, following a series of evaluation visits by European Athletics in the coming weeks.

     Collins, who paved the way for Caribbean sprinters by becoming the first to win World Championship gold in Paris in 2003, said:

     “Glasgow is a really vibrant city and it is a pleasure to compete here. The atmosphere at The Emirates Arena is always fantastic and having such strong support from the home fans really helps spur on all of the athletes to perform at their very best. 

     “I think Scotland would be an ideal choice for the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships. Facilities and accommodation in the city really are second to none and athletes are guaranteed a warm welcome in Glasgow.” 

     Kilty, who enjoyed the vocal backing of The Emirates Arena crowd on his way to winning the Scottish 60m title back in January, said:

     “I love competing at The Emirates Arena and can’t think of a better venue to host the European Athletics Indoor Championships in 2019.

     “Following the  2014 Commonwealth Games, there is no doubt that Scotland knows how to organise the world’s most prestigious events, as we have already experienced ahead of this week’s Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix. I hope to be back here competing for the European title in three years’ time.”

     Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said:

     “It’s a pleasure to come to Glasgow Gaelic School to meet the children, and also these two world-class athletes. Kim and Richard have both achieved great things in their careers, and I’d like to thank them for taking the time out of their busy training schedules to come and talk to the pupils about what it’s like to be a top athlete.

     “Glasgow has a growing reputation as a world-class venue for athletics. This weekend’s Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena promises to be a cracker of an event, with a packed house of fans cheering on some of the world’s top stars. It’s also the ideal opportunity to showcase how well we can stage events like this in Scotland. I hope we will be successful in our bid to stage the European Indoor Athletics Championships at this fabulous venue in 2019.”

     Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham, said:

     “Since opening its doors to the public in 2012, the £113million Emirates Arena has played host to some of the leading events in world sport – with athletics taking centre stage on a number of occasions.

     "We have a longstanding relationship with athletics and the sport has played a key role in our rise as a world-leading sporting city over the years. Our athletics journey continues with this weekend’s Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix and we hope to build on that with the 2019 European Indoor Athletics Championships, which would see Europe’s best athletes return to the city. Our aim is to deliver a world-class event with athletes and spectators at its heart.”

     Niels de Vos, Chief Executive Officer of British Athletics, said:

     “Glasgow is a world-class city for sport and tomorrow’s Indoor Grand Prix will again showcase Glasgow’s ability to stage fantastic events. It is the number one ranked indoor meeting in the world and another sold-out athletics event in Scotland. British Athletics and our partners would be proud to host the European Indoor Championships in 2019”.

    Category: International Events

  • 19 February 2016

    America's Hans Christian Andersen to perform at StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival

    StAnza, Scotland's International Poetry Festival has always featured events for young poetry fans. From readings by children’s authors to staged performances, there is always something to delight a younger audience.

    This year is no different with the 2016 programme featuring children's fantasy writer Jane Yolan, described as America's Hans Christian Andersen. Jane brings her wonderful show Sleepy Monsters, Creepy Monsters which invites the audience to join the award-winning writer on a trip owling at midnight in the atmospheric Owl Moon and to ask How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? This delightful show promises poetic fun for all the family.

    StAnza Festival Director, Eleanor Livingstone said: "At StAnza we pride ourselves in delivering a full, vibrant programme which has wide appeal to all audiences including children. We're thrilled to have Jane Yolan joining us this year with her wonderful show Sleepy Monsters, Creepy Monsters."

     As well as a specific children's event in the programme, StAnza is also active in schools across Fife and Dundee primary and secondary schools offering: writing workshop events; cross-curricular collaborations in poetry, media and art; school visits by festival poets; poetry review mentoring and online journalism projects. Their team of experienced poets and teachers and St Andrews University students engage and support young people in writing and exhibiting their own poetry, which this year connecting with StAnza’s Body of Poetry theme includes a Secondary S3 project called “Masking the Body” and a Primary P4-7 project called “Eye-Popping Poems”. This is leading to:

    an exhibition of the poetry and artwork of many local schools in the Byre Theatre and St Andrews Town Hall – a visually engaging display of poems and visual images of the face, eyes and hands
    a high-concept walk-through art installation of poem-masks by St Leonards’ Y9 pupils in nearby St Leonard’s Art Department, where the public are most welcome to visit at their open hours (visitors should report to St Leonards Main Reception – see StAnza website for more details)
    StAnza Youth Poetry Reviewers Project where senior pupils will work with StAnza mentors and 2015 Sabotage Reviews Winner, Dave Coates to write online reviews of our festival poets’ performances for StAnza Youth webpage.
    StAnza Youth Student Reporters Project where school students will follow and report on the progress of their fellow students as they engage with StAnza workshops, exhibitions and the festival week. They will produce both video and written reports for StAnza Youth webpage.
    Programmed Festival Prize giving events with Jane Yolan and StAnza’s Poet-in-Residence, Harry Man to celebrate individual pupils who have shown Excellence in Poetry in the work produced during and following StAnza in Schools projects.

    StAnza is supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, added: “StAnza is a fantastic event, with a range of activities that caters to poetry fans of all ages and abilities. Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events, and I am delighted at the continued success of “StAnza in Schools” education programme, promoting and nurturing Scotland’s poetic talent through its variety of events and workshops.”

     StAnza lasts for five days from 2nd to 6th March and features around 100 events, many of them free – a diverse range of performances, readings, music, drama, talks, workshops and a masterclass, open mic events, films, exhibitions and installations. StAnza is the place to hear your favourite poet, discover new voices, meet other poets, writers and publishers and enjoy the energetic buzz of the beautiful and historic town of St Andrews. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased in person, by phone and online. Full box office details are online at our booking page or telephone the box office on 01334 475000.

    Category: International Events

  • 17 February 2016

    LAURA MUIR LOOKING FORWARD TO GLASGOW INDOOR GRAND PRIX TEST

    Scottish 1500m record holder Laura Muir (coach: Andy Young) is excited about the prospect of taking on a world class field at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix, the last leg of the IAAF World Indoor Tour, on Saturday.

    The 22 year old will face a strong field including Canada’s World Championships silver medallist Melissa Bishop, current world leader Joanna Jozwik and IAAF World Championships finalist Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (Jon Bigg).

    Muir said: “I’m looking forward to it; it’s going to be a really top class field so I’m looking forward to getting out there and testing myself against the best in the field. It will be good experience to see where I’m at.

    “This event will allow me to test myself against a really high quality field. A couple of races I’ve done have just been in Scotland and I’ve had to run by myself so it will be good to push myself against other athletes and get into that racing mind-set again ahead of the summer.”

    This will be the first time that the Indoor Grand Prix has been staged in Glasgow following its move from Birmingham, and is also bidding to host the European Indoor Championships in 2019. Muir believes the city is ready to host such big events and build on the success of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    She continued: “I love competing on home soil and it’s not often you get to do it in such a big competition. It’s the biggest competition in the world for indoor meets so I’m really looking forward to it and it’s a great line-up.

    “Glasgow showed in the Commonwealth Games that support athletes get in Scotland is amazing and fingers crossed for the Euros bid in 2019. I think we’d be a great host and hopefully this weekend will show what sort of competition they can stage.”

    Muir will be one of seven Scots competing at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix along with Andrew Butchart (Derek Easton), Zoey Clark (Eddie McKenna), Sarah Inglis (John Lees), Stephanie Twell (Mick Woods), Josephine Moultrie (William Parker) and Madeleine Murray (Lees).

    The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is the number one ranked indoor meet in the world of athletics. Find out more by visiting britishathletics.org.uk and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BritAthletics

    Category: Athletics

  • 16 February 2016

    Executive Certificate in Event Management - New Course Dates

    This is a three day intensive programme designed to capitalise on the expertise and provide the key skills and knowledge associated with the design and delivery of corporate, private and public events. The programme outlines industry best practice in the marketing, planning, conduct and evaluation of events.

    Who is it for?

    The programme is designed to enhance the professional skill and knowledge base of those already with or looking to join the industry.

    Programme content and dates

     3 day intensive programme from 21st – 23th March 2016 at Edinburgh Napier University Craiglockhart Campus.

    You will study:

    Event Planning Management, Monitoring, Control, Shutdown and Evaluation

    Project Management

    Risk Management, safety and security

    Marketing, PR and sponsorship

    Greening of Events

    Managing people

    Case studies presented by local event industry practitioners

    Cost

    £975 including 3 days tuition, course materials, and catering. To book your place on the programme please visit our E-Store.

    Please note that you may be eligible for reimbursement of 50% of this programme through Skills Development Scotland 

    To find out more information about the ECEM please view the website or contact Peter Skellett on 0131 455 4642 or p.skellett@napier.ac.uk

    Category: Industry News

  • 15 February 2016

    NEXT STOP SCOTLAND FOR MAJOR INTERNATIONAL SPORTING FEDERATIONS

    EventScotland will welcome some of the key decision makers within international sport over the coming weeks, as Scotland continues to bid for and secure the right to stage some of the world’s most prestigious events.

     A delegation representing European Athletics touched down in Glasgow today and will spend two days in the country as part of evaluation visits to cities bidding for the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships. Glasgow is one of four potential hosts and, if successful, would be the first Scottish destination for a European Athletics event in 15 years.

     As well as undertaking discussions with bid partners, including the Scottish Government, EventScotland, Glasgow City Council, Scottish Athletics and British Athletics, the group will tour the Emirates Arena to witness first-hand its undoubted capability for hosting the world’s most prestigious sporting events.

     The itinerary includes a visit to Scotstoun Sports Campus, which has been identified as a training venue for competitors, while Glasgow’s accommodation provision will also be assessed with a view to hosting hundreds of athletes and, potentially, thousands of tourists from around Europe.

     A decision as to the destination of the blue riband event is expected in April 2016, following a final presentation made on behalf of Scottish partners to European Athletics in Amsterdam.

     Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said:

     “Glasgow has a growing reputation as a world-class venue for athletics, putting the city in a strong position to secure the bid. There are very few indoor venues as good as the Emirates Arena, and we have some of the most enthusiastic fans.

     “I am looking forward to the up and coming Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix, which will be an ideal opportunity to showcase how well we can stage events like this in Scotland, and hope we will see the European Athletics Indoor Championships at this fabulous venue in 2019.”

     Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said:

     “In recent years Glasgow has established itself as one of the world’s top sporting cities thanks to our investment in new facilities and our international sporting events programme.

     “Athletics has been at the very heart of our rise as a world-leading sporting city. This weekend’s Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will take the sport to a new level and we hope to build on that success with the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, which would see Europe’s top athletes return to the Emirates Arena. Our aim is to deliver a world-class event with athletes and spectators at its very heart.”

     Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of British Athletics, said:

     “This weekend’s 2016 Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix has sold out months in advance, demonstrating the huge support for elite athletics there is within the Scottish public.

     “I’m delighted that Glasgow City and EventScotland decided to build on the success of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and previous British Athletics events held in the city by bidding to host European Athletics’ flagship indoor event at the Emirates Arena in 2019.

     “We know that, if successful, Glasgow would establish a new standard for the European Athletics Indoor Championships against which all future editions would be measured, and we hope the delegation have a successful visit.”

    Category: International Events

  • 15 February 2016

    GLASGOW INTERNATIONAL ANNOUNCES FURTHER DETAILS OF 2016 PROGRAMME

     Glasgow International today announces further details for its 7th edition, which opens on 8 April 2016. Over the 18-day Festival, Glasgow International 2016 will host an ambitious programme of new works, site-specific commissions, new venues, exhibitions and events at over 75 locations across the city of Glasgow. Exhibiting work by more than 220 of the best local and international artists, the 2016 Festival will further showcase Glasgow as one of the world’s most important creative hubs for contemporary visual art.

    Alongside new exhibitions and events as part of the 2016 Festival, Glasgow International is excited to announce further details on the 2016 Director’s programme, which will consider the legacy of industry and the relationship artists have to making, production and craft. Curated by the Festival’s Director, Sarah McCrory, the programme will look at a range of subjects including feminist practices, industrial legacies and what it means to be working creatively as an artist today.

    As part of the Glasgow International Director’s Programme, the Festival will stage a group show by five artists Lawrence Lek, Sheila Hicks, Alexandra Bircken, Mika Rottenberg and Amie Siegel at Tramway. The exhibition, co-designed by Martin Boyce, will focus on ideas of production, manufacture, material culture, design, history and labour. Glasgow’s cultural spaces exist predominately as a result of its industrial legacy in shipbuilding, metal-works, textiles and its role as a key trading port as many of Glasgow’s galleries and museums are reclaimed spaces born from this wealth of industry.

    Glasgow International 2016 will feature a number of solo exhibitions by both international and Glasgow-based artists, showing across the city. At the Gallery of Modern Art, GoMA, the Festival  will present a solo exhibition by German artist Cosima von Bonin entitled Who’s Exploiting Who In The Deep Sea? The exhibition brings together a series of von Bonin’s works from 2006 onwards exploring the artist’s affection for the creatures of the sea. Weaving together humour with melancholy, these works have ambiguous roles which explore art history, popular culture, craft, and feminism. The exhibition will be presented in collaboration with SculptureCenter, New York who will show a parallel exhibition of her work from September – December 2016.

    Sarah McCrory, Director of Glasgow International said: “Once again, Glasgow International brings together a wealth of respected international and Glasgow-based artists. The increased level of involvement in this edition, and the breadth and quality of the programme is testament to the continuing success and significance of this festival. We’re proud to be able to highlight and support the activity that takes place throughout the year over these 18 energetic and exciting days, and to provide focus to the important Glasgow-based artistic community.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Glasgow International Festival is an important showcase of Scotland’s thriving visual arts sector and we are delighted to support the event for its 7th edition in 2016.”

    “An array of international and local talent will come together across the city to create a varied 18-day programme which will, in many ways, reflect Glasgow’s industrial past. This theme is especially appropriate in 2016, Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, and I expect will spark much interest from contemporary art lovers across the country.”

    Full details of the programme can be found online at: http://glasgowinternational.org

    Category: International Events

  • 15 February 2016

    Artists and Locations Revealed for Large-Scale Scottish Rural Murals

    Locations have been chosen, and teams of Scottish and international artists selected, to create three large murals in the heart of the Dumfries and Galloway countryside next month.

    It is being staged as part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    Community engagement workshops are planned for 5 March, where local residents can learn more about Spring Fling Rural Mural (SFRM) and contribute their own ideas for the first wave of murals, which will be painted in March.

    The, sites chosen so the art can be enjoyed by visitors to the Spring Fling contemporary visual art and craft open studios weekend on 28-30 May, are:

    The Mossburn Animal Centre, Hightae. The mural will be on the side of a large, stone farm building at this centre for ill-treated and abandoned animals. It is visible from B7020. The creators will be Berlin-based arts duo 44 Flavours (Sebastian Bagge and Julio Rölle) and Dumfries and Galloway visual artist Rory Laycock.

     Meiklewood Farm, Ringford, Castle Douglas. Tellas, from Rome, will team up with Kirkcudbright-based Morag Macpherson to create a mural on a large steading near the A75.

     Craigdarroch Arms Hotel, Moniaive. Amy Whiten and Ali Wyllie from Recoat in Glasgow will collaborate with Morag Paterson from near Thornhill. Their mural will be on a gable end at a pub renowned for hosting arts events.

     SFRM is being organised by Upland, the Dumfries and Galloway arts agency which runs Spring Fling, and project managed by Recoat. The project is also supported by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and by Creative Scotland.

    Clare Hanna, Upland Director (maternity cover), said: “The murals will be vibrant, challenging, interesting – and if 2014 is anything to go by – enormous fun. It’s wonderful to be creating large-scale and colourful public works of art in the heart of the Scottish countryside.

    “We couldn’t have asked for better sites – a centre which cares for unwanted and abandoned animals, a pub in the heart of a village and magnificent farm building.

    “So we are really looking forward to bringing together high quality national and international street artists to work with some superbly talented artists from Dumfries and Galloway.

    “Just as important is that the same teams will then take the freshness and originality of SFRM to cities in Scotland, England and Germany – which fits in perfectly with this year’s project theme which is ‘exchange’.”

    The 2014 SFRM proved a hugely popular addition to Spring Fling. The latest project is again being managed Amy Whiten and Ali Wyllie of Glasgow-based arts agency Recoat and the pair will also be the lead artists.

    Amy Whiten, Recoat manager, said: “The 2014 SFRM was one of our favourite ever projects. Dumfries and Galloway has such an amazing community spirit and there was such a warm public reaction to the work. We are really looking forward to being there again, partly because the sites are so amazing. It’s great to have these huge blank canvasses to work with.

    “Each of the sites has it’s own appeal. With Mossburn it’s the fact that this is a place that cares for unwanted and mistreated animals, so it’s a really worthwhile cause as well as a great setting.

    “Meiklewood is a working farm, and we very much liked that idea, and the building is a really interesting shape with an archway in the middle. And the Craigdarroch Arms is different again, because it’s in the middle of a community where there’s lots of footfall and passers by who will see it.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “In 2016, the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we are delighted to be supporting Spring Fling’s Rural Mural project, which will provide a fantastic platform for local Dumfries and Galloway artists to work collaboratively with international talent, and to showcase their work to a wider audience.”

    After the work is carried out in Dumfries and Galloway, SFRM will take a novel twist with the same teams going to Glasgow, Newcastle and Berlin to create further works.

    SFRM is currently agreeing locations in the three cities, where they plan to get to work in March and April. Recoat and Morag Paterson will head for Glasgow, Morag Macpherson and Tellas will work in Newcastle, with Rory and 44 Flavours going to Berlin.

    For more info on the artists and workshops visit: http://www.spring-fling.co.uk/event/sfrm-spring-fling-rural-mural

    Category: International Events

  • 12 February 2016

    43 GLOBAL MEDALLISTS SET FOR GLASGOW INDOOR GRAND PRIX

    A total of 43 world and Olympic medallists, including Great Britain’s Olympic and world champions Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar) and Greg Rutherford (Dan Pfaff) will compete at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena on Saturday 20 February.

    Farah will compete against a strong international field in the 3000m including Kenya’s Paul Koech, Conseslus Kipruto and Augustine Choge, whilst Rutherford faces Paralympic F44 champion Markus Rehm of Germany in the long jump.

    The men’s 60m looks set to be one of the most competitive events of the day, as world and European champion Richard Kilty (Benke Blomkvist) takes on British teammate Adam Gemili (Steve Fudge), top ranked Brit Sean Safo-Antwi (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) 2003 world 100m champion Kim Collins, 2015 world 100m bronze medallist Trayvon Bromell, as well as the world’s top two in 2016, Mike Rodgers and Cuban Yunier Perez.

    The women’s equivalent also features an exciting head-to-head as Britain’s fastest woman Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie) goes up against world 200m champion Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands. Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson, who won 200m silver behind Schippers at the World Championships in Beijing last summer, Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago and new European junior record holder Ewa Swoboda will also be ones to look out for in the women’s 60m.

    There will be a strong British presence in the women’s 60m hurdles as European 100m hurdles champion Tiffany Porter (Rana Reider) is joined by European indoor silver and bronze medallists Lucy Hatton (Jerzy Maciukiewicz) and Serita Solomon (Michelle Bovell). Their international opponents will be led by world 100m hurdles bronze medallist Cindy Roleder of Germany and current world number one Kendra Harrison of the USA.

    The Scottish crowd will be sure to get behind local star Laura Muir (Andy Young), who went to second on the British 1500m all-time list behind Dame Kelly Holmes with a run of 3:58.66 in Monaco last summer. She will compete in the 800m at the Emirates Arena.

    Amongst a host of world stars will also be pole vault world champion Shawn Barber of Canada, world triple jump silver medallist Pedro Pablo Pichardo of Cuba, and European 1500m indoor and outdoor champion Sifan Hassan.

    Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of British Athletics, said: “This line up illustrates why the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is the best indoor athletics meeting in the world. The Scottish fans are in for a fantastic day with so many stars of the sport from across Britain and abroad. I’m sure that this event will showcase Glasgow’s abilities to stage world-class events.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted that many of the world’s finest athletes, including UK superstars Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford, are set to compete at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix, the most prestigious indoor meet of 2016.

    “Their decision to compete in Glasgow in this all-important Olympic year is a reflection of Scotland’s status as the perfect stage for events, and we are certain all competitors are in for an enthusiastic reception from spectators in Glasgow on February 20.”

    Full start lists for the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be available on britishathletics.org.uk on the afternoon of Tuesday 16 February.

    The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is the number 1 ranked indoor meet in the world of athletics. Find out more by visiting britishathletics.org.uk and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BritAthletics

    Category: Athletics

  • 12 February 2016

    Toast to Year of Food and Drink

     

    Over one million people attended Year of Food and Drink 2015 events, VisitScotland can reveal.  The announcement comes as the national tourism organisation released a new video showcasing the success of the themed year. Over 200 events took place last year, celebrating the role that food and drink plays in shaping Scotland’s economic success, with over one million attendances at the 47 events that received Year of Food and Drink funding.  Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism while sampling traditional dishes and local produce is the second top activity undertaken by visitors.  The Year of Food and Drink 2015 in numbers:• 1,000th Scottish business receiving ‘Taste Our Best’, VisitScotland's accreditation scheme which recognises businesses that provide locally sourced, quality food and drink.• Total estimated visitor expenditure on ‘Eating and Drinking Out’ Jan-Sept 2015 is £804 million, which is up from £747 million in 2014.• 65% of respondents to UK Brand & Communications Tracker 2015 strongly agreed or agreed that ‘Scotland is a great place for food and drink experiences’.• Two thirds of visitors to Scotland stated that they really like to find out about the local foods and local dishes unique to the destination.• 73,000 downloads of brand new Food and Drink ebooks from VisitScotland.com• The Royal Highland Show’s ‘Scotland’s Larder Live!’ enjoying a record attendance level of 188,000 visitors.• The 12 monthly themes that engaged the food and drink industry.• Over 100 events signing Scotland’s Food Charter.• Over 33,000 people attending Whisky Month themed events. • You’ll Have Had Yer Tea? Treasured Tastes of Scotland recipe book being released, featuring more than 40 traditional recipes submitted by the public.  The Year of Food and Drink also played its part in keeping the food and drink sector on track to meet a record turnover target of £16.5 billion by 2017.Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Visitors come to Scotland for many reasons and 2015 has shown that Scotland’s world leading food and drink is foremost among them, with hoteliers, restaurants and other operators across Scotland rising to the challenge and giving visitors experiences to remember.“With more than one million people attending Year of Food and Drink events and tracking down local dishes and restaurants, it has been an undoubted success, showcasing some of the very best that Scotland has to offer.“I have no doubt that 2016’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will continue in the same vein, capturing the public’s imagination and providing a unique focus for Scotland’s world class tourism offering.”Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said:“The Year of Food and Drink 2015 was a phenomenal success, helping to raise the profile of Scotland’s outstanding natural larder on the world stage. It built on the momentum generated by previous themed years, further developing Scotland’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.“Promoting our food and drink is a recipe for success with two out of three visitors to Scotland stating that quality of food is an important factor when deciding where to go on holiday.  “This new video showcases some of the best moments of a truly memorable twelve months for Scottish tourism, offering a taste of the culinary delights which can be enjoyed across the country every year. The Year may be at an end, but food and drink remains an important focus in attracting visitors to Scotland and making their visit memorable and enjoyable.”  Fiona Richmond, Scotland Food & Drink project manager, said:“Food and drink is Scotland’s fastest growing sector with a record value of more than £14bn a year announced during the Year of Food and Drink. Scotland has a growing and deserving reputation as a Land of Food and Drink thanks to the topography of unspoiled landscapes, fertile land, clean air and cold, clear waters which give rise to world class premium produce. “The Year saw hundreds of events take place across the length and breadth of the country, showcasing the country’s fantastic food and drink. There is growing evidence that consumers want to enjoy local produce and many events adopted the Food Charter for Events to improve the quality of their offering- this legacy will continue across future focus years and beyond.”To view the Year of Food and Drink 2015 highlight video, visit  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH022WBCvCU 
    Over one million people attended Year of Food and Drink 2015 events, VisitScotland can reveal.  
    The announcement comes as the national tourism organisation released a new video showcasing the success of the themed year. 
    Over 200 events took place last year, celebrating the role that food and drink plays in shaping Scotland’s economic success, with over one million attendances at the 47 events that received Year of Food and Drink funding.  
    Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism while sampling traditional dishes and local produce is the second top activity undertaken by visitors.  The Year of Food and Drink 2015 in numbers:
    • 1,000th Scottish business receiving ‘Taste Our Best’, VisitScotland's accreditation scheme which recognises businesses that provide locally sourced, quality food and drink.
    • Total estimated visitor expenditure on ‘Eating and Drinking Out’ Jan-Sept 2015 is £804 million, which is up from £747 million in 2014.
    • 65% of respondents to UK Brand & Communications Tracker 2015 strongly agreed or agreed that ‘Scotland is a great place for food and drink experiences’.
    • Two thirds of visitors to Scotland stated that they really like to find out about the local foods and local dishes unique to the destination.
    • 73,000 downloads of brand new Food and Drink ebooks from VisitScotland.com• The Royal Highland Show’s ‘Scotland’s Larder Live!’ enjoying a record attendance level of 188,000 visitors.
    • The 12 monthly themes that engaged the food and drink industry.
    • Over 100 events signing Scotland’s Food Charter.
    • Over 33,000 people attending Whisky Month themed events. 
    • You’ll Have Had Yer Tea? Treasured Tastes of Scotland recipe book being released, featuring more than 40 traditional recipes submitted by the public.  
    The Year of Food and Drink also played its part in keeping the food and drink sector on track to meet a record turnover target of £16.5 billion by 2017.
    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Visitors come to Scotland for many reasons and 2015 has shown that Scotland’s world leading food and drink is foremost among them, with hoteliers, restaurants and other operators across Scotland rising to the challenge and giving visitors experiences to remember.
    “With more than one million people attending Year of Food and Drink events and tracking down local dishes and restaurants, it has been an undoubted success, showcasing some of the very best that Scotland has to offer.
    “I have no doubt that 2016’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will continue in the same vein, capturing the public’s imagination and providing a unique focus for Scotland’s world class tourism offering.”
    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said: “The Year of Food and Drink 2015 was a phenomenal success, helping to raise the profile of Scotland’s outstanding natural larder on the world stage. It built on the momentum generated by previous themed years, further developing Scotland’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.
    “Promoting our food and drink is a recipe for success with two out of three visitors to Scotland stating that quality of food is an important factor when deciding where to go on holiday.  
    “This new video showcases some of the best moments of a truly memorable twelve months for Scottish tourism, offering a taste of the culinary delights which can be enjoyed across the country every year. The Year may be at an end, but food and drink remains an important focus in attracting visitors to Scotland and making their visit memorable and enjoyable.”  
    Fiona Richmond, Scotland Food & Drink project manager, said: “Food and drink is Scotland’s fastest growing sector with a record value of more than £14bn a year announced during the Year of Food and Drink. Scotland has a growing and deserving reputation as a Land of Food and Drink thanks to the topography of unspoiled landscapes, fertile land, clean air and cold, clear waters which give rise to world class premium produce. 
    “The Year saw hundreds of events take place across the length and breadth of the country, showcasing the country’s fantastic food and drink. There is growing evidence that consumers want to enjoy local produce and many events adopted the Food Charter for Events to improve the quality of their offering- this legacy will continue across future focus years and beyond.”
    To view the Year of Food and Drink 2015 highlight video, visit  
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH022WBCvCU 

    Over one million people attended Year of Food and Drink 2015 events, VisitScotland can reveal.  

    The announcement comes as the national tourism organisation released a new video showcasing the success of the themed year.

    Over 200 events took place last year, celebrating the role that food and drink plays in shaping Scotland’s economic success, with over one million attendances at the 47 events that received Year of Food and Drink funding.  

    Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism while sampling traditional dishes and local produce is the second top activity undertaken by visitors.  

    The Year of Food and Drink 2015 in numbers:

    • 1,000th Scottish business receiving ‘Taste Our Best’, VisitScotland's accreditation scheme which recognises businesses that provide locally sourced, quality food and drink.

    • Total estimated visitor expenditure on ‘Eating and Drinking Out’ Jan-Sept 2015 is £804 million, which is up from £747 million in 2014.

    • 65% of respondents to UK Brand & Communications Tracker 2015 strongly agreed or agreed that ‘Scotland is a great place for food and drink experiences’.

    • Two thirds of visitors to Scotland stated that they really like to find out about the local foods and local dishes unique to the destination.

    • 73,000 downloads of brand new Food and Drink ebooks from VisitScotland.com

    • The Royal Highland Show’s ‘Scotland’s Larder Live!’ enjoying a record attendance level of 188,000 visitors.

    • The 12 monthly themes that engaged the food and drink industry.

    • Over 100 events signing Scotland’s Food Charter.

    • Over 33,000 people attending Whisky Month themed events.

    • You’ll Have Had Yer Tea? Treasured Tastes of Scotland recipe book being released, featuring more than 40 traditional recipes submitted by the public.  

    The Year of Food and Drink also played its part in keeping the food and drink sector on track to meet a record turnover target of £16.5 billion by 2017.

    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Visitors come to Scotland for many reasons and 2015 has shown that Scotland’s world leading food and drink is foremost among them, with hoteliers, restaurants and other operators across Scotland rising to the challenge and giving visitors experiences to remember.

    “With more than one million people attending Year of Food and Drink events and tracking down local dishes and restaurants, it has been an undoubted success, showcasing some of the very best that Scotland has to offer.

    “I have no doubt that 2016’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will continue in the same vein, capturing the public’s imagination and providing a unique focus for Scotland’s world class tourism offering.”

    Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said: “The Year of Food and Drink 2015 was a phenomenal success, helping to raise the profile of Scotland’s outstanding natural larder on the world stage. It built on the momentum generated by previous themed years, further developing Scotland’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.“Promoting our food and drink is a recipe for success with two out of three visitors to Scotland stating that quality of food is an important factor when deciding where to go on holiday.  

    “This new video showcases some of the best moments of a truly memorable twelve months for Scottish tourism, offering a taste of the culinary delights which can be enjoyed across the country every year. The Year may be at an end, but food and drink remains an important focus in attracting visitors to Scotland and making their visit memorable and enjoyable.”  

    Fiona Richmond, Scotland Food & Drink project manager, said: “Food and drink is Scotland’s fastest growing sector with a record value of more than £14bn a year announced during the Year of Food and Drink. Scotland has a growing and deserving reputation as a Land of Food and Drink thanks to the topography of unspoiled landscapes, fertile land, clean air and cold, clear waters which give rise to world class premium produce.

    “The Year saw hundreds of events take place across the length and breadth of the country, showcasing the country’s fantastic food and drink. There is growing evidence that consumers want to enjoy local produce and many events adopted the Food Charter for Events to improve the quality of their offering- this legacy will continue across future focus years and beyond.”

    To view the Year of Food and Drink 2015 highlight video, visit:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH022WBCvCU 

     

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 12 February 2016

    SCOTTISH GYMNASTICS LEGEND STEVE FREW LAUNCHES 2016 GLASGOW WORLD CUP

    Scotland’s first ever Commonwealth Games gold medal winning gymnast, Steve Frew, joined members of Sapphire Gymnastics Club to launch ticket sales for next month’s Glasgow World Cup Gymnastics event at the £113million Emirates Arena.

    Frew won gold in the men’s rings in the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and represented Scotland and Great Britain at over 100 events including two World Championships and five Commonwealth Games during an incredible career spanning 23-years.

    The Falkirk born star is now an athlete mentor for the Sky Sports Living for Sport Programme and regularly visits schools and sports clubs across the country to work with young people. He was joined at today’s ticket launch by members of the Maryhill based Sapphire Gymnastics Club.

    World champion Max Whitlock is leading a star studded line up for the 2016 Glasgow Cup (Saturday 12 March), with five-time Commonwealth Games champion and world bronze medallist Claudia Fragapane and World Championships silver medal winner Daniel Purvis also set to compete.

    This Glasgow World Cup is one the final chances to see the heroes of Glasgow’s World Championships back in action just a few months before they head to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

    And Frew can’t wait to see some of the world’s best gymnasts in action again in Glasgow, just five months after the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships at the SSE Hydro.

    Steve Frew said: "Glasgow and its people are once again on the World Gymnastics stage for what will be a spectacular showcase of the world's best gymnasts right here in the city.

    "Glasgow is a world-class gymnastics city and the world’s best gymnasts can expect a warm welcome from the people of Glasgow. I’m sure they will enjoy the magic of the gymnastics.

    "I am delighted to join the next generation from Sapphire Gymnastics Club as we look forward to what promises be a fantastic showcase of the world’s best gymnasts in Glasgow."

    World champion Max Whitlock said: “Competing in Glasgow has always been very special to me and the World Championships last year was incredible and historic not just for me but for the whole British team.

    “I’m really looking forward to being back in the city and starting 2016 positively. Everyone knows how huge this year is and the World Cup is a perfect event to test myself against a really good field of international gymnasts – I can’t wait.”

    Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said: “Excitement is building ahead of the World Cup with some of the biggest names in gymnastics set to go for gold at the Emirates Arena.

    “It is shaping up to be the best World Cup in years with a host of stars, including newly crowned world champion Max Whitlock, set to take to compete as part of their final preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Scotland proved it was the perfect stage for gymnastics events in 2015 by staging a best-ever World Gymnastics Championships, and we are delighted many of the sport’s biggest names have chosen to return for the Glasgow World Cup in March.

    “Max Whitlock, Dan Purvis and Claudia Fragapane have each enjoyed some of the finest moments of their respective careers in Scotland, and we hope that they can continue in that vein during this critical qualifying event for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.”

    Simon Morton, Director of Major Events at UK Sport, said: “The award-winning World Gymnastics Championships in 2015 raised the bar for the sport with brilliant performances, a passionate crowd and state-of the-art presentation.

    “It’s fantastic we can now build on that success with the Glasgow World Cup forming part of our National Lottery funded #EveryRoadtoRio campaign to bring world class sport to the UK and give GB athletes the opportunity to fine tune their preparations for Rio 2016 in front of a home crowd.”

    Glasgow World Cup Gymnastics is delivered in partnership between British Gymnastics and Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council with funding support from EventScotland and National Lottery investment from UK Sport.

    Also competing at the Glasgow World Cup are 2014 world champion Mykayla Skinner (USA), 2015 European Championships bars champion Maria Kharenkova (RUS) and the 2013 European all-around champion and 2015 silver medallist David Bekyavskiy (RUS).

    The Glasgow World Cup is the second of three events in the International Gymnastics Federations 2015/16 Cup Series following the American Cup and to be followed by the Stuttgart World Cup. The competition sees the world best gymnast invited to compete in the ‘all-around’ format with six apparatus for the men and four for the women.

    Tickets are on sale now. Visit www.glasgowworldcup.com to book or phone the box office on 0141 353 8000. The event has sold-out every year since 2012, with early booking recommended. 

    Category: Gymnastics

  • 11 February 2016

    Mickelson, McDowell and Stenson confirmed for Castle Stuart

    Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson will this year renew rivalries in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links, where the popular American took the title in 2013 before lifting the Claret Jug the following week.

    Five-time Major Champion Mickelson, World Number Five Stenson and former winner Graeme McDowell are among the star names so far confirmed for the 34th edition of Scotland’s national Open, which returns to the stunning Inverness venue from July 7-10, 2016. Tickets to see the world-class trio in action are now on sale at www.tickets.europeantour.com


    Stenson led by two shots going into the final round at Castle Stuart three years ago, only to be pipped to the prize by Mickelson, who produced a trademark flop shot in the play-off with Branden Grace to secure his first victory in a regular European Tour event.


    Mickelson cited that win as a key component in his subsequent triumph at Muirfield, and the 45 year old is hopeful of achieving another Scottish double when he warms up for The Open Championship at Royal Troon Golf Club with his seventh straight appearance – and 14th overall – in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.


    Mickelson said: “I’m always excited about returning to Scotland, and particularly to Castle Stuart. I believe winning there in 2013 was key to my success the next week at The Open Championship.


    “Beyond that, the nation is the home of golf and I really appreciate the fans’ golfing knowledge and their respect for the game. It’s always one of the highlights of my year when I compete in Scotland.”  


    Stenson followed his third place at Castle Stuart with a runner-up finish behind Mickelson at Muirfield, and whilst he was understandably disappointed to have missed out on both titles, his impressive performances heralded a remarkable run of form which ultimately culminated in the Swede winning both The Race to Dubai and the FedExCup on the US PGA Tour.


    This year will mark Stenson’s first appearance in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open since his near-miss in 2013, and the 39 year old – currently leading The Race to Dubai – is hopeful of a different outcome on the Moray Firth this time.


    He said: “It didn’t quite work out for me on the final day in 2013, I had a great chance but Phil recovered well from a bad start and deserved to win. And even though I didn’t quite manage to get the job done, it was still the start of a great run for me and maybe I used those near-misses at Castle Stuart and Muirfield as motivation.


    “For me, playing the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open is the perfect preparation for The Open. We’ll be expecting a tougher test at Troon the week after, but although Castle Stuart doesn’t beat you up as much as an Open Championship venue does, it’s still great to get into the mind-set of playing links golf.


    “So I’m looking forward to going back, and hopefully I can get the better of Phil this time. He proved that winning the Scottish Open was the recipe for success in The Open in 2013, so I’ll be going all out for the win in July.”           


    McDowell, Stenson’s team-mate from The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, has already tasted success in the Scottish Open, taking the title in 2008 at Loch Lomond Golf Club.


    The 2010 US Open Champion missed the tournament between 2012 and 2014, but a return to Gullane Golf Club last year rekindled his love affair with the £3.25 million event.     


    McDowell said: “I’m looking forward to making my return to Castle Stuart this year. It’s going to be a great little period for me, with the French Open, the Scottish Open and hopefully The Open, so I’m very excited about that little stretch over the summer.


    “I always love playing in Scotland, and after missing the Scottish Open for a few years it was great to go back there last year. I played very well for the first two days at Gullane, and hopefully I can keep that sort of form going over all four rounds at Castle Stuart.”  


    Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, said: “I’m absolutely delighted the 2013 champion Phil Mickelson, World Number Five Henrik Stenson and Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell will be playing in this year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart.


    “With a condensed summer golfing calendar, having these star names playing is testament to the strength of this tournament and its enviable position of being contested the week before The Open Championship.


    “Aberdeen is a company that continues to grow its presence around the world, so we are pleased that American golf fans will have the opportunity to see the likes of Phil take on the magnificent Castle Stuart once more through our continued live coverage on the Golf Channel and NBC.”


    James Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said: “I’m delighted that Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson and Graeme McDowell – three giants of world golf – will be competing at this year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. This tournament is one of the highlights of Scotland’s sporting calendar, and it’s already looking like we’ll see another strong field returning to Castle Stuart.


    “Scotland is the best place in the world to watch and play golf, and the Scottish Government is pleased to be able to continue to sponsor the Scottish Open, which helps to raise the profile of Scottish golf worldwide and also contributes to our wider economy.”  

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “Having three world-class players commit so early to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open is testament to the reputation and strength of the event and the strong draw that Scotland has a golf and events destination.



    “We’re looking forward to another terrific championship at Castle Stuart and showing why Scotland is the perfect stage for top-class golf events.”

    Category: Golf

  • 11 February 2016

    All-star line-up announced for Inverness Loch Ness International Knitting Festival

    Some of the world’s biggest names in knitting will be showcased at the inaugural Inverness Loch Ness International Knitting Festival this autumn. Knitting celebrities including Scot Alice Starmore and Danish knitwear designer Christel Seyfarth are among the presenters at the four-day festival from 29th September.

    Kicking off with a gala dinner Thursday evening, and followed by three days packed with workshops, fashion shows, lectures and trade displays, it is anticipated that the Festival will attract an additional 3,000 visitors to the Inverness Loch Ness area. There will also be a concert showcasing Highland music and dance, and specially-chartered “knit-cruises” on Loch Ness.

     Workshops ranging from “Design your own Scandinavian sweater” to “Creating intricate Celtic knotwork felt borders”, and “Design your own garment and achieve a perfect fit” will give participants plenty of opportunity for hands-on involvement. Most workshops are three hours in duration, whilst a few extend to six hours.

    The Festival will also feature lectures highlighting historical and cultural perspectives on knitting and design. Lecturers are from a range of countries including Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Scotland and Norway.

     Artisans and craftspeople are invited to take a stand at the Festival, which is based around Eden Court but with lectures and workshops also taking place at the nearby Botanical Garden and Culloden Battlefield.

     Based on the “Strikkefestival”, a Danish knitting festival now in its second decade, it is hoped that the Festival will generate an additional £1million in direct and indirect spending by visitors to the area.

     Inverness Loch Ness International Knitting Festival is a project of tourism organisation Visit Inverness Loch Ness. Alan Rawlinson from VisitInverness Loch Ness anticipates the Festival will have wide appeal. “We have already had queries from the US, Canada, Scandinavia, across central Europe, and throughout the UK from people who have heard about the Festival and who want to plan a visit around it. We’re delighted at the response, and believe that the Festival will boost visitor numbers this autumn and benefit tourism and other local businesses,” he noted.

     “We are hoping the Knit Fest will become an annual event, continuing to raise the profile of Inverness Loch Ness, and we are grateful for the support of Highland Council and EventScotland in staging this inaugural event.”

     Christel Seyfarth is a Danish knitwear designer and developer of the Strikkefestival. It has attracted thousands of visitors and millions of pounds of investment to the island of Fanø. She is working with the Inverness Loch Ness Knitting Festival to bring this successful model from Denmark to the north of Scotland.

     2016 is Scotland’s Year of Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.  Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland, said:

    “Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events, and it is hugely exciting to see Scotland’s first Inverness Loch Ness International Knitting Festival taking place during the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. The festival’s planned programme looks set to offer enthusiasts a range of exciting activity, which combined with the cultural experience of the Highlands, will hopefully provide inspiration for many of the participants own future designs.”

     Chair of The Highland Council’s Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Audrey Sinclair said: “With programmes such as “The Great British Bake Off” and “The Great British Sewing Bee” we’ve seen a recent surge in interest in traditional skills and it would appear that knitting is no exception. The fit with both the tradition of Highland knitwear and crafts and 2016’s designation as Scotland’s Year of Architecture, Innovation and Design makes it all the more relevant that we welcome this event this autumn. As a lifelong knitter, I personally am looking forward to the festival coming to Inverness.”

     Supported by Highland Council, EventScotland and the Inverness Common Good Fund, the Inverness Loch Ness International Knitting Festival runs from 29 September to 2 October 2016. For more information visit the website at www.lochnessknitfest.com.

    Category: National Events

  • 11 February 2016

    Whisky Month is back for 2016

    Join Whisky Month as part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 Partner Programme.

    The Whisky Month Partner Programme is returning in May 2016 as part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    Join Whisky Month as part of the
    Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016
    Partner Programme

    May is Whisky Month when we pay homage to our national drink. Whisky Month first took place in 2009 and returned in 2014 as part of Homecoming Scotland and 2015 in the Year of Food and Drink.

    In 2016 Whisky Month will align with the Themed Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. Your event can benefit from being part of the YIAD Partner Programme through spin-off promotion. Sign up at http://www.eventscotland.org/YIAD_partner_programme.

    As a Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Partner Programme event you will benefit from the spin-off promotion of being part of this celebration. Being part of Whisky Month means you may be mentioned in VisitScotland activity promoting our national drink and our natural larder.

    Our campaigns will promote the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design programme as a whole, driving visitors to find out more about the events involved, including those in the Partner Programme.

    We want to hear the stories about your event - selected stories may then be used by our regional, national and international PR and marketing teams. Our goal is to help you raise your event’s profile through being part of the Year, although we can’t guarantee that every event will be mentioned.

    You can access Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design imagery, text and the logo, which will be recognisable by visitors and local people as they feature across our marketing and PR campaigns. Your event will also be listed on our website www.visitscotland.com, which attracts around 13 million visitors a year.

    For furthert information surrounding the Whisky Month Partner programme please click here.

    Some ideas for joining Whisky Month 2016:

    - Events with a Whisky offering taking place in May that have an innovative twist.

    - Distilleries which align their May tours in 2016 with the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, for example celebrating the built heritage and architecture of your distillery.

    - Whisky tasting events for the public which focus on one of the year’s strands, for example theming your selection on whiskies with an interesting design story.

    For more information and to sign up, go to http://www.eventscotland.org/YIAD_partner_programme. If you have any questions please contact us at partnerprogramme@eventscotland.org

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 10 February 2016

    SUDDENLY I SEE… KT TUNSTALL AT OBAN LIVE

    Grammy Award-nominated songstress, KT Tunstall, has been announced as the headline act at Oban Live – an exciting new open air concert taking place in Mossfield Park, Oban, on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 May. 

    Trad superstars Capercaillie, Julie Fowlis, Skipinnish and many more also feature on the concert’s bill, which has already seen 1500 early bird tickets sell out in under three hours.

    General tickets go on sale 12 noon on Saturday 13 February via www.obanlive.com or from www.eventbrite.co.uk.

    Oban Live’s inception came about after the hugely successful ‘Decade’ concert, held in Oban in May 2015, generated an incredible £1.1 million for the town and its surrounding areas.  The concert, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of Skerryvore, saw international acts attract crowds from across the world to attend.  Artistic director and Skerryvore band member, Daniel Gillespie, saw the huge potential for an open-air concert in Oban and, as a result, Oban Live was born. 

    The economic impact of the concert is expected to be double that of Decade and organisers have already had to arrange additional capacity at Mossfield Park to cope with demand.

    Daniel Gillespie, Oban Live Artistic Director, said: “We are absolutely delighted to announce KT Tunstall as our headline act at Oban Live.  She is an iconic musician who has been flying the flag for Scotland for many years around the world.  Oban has hosted incredible music events in the past year - including our own Decade event and The Royal National Mod – and we want to continue to celebrate this town’s wonderful community spirit and incredible atmosphere with an event that will welcome people from all over the world to Oban for a weekend of sensational live music.  With the early bird tickets selling out so quickly we advise people to book tickets early to avoid missing out. See you all in May!”

    Oban Live is supported by EventScotland, part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate.

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the inaugural Oban Live through our National Funding Programme. This exciting addition to Oban’s existing portfolio of music events, with its impressive line-up of Trad and international pop artists, will no doubt attract visitors to the town from the local area and further afield."

    Tunstall shot to fame when her debut album Eye to the Telescope earned her a nomination for the Mercury Prize. She later went on to win awards for Best British Live Act and Best Breakthrough Act at 2006 BRIT Awards, then later adding the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song to her trophy cabinet with hit song Suddenly I See.

     

     

    LINE UP FOR OBAN LIVE 2016

    KT Tunstall

    Julie Fowlis

    Capercaillie

    Skerryvore

    We Banjo 3

    Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham

    Skipinnish

    Hunter & The Bear

    Blair Douglas

    JJ Gilmour

    Category: National Events

  • 09 February 2016

    Edinburgh International Science Festival launches 28th programme - Building Better Worlds

     

    DISCOVER HOW TO BUILD A BETTER WORLD AT 2016 EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE FESTIVAL
    Today, (Tuesday 9 February) Edinburgh International Science Festival announced their 28th Festival programme – Building Better Worlds, which centres around how science, technology, engineering and design have the potential to improve the world we live in and the way we live within it.
    The Festival will run throughout the Easter holidays, 26 March – 10 April 2016, in venues across the city including Festival hub Summerhall, the City Art Centre, the National Museum of Scotland and partner venues Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh Zoo and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival will offer adults, children and families the opportunity to engage with science through fun events and workshops and will give everyone the chance to join the global debate of how we can build better worlds for now and the future. In 2016 there are 272 events in total.
    Creative Director Amanda Tyndall comments: “In 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival asks: how can we all collaborate to help build a better world? It’s a huge question but I’m excited by the mix of world-leading scientists, artists, authors and innovators that will join audiences in Edinburgh to share and debate their visions of a better world.
    Science and technology have the potential to help us address so many of the key challenges we face; from how we feed, heal and fuel the world to how we live happy and fulfilling lives as we do so. But they don't work in isolation from the wider world. It is through collaboration with their creative cousins that we stand the best chance of innovating and securing our future. This year's Festival celebrates this with a programme focus on the fertile space where science meets the arts, with something for curious minds of all ages.” 
    The strand Our Built Environment explores how science is impacting on our homes and cities is supported by EventScotland as part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and includes the large scale outdoor installation a Tiny Homes Village. Situated at the Mound Precinct throughout the Festival, this full scale exhibition of ten tiny housing structures examines our changing style of homes and how small buildings may provide comfortable and realistic solutions to urban, eco and emergency shelter demands.
    Tickets for all events go on sale on Tuesday 9 February at 1100hrs. Book online www.sciencefestival.co.uk, by phone 0844 557 2686 or in person at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Office, 66 High Street.
    EventScotland in celebration of Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 
    The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016. It will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural. Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector. The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS). 
    The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. 
    Join the conversation #IAD2016I

    Image: Tiny House example 2 in Portland USA by Tammy Strobel

    Today, (Tuesday 9 February) Edinburgh International Science Festival announced their 28th Festival programme – Building Better Worlds, which centres around how science, technology, engineering and design have the potential to improve the world we live in and the way we live within it.

    The Festival will run throughout the Easter holidays, 26 March – 10 April 2016, in venues across the city including Festival hub Summerhall, the City Art Centre, the National Museum of Scotland and partner venues Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh Zoo and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival will offer adults, children and families the opportunity to engage with science through fun events and workshops and will give everyone the chance to join the global debate of how we can build better worlds for now and the future. In 2016 there are 272 events in total.

    Creative Director Amanda Tyndall comments: “In 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival asks: how can we all collaborate to help build a better world? It’s a huge question but I’m excited by the mix of world-leading scientists, artists, authors and innovators that will join audiences in Edinburgh to share and debate their visions of a better world.

    "Science and technology have the potential to help us address so many of the key challenges we face; from how we feed, heal and fuel the world to how we live happy and fulfilling lives as we do so. But they don't work in isolation from the wider world. It is through collaboration with their creative cousins that we stand the best chance of innovating and securing our future. This year's Festival celebrates this with a programme focus on the fertile space where science meets the arts, with something for curious minds of all ages.” 

    The strand Our Built Environment explores how science is impacting on our homes and cities is supported by EventScotland as part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and includes the large scale outdoor installation a Tiny Homes Village. Situated at the Mound Precinct throughout the Festival, this full scale exhibition of ten tiny housing structures examines our changing style of homes and how small buildings may provide comfortable and realistic solutions to urban, eco and emergency shelter demands.

    Tickets for all events go on sale on Tuesday 9 February at 1100hrs. Book online www.sciencefestival.co.uk, by phone 0844 557 2686 or in person at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Office, 66 High Street.

    EventScotland in celebration of Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 
    The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016. It will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural. Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector. The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS). The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. 
    Join the conversation #IAD2016

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 04 February 2016

    New ticket sales record set as Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival events go on sale to whisky-loving public

    Ticket sales for the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival have set new records, with over 2,700 tickets valued at almost £75,000 being bought within the first hour of their launch this week.

    Just 10 minutes after the website went live on Tuesday (February 2) transactions reached the same level that took an hour to achieve in 2015, while the same amount of sales in an hour took 24 hours on last year’s opening day.

    Over 60 events in the packed programme taking place in whisky’s spiritual home from April 28 to May 2 have already sold out, and many more have limited availability.  The events attracts thousands of visitors to Speyside to raise a glass to Scotland’s national drink.

    Visitors from the UK, Europe and North America have been the driving force behind the sales, with whisky lovers from as far afield as Bahrain, Australia, Japan and India also snapping up tickets on the opening day.

    Festival manager Pery Zakeri says the phenomenal demand has taken everyone surprise, and there seems no sign of sales slowing down.

    She adds, “We have had ticket sales from a total of 22 different countries and in the first 24 hours of going live we had reached a sales value of over £91,000. 

    “I think this just goes to show how eagerly anticipated the Festival is this year. We have garnered a fantastic reputation for putting on a world class event, and people are making sure they get in early to get tickets for the activities they really want.

    “As with previous years, the exclusive distillery tours have sold out first. The real whisky aficionados are always looking for very special experiences that are only available at the time of the Festival, so tours of distilleries not normally open to the public, such as Strathmill and Dalmunach, were snapped up within minutes.

    “However, with 467 different events on the programme from whisky tasting and blending experiences and from heritage walks to traditional ceilidhs, there are still plenty of tickets available.

    “The beauty of the Spirit of Speyside Festival is that it is small enough to be incredibly friendly and welcoming, but big enough so that there is something for everyone. But we’d urge anyone thinking about coming to book their events soon as tickets are selling very quickly indeed.”

    The Festival is taking part in Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, and many of the events are focused on the theme. There will be the chance to enjoy drams against the background of stunning architecture, and visitors will learn about the innovation born in the region which is home to the world’s best-loved whiskies. 

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, says, “The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is always a massively popular event with visitors from around the world and we are delighted to see so many people eager to take advantage of the opportunity to sample this unique aspect of Scotland’s history and culture in 2016.

    “Much more than simply whisky tasting, the Festival celebrates Scotland’s national drink with an exciting and innovative programme of events, and we’re confident that the hugely encouraging sales over these first 24 hours will be maintained ahead of the Festival over the coming months.”

    Along with helping whisky fans organise their itineraries and finalising details of the Festival, organisers are balancing that with planning their new mini-festival in the autumn.

    It takes place from September 9 to 11 at Elgin Town Hall, and will bring many of the region’s whisky producers together under one roof on their own doorstep from September 9 to 11. Tickets for that event are due to go on sale after the main Festival in May.

    Tickets for all events in the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme are available to buy now at www.spiritofspeyside.com

    The Festival is also active on social media – facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside on Twitter and on Instagram.

    Category: Heritage

  • 03 February 2016

    ADAM GEMILI SET TO FACE SPRINT STARS AT GLASGOW INDOOR GRAND PRIX

    Britain’s gold medal sprinter Adam Gemili (coach: Steve Fudge) will face some of the fastest men on the planet at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix later this month.

     Gemili is the latest star attraction to be added to the start list for the world’s number one indoor athletics meeting and will face Britain’s reigning World and European Indoor 60m Champion Richard Kilty (Benke Blonkvist), 2015 world 100m bronze medallist Trayvon Bromell from the USA, and former world and Commonwealth champion, Kim Collins from Saint Kitts and Nevis.

     The men’s 60m looks set to be one of the highlights of the sold-out event. Athletes in action in other events include British Athletics ‘Golden Trio’ from London 2012 and last year’s World Championships; Jessica Ennis-Hill (Toni Minichiello), Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar) and Greg Rutherford (Dan Pfaff).

     Following a hamstring injury suffered last summer, Gemili made a successful return to action in Cardiff last weekend running a 60m personal best of 6.59 and is looking forward to stepping up his season in Glasgow.

     He said: “2015 was bittersweet for me. It was amazing to become only the sixth British man in history to break 10 seconds for the 100m but rupturing my hamstring and missing the World Championships in Beijing was a massive disappointment. Now I’m fit and ready to return and looking forward to the 2016 season.”

     “The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is the ideal way for me to begin my journey to the Rio Olympic Games. The competition is absolutely top-class and I can’t wait to face so many top athletes. It really is an incredible line-up and I’m very excited.”

     The Indoor Grand Prix, ranked as the number one indoor event in the world for the past ten years, will be held in Glasgow for the first time in 2016 as the city alternates hosting the event with Birmingham up to 2020.

     Glasgow is one of the world’s great cities of sport and has a rich history of supporting world class athletics.

     Now sold-out, the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is a vital event for British athletes as they prepare for the World Indoor Championships in Portland in March.

     Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of British Athletics, said: “The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is the best indoor athletics meeting in the world. British sprinting is making incredible strides every year and the sport is excited to see what Adam and his fellow sprinters can achieve this year. The Scottish fans always support athletes from all nations brilliantly and this event will showcase Glasgow’s abilities to stage world-class events.”

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Adam Gemili is one of the hottest prospects in British Athletics and we are delighted he will be using the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix as his first step on the road to Rio 2016. As the world’s most prestigious indoor events, and one which attracts a host of world-class athletes, fans at the sold out Emirates Arena are set to witness an outstanding day of action during yet another spectacular occasion for Scotland and the city of Glasgow.”

     The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is the number 1 ranked indoor meet in the world of athletics. Find out more by visiting britishathletics.org.uk and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BritAthletics

    Category: International Events

  • 03 February 2016

    EIFF & RSNO PRESENT THE UK PREMIERE OF E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL WITH A LIVE ORCHESTRAL SCORE

     Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) are delighted to present the UK Premiere of Steven Spielberg’s legendary E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, accompanied by John Williams’ iconic score performed live by the RSNO on Saturday 25 June 2016 at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh.

     Tickets will go on sale Friday 5 February from 10am and can be bought from Filmhouse Box Office, 0131 623 8030, or online at www.edfilmfest.org.uk.

     A global cultural phenomenon, E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL was directed and produced by Steven Spielberg and tells the story of a lonely boy who befriends an alien dubbed E.T., who is stranded on Earth. The film was the highest grossing film of the 1980’s and is widely held to be one of the greatest science fiction films ever made having been released and re-released no less than three times since 1982.

     Edinburgh International Film Festival hosted the UK premiere of E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL in 1982, where it was the opening night film. This screening will form a key highlight in EIFF’s 2016 programme falling on the last Saturday of the Festival.

     The event is being staged with the support of Sir Ewan and Lady Brown.

     Mark Adams, Artistic Director of EIFF commented: “We are delighted to continue our relationship with the RSNO for this wonderful film and music event. The fact that E.T. and Steven Spielberg have such a strong link to EIFF makes this magnificent screening in our 70th edition all the more special. Certainly not an event to be missed.”

     RSNO Chief Executive Krishna Thiagarajan commented: “This will be the second time in as many years we’ve collaborated with the Edinburgh International Film Festival, following the hugely successful presentation of Back to the Future last year. The RSNO is well-known as

    an award-winning recording artist when it comes to music for film, plus the musicians relish the opportunity to perform John Williams’ works in a live context, as we have done on numerous occasions. E.T. surely has an appeal which spans generations so this special screening with live orchestra promises to be a memorable event for the young as well as the more seasoned cinema attenders. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were a few tears on stage as well as in the stalls come the film’s final scenes.”

     2016 marks the 70th edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, making it the longest continually running film festival in the world. Since its inception, the Festival has sought to bring the best of world cinema to UK audiences and championed the work of the most pioneering and innovative film makers. 2016 will be no exception with the Festival showcasing a huge array of the best in feature films, shorts and documentaries over the twelve-day period.

    Category: International Events

  • 03 February 2016

    Old Course to host the Senior Open Championship for the first time

    The Old Course at St Andrews, which has been a regular host to the world’s oldest and most international Major Championship for more than 140 years, will achieve another historic milestone from July 26-29, 2018, by hosting the Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex for the first time.

    Today’s momentous announcement, which was made jointly by The R&A and the European Tour at The Home of Golf, completes the full set of Major Championships to be held over the Old Course.

    The 144th Open in 2015 was the 29th occasion on which the Championship has been played at St Andrews. The Ricoh British Women’s Open has been played there on two occasions and the Old Course will now become the 13th venue to accommodate the Senior Open Championship, which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary with a return to another famous Scottish venue at Carnoustie.

    Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, and European Tour CEO, Keith Pelley, welcomed the decision to bring the Senior Open to an iconic location with which many of the world’s greatest senior golfers have a strong affinity.

    The announcement also received unanimous support from several golfing greats, including five-time Champion Golfer of the Year and three-time Senior Open winner, Tom Watson, of the United States, who was a prime instigator behind the event heading to St Andrews for the first time.

    Although he never claimed the Claret Jug at The Home of Golf – famously finishing tied second behind Seve Ballesteros alongside another European legend in Bernhard Langer in 1984 – Watson spoke today of his desire to compete one last time over the famous links.

    The 66-year-old made what he believed would be his final flourish on the Old Course during The Open last year, when he bade an emotional farewell to the Championship, which defined him as a golfer, on the Swilcan Bridge.

    Watson is now set to return for one last hurrah, however, alongside a number of champions who can boast victories at St Andrews, including Sir Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie and John Daly, who turns 50 this year and is set to make his Senior debut at Carnoustie this July.

    He said: “I am thrilled at the news that the Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex will be staged over the Old Course for the first time in 2018. Only last July, I played what I believed would be my final competitive round of golf at The Open, and the reception I received as darkness fell on that Friday evening will stay with me always.

    “However, The R&A, the European Tour and the St Andrews Links Trust have shown the spirit of cooperation that exists in the game. By agreeing to bring this wonderful Championship to the Home of Golf in July 2018, they have allowed not just me, but many other great champions, an opportunity to return to a venue that means so much to everyone who plays the game.”

    Sir Nick Faldo, who captured the second of his three Open victories at St Andrews in 1990, also bade farewell to The Open on the same Friday as Watson in 2015 but he is already thinking about dusting down the clubs to compete in the Senior Open Presented by Rolex in 2 ½ years’ time.

    The six-time Major Champion and Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “It is absolutely fantastic to see the Senior Open Championship going to St Andrews in 2018.  This certainly gives me another golfing goal and I only hope my game is good enough to give it a go on the Old Course!"

    Montgomerie was part of the three-man Scotland team who claimed the Dunhill Cup in 1995. Exactly a decade later the three-time Senior Major Champion finished a credible runner-up behind Tiger Woods in The Open over the Old Course, before going one better in that year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

    He commented: “This is great news and will surely deliver the best field ever assembled for the Senior Open Championship. All credit to the powers that be to get the Senior Open at St Andrews for the first time. Even now, more than two years out, I am excited about the prospect. It’s a real coup for The R&A, the European Senior Tour, St Andrews Links Trust, Rolex and everyone associated with the event to get us playing senior golf at St Andrews.

    “It will be great to see Tom Watson back, at the age of 68, where we thought he would play in a major for the last time in 2015. However, there will be a lot of other players, like Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer for instance, who will be excited by the prospect. It will be a real celebration of over-50s golf.”

    Martin Slumbers said: “There have been many great championships held at St Andrews over the years and it is entirely fitting that the Senior Open should be played at the Home of Golf in 2018. We know that the galleries in St Andrews are passionate about golf and I’m sure they will turn out in strong numbers to see so many renowned senior players competing. It promises to be another wonderful event for golf fans in Scotland.”

    Keith Pelley said: “The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex is, without question, the premier tournament in the Senior game and it is fitting, therefore, that it is to be played for the first time at golf’s most iconic venue. We thank our partners at the R&A and Rolex for their support and I know all of our Senior Tour Members are already looking forward to pitting their wits against the Old Course in July 2018.”

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted that an agreement has been reached between St Andrews Links Trust and The R&A and European Tour to see yet another world-class championship played on the Old Course.

    “Scotland has a long and proud history as the perfect stage for major golf championships and 2018 is now shaping up to be a special year in Scotland with The Open at Carnoustie and the inaugural European Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles in addition to the Senior Open Championship at St Andrews.”

    Category: International Events

  • 29 January 2016

    EventIt – New Events Industry Trade Show for Scotland

     

    Are you going to EventIt, Scotland’s new events industry trade show? Have you signed up as an exhibitor or put in your diary to attend?
    Find out more about the show, which takes place on Friday 18 March at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, at www.eventit.org.uk.
    We are supporting EventIt as an opportunity for the industry to come together and share expertise, knowledge, products and services.
    The principle objective of EventIt is to bring the events sector together under one roof and match up the industry's supply chain with corporate event planners, venue bookers, DMC's, PCO's and a wide range of decision-makers from the public, third and private sectors.
    The show is part of the Scottish Tourism Week signature programme. Exhibitors will benefit from the additional footfall of delegates from the National Tourism Conference who will network within the EventIt exhibition during their breaks.
    It’s an easy visit for delegates who wish to attend both EventIt and the Friday of the STA Conference in the EICC. EventIt also takes place before the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final, giving additional convenience for everyone wishing to attend the industry’s ‘Tourism Oscars’.  Tickets for the awards can be purchased via the website.  
    In addition, EventIt organisers are working with Edinburgh-based publishers Canongate Communications to produce Scotland's first dedicated events industry magazine. EventsBase, a quarterly magazine distributed to events industry professionals in Scotland, was launched in November.

    Are you going to EventIt, Scotland’s new events industry trade show? Have you signed up as an exhibitor or put in your diary to attend?

     
    Find out more about the show, which takes place on Friday 18 March at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, at www.eventit.org.uk.


    We are supporting EventIt as an opportunity for the industry to come together and share expertise, knowledge, products and services.


    The principle objective of EventIt is to bring the events sector together under one roof and match up the industry's supply chain with corporate event planners, venue bookers, DMC's, PCO's and a wide range of decision-makers from the public, third and private sectors.


    The show is part of the Scottish Tourism Week signature programme. Exhibitors will benefit from the additional footfall of delegates from the National Tourism Conference who will network within the EventIt exhibition during their breaks.


    It’s an easy visit for delegates who wish to attend both EventIt and the Friday of the STA Conference in the EICC. EventIt also takes place before the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final, giving additional convenience for everyone wishing to attend the industry’s ‘Tourism Oscars’.  Tickets for the awards can be purchased via the website.  


    In addition, EventIt organisers are working with Edinburgh-based publishers Canongate Communications to produce Scotland's first dedicated events industry magazine. EventsBase, a quarterly magazine distributed to events industry professionals in Scotland, was launched in November.

    Category: Industry News

  • 29 January 2016

    Well-plaid for Scotland’s PGA of America centennial links

    To commemorate the historic centennial year of the PGA of America in 2016, Scotland has gifted the organisation a one-of-a-kind tartan weave to celebrate the country’s proud links with the organisation.

     The PGA of America Centennial Tartan has been exclusively created to mark 100 years since the inception of the organisation and honours the role Scottish-born professional golfers played in its formation.

     Five of the seven founding members of the first PGA of America committee were Scottish professionals, including Robert W. White, the first PGA of America President, and James Hepburn, the first chairman of the committee.

     The tartan was the brainchild of Matt Clark, owner of Scottish custom golf bag business Bridge Golf Scotland and was commissioned by VisitScotland and Scottish Development International, the international arm of Scotland’s economic development agencies. It was created by renowned textile manufacturers, Lochcarron of Scotland with the colours carefully chosen to represent those of the PGA of America as well as Scotland’s Saltire flag and the iconic Stars and Stripes banner of the United States.

     The tartan was officially gifted to Allen Wronowski, Honorary President of the PGA of America, by VisitScotland’s Director of Events, Paul Bush OBE, and Graeme White, SDI’s Head of Tourism, at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. Part of the gift included specially-designed golf club headcovers designed and made in Scotland by stand partner Bridge Golf Scotland, and ties and scarves created by Lochcarron of Scotland. The tartan cloth will now be made available to all PGA of America members as well as offering commercial opportunities for Scottish businesses and manufacturers.

     As well as being the PGA of America’s centennial year, 2016 is also the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in Scotland, resulting in a year-long celebration of Scotland’s achievements across these areas. Tartan has become an internationally-acclaimed fashion, and the development of the PGA of America Tartan further enhances this reputation.

     Bush said: “We are honoured to be able to present the PGA of America with this specially designed tartan to commemorate its centennial year and to celebrate the proud association Scotland, the Home of Golf, has with this incredible organisation.

     “As a nation, we are incredibly proud of the role we have played in the globalisation of golf, both as a game and a profession, and I am delighted that the relationships forged with the PGA of America back in 1916 continue to this day. Traditionally, every clan in Scotland had its own unique tartan and the new PGA of America Centennial Tartan ensures that the organisation will forever be part of Scotland’s golfing family.”

     Graeme White, head of tourism at Scottish Enterprise said: "Scottish tartan is known the world over for its iconic fashion, quality and heritage. But it is also an important commercial product of Scotland. This new tartan, while welcoming the PGA of America into our global family, also offers Scottish businesses and manufacturers exciting national and international trade opportunities, which we look forward to supporting."

     The inception of the PGA of America came at a time when golf was expanding rapidly in the US, not just as a past-time, but as a business; and the organisation was set up to nurture and capitalise on that growth. Now, 100 years on, the PGA of America is the world’s largest working sports organisation, comprising more than 28,000 men and women dedicated to promoting the game of golf.

     Accepting the tartan on behalf of the PGA of America, Honorary President Wronowski said: “It is with a great deal of honor that the PGA of America accepts the beautiful Scottish tartan, symbolic of the bond that the PGA of America shares with the Home of Golf. Scottish blood was a part of our Association’s founding a century ago and our shared passion and pride for growing the game has never been stronger.” 

     The tartan was gifted to the PGA of America at the Scotland, the Home of Golf stand (Booth #3473) at the annual PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. The show represents the biggest gathering of golf industry professionals with more than 1000 golf businesses and 40,000 golf industry professionals attending. Scotland’s presence at the show is supported by VisitScotland and Scottish Development International and includes businesses from across the golf tourism and manufacturing industries in Scotland.

    Category: International Events

  • 27 January 2016

    WORLD’S TOP SPORTS STARS TO COMPETE IN GLASGOW AHEAD OF RIO 2016 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC GAMES

    Some of the biggest names in world sport are set to go for gold in Glasgow over the next three months as they continue their preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    The action gets underway at the £113million Emirates Arena on Saturday 20 February when double Olympic and five-time world champion Mo Farah, Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth long jump champion Greg Rutherford, Olympic, triple world and European champion Jessica Ennis-Hill, current European record holder and 200 metre world champion Dafne Schippers and Britain’s fastest ever woman Dina Asher-Smith will star at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix.

    World and European indoor champion Richard Kilty and sub-10 man Chijindu Ujah will also be facing world 100m medallist Trayvon Bromell and former world champion Kim Collins over 60m as part of the star-studded line-up for the sold out Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix – the best indoor athletics meeting in the world.

    On Saturday 12 March the world’s best gymnasts will return to the Emirates Arena for the 2016 Glasgow World Cup – just five months after the World Championships in the city. Glasgow was one of only four cities in the world that was awarded the right to hosts FIG World Cup events back in 2011.

    Leading the field at the Glasgow World Cup will be 2015 pommel horse world champion Max Whitlock, returning to the city where he made history for Britain in November. Joining Max will be teammate and five-time Commonwealth champion and world team bronze medallist Claudia Fragapane and Scotsman Daniel Purvis, World Championships silver medal winner and Commonwealth Games champion.

    Joining the British trio are some of the world’s top gymnasts including 2014 World champion Mykayla Skinner (USA), 2015 European bars champion Maria Kharenkova (RUS) and the 2013 European all-around champion and 2015 silver medallist David Bekyavskiy (RUS).

    Tickets for the Glasgow World Cup, which is delivered in partnership between British Gymnastics and Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council with funding support from EventScotland and UK Sport, are available from www.glasgowworldcup.com or from the box office on 0141 353 8000.

    The British Swimming Championships (Olympic Trials) and British Para-Swimming International Meet (Paralympic Trials) will take place at Tollcross International Swimming Centre on 12-17 April and 23 to 27 April respectively, where Britain’s top swimmers be looking to secure their place in Rio.

    Among those competing will be triple world champion and double world record holder Adam Peaty, Commonwealth Games gold medallists Ross Murdoch and Hannah Miley and Paralympic star Ellie Simmonds OBE who has an incredible two Olympic, 12 world and 10 European titles to her name. Please visit www.swimming.org/britishswimming for ticket details.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “It is with great delight we are able to build on the legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games by utilising our outstanding sporting facilities, such as the Emirates Arena and Tollcross International Swimming Centre, to welcome inspirational Olympic and World champions to Scotland.

    “Glasgow has played a crucial part in the country’s ever-strengthening reputation as the perfect stage for events, and 2016 is set to be another tremendously significant year for the city.

    Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham, said: “Glasgow is enjoying a golden era of sport having just delivered the best ever Commonwealth Games, the IPC Swimming World Championships and the recent World Gymnastics Championships, which set a new benchmark for gymnastics and indoor sporting events. 

    Category: International Events

  • 25 January 2016

    Finalists revealed in VisitScotland digital competition

    The University of St Andrews, Edinburgh Napier University and The Glasgow School of Art have been named as finalists in a digital competition launched by VisitScotland, Scotland’s national tourism organisation.

     Teams from the three universities submitted creative proposals centred on the development of an interactive and innovative digital product designed to showcase Scotland’s places of interest and inspire visits to Scotland during the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    The competition which aims to celebrate the expertise, skills and knowledge of Scotland’s academic institutions is a brand new product development approach for Scotland’s national tourism organisation.  The project was developed in collaboration with Interface, which connects organisations to academic expertise for research and development leading to new products, services and processes.

     Competition finalists were selected by a panel of judges including Dr Jamie Coleman - Managing Director of CodeBase, Clive Gillman - Director of Creative Industries at Creative Scotland and Suzanne Dawson - Head of Sector Relationships at Interface.  The judges evaluated the entries based on criteria including the interpretation of the brief, clarity of content strategy and product innovation.

     Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said:

    “The 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design carries forward the momentum from last year’s celebration of food and drink and demonstrates Scotland’s credentials as an innovation nation -  showing that our creative, modern and inventive past, present and future can continue to inspire and influence audiences across the globe.

     “This innovative marketing competition links two of the Year’s themes –  innovation and design – with young designers across Scotland, challenging them to create an interactive digital product which will motivate people to visit Scotland. I would like to congratulate the three finalists for reaching this stage of the competition and I look forward to seeing how the winning entry will develop into an exciting digital product that will inspire visitors for years to come.”

     Charles Smith, Director of Marketing at VisitScotland said:

    “This is a brand new collaborative approach for VisitScotland and it has been a really exciting process from initiation to working with the finalists across the three teams as part of the mentoring process. The support from Interface, the mentors and the judges has been central to the success of the project, but ultimately it is about celebrating the expertise, knowledge, ideas and talent of the academic teams.”

     Suzanne Dawson, Head of Sector Relationships at Interface, and a competition judge, said:

    “The VisitScotland competition has been a fantastic way of highlighting how Scotland’s top academic expertise can help turn an idea into an exciting reality.”

     “I’ve been impressed by the proposals, which provide creative solutions aimed at attracting international and domestic tourists to Scotland. I am sure that the competition will inspire those working in the tourism sector, from the largest visitor attraction to the smallest B&B, to think about how working with academics could help grow their business.”

     “This is a great example to show how universities and research institutions are paving the way for new developments in all sectors.”

     Professor David Benyon, Director of the Centre for Interaction Design in Edinburgh Napier’s School of Computing, said:

    “It has been a great boost for the students to work on a real commercial brief as part of their studies.”

     “They have been able to apply the techniques taught in class and see how well they work in real life, and it is pleasing to see their efforts and enthusiasm rewarded with a place in the final three.”

     Dr Alan Miller of the University of St Andrews’ School of Computer Science said:

    “We are so excited to be in the final. It would be fabulous to work with VisitScotland to create our proposed ‘Taste From Afar’ collection of immersive tours. It has been a joy to participate in the competition and we have learned so much from our mentors.”

     Dr Stuart Jeffrey, Research Fellow in International Heritage Visualisation at The Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design (DDS) said:

    “Our Heritage Visualisation MSc students are delighted to have been short listed for the VisitScotland Digital competition for the year of Innovation, Architecture and Design”

     “The DDS has extensive previous experience in research projects in the heritage sector, from The Scottish Ten - large scale recording of World Heritage Sites with Historic Environment Scotland - to co-production of heritage data with community groups and mobile application development for tourists.”

     “The students leading the competition entry are excited to have the opportunity to work so closely with visitor and digital industry professionals and are enthusiastic about the impact their competition idea could have on the visitor experience in Scotland in this important year.”

     As part of the competition process, the finalists have been awarded a mentoring session with leading games industry representative Michael Boniface, Managing Director of Reloaded Productions Ltd and Charles Smith, Director of Marketing at VisitScotland.  The one-to-one sessions focus on nurturing and developing each idea further to ensure readiness for market delivery.

     All three teams will now go forward to present their final product idea to a panel of judges, with the winning team securing a £16,000 prize fund towards their professional development.   In the final stage of the competition, the winning team will be matched with a digital agency to develop their concept through to completion.

     The competition winner will be announced at a later date.

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 25 January 2016

    Rollers Rock Big Burns Supper

     

    Les McKeown celebrates fantastic time at Dumfries gig
    The Bay City Rollers rocked the Spiegeltent at the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries last night.
    Hundreds of fans, waving tartan scarves, danced to hits including Shang A Lang, I Only Wanna Be With You and Bye Bye Baby.
    Les McKeown, lead singer, said afterwards: “That was a fantastic gig, I couldn’t believe what a great time we have all had here at Big Burns Supper.”
    Looking back at the enduring love that fans have for the Bay City Rollers he added: “When they were young we were the untouchable dream boyfriends for a lot of girls. Nowadays we are their untouchable granddads.
    “We love it that so many people want to dress up in the tartan gear and join us for a great time.”
    In the audience was David Mundell, local MP and Secretary of State for Scotland, and his son Oliver.
    He congratulated Artistic Director Graham Main on the festival, saying: “What is being done here is superb for Scotland and for – and it’s fantastic to see such a tremendous mix of performers. 
    “It’s tremendous that we have such a huge festival in Dumfries as Big Burns Supper with so much going on. 
    “The atmosphere here is absolutely amazing and it’s great to see so many people out here having a good time at all the shows being put on by the festival.”
    After the Rollers gig he said: “That was just brilliant – it took me back 40 years. It’s that mix of fun, nostalgia, music and song that Big Burns Supper is so good at. And I think Burns himself would have loved it too, because those are things he enjoyed.”
    Graham Main added: “This has been an amazing weekend and tonight Les McKeown and the band really took it up into top gear. They brought back so many memories of good times for so many people – and I’m really pleased that David Mundell was one of them.
    “The whole festival has got off to the best possible start, with so many people coming in from all over the country to help us celebrate the spirit of Burns and all that’s best in life.”
    Big Burns Supper 2016 runs until 30 January and is packed with comedy, carnival, cabaret and music to suit all tastes.

    Les McKeown celebrates fantastic time at Dumfries gig.

    The Bay City Rollers rocked the Spiegeltent at the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries last night.

    Hundreds of fans, waving tartan scarves, danced to hits including Shang A Lang, I Only Wanna Be With You and Bye Bye Baby.

    Les McKeown, lead singer, said afterwards: “That was a fantastic gig, I couldn’t believe what a great time we have all had here at Big Burns Supper.

    Looking back at the enduring love that fans have for the Bay City Rollers he added: “When they were young we were the untouchable dream boyfriends for a lot of girls. Nowadays we are their untouchable granddads.

    “We love it that so many people want to dress up in the tartan gear and join us for a great time.”

    In the audience was David Mundell, local MP and Secretary of State for Scotland, and his son Oliver.

    He congratulated Artistic Director Graham Main on the festival, saying: “What is being done here is superb for Scotland and for – and it’s fantastic to see such a tremendous mix of performers. 

    “It’s tremendous that we have such a huge festival in Dumfries as Big Burns Supper with so much going on. 

    “The atmosphere here is absolutely amazing and it’s great to see so many people out here having a good time at all the shows being put on by the festival.

    After the Rollers gig he said: “That was just brilliant – it took me back 40 years. It’s that mix of fun, nostalgia, music and song that Big Burns Supper is so good at. And I think Burns himself would have loved it too, because those are things he enjoyed.”

    Graham Main added: “This has been an amazing weekend and tonight Les McKeown and the band really took it up into top gear. They brought back so many memories of good times for so many people – and I’m really pleased that David Mundell was one of them.

    “The whole festival has got off to the best possible start, with so many people coming in from all over the country to help us celebrate the spirit of Burns and all that’s best in life.”

    Big Burns Supper 2016 runs until 30 January and is packed with comedy, carnival, cabaret and music to suit all tastes.

     

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 22 January 2016

    David Nott – ‘Indiana Jones of surgery’ – wins Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016

     

    David Nott – ‘Indiana Jones of surgery’ – wins Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016
    A life-saving British doctor who has had to dodge bombs and stare down the barrel of a gun – and is known as the ‘Indiana Jones of surgery’ – has tonight (Thursday) been named winner of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016.
    David Nott was presented with the award at a special ceremony and the first-ever celebration concert at the Brig O’Doon Hotel in Alloway – the town of Burns’ birth – by Minister for Europe and International Development, Humza Yousaf MSP. 
    The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award – or RBHA – is a globally-respected, humanitarian accolade supported by South Ayrshire Council and Scotland's Winter Festivals, with sponsorship from Burns Crystal and The Herald, Sunday Herald and heraldscotland.com. The event is part of the Alloway 1759 celebrations, which take place in and around Burns’ birthday this month and form part of the year-round Burns an’ a’ that! Festival. 
    Named in honour of the famous Scots Bard, the award applauds the efforts of people who bring hope and inspiration – often in desperate situations – and help change lives for the better.
    It takes its inspiration from Robert Burns who viewed everyone as equal and genuinely lived as a true humanitarian, as recognised in his famous lines: 'That Man to Man, the world o'er, Shall brothers be for a' that'.
    This year’s winner, David – a Consultant Surgeon at Royal Marsden, St Mary’s and Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals – has given up several months every year for more than two decades to volunteer with Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Committee of the Red Cross in war zones and amidst major humanitarian crises.
    His efforts have seen him performing life-saving surgery in areas such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and Syria – and in some of the most desperate conditions.
    David’s first posting took him to the state hospital in Bosnia, which was known as ‘the Swiss cheese’ because it was pockmarked with bullet holes, and that was to shape his experience for many years to come.
    David has now taken his skills and experience and established the David Nott Foundation – a UK registered charity that provides surgeons and medical professionals with the skills they need to provide relief and assistance in conflict and natural disaster zones around the world.  
    As well as providing the best medical care, David Nott Foundation surgeons will train local healthcare professionals; leaving a legacy of education and improved health outcomes.
    Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Europe and International Development, said: 
    “The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award recognises the selfless vital work that is undertaken around the world every day of every year to help others. David Nott is a truly worthy winner and an inspiration to others. As a volunteer with Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Committee of the Red Cross, he has performed life-saving surgery in desperate circumstances in areas such as Darfur/Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Chad and Syria. He is developing a training programme to share his expertise with more than 1,000 doctors and local health professionals.
    “Now in its fifteenth year, the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award continues to be one of the highlights of Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme which draws to a close on Burns Night.  Scots and the Scottish-at-heart will be celebrating Robert Burns the world over this weekend and I would encourage everyone to take the time to honour the life of our Bard and his enduring message of humanitarianism, egalitarianism and equality.”
    David Nott said: “I am stunned and very proud to receive this amazing award, which I share with the many people I have worked with over the years. You know that you’re taking a risk when you do this type of humanitarian work, but once you’re out there and saving the lives of people – including children and teenagers the world has forgotten about – you just focus on getting the job done and try to forget about what’s going on around you.
    “It is difficult – there’s no doubt – but when you can see that you can make a very real difference, you simply cannot turn your back and that’s why I’m particularly pleased to have established the Foundation to keep that work going.
    “I’m very grateful for this award and it will remind me, every day, why we do what we do.” 
    The runners-up for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016 were:
    Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow – whose humanitarian efforts started more than 20 years ago with an appeal for food, clothing and medicines for those affected by the Balkan conflict. He went on to establish Scottish International Relief, which delivered more than £10 million worth of aid in its first 10 years. In Malawi in 2002, Magnus was inspired to launch Mary’s Meals after meeting teenager Edward who said all he hoped for in life was: ‘I want to have enough food to eat and go to school one day’. Mary’s Meals now feeds more than one million school children in 12 countries every day.
    Zannah Bukar Mustapha – a lawyer who works to make lives better for children and young people affected by the conflict between Boko Haram – an Islamic extremist group – and government forces in Nigeria. Having spent many years working to counter the growing radicalisation of children and young people, and concerned at the closure of state schools, he founded the Future Prowess Islamic Foundation – a primary school for orphans and less privileged children from both sides of the conflict. Zannah’s school provides free meals, free education, uniforms and health care, with the aim of achieving a lasting peace in the future. 
    Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council and Chair of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award Judging Panel, said: “David, Zannah and Magnus all recognise that not everyone has the same choices, freedoms and opportunities – and they have stepped in to right that wrong and are actively making a difference for many.
    “David’s work has, quite literally, saved lives and there are hundreds of people alive today who would not be here if it wasn’t for his bravery, tenacity and commitment to others. He has put himself in danger and put his own life at risk to protect other people and he is a perfect example of Robert Burns’ humanitarian values.
    “My warmest congratulations to him on being awarded the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016.”
    VisitScotland Regional Director Annique Armstrong said: “A key date in Scotland’s cultural calendar, The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award is a marvellous recognition of an individual’s incredible personal dedication to, and amazing achievements in, making a major beneficial impact on the lives of others – so it ties in very closely with the themes underpinning this 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.  
    “We are delighted that David Nott – a truly deserving and inspirational nominee – has won this year’s award and our congratulations go to him, and indeed to all of those shortlisted, for embodying the values of this very prestigious accolade.”
    Further information about the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award is available at www.robertburnsaward.com. Details of the year-round Burns an’a’that! Festival are at www.burnsfestival.com. 

    A life-saving British doctor who has had to dodge bombs and stare down the barrel of a gun – and is known as the ‘Indiana Jones of surgery’ – has tonight (Thursday) been named winner of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016.


    David Nott was presented with the award at a special ceremony and the first-ever celebration concert at the Brig O’Doon Hotel in Alloway – the town of Burns’ birth – by Minister for Europe and International Development, Humza Yousaf MSP


    The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award – or RBHA – is a globally-respected, humanitarian accolade supported by South Ayrshire Council and Scotland's Winter Festivals, with sponsorship from Burns Crystal and The Herald, Sunday Herald and heraldscotland.com. The event is part of the Alloway 1759 celebrations, which take place in and around Burns’ birthday this month and form part of the year-round Burns an’ a’ that! Festival. 


    Named in honour of the famous Scots Bard, the award applauds the efforts of people who bring hope and inspiration – often in desperate situations – and help change lives for the better.


    It takes its inspiration from Robert Burns who viewed everyone as equal and genuinely lived as a true humanitarian, as recognised in his famous lines: 'That Man to Man, the world o'er, Shall brothers be for a' that'.
    This year’s winner, David – a Consultant Surgeon at Royal Marsden, St Mary’s and Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals – has given up several months every year for more than two decades to volunteer with Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Committee of the Red Cross in war zones and amidst major humanitarian crises.


    His efforts have seen him performing life-saving surgery in areas such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and Syria – and in some of the most desperate conditions.


    David’s first posting took him to the state hospital in Bosnia, which was known as ‘the Swiss cheese’ because it was pockmarked with bullet holes, and that was to shape his experience for many years to come.


    David has now taken his skills and experience and established the David Nott Foundation – a UK registered charity that provides surgeons and medical professionals with the skills they need to provide relief and assistance in conflict and natural disaster zones around the world.  


    As well as providing the best medical care, David Nott Foundation surgeons will train local healthcare professionals; leaving a legacy of education and improved health outcomes.


    Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Europe and International Development, said: 
    “The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award recognises the selfless vital work that is undertaken around the world every day of every year to help others. David Nott is a truly worthy winner and an inspiration to others. As a volunteer with Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Committee of the Red Cross, he has performed life-saving surgery in desperate circumstances in areas such as Darfur/Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Chad and Syria. He is developing a training programme to share his expertise with more than 1,000 doctors and local health professionals.


    “Now in its fifteenth year, the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award continues to be one of the highlights of Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme which draws to a close on Burns Night.  Scots and the Scottish-at-heart will be celebrating Robert Burns the world over this weekend and I would encourage everyone to take the time to honour the life of our Bard and his enduring message of humanitarianism, egalitarianism and equality.”


    David Nott said: “I am stunned and very proud to receive this amazing award, which I share with the many people I have worked with over the years. You know that you’re taking a risk when you do this type of humanitarian work, but once you’re out there and saving the lives of people – including children and teenagers the world has forgotten about – you just focus on getting the job done and try to forget about what’s going on around you.


    “It is difficult – there’s no doubt – but when you can see that you can make a very real difference, you simply cannot turn your back and that’s why I’m particularly pleased to have established the Foundation to keep that work going.


    “I’m very grateful for this award and it will remind me, every day, why we do what we do.” 


    The runners-up for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016 were:


    Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow – whose humanitarian efforts started more than 20 years ago with an appeal for food, clothing and medicines for those affected by the Balkan conflict. He went on to establish Scottish International Relief, which delivered more than £10 million worth of aid in its first 10 years. In Malawi in 2002, Magnus was inspired to launch Mary’s Meals after meeting teenager Edward who said all he hoped for in life was: ‘I want to have enough food to eat and go to school one day’. Mary’s Meals now feeds more than one million school children in 12 countries every day.


    Zannah Bukar Mustapha – a lawyer who works to make lives better for children and young people affected by the conflict between Boko Haram – an Islamic extremist group – and government forces in Nigeria. Having spent many years working to counter the growing radicalisation of children and young people, and concerned at the closure of state schools, he founded the Future Prowess Islamic Foundation – a primary school for orphans and less privileged children from both sides of the conflict. Zannah’s school provides free meals, free education, uniforms and health care, with the aim of achieving a lasting peace in the future. 


    Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council and Chair of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award Judging Panel, said:

    “David, Zannah and Magnus all recognise that not everyone has the same choices, freedoms and opportunities – and they have stepped in to right that wrong and are actively making a difference for many.


    “David’s work has, quite literally, saved lives and there are hundreds of people alive today who would not be here if it wasn’t for his bravery, tenacity and commitment to others. He has put himself in danger and put his own life at risk to protect other people and he is a perfect example of Robert Burns’ humanitarian values.
    “My warmest congratulations to him on being awarded the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016.”


    VisitScotland Regional Director Annique Armstrong said: “A key date in Scotland’s cultural calendar, The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award is a marvellous recognition of an individual’s incredible personal dedication to, and amazing achievements in, making a major beneficial impact on the lives of others – so it ties in very closely with the themes underpinning this 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.  


    “We are delighted that David Nott – a truly deserving and inspirational nominee – has won this year’s award and our congratulations go to him, and indeed to all of those shortlisted, for embodying the values of this very prestigious accolade.”


    Further information about the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award is available at www.robertburnsaward.com. Details of the year-round Burns an’a’that! Festival are at www.burnsfestival.com

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 20 January 2016

    GLASGOW FILM FESTIVAL ‘GERES’ UP FOR 12TH PROGRAMME

    Glasgow Film Festival today announced their twelfth annual programme: an exciting, innovative, audience-focused festival packed with UK, European and World premieres, and the festival’s trademark pop-up cinema events making new use of some of the city’s most unusual venues. As previously announced, GFF16, which runs from 17-28 February 2016 and is supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, EventScotland, Creative Scotland and BFI, will open with the UK Premiere of Hail, Caesar! by Ethan & Joel Coen, and close with the UK Premiere of Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s Oscar-nominated Anomalisa.  With 308 separate events and screenings and 174 films, this is one of the largest programmes the festival has fielded.

     GFF is delighted to welcome a number of very special guests, including Richard Gere, supporting the UK premiere of his new film Time Out Of Mind (Sun 28 Feb), in which he plays a homeless man, possibly suffering from mental illness, adrift in New York. Natalie Dormer, best known for Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games, walks the red carpet for the UK premiere of The Forest (Thu 25 Feb); director Ben Wheatley will also be in attendance for the Scottish premiere of High-Rise (Thu 18 Feb), the high-profile adaptation of JG Ballard’s dystopian novel starring Tom Hiddleston and Sienna Miller. Veteran arthouse director Peter Greenaway and über-stuntman Vic Armstrong will also be taking part in In Person events discussing their careers. Full list of confirmed guests below; further guest announcements will be made closer to the festival.

     Other major UK premieres this year include Demolition, the new film from Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club, Wild), starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts, Louder Than Bombs, the Cannes Palme d’Or nominee directed by Joachim Trier and starring Gabriel Byrne and Jesse Eisenberg, Sing Street, the new Dublin-set musical by Once writer/director John Carney, the brilliant, Oscar-nominated Mustang, Miles Ahead, Don Cheadle’s labour-of-love Miles Davis film, and the new Disney animation Zootropolis, created by the minds behind Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled. The programme of high-profile new films also includes Cannes Palme d’Or winner Dheepan, Norway’s Oscar entry, action-thriller The Wave, Miguel Gomes’ utterly majestic trilogy Arabian Nights, multi-award-winning indie James White, Truth, Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett’s tense take on the 60 Minutes George W Bush scandal, and Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier’s blistering follow-up to Blue Ruin, starring Sir Patrick Stewart playing against type as the leader of a neo-Nazi group. GFF is also thrilled to host the world premiere of Hamish, a documentary about Scottish poet, songwriter and intellectual Hamish Henderson. 

    For more information and a look at the full programme, visit http://visitgff.glasgowfilm.org

    Category: International Events

  • 19 January 2016

    World champion Whitlock returns to Glasgow for World Cup

    The 2016 Glasgow World Cup line up has been confirmed with a star-studded line-up of international gymnasts set to compete as the prestigious event returns to the Emirates Arena on 12th March.

    Leading the way will be 2015 pommel horse World Champion Max Whitlock, returning to the city where he made history for GBR in November. Joining Max will be teammate Claudia Fragapane the five-time Commonwealth Champion and World team bronze medallist and Scotsman Daniel Purvis, World Championships silver medal winner. Also in action will be 2015 World Championship team silver medallist Kelly Simm invited to take part in the World Cup as a host nation wild card competitor, the 2015 World University Champion will be aiming to make her mark again in Glasgow.

    Max is excited to be back competing in Glasgow saying: “Competing in Glasgow has always been very special to me and the World Championships last year was incredible and historic not just for me but for the whole British team. I’m really looking forward to being back in the city and starting 2016 positively. Everyone knows how huge this year is and the World Cup is a perfect event to test myself against a really good field of international gymnasts – I can’t wait”

    This Glasgow World Cup is one the final chances to see the World Championships heroes back in action just a few months before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Dan Purvis is looking forward to more famous home crowd support saying: “Every time I compete in Glasgow the support is incredible and I’m expecting more of the same at the World Cup. Hopefully lots of people will have watched us at the World Championships and been inspired by what we achieved. The World Cup is a special event and this year’s line-up is world class so I’m hoping for another sell-out crowd to cheer on the British gymnasts.”

    Claudia adding: “I’m really looking forward to the World Cup and being back in Glasgow. With the Olympics not far away it’s important to start the year off well and continue to prove myself. The World Cup is a very special event and Glasgow is a brilliant city to compete in – I can’t wait to see everyone.”

    Joining the British trio are some of the world’s top gymnasts including 2014 World champion American Mykayla Skinner, 2015 European bars champion Maria Kharenkova (RUS), European Games beam gold medallist Lieke Wevers (NED) and the 2013 European all-around champion and 2015 silver medallist David Belyavskiy (RUS).

    The Glasgow World Cup is the second of three events in the International Gymnastics Federations 2015/16 Cup Series following the American Cup and to be followed by the Stuttgart World Cup. The competition sees the world best gymnast invited to compete in the ‘all-around’ format with six apparatus for the men and four for the women.

    Glasgow World Cup Gymnastics is delivered in partnership between British Gymnastics and Glasgow Life with funding support from EventScotland and UK Sport.

    Tickets are on sale now. Click here to book or phone the box office on 0141 353 8000. 

    Sold-out every year since 2012, don’t miss the chance to book the best seats in the house.


    The 2016 Glasgow World Cup line-up:

    Women

    Maegan Chant
    Canada
    Age: 18
    Team silver with Canada at the 2015 Pan American Games


    Claudia Fragapane (Bristol Hawks)
    Great Britain
    Age: 18
    2015 World bronze medallist with Team GB and 2014 four-time Commonwealth gold medallist

    Enus Mariani
    Italy
    Age: 17
    2012 Junior European Champion

    Asuka Teramoto
    Japan
    Age: 20
    2015 Japanese national champion and 9th all-around at the 2015 World Championships

    Lieke Wevers
    Netherlands
    Age: 24
    2015 European Games beam gold medallist

    Mykayla Skinner
    USA
    Age: 19
    2014 World Champion with team USA and vault bronze medallist

    Maria Kharenkova
    Russia
    Age: 17
    2014 World bronze medallist with team Russia and 2014 European beam champion

    Yufen Xie
    China
    Age: 17
    2014 World silver medallist with Team China

    Kelly Simm (Dynamo/Southampton )
    GBR
    Age:20
    2015 World Championships team bronze

    Men

    Arthur Nory Oyakawa Mariano
    Brazil
    Age: 22
    All-around 12th at the 2015 World Championships & team silver at the 2015 Pan American Games

    Max Whitlock (South Essex)
    Great Britain
    Age: 23
    2015 World pommel horse champion and 2012 Olympic double bronze medallist

    Daniel Purvis (Southport)
    Great Britain
    Age: 25
    2015 World team silver medallist and 2012 Olympic team bronze medallist

    Yu Cen
    China
    Age:  20
    2015 World Universiade vault champion

    Masayoshi Yamamoto
    Japan
    Age: 26

    David Belyavskiy
    Russia
    Age: 23
    2013 European all-around champion and 2015 silver medallist

    Christian Baumann
    Switzerland
    Age: 20
    2015 European Championships parallel bars silver

    Marvin Kimble
    USA
    Age: 20
    2015 Pan American Games team and pommel horse champion

    Junho Lee
    Korea
    Age: 20
    2015 World University Games team silver medallist

    Category: Gymnastics

  • 18 January 2016

    GLASGOW INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FULL PROGRAMME FOR 2016

    The Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF) reveals its full programme, as this hugely popular event in the comedy calendar gears up to return for its 14th year from Thursday 10 – Sunday 27 March 2016.  

    The bumper line-up for the eighteen-day festival includes: critically-acclaimed stand up from Frankie Boyle who has recently added a third night to his run at the Clyde Auditorium; character comedy from Scot Squad’s Grado and Chief Commissioner Cameron Miekelson, both appearing live at the Kings Theatre; Greg Proops recording his The Smartest Man In The World podcast; a night with the QI Elves; and Bob Slayer’s award-winning double decker Blundabus pulling up for a residency at Candleriggs, where a ticket to ride might get you comedians playing Hungry Hippos, storytelling and gossip, or the genius of Phil Kay.

    Headline acts and household names set to perform include Reginald D Hunter, Bridget Christie, Adam Hills, Paul Merton, Ardal O'Hanlon, Julian Clary, Rob Delaney, Jenny Eclair, Jerry Sadowitz, Russell Kane, Mark Watson, Dylan Moran and Richard Herring.

    Local stars Des Clarke, Daniel Sloss, Craig Hill, Mark Nelson, Gary Little, and Janey Godley are lined up alongside rising talents from Scotland’s creative comedy scene - with collective Chunks taking over The Griffin, plus shows from Fern Brady, Ashley Storrie, Darren Connell, Chris Forbes and Jamie Dalgleish.

    Appearances from acclaimed performers from across the UK include Shappi Khorsandi, Paul Sinha, Mark Steel, Paul Foot, Rob Beckett, and Chris Ramsey.

    The Festival has earned a reputation for its strong selection of international acts, this year bringing Will Franken, Scott Capurro, John Hastings and Jena Friedman to the city, while American Stands Up! introduces some of the most exciting comedians working in the States right now in what is always a sell-out showcase.

    As well as large scale stand up and intimate gigs in pubs, GICF presents film screenings at the Govanhill Baths and the Grosvenor Café; solo shows from Scott Gibson and Alan Bissett at the Tron; comedy for kids at The Stand Comedy Club and the Citizens Theatre; and discussions on comedy, women, feminism and more with Standard Issue, and on the role of satire with the Sunday Herald.

    Events take place every day throughout the Festival including sketch shows, plays, lunchtime comedy, and late night Festival clubs. Tickets for all shows are on sale now, with some performers, including Grado, Adam Hills and Russell Kane already adding extra nights due to popular demand.

    Sarah Watson, Glasgow International Comedy Festival Director, said: “We’re very proud to announce what I think is our best line-up yet, and look forward to taking over the city for eighteen comedy-packed days. We always want to bring our audiences something different and exciting - it’s great that we are working with new venues like Saint Luke’s, debuting brand new shows like Uncles from the creators of Burnistoun, and bringing top class acts to the city, some of whom are visiting for the first time.”

    Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “It’s an exciting time in Glasgow as the curtain prepares to open on the 14th annual Glasgow International Comedy Festival. Some of the biggest – and funniest – performers in the world have graced stages across the city over the years; and this year’s line-up will be no exception.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Glasgow International Comedy Festival has been bringing together world-class performers and top local talent for many years and we are delighted to support the event in 2016. The festival programme for this year is stronger than ever and we look forward to seeing thousands of spectators turn out at venues across the city in March.”

    Keep up to date with all the latest news by registering at glasgowcomedyfestival.com and follow on Facebook and Twitter @glasgowcomedy.

    Category: Comedy

  • 12 January 2016

    Musselburgh's Riding of the Marches 2016 announces its principals

    Musselburgh’s Riding of the Marches 2016 has officially launched with the introduction of the seven Principals, who will lead the pomp and pageantry of  this historic event.

    RoM2016 is one of the most ancient ceremonies in the UK. Although it is thought to date back to the 5th Century, it was first recorded in 1682. But as the first Musselburgh RoM of the 21st Century, this year’s festivities look forward to fresh changes as well as celebrating its rich history.

    Now the Town Champion, Turf Cutter, Turf Cutter’s Assistant, two Squires and two Halberdiers have all been chosen, including Fiona Grant-MacDonald, the first ever woman to take a major role in the event, which is held once every 21 years.

    All the Principals will take part in the official RoM ceremony, which is the central occasion in a week of celebration. This commemorates the marking of the ancient boundaries of the Burgh, and highlights the unique history and heritage of the Honest Toun of Musselburgh.

    The party ride out under the close protection of the armour-clad town champion, and stop at 12 boundary stations around the town to cut a sod of turf and proclaim “it’s a' oor ain!'

    Other Principals are Town Champion Neil Wilson, Turf Cutter Iain Clark, Squiers David Finlayson and Graham Bennet, and Halberdiers Scott Robertson and Alan Williams. All were chosen for their good work in the town.

    The ceremonial aspect of the week-long event – which runs between between July 24-30 – also includes a huge procession, a pageant, an exhibition, a civic ball, a concert with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, as well as various sporting events, and entertainment for young and old. The week will conclude with a spectacular Lumiere at the mouth of the River Esk and a huge fireworks display.

    Preparations for RoM2016 began at the end of 2014 with Hogmania, the largest family party in the county at the Brunton Hall, carried on into the next day with the first ever New Year’s Day Loony Dook at Fisherrow Harbour – repeated on 1st January this year. All of the town’s big tournaments and sporting events in 2015 were put on as part of the build-up, and this will continue throughout this year.

    Artists from Musselburgh are also making their mark and as street art and yarn bombing are already popping up throughout the town. The highlight of this will be the Riding of the Marches Horse Parade, with ten life-sized model horses decorated mainly by school kids will appear at prominent positions.

    Category: Heritage

  • 12 January 2016

    Costa Poetry Award winner Don Paterson to headline 2016 Festival

     The wait is finally over as tickets for this year's StAnza festival go on sale. With the full programme now online, the box office is open for the much anticipated event which takes place in two months time in Fife.

     StAnza, Scotland's International Poetry Festival  lasts for five days from 2nd to 6th March and features around 100 events, many of them free – a diverse range of performances, readings, music, drama, talks, workshops and a masterclass, open mic events, films, exhibitions and installations. StAnza is the place to hear your favourite poet, discover new voices, meet other poets, writers and publishers and enjoy the energetic buzz of the beautiful and historic town of St Andrews.

     Festival director Eleanor Livingstone said: "The countdown is now definitely on for this year's festival, with the stage set for another fantastic few days celebrating poetry and the spoken word in its many forms.

     "We're thrilled to have a wonderful programme which is bursting with some of the best and newest poetry talent and look forward to welcoming the world to St Andrews to enjoy this literary feast."

     The annual festival this year opens with a performance of Sea Threads: comings and goings / Sea Treeds: comins an gyaains. The performance is a collaboration between Tommy Smith, award winning saxophonist and director of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, and his celebrated group Karma together with acclaimed Shetlandic poet and Edinburgh Makar, Christine De Luca.

     Among StAnza’s 2016 headliners is Don Paterson, who last week won the Costa Poetry Award for his latest collection, 40 Sonnets, published by Faber and Faber. The Scottish poet and jazz musician previously won the accolade in 2003 and is also twice winner of the T.S. Eliot prize. He is joined by recent winner of the Guardian First Book award and Fenton Aldeburgh first collection prize, Andrew McMillan. Commenting on performing at StAnza, Andrew McMillan said: "Stanza is an iconic festival which has seen some of the world's best poets perform - I'm honoured and delighted to be there".

     Other big names from the literary world to perform at the annual festival include Fiona Benson, joint winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, English poet Jo Bell, winner of the Causley Prize and the Manchester Cathedral Prize in 2014, and Lemn Sissay, recipient of an MBE for services to literature and the first poet to write for the London Olympics. The UK headliners include Pascale Petit, Sean O’Brien, Brian Johnstone and John Burnside who will be joined by Nora Gomringer from Germany, Swedish poet Aase Berg, Jane Yolen and Thomas Lynch from the USA and Australian poet Sarah Holland-Batt.

     StAnza traditionally focuses on two themes which interweave with each other to give each annual festival its own unique flavour. This year’s first theme will be Body of Poetry, looking at poetry which engages with the human body, its needs, appetites and how it changes. As part of the second theme, City Lines, the festival will have a strong focus on Architecture for Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, and will connect St Andrews with various cities worldwide, including Berlin as part of a focus on German poetry for 2016.

     Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting StAnza again through our Beacon programme. The festival attracts thousands of people to St. Andrews each year along with some of the most prestigious poets from across the globe, making it a real highlight in Scotland’s cultural events calendar.

     "This year’s theme, City Lines is a wonderful way for the festival to celebrate the relationship between the historic town of St. Andrews itself, architecture and poetry as part of Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture, and Design." 

    Tickets are on sale and can be purchased in person, by phone and online. Full box office details are online at our booking page or telephone the box office on 01334 475000.  The printed brochure will be available later this month.

    Category: National Events

  • 12 January 2016

    LONDON OLYMPIC HEROES REUNITE IN GLASGOW AS JESSICA ENNIS-HILL IS CONFIRMED TO COMPETE AT SOLD OUT INDOOR GRAND PRIX

    Jessica Ennis-Hill (coach: Toni Minichiello) has confirmed that she will compete at the sold out Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena on Saturday 20 February.

    The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is the world’s number one ranked indoor athletics meeting and will be the best one-day athletics meeting to ever be held in Scotland. It will feature many of the world’s best athletes, including Britain’s other gold medal winners from ‘Super Saturday’ at the London 2012 Olympics, Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar) and Greg Rutherford (Dan Pfaff).

    Ennis-Hill has a great record in the 60m hurdles in Glasgow, setting a personal best in 2008, a British record of 7.95 in 2010 and then taking victory in 2011.

    She said: “I am really looking forward to competing in the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix – this fixture always kick-starts my year.  Training is going well and it will be good to get out there and compete with some great athletes and really test myself.  Olympic year is a big year for all of us and the first competition brings with it trepidation and excitement.”

    The Indoor Grand Prix, ranked as the world’s best indoor event in the world for the past ten years, will be held in Glasgow for the first time in 2016 as the city alternates hosting the event with Birmingham up to 2020.

    Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of British Athletics, said: “Jessica Ennis-Hill is one of the biggest stars in British sport. The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will provide her with an opportunity to test herself and we wish her every success in Olympic year. She is a winner and a tremendous role-model for athletics and for Britain. The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will again showcase the city’s passion for major athletics events and is a sold-out success.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted that Jessica Ennis-Hill will begin her preparations for this year’s Olympic Games at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix, reaffirming Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events among the world’s most decorated athletes. As well as providing the opportunity to witness Jessica in action, the event will see her fellow Olympic gold medallists, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford, compete alongside a host of world-class athletes, creating an occasion not to be missed.”

    Category: Athletics

  • 08 January 2016

    Farah returns to Great Edinburgh XCountry as record numbers take on the Pure Gym Great Winter Run

    Mo Farah, the reigning Double Olympic and World Champion will make his return to the Great Edinburgh XCountry this Saturday. Farah will start his 2016 season in Scotland as he prepares to defend his Olympic title in Rio this summer - competing in his first cross-country race since he triumphed at the event in January 2011.

     Mark Hollinshead, group chief executive of the Great Run Company said; “We’re thrilled to be welcoming Mo back to Holyrood Park and the Great Edinburgh International XC.

     “This will be his first cross country race in five years and we’re sure the Edinburgh crowds will be out in force to give him, and the other world class athletes, their support.”

     Farah will be competing in one of the four races that comprise the Team challenge against Team USA and Team Europe. His GB&N.I. teammates include five Scots.

     Callum Hawkins, who represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games and 2015 Scottish XC Champion Andrew Butchart, line up with Farah for the Men’s 8K race.  2015 bronze medallist in the Scottish Nation XC Championships Josephine Moultrie will take part in the Senior Women’s 6K alongside the 2014 Bronze Medallist Beth Potter, while Kilbarchan AAC’s Euan Gillham represents GB in the Men’s U20 race.

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted that the Great Edinburgh International XCountry is set to open this all-important Olympic year in tremendous fashion and hugely excited at the prospect of witnessing Mo Farah competing on Scottish soil once more.

     “Along with the other world-class athletes competing, Mo’s decision to kick-start his Olympic Games campaign in Edinburgh is further proof of Scotland’s outstanding reputation as the perfect stage for athletics events and we are confident the event will offer the perfect preparation for all of those competing in Rio this summer.”

     The world-class event will be shown live on BBC One from 13:00 -14:30 and will showcase the city and the unique location of Holyrood Park.

     Earlier in the day a record number of participants will take part in the Pure Gym Great Winter Run. 3000 amateur runners will take on the 5k around  Arthur’s Seat. The Junior Great Winter Run will also be staged before the elite action gets underway.

     They will be sent on their way by the inspiring tones of opera singer Lucy O’Byrne, who was runner up in the 2015 series of The Voice. Lucy is currently playing Maria in Sound of Music at the Playhouse in Edinburgh.

     Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, Donald Wilson, said: "The Great Winter Run has become a firm fixture in Edinburgh and, despite the cold conditions, it continues to prove popular with thousands of runners and spectators. At this time of year, many people find the 5k stretch the perfect way to race their way back into fitness.

     “The beautiful backdrop of the city’s ancient volcano Arthur’s Seat and the Dunsapie and St Margaret’s Lochs is a real favourite of mine and I’m looking forward to taking part. As a running fan, it’s a special day when you race in the footsteps of the likes of Mo Farah! Good luck to the other runners braving our winter weather and I’ll see you there.” 

     The event is completely free to spectate, so come along and enjoy all the action as well as tasty treats from Stoats Porridge Oats, Union of Genius Soup Kitchen, Risotto to Go and the Italian Coffee Bar.

     For more information and a full timetable visit www.greatrun.org/winter  

    Category: International Events

  • 08 January 2016

    CELEBRATING THE BRILLIANT BARD’S BIRTHDAY

     
    Programme of events planned to honour Robert Burns this month.

    Burns Night on January 25 will see Scots and Scots at heart from around the world come together to celebrate the birthday of Scotland’s beloved national Bard.

    Six events will take place this month to celebrate Robert Burn’s Birthday as part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals, a 21 strong event programme that runs across Scotland every year from St Andrew’s Day on November 30 to Burns Night on January 25.

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:

    Robert Burns’ words are recognised around the world and his poetry, writing and songs continue to be enjoyed by millions. Burns Night is a great opportunity to celebrate Scotland’s Bard and to enjoy Scotland’s poetry, music and wider culture.

    “The celebrations are part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which this year has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country.”

    The Burns events include Alloway 1759, The Big Burns Supper Festival in Dumfries, Burns’ Birthday in Mauchline, the Big Burns Stramash in Inverness, Burns Unplugged in Edinburgh and Burns Fest at the Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh.

    Outside of Scotland, celebrations for Robert Burns’ birthday are held annually on an international level, with Burns suppers, ceilidh dancing, poetry and storytelling taking place across the globe, demonstrating the far reaching affection for our much loved poet.

    After Queen Victoria and Christopher Columbus, Burns has more statues dedicated to him than any other non-religious icon.

    To capture this worldwide warmth for Burns, social media users across the world are being asked to share a selfie, or a ‘Burnsie’, via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with a Burns-related item, such as a statue, painting, book of poems or even a plate of haggis, neeps and tatties.

    These ‘Burnsies’ will be collated into a massive mosaic image of Robert Burns and will be shared on social media and on www.scotland.org/burns

    For more information on the events, please visit www.scotland.org/burns

  • 06 January 2016

    World orienteering community names Glen Affric 'Course of the Year 2015'

    The Scottish Highlands is home to the world’s finest orienteering course, according to the international orienteering community.

    The Long Distance course for the men’s World Orienteering Championships, which took place within Glen Affric, was named by World of O website as the ‘Orienteering Course of the Year 2015’ after consultation with more than 1,000 individuals involved in the sport.

    Designed by the course setter team of Steve Nicholson and Brian Bullen, the course embraced the remote beauty of the glen, encompassing a forest of pine, birch and oak with steep slopes, complex contour details and few paths.

    Also used as the stage for the ‘Long’ when the World Championships were previously in Scotland in 1999, the Glen Affric stage was overwhelmingly chosen for top honours, receiving almost three times as many votes as the second-placed World Cup Long Distance course in Tasmania.

    It provided the final challenge of the World Orienteering Championships which took between 31 July and 8 August in various locations across Highland and Moray, and coincided with the 20th edition of the biennial Scottish 6 Days race.

    Paul McGreal, WOC2015 Race Director, said: “This award caps off a really successful WOC for the organising team, and hopefully reflects our concentration on keeping it athlete-focussed.

    “It’s well justified recognition for the amazing skills, dedication, enthusiasm and expertise of the orienteering community in Scotland and beyond. We proved that Scotland is capable of delivering a huge event on a world stage using largely volunteer efforts.”

    The accolade is the icing on the cake for an event which proved to be one of the most successful in Scotland in 2015, drawing almost 7,000 overseas spectators and participants, and generating an impressive £9.4m for the Scottish economy.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The World Orienteering Championships and Scottish 6 Days were a huge success in 2015 and the ‘Orienteering Course of the Year 2015’ prize is a fitting reward for our partners who worked tirelessly to deliver such a tremendous event.

    “Congratulations to the course planning team, who have positioned Scotland at the forefront of the sport and demonstrated why our stunning landscapes and natural assets make Scotland the perfect stage for orienteering events.”

    Mike Hamilton, Chief Executive, British Orienteering, said: “The award is a fitting tribute to the fantastic terrain within Glen Affric and the way in which it was used by the very talented planning team. The world-class courses provided physical and mental challenges for the athletes and those that achieved top places knew they had been tested.

    “We hope to be back in the Scottish Highlands for further international competition soon!”

    Category: Adventure Sports

  • 31 December 2015

    Stage set for “ground-breaking year” Scotland gets ready to celebrate Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

     

    Stage set for “ground-breaking year” 
    Scotland gets ready to celebrate Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 
    Hot on the heels of the Year of Food and Drink 2015, Scotland is getting ready to celebrate the best of its breath-taking built heritage, bold design and awe-inspiring innovation with a range of new and exciting events as part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
    From textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, the year-long programme running from 1 January to 31 December 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s architectural masterpieces, unique crafts and textiles, and its cutting edge design creations.
    With 2016 just around the corner, a number of New Year events are already set to celebrate the theme including the brand new ‘Fire and Light’ event at the Helix in Falkirk on 1 January which will see Andy Scott’s ‘The Kelpies’ as the backdrop for a 3500 sold-out capacity crowd.
    On New Year’s Day, 1,200 people will splash into the chilly waters of the Firth of Forth in the shadow of an iconic World Heritage Site, famed for its cantilever design – the Forth Bridge - at the 30th anniversary Stoats Loony Dook.  The event will be witnessed by almost 3,000 spectators.  
    Also on New Year’s Day, those in Edinburgh can discover artists, actors and musicians at Scot:Lands as part of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. Eleven ‘Lands’ curated by the country’s best brightest and innovative creatives will await to be found on foot around distinctive venues within Edinburgh’s Old Town built heritage.  
    Another highlight in January will include ‘Hello My Name is Paul Smith’ – an exhibition brought to Glasgow for the first time at The Lighthouse, which traces the iconic designer’s development from the early 1970's until today. 
    A Tale of Two Cities will be on display to the public at Edinburgh Castle until 14 February 2016.  Tale of Two Cities pairs the Scottish capital with other locations that have shared key periods of change over the centuries, and uses a combination of archival material and innovative digital technology to explain the stories of two cities.
    For budding architects, sculptors or just big kids at heart Build it! Adventures with LEGOⓇ Bricks is a series of events and activities starting from 29 January and running until 17 April at the National Museum of Scotland.
    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design  offers tourism businesses across Scotland a fantastic opportunity to showcase, celebrate and engage visitors with this wide-ranging and fascinating theme. 
    “The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design has begun. Visitors already travel to Scotland to experience world-class architecture and top-class design and the year will build on this heritage with an enticing programme of events that shows Scotland’s creative, modern and inventive approach continues to inspire and influence audiences across the globe. 
     
    “Building on the success of Homecoming 2014 and the previous themed years, I encourage the industry to embrace this latest opportunity to show the best of what Scotland has to offer and to invite all of our visitors – from day-trippers to those coming from further afield – to enjoy the diverse range of events on offer throughout the year.”
    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “With this new themed year we have the opportunity to put Scotland on the map in a new and exciting way, catching the attention of visitors old and new, positioning Scotland as a mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time.
    “Scotland is a nation of pioneers, home to ground-breaking scientists, philosophers, engineers and architects for hundreds of years.  From the Forth Rail Bridge to Dolly the Sheep, the telephone to the television, Charles Rennie Mackintosh to Andy Scott, and Harris Tweed to the iconic Mackintosh raincoat, Scotland’s innovative past, present and future continue to inspire and influence audiences across the globe, shaping the modern world we live in today.
    “The events planned for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 are diverse, interesting and inspiring and we look forward to what we hope will be a ground-breaking year for tourism.”
    The year will be celebrated with a programme of 28 events funded by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, including the Clo Mor Festival of Harris Tweed, Luminous Birds, Craft Scotland’s ‘Meet Your Maker’, SPECTRA and the Festival of Architecture – a series of over 400 events and exhibitions taking place throughout the length and breadth of Scotland, coordinated by The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).  
    Leading public arts organisation NVA, will mark the official launch of the Festival of Architecture in March 2016 with ‘Hinterland’, at which audiences have the chance to experience Scotland’s greatest modernist building, St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, with a spectacular night-time public art event exactly 50 years since the iconic building was first opened. 
    Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will begin on 1 January 2016.  For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/IAD2016 

    Hot on the heels of the Year of Food and Drink 2015, Scotland is getting ready to celebrate the best of its breath-taking built heritage, bold design and awe-inspiring innovation with a range of new and exciting events as part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
    From textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, the year-long programme running from 1 January to 31 December 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s architectural masterpieces, unique crafts and textiles, and its cutting edge design creations.
    With 2016 just around the corner, a number of New Year events are already set to celebrate the theme including the brand new ‘Fire and Light’ event at the Helix in Falkirk on 1 January which will see Andy Scott’s ‘The Kelpies’ as the backdrop for a 3500 sold-out capacity crowd.
    On New Year’s Day, 1,200 people will splash into the chilly waters of the Firth of Forth in the shadow of an iconic World Heritage Site, famed for its cantilever design – the Forth Bridge - at the 30th anniversary Stoats Loony Dook.  The event will be witnessed by almost 3,000 spectators.  
    Also on New Year’s Day, those in Edinburgh can discover artists, actors and musicians at Scot:Lands as part of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. Eleven ‘Lands’ curated by the country’s best brightest and innovative creatives will await to be found on foot around distinctive venues within Edinburgh’s Old Town built heritage. 

    Another highlight in January will include ‘Hello My Name is Paul Smith’ – an exhibition brought to Glasgow for the first time at The Lighthouse, which traces the iconic designer’s development from the early 1970's until today. 
    A Tale of Two Cities will be on display to the public at Edinburgh Castle until 14 February 2016.  Tale of Two Cities pairs the Scottish capital with other locations that have shared key periods of change over the centuries, and uses a combination of archival material and innovative digital technology to explain the stories of two cities.
    For budding architects, sculptors or just big kids at heart Build it! Adventures with LEGOⓇ Bricks is a series of events and activities starting from 29 January and running until 17 April at the National Museum of Scotland.
    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design  offers tourism businesses across Scotland a fantastic opportunity to showcase, celebrate and engage visitors with this wide-ranging and fascinating theme. 
    “The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design has begun. Visitors already travel to Scotland to experience world-class architecture and top-class design and the year will build on this heritage with an enticing programme of events that shows Scotland’s creative, modern and inventive approach continues to inspire and influence audiences across the globe.  “Building on the success of Homecoming 2014 and the previous themed years, I encourage the industry to embrace this latest opportunity to show the best of what Scotland has to offer and to invite all of our visitors – from day-trippers to those coming from further afield – to enjoy the diverse range of events on offer throughout the year.”
    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “With this new themed year we have the opportunity to put Scotland on the map in a new and exciting way, catching the attention of visitors old and new, positioning Scotland as a mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time.
    “Scotland is a nation of pioneers, home to ground-breaking scientists, philosophers, engineers and architects for hundreds of years.  From the Forth Rail Bridge to Dolly the Sheep, the telephone to the television, Charles Rennie Mackintosh to Andy Scott, and Harris Tweed to the iconic Mackintosh raincoat, Scotland’s innovative past, present and future continue to inspire and influence audiences across the globe, shaping the modern world we live in today.
    “The events planned for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 are diverse, interesting and inspiring and we look forward to what we hope will be a ground-breaking year for tourism.”
    The year will be celebrated with a programme of 28 events funded by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, including the Clo Mor Festival of Harris Tweed, Luminous Birds, Craft Scotland’s ‘Meet Your Maker’, SPECTRA and the Festival of Architecture – a series of over 400 events and exhibitions taking place throughout the length and breadth of Scotland, coordinated by The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).  
    Leading public arts organisation NVA, will mark the official launch of the Festival of Architecture in March 2016 with ‘Hinterland’, at which audiences have the chance to experience Scotland’s greatest modernist building, St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, with a spectacular night-time public art event exactly 50 years since the iconic building was first opened. 
    Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will begin on 1 January 2016.  For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/IAD2016 

     

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 30 December 2015

    Sold out events for Edinburgh's Hogmanay - Street Party tickets still available

    Unique Events, who have produced Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council for 23 years, advised revellers to buy and pick up their Street Party tickets today, and not to wait until Thursday 31st December. Tickets are already sold out for Concert in the Gardens, Candlelit Concert and the Old Town Ceilidh as well other events across the three day Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival.  Tickets for the world famous Street Party are still available however this event sold out last year.
     

    Cllr Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Festival and Events Champion, said: “This year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is all set to be a real cracker and with so many stages offering fantastic entertainment there really is something for everyone. And with three days of spectacular events including the Torchlight Procession and Loony Dook I would encourage everyone to come along and experience what Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is really about.”
     

    Pete Irvine, Director of Unique Events who have produced Edinburgh’s Hogmanay on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council since 1993, said “With so many events already sold out for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay this year, I would encourage you to get hold of your tickets for the world famous Street Party from our Box Office before Thursday – to guarantee that you can join us to celebrate this fabulous festival in the Home of Hogmanay.  With a fantastic line-up across seven stages, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is the UK’s biggest outdoor winter music festival and an unmissable way to welcome 2016.”
     

    The three day Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival kicks off on Wednesday 30 December with the Torchlight Procession.  10,000 Torchbearers, led by 26 Up Helly Aa Vikings from Shetland and 6 pipe bands, and accompanied by an expected 20,000 friends and family, illuminate the streets of the City from George IV Bridge to the son et lumière and fireworks finale on Calton Hill.  The Procession leaves George IV Bridge at 7.00pm and will be viewed by an estimated 30,000 spectators along the route. Access to Calton Hill is exclusively available to those on the procession and the fireworks finale can be viewed from surrounding streets as well as from the Hill.
     

    Concert in the Gardens, which this year sold out in record time, is headlined by Biffy Clyro who will be joined by special guests Idlewild and Honeyblood in an all-Scottish line-up. The Street Party sees performances from Maxïmo Park, Slaves and White on the Waverley Stage while the new Scottish Stage on Castle Street welcomes Shooglenifty, Peatbog Faeries and Rura.  BBC Radio 6 Music’s Craig Charles provides the soundtrack to the Street Party live from the Frederick Street Stage and broadcasts across screens along the length of Princes Street, and finally cabaret performers, Guilty Pleasures, take over the Mound Stage fresh from their sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer.
     

    The world’s largest outdoor ceilidh moves into its new home in Parliament Square and becomes the Old Town Ceilidh as 4000 revellers birl their way through the bells with four live ceilidh bands performing over  two stages.  Tickets are now SOLD OUT for this event.  Revellers will be invited to smash the Guinness World Record for the largest Strip the Willow – with a target of 2016 participants.  Dancers are advised to wear sturdy, flat footwear as the Ceilidh takes place in the historic Old Town and much of the arena has  cobbled streets. 
     

    A free Hogmanay NightBus Service once again runs throughout the capital for revellers supported by sponsors Diageo and Lothian Buses with additional funding from Essential Edinburgh. This much welcome journey home at the end of the festivities is part of the Join the Pact global responsible drinking initiative from Johnnie Walker which has secured over one million personal commitments from people across the world to never to drink and drive.  The service starts at 00:20 and runs until 04:00.  Stagecoach, in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, will be operating free Hogmanay NightBuses from the city centre to South Queensferry.  Details of times and routes can be found at www.edinburghshogmanay.com.  
     

    While all tickets for Concert in the Gardens, The Old Town Ceilidh and The Candlelit Concert are sold out, there are still Street Party wristbands available - these can be booked on-line at www.edinburghshogmanay.com or on the phone on 0844 573 8455 but must be collected from the Box Office at 180 High Street, Edinburgh before 8.00pm on 31 December.   Pre-Booked torch vouchers for the Torchlight Procession are also sold out as are places at the Queensferry Loony Dook on Friday 1st January although spectators are most welcome at both events.
     

    Unicef, the leading children’s organisation, is the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay official charity this year and partygoers will be encouraged to support the Unicef New Year’s Resolution to help children whose lives have been turned upside down by the conflict in Syria. At 10.00pm, in the middle of the world famous Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party, a one minute blue firework display will lift from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle, which will also be lit up blue for the Unicef moment.  Donations can be made to Unicef by texting MOUTH to 70444 to donate £3.
     

    Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams, from Police Scotland said “We want everyone who attends the celebrations to have a safe and enjoyable time. We'll have officers deployed throughout the city centre who will be working with stewards to ensure that everything runs smoothly.  If you're coming to the Street Party with friends, please look after one another and make sure you have plans for getting home safely. Enjoy the Hogmanay spirit but watch your alcohol intake and make sure you wrap up warm."
     

    G4S Events Managing Director, Eric Alexander, said: “The annual Hogmanay celebration represents the best Edinburgh has to offer and G4S is honoured to once again help secure this event.  Having coordinated the security at this event for so many years now, we know exactly what’s needed to ensure everyone has a great time. This includes everything from stewarding and security services to managing crowd movement and ensuring everyone gets home safely. 
     

    “The whole team looks forward to supporting the celebrations each year and 2016 looks set to be another great one. We’re looking forward to helping secure this highlight of the festive season for many more years to come.”
     

    Senior Met Office Advisor, Graeme Forrester said, “After a wet and windy day on Wednesday we should see an improvement on Hogmanay.  We could see a shower at any time right through to the bells – maybe a few heavy ones in the afternoon - but it should be mostly dry.  It will be blustery though and chilly with temperatures around midnight down to about 3 or 4 degrees, so be sure to wrap up adequately.”


    Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will continue on Friday 1st January with a programme of free activities for all the family.  The Stoats Loony Dook celebrates its 30th anniversary and sees 1,200 ‘Dookers’ in fancy dress, ranging from the weird to the wonderful, welcome the New Year with a dip in the River Forth at South Queensferry.  Thousands of spectators are expected to line the streets to watch the Dookers parade through the town at 2.30pm before plunging into the chilly water under the shadow of the world famous Forth Bridges.  This year the event is supported by Stoats, who’ll be there on the day, warming everyone up with bowls of energising porridge, giveaways and a fabulous fancy dress competition.  South Queensferry has a variety of pubs, cafes and restaurants, all of which will be open on New Year’s Day.


    An essential component of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, Scot:Lands  takes over New Year’s Day as a multi-arts festival in its own right and offers a scintillating selection of the best of Scotland’s artistic talent – intriguing, provocative, sometimes reflective; always entertaining.  With many of the performances created or re-imagined exclusively for Scot:Lands, this pop-up, multi-arts Festival offers one chance, on one afternoon only, for audiences to enjoy an extraordinary collection of spoken word, dance, music and film, fashioned and curated by some of Scotland’s most innovative artists and arts organisations.  Scot:Lands is supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.  

    Category: International Events

  • 26 December 2015

    Brits to take on world stars over 60m in Glasgow

    World and European 60m champion Richard Kilty (coach: Benke Blomkvist) and British 60m champion Chijindu Ujah (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) will go up against 2003 world 100m champion Kim Collins and the USA’s world 100m bronze medallist Trayvon Brommell when they line up over 60m at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix on 20 February.

     

    Kilty added the European indoor title to his World Indoor Championships gold earlier this year and has a personal best of 6.49. Although he has never beaten Collins in four attempts over 60m, he remains unbeaten against British teammate Ujah and will be aiming to continue his impressive indoor form at the Emirates Arena.

     

    Kilty said: “I love competing indoors and I can’t wait to run in Glasgow again. This will be a good test for me against some of the best sprinters in the world and the best preparation for the British Championships where I want to secure my spot for Portland and try to defend my world title from Sopot two years ago.”

     

    At the age of 21, Ujah established himself as Britain’s best 100m sprinter this year, running sub-10 seconds for the second consecutive year and reaching the World Championships semi-final. With a personal best of 6.53 for 60m, he will be confident of performing well in Glasgow.

     

    He said: “2015 was another good year for me but I’m already excited for 2016 and getting started at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix. I’ve got my eye on improving my personal best and pushing for sub-6.50, I’m sure we will all push each other to some really fast times in Glasgow.”

     

    40 year old Collins was the world’s best indoor sprinter in 2015, going unbeaten all season and improving his personal best to 6.47. After first competing in Britain in 2002, Collins has raced a number of times in Glasgow but is hoping for his first win in Scottish soil in February.

     

    He said: “I always love competing in the UK and have been coming to Glasgow for many years, I can’t wait to get back there in February. Being unbeaten indoors in 2015 was an amazing achievement for me and I want to keep the run going this season, but it will be a tough race in Glasgow and the fans could be in for a great show.”

     

    At the other end of the age scale, Brommell became the world’s fastest ever teenager over 100m in the summer, running 9.84 in July and then impressing hugely in Beijing to win World Championships bronze. The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be his first ever 60m in Europe and he will be looking to challenge his 6.54 personal best.

     

    Brommell said: “2015 was a great year for me and I was delighted to win a medal in Beijing. The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be an important meet to set me up for another good year and I’m looking forward to testing myself in a world class 60m race.”

     

    The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be the first major athletics event of an action packed 2016 season and a great opportunity to see world-class talent at such close quarters. The final of four stops on the IAAF World Indoor Tour, the Emirates Arena will see a number of clashes between the best athletes on the globe.

     

    With the Olympic Games in Rio just months away, this competition will be an exhilarating start as athletes prepare themselves for the summer.

     

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Glasgow Grand Prix will bring together some of the world’s most talented athletes and is set to be a terrific showpiece for the city. UK stars Richard Kilty and Chijindu Ujah, as well as the likes of Mo Farah and Dina Asher-Smith, will be looking  for a fast start in this Olympic year, which will bring lots of excitement to proceedings at the Emirates Arena in February.”

     

    For tickets to the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix please visit www.britishathletics.org.uk 

    Category: Athletics

  • 14 December 2015

    MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CUP PASSES £30M MILESTONE FOR HIGHLAND ECONOMY

    As Fort William gears up to once again host the adrenaline-charged UCI Mountain Bike World Cup on 4-5 June 2016, organisers Rare Management reveal the event has brought a £30m boost to Highland tourism since 2002.

     Renowned for being one of the must-see events on the Scottish sporting calendar, over quarter of a million fans have descended on Fort William since the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup came to the Highlands 14 years ago.

     The figures have been released as the ‘Early Bird’ tickets go on sale for next year’s event. Available from 1-31 December, the Early Bird tickets are the perfect Christmas gift for all bike fans. Ticket prices remain at 2015 prices, making Early Bird tickets even more attractive. 

     Fort William delivers one of the best and most gruelling courses on the World Cup circuit. 2016 promises to be more exciting than ever with plans underway to add new features to the notorious 2.8km downhill course, giving riders a fresh competitive challenge.

     Mike Jardine, from Rare Management, said: “Fort William has legendary status amongst the global mountain bike community, thanks to the incredibly enthusiastic crowds. They make the event and give it such a fantastic, nerve-tingling atmosphere.

     “The Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF 4X Pro Tour weekend has grown into a must-see fixture on the Scottish sporting calendar for families and die-hard fans alike and the impact on the local economy is huge. It’s also broadcast to millions of people around the world, helping to raise the profile of Scotland and the Highlands as the ultimate bike-friendly destination.

     “2016 is going to be a real celebration of the legends of the sport – especially some of the home heroes who are always the crowd’s favourites. It’s time to salute these greats, so we’d advise fans to get their tickets early to make sure they are part of what could be an incredible weekend.”

     Over the 2015 weekend, more than 19,000 fans witnessed a thrilling climax, with Great Britain’s Rachel Atherton claim her second Fort William title and South African, Greg Minnaar, a record-breaking fifth win.

     Sponsored by BUFF® and Silverline for the third year and with support from Event Scotland and Highland Council, the Fort William stage of the 2016 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup takes place at the Nevis Range ski area, 9km from Fort William.

     Councillor Thomas Maclennan, Leader of the Lochaber Area Committee for Highland Council said: “Our figures show that the World Cup was worth £2.8 million to the area in 2015. However, having such a prestigious competition on our doorstep provides world-wide publicity which money can’t buy.

     “Continuing to host this event helps to showcase the scenery, terrain and local enthusiasm that cements Fort William’s reputation as a haven for outdoor activities.”

     Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “This is a fantastic figure and a gives a tremendous boost to the Highland economy. It really is testament to the great organisation of this incredibly popular annual event and the multitude of spectators it attracts from all corners of the globe.

     “The visitor economy causes a ripple effect that touches every industry, business and community in the country – from laundry to life sciences. This news perfectly illustrates how important events such as the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William are to tourism in our regions. Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it creates jobs, sustains communities and provides a shop window for business activity.”

     Fans looking to secure tickets early can book now at a discounted rate through the ‘Early Bird’ ticket offer which is available from today until December 31. Buying now guarantees access to the Nevis Range gondola, which travels above the Downhill course between the start and the finish.

     Prices remain unchanged from last year’s event, with tickets costing from £14 for adults and £8 for children aged 6 – 17 years old. Family packages are also available starting from £36.

     For more information on purchasing an ‘Early Bird’ ticket, visit www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk where you can also find details about the event.

    Category: International Events

  • 11 December 2015

    Eden court prepares for a smashing stramash

     

    EDEN COURT PREPARES FOR A SMASHING STRAMASH
    ‘Big Burns Stramash’ event to celebrate Burns Night
    Eden Court CREATIVE are delighted to have been awarded funding to participate in the Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2015/2016 programme.  For a fourth year, Eden Court CREATIVE will work with young people and artists from across the Highlands to deliver an event to celebrate Burns Night.
    The Big Burns Stramash will take place on Saturday 23 January at Eden Court, and there will be a range of different Burns themed events throughout the day for families to get involved in.  The event will be made up of workshops and film screenings, a lantern procession and some outdoor performance too.  The day’s events will be rounded off with not one but two Burns Ceilidhs.  From 5.30pm The Wee Burns Ceilidh is perfect for families with wee ones to come and dance with some special guests.  Then, later on in the evening, the Ceilidh Commandos – Gary Innes (Manran), Ewen Henderson (Manran), Alec Dalglish (Skerryvore) and Martin O'Neill (Treacherous Orchestra) - will host The Big Burns Ceilidh for ages 14+. 
    For the first time Eden Court have incorporated a schools project into the Burns Night celebrations. The Stramash-up! project invited 10 classes from Primary 4 and 5 to take part in a unique Tam O’Shanter film mash-up. Each class worked with our drama team on a section of the poem, and transformed it into a creative film.  Classes from Cradlehall, Smithton, Milton of Leys, Merkinch, Dornoch, Kilchumein, Millbank Primaries and Bun-Sgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis took part. The film will be premiered at the cinema in Eden Court on 23 January. 
    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: 
    Burns Night is the perfect opportunity to celebrate our Scottish identity including our creativity, pride and confidence. Robert Burns encapsulates this and I encourage friends, family and loved ones across the Highlands to come together to honour this great Scot.
    The Big Burns Stramash is part of the Scottish Government's Winter Festivals programme, which has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country. Events will run across Scotland from the lead up to St Andrew's Day, through Hogmanay, to Burns Night, showcasing Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage.
    Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said: 
    I am delighted that the Big Burns Stramash is being held here in Inverness and I am sure it will attract families from around the area. With workshops, film screenings, a lantern procession and two ceilidhs, it is the perfect choice for an event that sets the stage for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016.
    2016 will be a year to remember in Scotland - from textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, events across the country will shine the spotlight on our greatest assets and icons, as well as our hidden gems. This is tourism’s opportunity to showcase Scotland’s traditional and contemporary culture and cutting-edge design to the world.
    Eden Court CREATIVE Manager Lucy McGlennon said: 
    This year we are going for even more Burns Night fun than before, and we’ve started early! Our primary schools project; Stramash-up! began earlier this month. We are delighted to have been able to involve many primary school children in this part of Big Burns Stramash. 
    We’ve also split our Burns Ceilidh into two events this year; The Wee Burns Ceilidh and The Big Burns Ceilidh so that everyone can get in on the dancing action! 
    Tickets are available from the Eden Court box office by calling 01463 234 234 or online at www.eden-court.co.uk
    For more information contact Eden Court CREATIVE on 01463 239 841 or visit www.eden-court.co.uk 

    ‘Big Burns Stramash’ event to celebrate Burns Night


    Eden Court CREATIVE are delighted to have been awarded funding to participate in the Scotland’s Winter Festivals 2015/2016 programme.  For a fourth year, Eden Court CREATIVE will work with young people and artists from across the Highlands to deliver an event to celebrate Burns Night.The Big Burns Stramash will take place on Saturday 23 January at Eden Court, and there will be a range of different Burns themed events throughout the day for families to get involved in.  

     

    The event will be made up of workshops and film screenings, a lantern procession and some outdoor performance too.  The day’s events will be rounded off with not one but two Burns Ceilidhs.  From 5.30pm The Wee Burns Ceilidh is perfect for families with wee ones to come and dance with some special guests.  Then, later on in the evening, the Ceilidh Commandos – Gary Innes (Manran), Ewen Henderson (Manran), Alec Dalglish (Skerryvore) and Martin O'Neill (Treacherous Orchestra) - will host The Big Burns Ceilidh for ages 14+. For the first time Eden Court have incorporated a schools project into the Burns Night celebrations. The Stramash-up! project invited 10 classes from Primary 4 and 5 to take part in a unique Tam O’Shanter film mash-up. Each class worked with our drama team on a section of the poem, and transformed it into a creative film.  Classes from Cradlehall, Smithton, Milton of Leys, Merkinch, Dornoch, Kilchumein, Millbank Primaries and Bun-Sgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis took part. The film will be premiered at the cinema in Eden Court on 23 January. 


    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: Burns Night is the perfect opportunity to celebrate our Scottish identity including our creativity, pride and confidence. Robert Burns encapsulates this and I encourage friends, family and loved ones across the Highlands to come together to honour this great Scot.The Big Burns Stramash is part of the Scottish Government's Winter Festivals programme, which has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country. Events will run across Scotland from the lead up to St Andrew's Day, through Hogmanay, to Burns Night, showcasing Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage.


    Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said: I am delighted that the Big Burns Stramash is being held here in Inverness and I am sure it will attract families from around the area. With workshops, film screenings, a lantern procession and two ceilidhs, it is the perfect choice for an event that sets the stage for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016.2016 will be a year to remember in Scotland - from textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, events across the country will shine the spotlight on our greatest assets and icons, as well as our hidden gems. This is tourism’s opportunity to showcase Scotland’s traditional and contemporary culture and cutting-edge design to the world.


    Eden Court CREATIVE Manager Lucy McGlennon said: This year we are going for even more Burns Night fun than before, and we’ve started early! Our primary schools project; Stramash-up! began earlier this month. We are delighted to have been able to involve many primary school children in this part of Big Burns Stramash. We’ve also split our Burns Ceilidh into two events this year; The Wee Burns Ceilidh and The Big Burns Ceilidh so that everyone can get in on the dancing action! 

     

    Tickets are available from the Eden Court box office by calling 01463 234 234 or online at www.eden-court.co.uk For more information contact Eden Court CREATIVE on 01463 239 841 or visit www.eden-court.co.uk 

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 11 December 2015

    SPOTY nominated Rutherford wants gold in Rio and countdown begins in Glasgow

    Greg Rutherford (coach: Dan Pfaff), Britain’s Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth long jump champion has targeted the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday 20 February as the perfect way to prepare to defend his Olympic title.

     

    After a year in which he was crowned World Champion in Beijing to complete the ‘grand slam’ of international titles, Rutherford has targeted the Glasgow meeting as the ideal platform to launch his attempt to win his second Olympic Gold medal.


    Rutherford has also recently been nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award alongside fellow track and field athletes Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar) and Jessica Ennis-Hill (Toni Minichiello).


    Rutherford said: “It’s a great honour to be nominated for Sports Personality of the Year alongside some amazing sportspeople. 2015 has been a great year for me with winning the World Championships to complete my grand slam and also winning the Diamond League title. But next year is another really important year for me to defend my Olympic title, the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be my only indoor meeting in Europe and I can’t wait for it.


    “The Indoor Grand Prix is consistently ranked as the number one indoor annual athletics event in the world and is moving to Glasgow for the very first time. It’s going to be special and is the perfect way for me to begin the countdown to the Olympic Games. High-class competition on home soil is a great way to start Olympic year.”


    The British long jump record holder is looking forward to returning to the city where he won Commonwealth gold in 2014.


    He added: “I’ve got really fond memories of Glasgow as it’s where I won the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and I’m looking forward to competing there again. I’ll never forget the amazing support from the Glasgow crowd and I’m sure the fans will be out in force again in February.”


    The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be the first major athletics event of an action packed 2016 season and a great opportunity to see world-class talent at such close quarters. With the Olympic Games in Rio just months away, this competition will be an exhilarating start as athletes prepare themselves for the summer.


    Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of British Athletics said: “It is fantastic to see athletics so well represented on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist with Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford all nominated for the award. Greg has had another superb year and has become one of British athletics’ most consistent and reliable performers. It will be great for the people of Glasgow to get the chance to see him compete there again at what will be the best one-day indoor meeting anywhere in the world.”


    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Glasgow has proven itself to be a favourite destination for the world’s finest athletes in recent years, contributing greatly to Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events. Greg Rutherford, as reigning Commonwealth Games champion, will have the chance to build on the success he achieved in Glasgow in 2014, and spectators at the Emirates Arena will certainly appreciate the chance to witness him perform as he prepares for the Olympic Games in 2016.”


    Fans will be able to vote for BBC Sports Personality of the Year by phone or online during the awards show at Belfast’s SSE Arena, broadcast live on BBC One on Sunday 20 December.


    Buy tickets to the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix here.

    Category: Athletics

  • 08 December 2015

    Assemble Wins The Turner Prize 2015

    The Turner Prize 2015 has been awarded to Assemble, it was announced at Tramway, Glasgow, in partnership with Tate, last night. The £25,000 prize was presented by artist, musician and songwriter, Kim Gordon during a live broadcast on Channel 4. 
     ​ ​The jury has awarded the prize to Assemble who work in tandem with communities to realise a ground up approach to regeneration, city planning and development in opposition to corporate gentrification.
     They draw on long traditions of artistic and collective initiatives that experiment in art, design and architecture. In doing so they offer alternative models to how societies can work. The long term collaboration between Granby Four Streets and Assemble shows the importance of artistic practice being able to drive and shape urgent issues in the post-industrial era.​
    The Turner Prize, organised by Tate, is awarded to a British artist under the age of 50 for an outstanding exhibition in the preceding year. This year’s shortlisted artists are Assemble, Bonnie Camplin, Janice Kerbel and Nicole Wermers.
    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Congratulations to Assemble on collecting the 2015 Turner Prize during yesterday’s tremendous awards ceremony at Tramway, which has proved to be the perfect stage for the exhibition. It is already the most successful exhibition in Tramway’s history and I would encourage as many people as possible to visit the Glasgow venue to witness the work by the winner and three runners-up before the Turner Prize draws to a close on January 17.”  
    The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive programme of workshops, talks, tours and activities for people of all ages to get involved and be inspired by the creativity on show. 
    For details on the exhibition and programme visit Tramway’s website.

    Category: International Events

  • 08 December 2015

    “LAUSANNE” CONFIRMED AS HOST CITY FOR SPORTACCORD CONVENTION 2016

     SportAccord Convention is pleased to announce Lausanne as Host City for the 2016 Convention. Returning to the Home of International Sport, the Convention will take place from 17-22 April 2016 at the Swiss Tech Convention Centre which offers state-of-the-art congress facilities.

    On becoming Host City to the next SportAccord Convention, Mr. Marc Vuilleumier, Lausanne’s Municipal Councillor in charge of Sport commented:“What a wonderful way to close an exceptional year for the City of Lausanne. 2015 marked the IOC’s Centenary in our city, and last July we became the host of the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games. TheSportAccord Convention will once again witness the entire world of sport gather here, for the first time since we hosted the second Convention in 2004. Lausanne truly is the “Olympic Capital”, today more than ever!”

    With close to 50 sports organisations based in Lausanne and the surrounding region of the Canton of Vaud, including many international sport federations, the city is an idyllic location for this premier event.

    On hearing the news, Thomas Bach, President, International Olympic Committee (IOC) said:“What better place could SportAccord Convention have chosen to hold its annual event than Lausanne,a city which is made for sport. For a century now, Lausanne has been the IOC’s home. More than thirty international sports federations and sports organisations have also found in Lausanne the ideal setting to develop and strengthen the place of sport in society.”

    Held in a different city every year, the annual SportAccord Convention is a unique opportunity for key decision-makers from sport and industry to meet, network, and strategically shape global, regional andnational agendas. An exclusive 6-day event comprising 2000 delegates, the Convention is host to annual general meetings of governing bodies, and once again, will welcome a delegation from the International Olympic Committee.

    Now in its 14th edition, Francesco Ricci Bitti, President, ASOIF and SportAccord Convention remarked:“We are delighted that Lausanne has taken up the baton once more and will be hosting the next SportAccord Convention. As a major event in the international sporting calendar, Lausanne provides a favourable location for sport and business leaders to meet, given its strong commitment to sport and industry. With the warm hospitality shown to visitors and delegates in 2004, we can expect to deliver a Convention that meets the needs of our stakeholders, partners and delegates.”

    The Convention comprises: a themed conference including City Forum, LawAccord and MediaAccord, as well as a plenary conference; an exhibition represented by industries, sport organisations, government offices, cities, event services, media, and many more; a Sports Demo Zone; as well as a social and cultural programme.

    For further information visit: www.sportaccordconvention.com

    Category: Industry News

  • 08 December 2015

    VisitScotland encourages family dining as new recipe book is launched

    More than half of families in Scotland do not sit down for meals together on a daily basis, according to new research commissioned by VisitScotland.

     To coincide with today’s launch of its new recipe book,You’ll Have Had Yer Tea? Treasured Tastes of Scotland, the national tourism organisation is urging families to enjoy dining together and create more mealtime memories.

     The research, carried out by Scotpulse, showed that only 47 per cent of people in households of two or more sit down as a family to eat dinner every day, while 8 per cent said they would never do this and 9 per cent had not done this in the last week.

     Seventeen per cent of respondents will sit down as a family to eat four-five times a week, while the remaining 13 per cent do this two-three times a week.

     The survey of more than 800 adults also revealed the following:

    Participants with children in household are less likely to sit down every day to eat dinner (34 per cent vs 51 per cent of those with no children).

    Over 55s (69 per cent)  are more likely than average (47 per cent) to sit down as a family every day compared to 35 per cent of under 35s (least likely to sit down together every day)

    Participants from the north of Scotland are more likely to sit down every day as a family (52 per cent) compared to the average (47 per cent)

    Launched at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Edinburgh today (Tuesday 8 December), You’ll Have Had Yer Tea? Treasured Tastes of Scotland is available free of charge from VisitScotland Information Centres throughout Scotland from today.

     Following a nationwide appeal by VisitScotland, the book contains more than 40 traditional recipes, which were submitted by members of the public from every corner of the country.

    Each recipe is accompanied by a special memory giving the background to each dish. Whether it’s a childhood recollection of helping mum bake shortbread or frying the catch of the day after a fishing trip with granddad, each delicious recipe is brought to life by the story behind it.

     The book also offers some ‘foodspiration’ so that people can embark on their own culinary adventures around the country, highlighting regional specialities and food and drink experiences unique to certain locations

     Scotland’s Food Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

    “Scotland has a stellar reputation as being a Land of Food and Drink. We are fortunate enough to have a fantastic natural larder right here on our doorstep and more people should take advantage of that, helping Scotland move towards being a Good Food Nation. Using this new recipe book to create traditional Scottish dishes, using locally sourced produce, is not only good for the food and drink industry here; it also ensures the food on your plate is in-season and fresher.”

     You’ll Have Had Yer Tea’s foreword is provided by Scottish chef and food enthusiast Shirley Spear. She writes: “The idea behind this recipe book was to create a legacy for the Year of Food & Drink 2015, reminding ourselves of our local Scottish roots, our home-cooking skills and memories of days gone by when family food, cooking and eating together were more prevalent. I would love to see more of this in future.”

     Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

    “From ‘Mum’s Traditional Scotch Broth’ to ‘Granny Norma’s Custard Creams’, You’ll Have Had Yer Tea is a mouthwatering collection of recipes that serves as the perfect accompaniment to the Year of Food and Drink.

     “Many of the treasured memories contained within the book are of Scottish people sitting down to enjoy meals together as a family. We would encourage people to do this more often, where possible, so they can create their own precious memories around mealtimes and I am sure this book will give them some fantastic inspiration for traditional Scottish cooking.

     “The Year of Food and Drink has been a great success, helping to raise the profile of Scotland’s outstanding natural larder on the world stage. It has built on the momentum generated by previous focus years and Homecoming Scotland 2014 in further developing Scotland’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink. It has also helped to debunk any myths about Scottish cuisine being all about fizzy drinks and deep-fried chocolate bars.”

     You’ll Have Had Yer Tea? Treasured Tastes of Scotland is available in VisitScotland Information Centres throughout Scotland from 8 December 2015 and online at www.visitscotland.com/ebrochures/en/recipe-book/

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 08 December 2015

    Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix included in IAAF's newly announced World Indoor Tour

    The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has announced the creation of the World Indoor Tour - which will feature four meetings from 2016 including the .

    Four competitions which have staged IAAF Indoor Permit meetings have been selected for next year and the Tour dates are all in February, starting with the Karlsruhe Indoor Meeting in the German city on 6 February.

    On 14 February the Tour will move to the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston, United States, with Swedish capital Stockholm then hosting the Globen-galan on 17 February.

    The Tour will conclude with the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix in the Scottish city on 20 February.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said:

    “We are delighted to see that the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix has been included as one of four inaugural fixtures in the IAAF World Indoor Tour. Already world-class athletes like Mo Farah and Dina Asher-Smith are scheduled to take part, providing a fitting conclusion to the circuit in its first year.”

    All of the meetings will feature a minimum of 12 events, with a core group of five or six divided across a two year period.

    Wildcard spots at the World Indoor Championships will be up for grabs. In 2016 the men’s 60 metres, 800m, 3000/5000m, pole vault, triple jump and shot put will be held while on the women's side the 400m, 1500m, 60m hurdles, high jump and long jump are the disciplines.

    Events in 2017 will be the 400m, 1500m, 60m hurdles, high jump and long jump for the men, and the 60m, 800m, 3000/5000m, pole vault, triple jump and shot put for the women.

    Like the outdoor Diamond League circuit, a points system and prize money will be part of the Tour with the individual winner of each event set to pocket $20,000 (£13,000/€18,000).

    In addition, they will also qualify for the next edition of the World Indoor Championships, starting from Portland 2016, as a "wildcard entry".

    All wildcards, however, will have to be ratified by their member federation.

    Find out more about the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix including how to buy tickets here.

    Category: Athletics

  • 07 December 2015

    RECORD BREAKERS DAFNE SCHIPPERS AND DINA ASHER-SMITH SET TO GO HEAD TO HEAD AT GLASGOW

    Current European record holder and 200 metre world champion Dafne Schippers will face Britain’s fastest ever woman, Dina Asher-Smith (coach: John Blackie), over 60m at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix on 20 February.

     Each athlete has beaten the other once over 60m with both setting their personal bests at last year’s European Indoor Championships in Prague; 7.05 for Schippers and 7.08 for Asher-Smith, the first of five British records she set during 2015.

     The Glasgow Grand Prix is the single best day of indoor athletics ever staged in Scotland and can now boast the top sprint head-to-head in European athletics.

     The Indoor Grand Prix is consistently ranked as the number one indoor annual event in athletics and is moving to Glasgow for the very first time.

     Asher-Smith confirmed that Glasgow will be integral to setting the stage for the rest of the year. She said: “2015 has been a special year for me and I couldn’t be more pleased. Now I’m looking ahead and I am absolutely thrilled to compete with Dafne in the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix. The atmosphere in the Emirates Arena will be amazing and a strong start to 2016 is going to be important for me in my build up to the Olympic Games in Rio.”

    Dafne Schippers has been one of the stars of global athletics this year culminating in winning Gold in the 200 metres at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing. Her 200m winning time of 21.63 seconds broke the 36 year old European record and gave her the title of third fastest woman in history over that distance.

     She said: “Clocking 21.63 in the 200 metres in Beijing was a huge win for me. I kept thinking if I pull this off, there’s nothing stopping me from doing this again in Rio. I’m even more committed to putting on an amazing performance, especially in Glasgow where the atmosphere is always electric.”

     The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be the first major athletics event of an action packed 2016 season and a great opportunity to see world-class talent at such close quarters. With the Olympic Games in Rio just months away, this competition will be an exhilarating start as champion athletes prepare themselves for the summer.

     Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of British Athletics said: “The Glasgow Grand Prix will be the best one-day indoor meeting anywhere in the world in 2016. Having Dafne Schippers facing Dina Asher-Smith is the most exciting head-to-head in European sprinting and the Scottish public will be in for a treat.”

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Indoor Grand Prix is one of the gems in the athletics crown, so it is with great excitement that we look forward to welcoming the event to Glasgow in February. In an Olympic year, this event has even greater significance and having Dafne Schippers and Dina Asher-Smith going head-to-head will add to what is always a tremendous atmosphere at the Emirates Arena.”

     For tickets to the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix please visit www.britishathletics.org.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 07 December 2015

    GICF RETURNS FOR 14TH YEAR, WITH OVER 420 SHOWS ACROSS MORE THAN 40 VENUES

     The Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF) returns from 10 - 27 March 2016 with everything from stand up comedy to panel discussions, major theatre shows to gigs in pubs.  Headline acts already announced include Reginald D Hunter, Paul Merton, Ardal O'Hanlon, Julian Clary, Rob Delaney, Jenny Eclair, Bridget Christie, Russell Kane, Mark Watson and Richard Herring.

    Local stars Des Clarke, Daniel Sloss, Craig Hill, Mark Nelson, Janey Godley and Jerry Sadowitz are lined up alongside acclaimed acts from across the UK, including Romesh Ranganathan, Shappi Khorsandi, Mark Steel, Paul Foot and Paul Sinha.

    Sarah Franken, Greg Proops and Adam Hills are part of the strong international strand of the Festival, and the hugely popular American Stands Up! showcase introduces some of the most exciting comedians working in the States right now.

    Events take place every day throughout the Festival including sketch shows, plays, films, lunchtime comedy, comedy for kids, and late night Festival clubs.

    The full programme is launched at The Stand Comedy Club in Glasgow on Wednesday 13 January 2016. A London launch takes place on Burns Night, Monday 25 January 2016 at the Leicester Square Theatre.

    The Glasgow International Comedy Festival is supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and EventScotland and recently won Best Large Festival at the Scottish Event Awards.

    Tickets for many shows are already on sale.  Keep up to date with all the latest news by registering at glasgowcomedyfestival.com and follow on Facebook and Twitter @glasgowcomedy.

    Category: International Events

  • 04 December 2015

    National Events Conference 2015 a resounding success

    Delegates from across the Scottish Events & Festivals industry yesterday (Thursday 3 December) enjoyed a highly successful National Events Conference 2015.

    Brendan McClements, Chief Executive of Victorian Major Events Company, used a Key Note speech at Scotland’s National Events Conference to deliver invaluable insight into Melbourne’s startling success as an events destination and likened this to Scotland’s own meteoric rise in recent years.

    Delivering an analogy of a computer operating system, he said: “Melbourne’s hardware is events. They have helped shape the face of the city: the major sporting and cultural infrastructure, as well as hotels, restaurants and transport in the heart of the city.

    “But the software is realising the fundamental role everyone plays in the delivery. You have to build a church of like-minded people, a network of leaders and that is what we try to do with ‘Team Melbourne’.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, provided the closing remarks and said: “The overarching theme of the National Events Conference has been the importance of coming together as indicated within the Scotland the Perfect Stage strategy.

    “There is no question that Scotland is a leader in the provision of internationally-significant events, and events which capitalise on our rich cultural heritage, but we have to continue to build momentum through innovation and taking calculated risks.

    “The conference was a terrific example of Scotland’s depth of knowledge and the expertise within the industry and I believe we are well placed to meet the challenges that the future holds.”

    Elsewhere in the conference, which was opened by Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, European and External Affairs and Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland, delegates were treated to a discussion session examining what makes Scotland the Perfect Stage for events featuring some of the industry’s key stakeholders.

    In recognition of Mike Cantlay’s contribution to tourism and events the Chairman was presented with a montage of images of some of Scotland’s greatest events presented by the Cabinet Secretary on behalf of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and EventScotland.

    Category: Industry News

  • 04 December 2015

    Team Scotland model is shining light for global events industry

    Scotland’s approach to partnership working in the delivery of its flourishing events and festivals portfolio is an outstanding example to be followed by countries worldwide, according to one of the global sector’s leading figures.

     

    Key Note speaker, Brendan McClements, expressed praise for the ‘Team Scotland’ model ahead of the 2015 National Events Conference, taking place at the EICC tomorrow (3 December), as fundamental to the nation’s unprecedented success in recent years.

     

    As Chief Executive of Australia’s Victorian Major Events Company, McClements has been responsible for attracting some of the world’s most prestigious events properties to the state, including the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix and the incredibly popular artistic and cultural celebration, White Night Melbourne.

     

    In the face of an increasingly competitive and congested landscape in attracting world-class events, McClements’ Key Note address will emphasise Scotland’s pre-eminent position in encouraging and facilitating the public, private and third sectors to work in unison in the delivery of its events and festivals portfolio, valued at £3.5bn to the Scottish economy, annually.

     

    He said: “From my experience, success relies on the ability of people to work together for a greater collective benefit. Team Scotland is the perfect embodiment of this philosophy.

     

    “Major international events, and indeed small-scale events that support local communities, all of which have a number of stakeholders, can only achieve successful outcomes for all parties if everyone buys into the same plan. Sustainable events cannot survive on a command and control model.

     

    “And that is why Scotland’s approach has been bearing so much fruit in recent years. Striking meaningful and impactful partnerships has been tackled and it now underpins the national events strategy - Scotland the Perfect Stage.”

     

    Hosted by renowned Scottish broadcaster, Rhona McLeod, the sold-out conference will centre on the recently refreshed Scotland the Perfect Stage strategy, as key industry figures discuss the future of Scotland’s events industry.

     

    Fiona Hyslop MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, and Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland, will open the conference and reflect upon the importance of events to Scotland’s vital visitor economy and cultural heritage.

     

    Following an unprecedented year for events in 2014, in which Scotland hosted the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games, and with other major occasions, such as the 2018 European Sports Championships, 2019 Solheim Cup and UEFA EURO 2020 on the horizon, the conference comes at a critical juncture.

     

    According to Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, there couldn’t be a more fitting time to look ahead to the prospect of a prosperous future. He said: “The National Events Conference will provide all delegates with an in-depth view of the updated national events strategy, Scotland the Perfect Stage, and the significant opportunity it provides to all stakeholders within the sector.

     

    “During the course of the day, key representatives from within the industry will discuss the challenges we face in maintaining our position as one of the world’s elite global destinations for events, and how we are preparing to meet these head on.

     

    “Of course, Brendan’s Key Note speech will be a particular highlight and will provide encouragement for delegates to continue embracing the Team Scotland approach, which has allowed us to continuously punch above our weight in bidding for, attracting and delivering some of world’s biggest events.”

     

    Hot topics facing the industry will also be addressed by experts during the course of in-depth sessions, which will focus on operating outstanding smaller events, delivering safer events and, significantly, addressing the opportunities provided to the sector by Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

     

    To find out more about the National Events Conference, delivered by VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, or to view the full event programme, visit www.nationaleventsconference.scot.

     

    To join the conversation online, follow #PerfectStage on Twitter. 

    Category: Industry News

  • 04 December 2015

    Napier University - Win a place on the Executive Certificate in Event Management

    This is a three day intensive programme designed to capitalise on the expertise and provide the key skills and knowledge associated with the design and delivery of corporate, private and public events. The programme outlines industry best practice in the marketing, planning, conduct and evaluation of events.

    Who is it for?

    The programme is designed to enhance the professional skill and knowledge base of those already with or looking to join the industry.

    Programme content and dates

    3 day intensive programme from 25 – 27th January 2016 at Edinburgh Napier University Craiglockhart Campus.

    You will study:

    Event Planning Management, Monitoring, Control, Shutdown and Evaluation
    Project Management
    Risk Management, safety and security
    Marketing, PR and sponsorship
    Greening of Events
    Managing people
    Case studies presented by local event industry practitioners

    To WIN a place on this programme worth £975, please write a 300 word piece on why you should be chosen and how you would apply the learning for this programme back at your workplace. The deadline for entries is the 4th January, with the winner notified by 8th January at the latest. Send your entry to Peter Skellett.

    To find out more information about the ECEM please view the website or contact Peter Skellett on 0131 455 4642 or p.skellett@napier.ac.uk.

    Please note that if you are not successful in winning the free place, but are still keen to do the course, you may be eligible to reimbursement of 50% of this programme through Skills Development Scotland 

    www.napier.ac.uk/ei.

    Category: Industry News

  • 03 December 2015

    Drum award for VisitScotland's promotional work on The Ryder Cup 2014

    VisitScotland’s promotional work alongside The 2014 Ryder Cup has been praised by experts after its campaign won the Event Marketing/PR Strategy of the Year Award at the prestigious Drum UK Event Awards this week.

    The award recognises the outstanding efforts of VisitScotland’s campaign to promote Scotland as the Home of Golf and a world-class golf tourism destination alongside the delivery of one of the world’s biggest sporting events.

    The campaign included a partnership with Sky Sports to uncover The Ryder Cup’s best Brilliant Moment, as well as comprehensive global activity which included partnerships with other key broadcasters such as NBC in the US.

    Domestic activity included a Scotland-wide trophy tour, innovative city-centre activity and incorporation of golf and The 2014 Ryder Cup into the VisitScotland Brilliant Moments TV campaign.

    Judges at the glittering awards ceremony at the Grosvenor Square Hotel in London, said the campaign was an “outstanding use of an international sporting event to promote Scotland.”

    Activity relating to The 2014 Ryder Cup was delivered by departments across VisitScotland and represents an outstanding team approach to the delivery of a major campaign. The delivery and staging element of The 2014 Ryder Cup was led by the EventScotland team in VisitScotland’s Events Directorate while Marketing, Corporate Communications, Events & Exhibitions, Content and Partnerships teams all worked collectively to deliver a world-class marketing and PR strategy in the run up to and throughout 2014.

    Alan Grant, VisitScotland’s Senior Golf Manager, said: “This is a tremendous accolade and truly represents the team effort and the collaboration of the whole organisation, which pulled together to capitalise on the staging of a major event.

    “The campaign activity was delivered across a multitude of departments within VisitScotland and constituted a number of unique and innovative ideas.  I’d like to thank and pass my congratulations to everyone who worked on the campaign and contributed to its outstanding success. It was fantastic to see golf at the heart of a cross-organisational campaign and we look forward to continuing to use the world-class golf events regularly staged in Scotland to promote us as a global destination.”

    Click here for a full list of winners.

    Category: Golf

  • 02 December 2015

    Hinterland: a world premiere event to launch Scotland’s Festival of Architecture 2016

     

    In March 2016, Hinterland will mark the official launch of Scotland’s Festival of Architecture with a night-time public art event at St Peter’s seminary, presenting a key highlight of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.Almost 50 years to the day since the seminary opened, Glasgow based public art charity NVA present Hinterland, a world premiere and the inaugural event in the ambitious permanent scheme to reclaim the future of the world-renowned St Peter’s seminary, in Cardross, Argyll & Bute.At night, audiences will walk through the atmospheric semi-ancient woodland to discover the ruined seminary buildings, subtly re-animated with monochromatic light installations and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle performed by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews.Hinterland is a creative collaboration between Angus Farquhar (director), James Johnson (designer), Rory Boyle (composer), University of St Andrews Music Centre and St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, Phil Supple (lighting director), NOVAK Collective (projection design), and from 85A art collective - Dav Bernard, Zephyr Liddell, Robbie Thomson & Pete Sach (installations)The event opens on 18 March 2016 and runs to 27 March 2016.Tickets go on sale 2 December 2015 on www.hinterland.orgAs dusk falls to darkness amongst semi-ancient woodland on the Firth of Clyde, Hinterland invites audiences to experience one of Scotland’s most iconic 20th century buildings transformed using sound and light to symbolise its rise out of monumental ruination into a new creative life. In a historic moment, the wider public will discover the ruins of St Peter’s seminary for the first time, fifty years since the modernist masterpiece was built. Hinterland will subtly re-animate the skeletal concrete superstructure with monochromatic light, projection and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle, performed by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews. As protagonists within a living sculpture the audience is able to move freely through the seminary’s main spaces, encountering the subtle integration of polyphony, projection mapping and light installations playing out on and around the surfaces of the degraded superstructure.Hinterland is the name for both the inaugural event and the planned permanent cultural resource, presenting a public statement about the site’s future use as a national platform for progressive public art, looking towards 2018 when the partially restored buildings are fully opened. The event follows an extensive programme of work to make the building safe for future use led by Reigart Contracts. This transition has revealed stunning architectural details that have been concealed beneath debris for the last 25 years.Hinterland, NVA’s ambitious scheme to reclaim the future of the world-renowned St Peter’s seminary and its surrounding landscape represents the last chance to save what is widely recognised as Scotland’s and the UK’s most important modernist building. Designed and built by Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein of the renowned Gillespie, Kidd and Coia architectural practice, St Peter’s seminary was completed and consecrated in 1966 and went on to win MacMilland and Metzstein the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Gold Medal for architecture. However, after 30 years of decline the buildings are now registered as one of the World Monuments Fund’s most endangered cultural landmarks.A dynamic design team comprising Avanti Architects, ERZ Landscape Architects and NORD Architecture has been appointed to take capital plans for Hinterland forward, adopting a ground-breaking approach to heritage restoration. Combining partial restoration, consolidation of the existing ruin and new designs for a cafe and public hub, the scheme will create a 600-capacity events space, flexible indoor and outdoor teaching and performance spaces, a permanent exhibition, restored woodland paths and visitor facilities which are set to establish Hinterland as a national platform for public art, living heritage and knowledge exchange in the 21st century. Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of NVA said, “Almost 50 years on from the day the seminary opened, we are witnessing the first positive steps towards a new purpose, one that accepts loss and ruination as part of the site’s history creating an evolving arts programme for local people, all of Scotland and visitors attracted to this iconic site from around the world.“We are setting out to ensure that the imaginative re-use of this great late modernist structure reflects the same social dynamism and ambition with which it was conceived, based around a spirit of working progressively to improve what we can and imagining a better world. It is NVA’s intention to preserve a raw sense of otherness, excitement and revelation.“Hinterland will offer everyone a chance to visit the Kilmahew/St Peter’s at a key moment in its evolution and it promises to be the must-see arts event of 2016 leading on to the delivery of an important new creative and heritage resource for progressive public art in Scotland and beyond… You want to be able to say that you were there at the start of what promises to be the most significant arts development for a generation.”Neil Baxter, CEO Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) said, “The architectural significance of the former St Peter's Seminary must be measured in European terms. It is now on the brink of becoming a quite new type of visitor and a national cultural attraction. The impressive spaces and dramatic allure of its contrasting concrete geometries will be a remarkable setting for public art, music and theatre. Those who take up this offer and are among the first visitors to St Peter's new incarnation will have something to tell the grandkids!  2016 is going to be a very special celebration of Scotland’s fantastic architecture and we’re delighted to have ‘Hinterland’ as the first headline event of the Festival of Architecture”Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said: “The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 is a wonderful opportunity for Scotland to showcase its most unique and exciting buildings, projects and events to the world and Hinterland is a fantastic example of this. St Peter’s seminary is a modern building of world significance and NVA’s plans to bring it back to life through such an interesting and innovative project is truly inspirational.  We have no doubt that the Hinterland event will be an important and distinctive highlight of the events programme in 2016, and I am looking very much to witnessing this modernist icon coming to life.”Hinterland is produced by NVA on behalf of Kilmahew / St Peter’s Ltd and is the official launch event of the Festival of Architecture 2016 which is supported by Event Scotland and Creative Scotland. The event is a key highlight of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. Supported by Forestry Commission Scotland, Reigart Demolition and Argyll & Bute Council.HinterlandNear Helensburgh, Argyll & Bute, Scotland18 – 27 March 2016Tickets on sale from 2 December 2015 at www.hinterland.org
    In March 2016, Hinterland will mark the official launch of Scotland’s Festival of Architecture with a night-time public art event at St Peter’s seminary, presenting a key highlight of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
    Almost 50 years to the day since the seminary opened, Glasgow based public art charity NVA present Hinterland, a world premiere and the inaugural event in the ambitious permanent scheme to reclaim the future of the world-renowned St Peter’s seminary, in Cardross, Argyll & Bute.
    At night, audiences will walk through the atmospheric semi-ancient woodland to discover the ruined seminary buildings, subtly re-animated with monochromatic light installations and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle performed by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews.
    Hinterland is a creative collaboration between Angus Farquhar (director), James Johnson (designer), Rory Boyle (composer), University of St Andrews Music Centre and St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, Phil Supple (lighting director), NOVAK Collective (projection design), and from 85A art collective - Dav Bernard, Zephyr Liddell, Robbie Thomson & Pete Sach (installations).
    The event opens on 18 March 2016 and runs to 27 March 2016.
    Tickets go on sale 2 December 2015 on www.hinterland.org
    As dusk falls to darkness amongst semi-ancient woodland on the Firth of Clyde, Hinterland invites audiences to experience one of Scotland’s most iconic 20th century buildings transformed using sound and light to symbolise its rise out of monumental ruination into a new creative life. 
    In a historic moment, the wider public will discover the ruins of St Peter’s seminary for the first time, fifty years since the modernist masterpiece was built. 
    Hinterland will subtly re-animate the skeletal concrete superstructure with monochromatic light, projection and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle, performed by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews. 
    As protagonists within a living sculpture the audience is able to move freely through the seminary’s main spaces, encountering the subtle integration of polyphony, projection mapping and light installations playing out on and around the surfaces of the degraded superstructure.
    Hinterland is the name for both the inaugural event and the planned permanent cultural resource, presenting a public statement about the site’s future use as a national platform for progressive public art, looking towards 2018 when the partially restored buildings are fully opened. 
    The event follows an extensive programme of work to make the building safe for future use led by Reigart Contracts. This transition has revealed stunning architectural details that have been concealed beneath debris for the last 25 years.
    Hinterland, NVA’s ambitious scheme to reclaim the future of the world-renowned St Peter’s seminary and its surrounding landscape represents the last chance to save what is widely recognised as Scotland’s and the UK’s most important modernist building. 
    Designed and built by Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein of the renowned Gillespie, Kidd and Coia architectural practice, St Peter’s seminary was completed and consecrated in 1966 and went on to win MacMilland and Metzstein the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Gold Medal for architecture.
    However, after 30 years of decline the buildings are now registered as one of the World Monuments Fund’s most endangered cultural landmarks.
    A dynamic design team comprising Avanti Architects, ERZ Landscape Architects and NORD Architecture has been appointed to take capital plans for Hinterland forward, adopting a ground-breaking approach to heritage restoration. 
    Combining partial restoration, consolidation of the existing ruin and new designs for a cafe and public hub, the scheme will create a 600-capacity events space, flexible indoor and outdoor teaching and performance spaces, a permanent exhibition, restored woodland paths and visitor facilities which are set to establish Hinterland as a national platform for public art, living heritage and knowledge exchange in the 21st century.
     
    Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of NVA said, “Almost 50 years on from the day the seminary opened, we are witnessing the first positive steps towards a new purpose, one that accepts loss and ruination as part of the site’s history creating an evolving arts programme for local people, all of Scotland and visitors attracted to this iconic site from around the world.
    “We are setting out to ensure that the imaginative re-use of this great late modernist structure reflects the same social dynamism and ambition with which it was conceived, based around a spirit of working progressively to improve what we can and imagining a better world. It is NVA’s intention to preserve a raw sense of otherness, excitement and revelation.“Hinterland will offer everyone a chance to visit the Kilmahew/St Peter’s at a key moment in its evolution and it promises to be the must-see arts event of 2016 leading on to the delivery of an important new creative and heritage resource for progressive public art in Scotland and beyond… You want to be able to say that you were there at the start of what promises to be the most significant arts development for a generation.”
    Neil Baxter, CEO Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) said, “The architectural significance of the former St Peter's Seminary must be measured in European terms. It is now on the brink of becoming a quite new type of visitor and a national cultural attraction. The impressive spaces and dramatic allure of its contrasting concrete geometries will be a remarkable setting for public art, music and theatre. Those who take up this offer and are among the first visitors to St Peter's new incarnation will have something to tell the grandkids!  2016 is going to be a very special celebration of Scotland’s fantastic architecture and we’re delighted to have ‘Hinterland’ as the first headline event of the Festival of Architecture”
    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said: “The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 is a wonderful opportunity for Scotland to showcase its most unique and exciting buildings, projects and events to the world and Hinterland is a fantastic example of this. St Peter’s seminary is a modern building of world significance and NVA’s plans to bring it back to life through such an interesting and innovative project is truly inspirational.  We have no doubt that the Hinterland event will be an important and distinctive highlight of the events programme in 2016, and I am looking very much to witnessing this modernist icon coming to life.”
    Hinterland is produced by NVA on behalf of Kilmahew / St Peter’s Ltd and is the official launch event of the Festival of Architecture 2016 which is supported by Event Scotland and Creative Scotland. The event is a key highlight of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. Supported by Forestry Commission Scotland, Reigart Demolition and Argyll & Bute Council.
    Hinterland
    Near Helensburgh, Argyll & Bute, Scotland
    18 – 27 March 2016
    Tickets on sale from 2 December 2015 at www.hinterland.org
    Hinterland visualisation by James Johnson, coutesy of NVA

    In March 2016, Hinterland will mark the official launch of Scotland’s Festival of Architecture with a night-time public art event at St Peter’s seminary, presenting a key highlight of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

    Almost 50 years to the day since the seminary opened, Glasgow based public art charity NVA present Hinterland, a world premiere and the inaugural event in the ambitious permanent scheme to reclaim the future of the world-renowned St Peter’s seminary, in Cardross, Argyll & Bute.

    At night, audiences will walk through the atmospheric semi-ancient woodland to discover the ruined seminary buildings, subtly re-animated with monochromatic light installations and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle performed by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews.

    Hinterland is a creative collaboration between Angus Farquhar (director), James Johnson (designer), Rory Boyle (composer), University of St Andrews Music Centre and St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, Phil Supple (lighting director), NOVAK Collective (projection design), and from 85A art collective - Dav Bernard, Zephyr Liddell, Robbie Thomson & Pete Sach (installations)

    The event opens on 18 March 2016 and runs to 27 March 2016.

    Tickets go on sale 2 December 2015 on www.hinterland.org


    As dusk falls to darkness amongst semi-ancient woodland on the Firth of Clyde, Hinterland invites audiences to experience one of Scotland’s most iconic 20th century buildings transformed using sound and light to symbolise its rise out of monumental ruination into a new creative life. In a historic moment, the wider public will discover the ruins of St Peter’s seminary for the first time, fifty years since the modernist masterpiece was built.

    Hinterland will subtly re-animate the skeletal concrete superstructure with monochromatic light, projection and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle, performed by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews.

    As protagonists within a living sculpture the audience is able to move freely through the seminary’s main spaces, encountering the subtle integration of polyphony, projection mapping and light installations playing out on and around the surfaces of the degraded superstructure.

    Hinterland is the name for both the inaugural event and the planned permanent cultural resource, presenting a public statement about the site’s future use as a national platform for progressive public art, looking towards 2018 when the partially restored buildings are fully opened.

    The event follows an extensive programme of work to make the building safe for future use led by Reigart Contracts. This transition has revealed stunning architectural details that have been concealed beneath debris for the last 25 years.

    Hinterland, NVA’s ambitious scheme to reclaim the future of the world-renowned St Peter’s seminary and its surrounding landscape represents the last chance to save what is widely recognised as Scotland’s and the UK’s most important modernist building. Designed and built by Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein of the renowned Gillespie, Kidd and Coia architectural practice, St Peter’s seminary was completed and consecrated in 1966 and went on to win MacMilland and Metzstein the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Gold Medal for architecture. However, after 30 years of decline the buildings are now registered as one of the World Monuments Fund’s most endangered cultural landmarks.

    A dynamic design team comprising Avanti Architects, ERZ Landscape Architects and NORD Architecture has been appointed to take capital plans for Hinterland forward, adopting a ground-breaking approach to heritage restoration.

    Combining partial restoration, consolidation of the existing ruin and new designs for a cafe and public hub, the scheme will create a 600-capacity events space, flexible indoor and outdoor teaching and performance spaces, a permanent exhibition, restored woodland paths and visitor facilities which are set to establish Hinterland as a national platform for public art, living heritage and knowledge exchange in the 21st century.


    Angus Farquhar, Creative Director of NVA said, “Almost 50 years on from the day the seminary opened, we are witnessing the first positive steps towards a new purpose, one that accepts loss and ruination as part of the site’s history creating an evolving arts programme for local people, all of Scotland and visitors attracted to this iconic site from around the world.

    “We are setting out to ensure that the imaginative re-use of this great late modernist structure reflects the same social dynamism and ambition with which it was conceived, based around a spirit of working progressively to improve what we can and imagining a better world. It is NVA’s intention to preserve a raw sense of otherness, excitement and revelation.

    “Hinterland will offer everyone a chance to visit the Kilmahew/St Peter’s at a key moment in its evolution and it promises to be the must-see arts event of 2016 leading on to the delivery of an important new creative and heritage resource for progressive public art in Scotland and beyond… You want to be able to say that you were there at the start of what promises to be the most significant arts development for a generation.”


    Neil Baxter, CEO Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) said, “The architectural significance of the former St Peter's Seminary must be measured in European terms. It is now on the brink of becoming a quite new type of visitor and a national cultural attraction. The impressive spaces and dramatic allure of its contrasting concrete geometries will be a remarkable setting for public art, music and theatre. Those who take up this offer and are among the first visitors to St Peter's new incarnation will have something to tell the grandkids!  2016 is going to be a very special celebration of Scotland’s fantastic architecture and we’re delighted to have ‘Hinterland’ as the first headline event of the Festival of Architecture.”


    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said: “The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 is a wonderful opportunity for Scotland to showcase its most unique and exciting buildings, projects and events to the world and Hinterland is a fantastic example of this. St Peter’s seminary is a modern building of world significance and NVA’s plans to bring it back to life through such an interesting and innovative project is truly inspirational.  We have no doubt that the Hinterland event will be an important and distinctive highlight of the events programme in 2016, and I am looking very much to witnessing this modernist icon coming to life.”

     

    Hinterland is produced by NVA on behalf of Kilmahew / St Peter’s Ltd and is the official launch event of the Festival of Architecture 2016 which is supported by Event Scotland and Creative Scotland. The event is a key highlight of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. Supported by Forestry Commission Scotland, Reigart Demolition and Argyll & Bute Council.

     

    Hinterland

    Near Helensburgh, Argyll & Bute, Scotland

    18 – 27 March 2016

    Tickets on sale from 2 December 2015 at www.hinterland.org

     

    Hinterland visualisation by James Johnson, coutesy of NVA

  • 02 December 2015

    RIAS Launches Festival of Architecture 2016

     

    Scotland’s architecture will take centre stage during 2016, as Scots and visitors to Scotland join the most ambitious ever nationwide celebration of the built environment of a single country.  Curated by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), the Festival of Architecture 2016 will deliver a packed programme of events and activities, which will highlight and celebrate Scotland’s world-class architecture.  
    As one of the cornerstones of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, the Festival of Architecture will showcase Scotland’s fantastic buildings, old and new, with over 400 events and exhibitions taking place throughout the length and breadth of Scotland.  With world renowned and celebrated architects such as Robert Adam and Charles Rennie Mackintosh hailing from Scotland and iconic buildings such as the National Gallery, Glasgow School of Art and the Scottish Parliament, there is much to celebrate in this very special year.
    Adrian Wiszniewski Hon FRIAS has redesigned a garden shed for the Ideal Hut Show, which will be unveiled on Wednesday morning at the programme launch. Adrian is one of the renowned 'New Glasgow Boys' and one of Scotland's most internationally recognised contemporary artists. 
    The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) is working with over 90 partners and funders across the public and private sectors to deliver this ambitious project.  
    Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Festival of Architecture will be one of the main attractions in 2016’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design which will shine a light on Scotland’s achievements from the creative industries and fashion to engineering and renewables. The programme that RIAS have curated looks set to offer a host of exciting opportunities for people in every corner of Scotland to access, enjoy and celebrate architecture encouraging us to think about the important role that our built environment plays in every aspect of our lives.”
    David Dunbar PPRIAS, Chair of the Festival of Architecture said: “This national celebration of great architecture will transform Scotland’s relationship with its built environment. It will improve our appreciation and understanding. It will also be great fun.”
    RIAS is grateful to its many supporters and funders and particularly pleased to welcome ScotRail as the official transport partner.
    A list of the headline events and a flavour of the rest of the programme follows below. 
    PROGRAMME INFORMATION
    Headline Events
    ‘Hinterland’, St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross, 18 – 27 of March
    Leading public arts organisation NVA will mark the official launch of the Festival of Architecture in March 2016 by inviting audiences to experience Scotland’s most iconic modernist building, St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, with a night-time public art event exactly 50 years since the iconic building was first opened.  Audiences will walk through the atmospheric, semi-ancient woodland to discover the ruined seminary buildings, subtly re-animated with monochromatic light installations and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle and performed by St. Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews.
    Ideal Hut Show, touring across Scotland, May to September
    We’ll take 20 standard model garden sheds and have them transformed and customised by leading architects, artists, designers and celebrities from Scotland and abroad. The sheds will be on display in venues including Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Glasgow Botanic Gardens.
    Out of Their Heads: Building Portraits of Scottish Architects, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, 11 June – 25 September 
    ‘Out of Their Heads: Building Portraits of Scottish Architects’ will make connections between some of Scotland’s greatest ever architects and their buildings. Portraits, photographic portraits and portrait busts will be displayed alongside representations of the buildings they masterminded.  This prestigious exhibition will run in the Contemporary Gallery on the ground floor of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, one of Scotland’s most popular and accessible venues. Hosted by the National Portrait Gallery, this exhibition is generously supported by the Scottish Futures Trust.
    Pop-up World Cities Expo, Mound Square, Edinburgh, 16 June - 16 July
    An inspiring group of international cities, alongside a selection of Scotland’s cities have been invited to design pavilions to be located in Mound Square.  The exhibition builds on the universal success of temporary pavilions and the popularity of present-day pop-ups. Architects have risen to the challenge of creating innovative and engaging pop-up designs that will capture the public’s imagination.
    Adventures in Space, The Lighthouse, Glasgow, July - September
    Journey into the heart of spectacular science fiction cities created for films such as Flash Gordon, Blade Runner and The Matrix. This innovative exhibition, being held in The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design and the City, will be curated by leading architect and educationalist, David Reat. 
    Scotstyle, across Scotland, throughout 2016
    Celebrating 100 years of the best of Scottish Architecture, Scotstyle features ten buildings from each decade of the 100 years from 1916-2015.  The exhibition of photographs of the top 100 buildings will tour Scotland throughout 2016. The selection of the 100 buildings will be from public nomination, informed by an expert panel. The list will be announced on the 7 December 2015.
    The Festival will also feature a wide variety of events and exhibitions across Scotland that will engage everyone, from families to students, design and architecture lovers, schools, and arts and heritage enthusiasts.
    BUILD IT – Adventures with LEGO® bricks
    National Museums Scotland 
    Edinburgh; 29 January - 17 April 2016
    A programme of activities to accompany a display of Lego® models in the Grand Gallery, including opportunities to design your own buildings and see the creation of a model of the National Museum.
    Notes from Scotland
    Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    Across Scotland; 1 December 2015 - 1 October 2016
    Notes from Scotland is a national young composers competition from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, who are inviting 12 - 18 year olds to submit a short piece of music inspired by an example of the country’s greatest contemporary architecture.
    Grey Gardens
    Dundee Contemporary Arts
    Dundee; 27 February - 1 May 2016
    An exhibition addressing art and architecture inspired by modernity and nature. Works by Scotland-based architects will be presented alongside artists including Guido Guidi, Martin Boyce and Neville Rae.
    HOME: 190th RSA Annual Exhibition 
    The Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture 
    Edinburgh; 16 April - 25 May 2016
    Twenty four interpretations of the notion of ‘HOME’ from distinguished Scottish and international architects. Includes innovative completed houses and working ideas for yet-to-be-realised projects.
    Glasgow 1980 Re-Take
    Glasgow Institute of Architects 
    Glasgow; 10 - 31 March 2016
    A documentary that examines and responds to the claims and predictions made in the 1971 film ‘Glasgow 1980’ by Oscar Marzaroli. 
    Coast to Coast Journey
    RIAS Highlands and Islands Chapter
    Fort William to Inverness; 1 - 31 August 2016
    A customised architectural craft taken along the Caledonian Canal and playing host to changing art work along the way.
    From the Thistles to the Castle
    Artlink Central + ice cream architecture
    Stirling; 1 - 30 September 2016
    Stirling Castle and the city centre shopping area will be the start and end of a trail of architectural activity that will occupy spaces along the route from the city centre to the Castle creating inventions and opportunities to participate.
    For more information on the Festival of Architecture go to www.foa2016.com

    Scotland’s architecture will take centre stage during 2016, as Scots and visitors to Scotland join the most ambitious ever nationwide celebration of the built environment of a single country.  

    Curated by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), the Festival of Architecture 2016 will deliver a packed programme of events and activities, which will highlight and celebrate Scotland’s world-class architecture.  

    As one of the cornerstones of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, the Festival of Architecture will showcase Scotland’s fantastic buildings, old and new, with over 400 events and exhibitions taking place throughout the length and breadth of Scotland.  

    With world renowned and celebrated architects such as Robert Adam and Charles Rennie Mackintosh hailing from Scotland and iconic buildings such as the National Gallery, Glasgow School of Art and the Scottish Parliament, there is much to celebrate in this very special year.

    Adrian Wiszniewski Hon FRIAS has redesigned a garden shed for the Ideal Hut Show, which will be unveiled on Wednesday morning at the programme launch. Adrian is one of the renowned 'New Glasgow Boys' and one of Scotland's most internationally recognised contemporary artists. 

    The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) is working with over 90 partners and funders across the public and private sectors to deliver this ambitious project.  

     

    Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

     “The Festival of Architecture will be one of the main attractions in 2016’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design which will shine a light on Scotland’s achievements from the creative industries and fashion to engineering and renewables. The programme that RIAS have curated looks set to offer a host of exciting opportunities for people in every corner of Scotland to access, enjoy and celebrate architecture encouraging us to think about the important role that our built environment plays in every aspect of our lives.”

     

    David Dunbar PPRIAS, Chair of the Festival of Architecture said:

    “This national celebration of great architecture will transform Scotland’s relationship with its built environment. It will improve our appreciation and understanding. It will also be great fun.”

     

    RIAS is grateful to its many supporters and funders and particularly pleased to welcome ScotRail as the official transport partner.

     

    A list of the headline events and a flavour of the rest of the programme follows below. 

    PROGRAMME INFORMATION


    Headline Events

     

    ‘Hinterland’, St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross, 18 – 27 of March

    Leading public arts organisation NVA will mark the official launch of the Festival of Architecture in March 2016 by inviting audiences to experience Scotland’s most iconic modernist building, St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, with a night-time public art event exactly 50 years since the iconic building was first opened.

    Audiences will walk through the atmospheric, semi-ancient woodland to discover the ruined seminary buildings, subtly re-animated with monochromatic light installations and a specially commissioned choral work by composer Rory Boyle and performed by St. Salvator’s Chapel Choir from the University of St Andrews.

     

    Ideal Hut Show, touring across Scotland, May to September

    We’ll take 20 standard model garden sheds and have them transformed and customised by leading architects, artists, designers and celebrities from Scotland and abroad. The sheds will be on display in venues including Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Glasgow Botanic Gardens.

     

    Out of Their Heads: Building Portraits of Scottish Architects, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, 11 June – 25 September 

    ‘Out of Their Heads: Building Portraits of Scottish Architects’ will make connections between some of Scotland’s greatest ever architects and their buildings. Portraits, photographic portraits and portrait busts will be displayed alongside representations of the buildings they masterminded.  This prestigious exhibition will run in the Contemporary Gallery on the ground floor of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, one of Scotland’s most popular and accessible venues. Hosted by the National Portrait Gallery, this exhibition is generously supported by the Scottish Futures Trust.

     

    Pop-up World Cities Expo, Mound Square, Edinburgh, 16 June - 16 July

    An inspiring group of international cities, alongside a selection of Scotland’s cities have been invited to design pavilions to be located in Mound Square.  The exhibition builds on the universal success of temporary pavilions and the popularity of present-day pop-ups. Architects have risen to the challenge of creating innovative and engaging pop-up designs that will capture the public’s imagination.

     

    Adventures in Space, The Lighthouse, Glasgow, July - September

    Journey into the heart of spectacular science fiction cities created for films such as Flash Gordon, Blade Runner and The Matrix. This innovative exhibition, being held in The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design and the City, will be curated by leading architect and educationalist, David Reat. 

     

    Scotstyle, across Scotland, throughout 2016

    Celebrating 100 years of the best of Scottish Architecture, Scotstyle features ten buildings from each decade of the 100 years from 1916-2015.  The exhibition of photographs of the top 100 buildings will tour Scotland throughout 2016. The selection of the 100 buildings will be from public nomination, informed by an expert panel. The list will be announced on the 7 December 2015.

     

    The Festival will also feature a wide variety of events and exhibitions across Scotland that will engage everyone, from families to students, design and architecture lovers, schools, and arts and heritage enthusiasts.

     

    BUILD IT – Adventures with LEGO® bricks

    National Museums Scotland Edinburgh; 29 January - 17 April 2016

    A programme of activities to accompany a display of Lego® models in the Grand Gallery, including opportunities to design your own buildings and see the creation of a model of the National Museum.

     

    Notes from Scotland

    Royal Scottish National Orchestra

    Across Scotland; 1 December 2015 - 1 October 2016

    Notes from Scotland is a national young composers competition from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, who are inviting 12 - 18 year olds to submit a short piece of music inspired by an example of the country’s greatest contemporary architecture.

     

    Grey Gardens

    Dundee Contemporary Arts

    Dundee; 27 February - 1 May 2016

    An exhibition addressing art and architecture inspired by modernity and nature. Works by Scotland-based architects will be presented alongside artists including Guido Guidi, Martin Boyce and Neville Rae.

     

    HOME: 190th RSA Annual Exhibition 

    The Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture 

    Edinburgh; 16 April - 25 May 2016

    Twenty four interpretations of the notion of ‘HOME’ from distinguished Scottish and international architects. Includes innovative completed houses and working ideas for yet-to-be-realised projects.

     

    Glasgow 1980 Re-Take

    Glasgow Institute of Architects Glasgow; 10 - 31 March 2016

    A documentary that examines and responds to the claims and predictions made in the 1971 film ‘Glasgow 1980’ by Oscar Marzaroli. 

     

    Coast to Coast Journey

    RIAS Highlands and Islands Chapter

    Fort William to Inverness; 1 - 31 August 2016

    A customised architectural craft taken along the Caledonian Canal and playing host to changing art work along the way.


    From the Thistles to the Castle

    Artlink Central + ice cream architecture

    Stirling; 1 - 30 September 2016

    Stirling Castle and the city centre shopping area will be the start and end of a trail of architectural activity that will occupy spaces along the route from the city centre to the Castle creating inventions and opportunities to participate.

     

    For more information on the Festival of Architecture go to www.foa2016.com

     

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 02 December 2015

    Welcome 2016 at Helix Park with Fire and Light!

    Visit Helix Park on 1st January 2016 and embrace the New Year with something a little different!

    For this new event bring friends and family with you and blow the cobwebs away with a crisp New Year's Day walk on the Helix.

    As dusk approaches, join the team on the Great Lawn as they light the fires to bid farewell to 2015 and welcome 2016, when Scotland will celebrate innovation, architecture and design.

    Falkirk Community Trust has received support from the Scotland’s Winter Festivals event programme, which is managed by EventScotland on behalf of Scottish Government, to bring another option to the Falkirk area with a daytime, family friendly event which will take place on the afternoon of the 1st January.

    Having already sold 1000 tickets, the event is clearly proving popular and will hopefully become part of Falkirk’s Festive celebrations in the future!

    Ian Scott, Chairman of Falkirk Community Trust, said: “We are looking forward to this new event immensely, and hope the people of Falkirk - and beyond – will join us on the 1st January to start 2016 with a shared optimism and new resolutions.”

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: "Helix Park, flanked by the iconic Kelpies, is the perfect place to celebrate the start of a new year with family and friends . The Fire and Light event will act as the starting point for the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design which will shine a light on Scotland’s achievements.

    “Scotland has a great story to tell and throughout 2016 we’ll do just that – from the spectacular Falkirk Wheel, to the Forth bridges, the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Glasgow School of Art to the Scottish Parliament.”

    Liz Buchanan, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director said: “The Fire & Light event is a celebration both of a great year past and a great one ahead for The Helix and the magnificent Kelpies. It will cap a fantastic 2015 for our partners in Falkirk, which has seen them exceed all expectations by drawing huge numbers of visitors, and that success will only continue following the opening last month of the excellent new Helix Visitor Centre. The Kelpies are sure to be among the star attractions of our forthcoming Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016, and I can’t think of a better backdrop to begin the year than this spectacular event.”

    In days gone by (and sometimes, still today!), fire is used in rituals to cleanse the past and mark the start of a new beginning, so we invite you to join with us in celebrating the past whilst embracing the future.

    3:00pm - 5:00pm, Friday 1st January 2016

    Family ticket £10

    Adults £3.50

    Concession/Children £2.50

    Parking £5

    Book online – visit www.thehelix.co.uk for more information, or ring the box office on 01324 506850 (If you are a blue badge holder please ring on 01324 506850)

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 25 November 2015

    Glasgow International launches Kickstarter campaign to fund a versatile social club for the next Festival

    Today, Glasgow International launches their campaign to raise £25,000 to create a brand new project for the next festival.  This additional project will be an essential and versatile project room for the next Glasgow International Festival (8 – 25 April 2016), funded through Kickstarter, the online fundraising platform for creative projects. This social space will be designed by leading Glasgow based designers and will be a venue for new performances, events and screenings, as well as a forum for talks and discussions. The space will be a home to the Glasgow International education programme and provide a place for visitors, artists and curators to socialise, and discuss what they have seen each day of the festival. The funds raised by the Kickstarter campaign will be essential to the creation of this social space and its public programme.

     Our space will be created by Scottish-Italian designer Gabriella Marcella, and furniture designer Damian Kruse, reflecting the aims of the festival to collaborate with artists and arts organisations, commission new and ambitious work, and contribute to an essential and critical contemporary art discussion. The space will also represent a central point for visitors to GI 2016 and will house information on the Festival and a diverse schedule of artist talks, performances, workshops, lectures, live music, film screenings and parties. The confirmed line up of events includes:

     Diverse and intimate talks by some of the leading international and British artists in the Director's Programme, including Alexandra Bircken, Sheila Hicks, Lawrence Lek, Aaron Angell, Helen Johnson, Tamara Henderson and Claire Barclay, in conversation with a variety of curators, academics and fellow artists.

     The unique event Mega Hammer, which will brings together a mobile group of performers with shared sensibilities, including Turner Prize nominated artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Jedrzej Cichosz, Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich.

    A talk and workshop by the group of socially-engaged artists, 'Open Jar Collective', based on their project for Glasgow International 2016, Soil City: A Land Rights Research Lab.

     Music performances by a variety of Glasgow-based musicians and artists, including presentations by JD Twitch (Optimo) on his latest compilation about overlooked post-punk 7-inch records, artist-band Fallopé and the Tubes, and a live performance organised by Alexander Storey Gordon to accompany his Don Levy exhibition.

     The full programme is still to be confirmed and further details will be announced in the coming weeks. For those unable to attend the Festival next year, Glasgow International hopes to post recordings and images of the events on their website to make some of this content available to all.

     For all the pledges received, Glasgow International is offering a range of rewards as ‘thank-yous’ for supporting the Festival. These include unique t-shirts and bags designed by Gabriella Marcella, limited edition photographs by artist Tessa Lynch, risograph workshops with Gabriella Marcella, limited edition prints by Glasgow-based artist Michael Fullerton, and a unique work by Turner Prize-nominated artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd amongst others. For full information on the Glasgow International Social Club, the Kickstarter campaign, the rewards and how to get involved, please visit the Kickstarter website here.

    Category: International Events

  • 19 November 2015

    TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships website launched

    BADMINTONscotland and its key partners today took a major step towards the 2017 TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships with the launch of the official tournament website.

     The Badminton World Championships will be returning to Glasgow from 21-27 August 2017 and will be staged at the Emirates Arena, the Commonwealth Games badminton venue which is this week also hosting the Scottish Open Grand Prix.

     Many of the world’s best players will converge on the Emirates this week but the tournament also offers the opportunity for badminton fans attending the Grand Prix to learn more about the World Championships and how to keep in touch with ticketing and tournament information in the countdown to the big event.

     The website www.glasgow2017.com will give details about the Championships and its history, dating back to the first Worlds in 1977, information about the city of Glasgow and information about the event partners.

     It will also have a page where fans can register their details to be kept up to date with important information and priority access to tickets.

     At the same time the World Championships Twitter feed www.twitter.com/2017BWC and Facebook page www.facebook.com/2017BWC will go live to let fans interact through social media channels.

     Scotland have enjoyed plenty of major success in recent years with Imogen Bankier winning a silver medal with England’s Chris Adcock at the 2011 World Championships at Wembley and a bronze medal with Robert Blair at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the Emirates Arena. Kirsty Gilmour scooped a silver medal at Glasgow 2014 and will doubtless lead the Scotland challenge in 2017.

     Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of BADMINTONscotland, said: “We have a great track record for major events and this week’s Scottish Open provides the ideal opportunity to engage with our fans and learn from them what they are expecting when the World Championships return to the city.

     “We have just 21 months to prepare and we aim to make the 2017 event just as successful as our 1997 and 2007 world events. In fact, we will be going all out to make it even better for the fans who will be coming to Glasgow from home and abroad.”

     Councillor Archie Graham, the Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Glasgow is one of the world’s leading sports cities and we have a recently delivered some outstanding sporting events. Following the best ever Commonwealth Games, Davis Cup ties and the hugely successful World Gymnastics Championships, we’re more than up for the challenge of delivering on both this week’s Scottish Open and the Badminton World Championships in 2017.”

     Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The new TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships website will provide an invaluable tool for fans and we are delighted to support its development. Thousands of spectators are expected to travel to the Emirates during the championships, the pinnacle of competitive badminton outside of the Olympics, and the new website will not only help them plan their journey, but to also make the most of their time in Scotland.”Tickets are still available for this week’s Scottish Open Grand Prix. You can buy them on the door at the Emirates Arena or go to www.badmintonscotland.org.uk for more details. Don’t forget, by attending the Grand Prix you will get the chance to learn more about the TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships.

    Category: International Events

  • 19 November 2015

    Iconic raincoat gets ready to rain supreme in 2016 as VisitScotland launches Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

    It is an invention which has been at the heart of tourism in Scotland for decades, keeping visitors dry through many a “Scottish summer.”

    And today, VisitScotland paid homage to the iconic Mackintosh coat (invented by Scottish chemist, Charles Macintosh in 1823) while launching the events, activities and inspiration that will make up the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016.

    From festivals of light, to festivals of architecture, luminous origami birds to Harris Tweed celebrations, digital gaming to Renaissance fashion, a stunning variety of events will take place the length and breadth of the country during 2016.  Highlights include:

    Clo Mor Festival of Harris Tweed (Outer Hebrides)

    In Vogue – a fashion show of the centuries (Stirling Castle)

    Luminous Birds – art installations encouraging communities to celebrate their surroundings (Aberdeen, Dumfries & Galloway, Glasgow)

    Craft Scotland – Meet Your Maker (Scotland-wide)

    Edinburgh International Science Festival – including a Tiny Home Trail (Edinburgh)

    World Canals Public Programme (Highlands)

    Building Blocks at Glasgow School of Art (Glasgow)

    SPECTRA – Festival of Light (Aberdeen)

    Keyframes – involving the RSNO (Edinburgh)

    Ignite – celebration of creativity in our City of Design (Dundee)

     The programme of 28 events announced today with a funding value of £265,350 join the Festival of Architecture in an exciting line up that will shine a spotlight on some of Scotland’s greatest assets, icons and hidden gems throughout the year.  

     Running throughout 2016, with over 400 events and exhibitions taking place throughout the length and breadth of Scotland, the Festival of Architecture is coordinated by The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).   Announced in July, the Festival will receive £300,000 from the Scottish Government and £100,000 from VisitScotland.

     Leading public arts organisation NVA will mark the official launch of the Festival of Architecture in March 2016 by inviting audiences to experience Scotland’s greatest modernist building, St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, with a night-time public art event exactly 50 years since the iconic building was first opened.

     The event, which has secured £85,000 from VisitScotland and £50,000 from the Scottish Government will be a key highlight of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design celebrations. It will give audiences a unique opportunity to discover one of Europe’s most important buildings ahead of its reclamation as an international platform for arts and heritage set to open in 2018. 

     In addition to the funded events programme announced today, there will also be a wide range of partnership events celebrating the three themes including Architecture and Design Scotland’s ‘Say Hello to Architecture’ programme, Edinburgh International Fashion Festival, and Doors Open Day

     VisitScotland is also putting innovation at the heart of its wider activity for 2016. In June, young creatives in Scotland were invited to design the official logo used to promote the year across domestic and international marketing campaigns.  The organisation is also working with Interface to challenge teams from Higher and Further Education to create an innovative digital resource that will be at the heart of Scotland’s marketing during 2016.

     Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

     “The exciting programme for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design announced today will showcase Scotland’s greatest contemporary assets, innovative icons and hidden architectural gems, inspiring visitors and people from all over Scotland to get involved.

     “From Styling the Nation through to the Festival of Architecture, these events - which take place in every corner of this country - will demonstrate our track record of excellence in innovation and design.”

     Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:

     “With this new themed year we have the opportunity to put Scotland on the map in a new and exciting way, catching the attention of visitors old and new, positioning Scotland as a mix of traditional and cutting-edge at the same time.

     “Scotland is a nation of pioneers, home to ground-breaking scientists, philosophers, engineers and architects for hundreds of years.  From the Forth Rail Bridge to Dolly the Sheep, the telephone to the television, Charles Rennie Mackintosh to Andy Scott, and Harris Tweed to the iconic Mackintosh raincoat, Scotland’s innovative past, present and future continue to inspire and influence audiences across the globe, shaping the modern world we live in today.

     “The events planned for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 diverse, interesting and inspiring and we look forward to what we hope will be a ground-breaking year for tourism.”

     Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will begin on 1 January 2016.  For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/IAD2016

    Join the conversation #IAD2016

    Category: Innovation, Architecture and Design News

  • 17 November 2015

    Gilmour hoping for another Emirates fan-fare!

    Kirsty Gilmour will be looking for a ranking boost when she spearheads the home challenge at this week’s Scottish Open Grand Prix.

     The 22-year-old Hamilton star returns to the scene of her Commonwealth Games silver medal success when she goes into action on Thursday at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.

     Gilmour is already back in the world’s top 20 but must wait until the end of Wednesday’s qualifying rounds at this Badminton World Federation Grand Prix event to see who she faces in her opening contest. Gilmour is seeded to face last year’s runner-up Beatriz Corrales of Spain in the final.

     The leading GB women’s singles player in the Race to Rio is looking to build on her recent victories at the Forza Prague and Yonex Dutch Opens and her semi-final performance at the Bitburger Grand Prix Gold and runners-up spot at the Belgian International events over the last two months as she steps up her push to seal her Olympic place.

     After Glasgow, she will head to Orlando in Florida for next month’s Yonex US Open and Mexico City Grand Prix to round off her year.

     Badminton fans will know Gilmour relishes the challenge at the Emirates. “I love playing in front of a passionate home crowd,” she said today. “I reached the final of the Scottish Open two years ago and the semi-finals last year. I also had tremendous support during the Commonwealth Games and I am looking forward to repaying that tremendous support this week by continuing my recent good run of form.”

     Scotland’s other big hopes are in the men’s doubles when the Edinburgh-Glasgow pairing of Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh will look to capitalise on their recent tournament success at the Yonex Hungarian International to add to their Iceland victory at the start of the year. That has lifted them into the world’s top 60 and climbing.

     BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said: “We are delighted with the progress Kirsty, Martin and Patrick have made but this week at the Open there is a great opportunity for badminton fans to see the new generation of Scotland players who are falling in the footsteps of these three established players.”

     Scotland have experienced Kieran Merrilees, Matthew Carder and Ben Torrance in the main draw of the men’s singles while Holly Newall and Julie MacPherson are in the qualifying and aiming to join Gilmour in the main draw of the women’s singles.

     Robert Blair, the 2013 and 2014 mixed doubles winner and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, again partners Adam Hall in the men’s doubles with Scotland boasting three pairs in the main draw of both level doubles events. The Scots also have two pairs in the main draw of the mixed doubles.

     A total of 278 players from 37 nations entered the Scottish Open Grand Prix and that includes the 37 players who form the home challenge.

     Tickets for the Scottish Open Grand Prix are still available at the Emirates Arena.

     Play starts on Wednesday with the tournament running until Sunday when there will be two finals in the morning session and three in the afternoon session.

     For more information go to www.tournamentsoftware.com

    Category: International Events

  • 12 November 2015

    An Lanntair announce 2015 Hogmanay celebrations with Willie Campbell and Breabach

    An Lanntair is delighted to welcome back Willie Campbell and friends in what promises to be another spectacular night of entertainment to bring in the New Year.

    Following the success of last year’s sell out show, which showcased the huge variety of local musical talent, he will once more take to the stage with a new line up of guest musicians for an exclusive one off performance.

    An Lanntair’s Hogmanay celebrations are supported as part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals, a programme of events funded by Scottish Government and managed by VisitScotland.

    Willie, along with members of his band The Open Day Rotation, will be joined by Colin MacLeod, Jane Hepburn, and Iain “Spanish” Mackay, and tickets for this unique event are now much sought after. 

    Alex Macdonald, An Lanntair’s Head of Performing Arts and the creator of Bliadhna Mhath Ur! said:

    “We are really grateful to the Winter Festivals programme for the continued support of our Hogmanay celebrations. New Year is a time for people to return to the islands and be with family, and we have been really pleased at the community’s response to us offering them activities which help us celebrate it together.” 

    And continuing the theme of returning home for New Year, piper James Mackenzie will be heading to Lewis as part of traditional band Breabach, who can also be seen at An Lanntair on Saturday 2nd January.

    Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Scotland is famous for its outstanding Hogmanay celebrations. The occasion provides a great opportunity for families and friends to come together to sample the very best of what Scotland has to offer from traditional and contemporary music and arts, to food and drink. 

    “An Lanntair’s Hogmanay celebrations are part of the Scottish Government's Winter Festivals programme, which has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country. Events will run across Scotland from the lead up to St Andrew's Day, through Hogmanay, to Burns Night, showcasing Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage."

    Alan Mackenzie, VisitScotland Islands Manager said: “We would hope these Hogmanay celebrations will attract visitors who are keen to experience the unique, traditional and contemporary celebrations in Stornoway. An Lanntair has a fantastic line-up of music and entertainment that is sure to delight the whole family and give our visitors a chance to celebrate the beginning of 2016, the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, in style.”

    Join us for this very special celebration of Hogmanay and bring in 2016 in style

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 12 November 2015

    GBBO Star Flora Launches this Weekend's Foodies Festival Christmas Edinburgh at the EICC

    GBBO star Flora and top chefs, vegan treats in the Artisan Christmas Market, Champagne Ski Bar and a Scottish Gin Theatre are just some of the festive features food-lovers can look forward to as Foodies Festival launches its winter edition - Foodies Festival Christmas – at Edinburgh’s EICC 13-15th November.

    Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre will be transformed into a spectacular culinary wonderland this weekend, 13-15th November, as Foodies Festival Christmas brings Scotland’s top chefs, award-winning artisan producers and international street food together under one roof for a fabulous festive feast. Acclaimed

    chefs from across Scotland swap their aprons for Santa hats in the Chefs Theatre, sharing their favourite recipes and top tips to help visitors create the perfect Christmas banquet. Confirmed chefs include:

    Flora Shedden – Great British Bake Off favourite

    Jamie Scott - MasterChef The Professionals Winner 2014

    Scott Davies - The Three Chimneys

    Hardeep Singh Kohli - V Deep

    Tony Rodd - MasterChef Finalist 2015

    Brian Grigor - Number One at The Balmoral (Michelin starred)

    Peter McKenna – The Gannet (2015 AA Scottish Restaurant of The Year)

    Neil Forbes - Cafe St Honore

    Mark Greenaway - Restaurant Mark Greenaway

    Fraser Allen - The Pompadour

    Gordon Craig – The Field

    Romy Gill - Romy's Kitchen

    Rosario Sartore - Laconda de Gusti

    Three Sisters Bake

    Ian Pirrie – Edinburgh School of Food & Wine

    An Artisan Christmas Market boasts over 150 of Scotland's finest producers selling locally produced cheeses, chutneys, chocolates, sauces and jams, biscuits and crackers, cakes, puddings and more for visitors to sample and shop from; perfect for picking-up those little extras that make Christmas extra tasty and special.

    A Vegan area in the Christmas Market offers a range of delicious and healthy vegan, veggie and gluten-free treats for visitors to indulge in including desserts, street food, bakes, condiments, beers, wines and more.

    Scottish Gin Theatre - Gin lovers will rejoice as Edinburgh's gin producers, Daffy's, Pickering's and Edinburgh Gin, host daily Christmas Gin Cocktail masterclasses. Wine experts Charles Metcalfe and Neil Philips are also on-hand helping visitors match wines with Christmas flavours in the Drinks Theatre and beer expert Melissa Cole champions craft beers as an alternative to wine and champagne this Christmas in masterclasses with local brewers.

    Other features of the festival include a Street Food Village where visitors can feast of flavours from around the world, a Cake & Bake Theatre hosted by Scotland's top bakers and chocolatiers, and an accompanying Pudding Hall - a haven of sweet treats selling festive favourites such as eggnog and mulled wine, mince pies, Christmas cakes, marzipan bonbons and macaroons.

    A Baking Competition invites home bakers to bring their cakes along to the festival before 1pm on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th November with the chance to be crowned ‘Edinburgh Showstopper Champion’.

    While parents shop and enjoy a chilled glass of bubbly from the Champagne Ski Bar, children under 12 can enrol in the Elf Cookery School with Kiddy Cook, where they can bake and decorate snowballs, gingerbread men, cookies and cupcakes to leave out for Santa.

    Just like Christmas day there is lots of post-feasting fun to be had with live music, local choirs singing carols and entertainment throughout the day. Visitors can enter the Chilly-Eating Competition (the winter version of the famous chilli contest), register their team to compete in the Christmas Bumper Quiz and have a group Christmas jumper picture taken in the photo booth.

    Tickets:

    Tickets are on sale now and are available at www.foodiesfestival.com or by calling 0844 995 1111

    Friday adult day ticket £13.00 (£11.00 concession)

    Saturday or Sunday adult day ticket £15.00 (£13.00 concession)

    3-day adult ticket £20.00 (£16.00 concession)

    Friday VIP ticket £35.00

    Saturday or Sunday VIP ticket £38.00

    VIP tickets include a welcome glass of bubbly, access to the VIP lounge with private bar and refreshments throughout the day, priority entry to food and drink masterclasses, a festive goody bag and a showguide.

    All children aged 12 and under go free to all Foodies Festivals when accompanied by an adult.

    Open times:

    Friday 13th November: 5pm – 9pm

    Saturday 14th November: 10am – 6pm

    Sunday 15th November: 10am – 5pm

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 12 November 2015

    MO FARAH TO COMPETE AT GLASGOW INDOOR GRAND PRIX

    Britain’s double Olympic and five-time world champion Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar) is to compete at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday 20 February.

     The Grand Prix meeting is the best indoor athletics meeting in the world and will be staged at the Emirates Arena for the first time, following its move from Birmingham last year.

     With 100 days to go until the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix, British Athletics has confirmed that Farah will compete in the 3000m, likely to be his only indoor race of 2016.

     The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is the best one-day athletics meeting to ever be held in Scotland and will feature many of the world’s best athletes. It will provide a crucial platform for Mo Farah as he aims to win the 5,000m and 10,000m titles at the Olympic Games in Rio next summer.

     He said: “2016 is another massive year for me, and the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be a key part of that. The 3000m in Glasgow is likely to be my only indoor race of 2016 and I want to make it a good one. It will give a good indication of how my training is going and will hopefully set me up for a successful outdoor season.”

     The 32 year old previously competed indoors in Glasgow at Kelvin Hall in 2009 and 2012 at the Glasgow International Match, setting what was then a British 3000m record of 7:40.99 in 2009 and a 1500m personal best of 3:39.03 in 2012.

     He is excited about the prospect of returning to the Scottish city and running at the Emirates Arena for the first time.

     He continued: “I haven’t competed in Glasgow since 2012 and it will be great to be back. The Scottish crowd love athletics and I’m sure they will give great support to the athletes.”

    The Indoor Grand Prix, ranked as the number one indoor event in the world for the past ten years, will be held in Glasgow for the first time in 2016 as the city alternates hosting the event with Birmingham up to 2020.

    Scotland’s Commonwealth and European 800m medallist Lynsey Sharp (Rana Reider) believes that Farah’s appearance at the Indoor Grand Prix is great news for Glasgow, particularly with the city bidding to host the 2019 European Indoor Championships.

    She said: “Mo Farah running at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is fantastic news for Scotland. He is one of the biggest stars in sport and I am sure that his participation in this world class event will really help create an amazing atmosphere at the Emirates Arena. The Scottish public always support athletics passionately and I'm sure that this event will be one of the best that Scotland has ever seen. It will provide a taste of what the country can expect if Glasgow is fortunate enough to be chosen as the host city for the 2019 European Indoor Championships. The honour of staging this event - and hopefully 2019 European Indoor Championships - is wonderful for Scotland. We are a nation who loves athletics.”

    Niels de Vos, Chief Executive of British Athletics, said: “Mo Farah is one of the biggest stars in British sport. The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will be the best single day of athletics ever staged in Scotland and we are thrilled that Mo will be taking part. The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix is a vital event for British athletes as they prepare for the World Indoor Championships in Portland in March and provides the start of the countdown to the Rio Olympic Games. This is Scotland’s chance to support the British athletes as they prepare to take on the world”.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix will raise the curtain on a landmark year for athletics and signals the start of the final countdown to Rio 2016. Fans at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena will delight in watching Mo Farah, alongside a world-class cast of international athletes, begin final preparations for the Olympics and are sure to be treated to a number of sensational performances.”

     

    For tickets to the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix please visit www.britishathletics.org.uk

    Category: International Events

  • 11 November 2015

    Kim Gordon to present Turner Prize 2015 award

    Artist, musician and songwriter Kim Gordon will present the award for Turner Prize 2015. 

    The winner of the Prize will be announced at an awards ceremony at Tramway, Glasgow, on Monday 7 December 2015 which will be broadcast live to the public on Channel 4 from 7.30pm.

    Musician, artist, and writer Kim Gordon is a founding member of the band Sonic Youth and a current member, with Bill Nace, of the guitar duo Body/Head. She is the author of Is It My Body? Selected Texts (Sternberg Press, 2014), and her memoir Girl in a Band was released this past February by Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. This year, her artwork was the subject of solo exhibitions at the Benaki Museum in Athens and 303 Gallery in New York.

    The Turner Prize 2015 exhibition runs until 17 January 2016 and features work by the four nominated artists (in alphabetical order): Assemble; Bonnie Camplin; Janice Kerbel and Nicole Wermers.

    The Turner Prize is presented annually to a British artist under fifty years old who has exhibited outstanding work in the UK the previous year. This is the first time the UK’s most prestigious arts prize has been presented in Scotland.

    Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life, said:

    “It is fantastic that we will be welcoming Kim Gordon to Tramway this December, when she will take centre stage at the awards ceremony. Who the winner will be is a fascinating part of the debate which visitors to the exhibition are engaging in every day.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:

    “As one of the world’s most prestigious visual arts awards, it is fitting that Kim Gordon, someone who has earned widespread acclaim as both a musician and artist, has been chosen to present the Turner Prize in 2015. Glasgow’s Tramway has provided the perfect stage for this year’s exhibition and we look forward to seeing the winner crowned there on December 7.”

    Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts, Creative Scotland, said:

    “Kim Gordon has been at the cutting edge of culture for many years and we are delighted to welcome her to Scotland to present this prestigious contemporary art prize.  Glasgow’s Tramway is the ideal setting for Scotland’s first hosting of the exhibition and award ceremony.  Tramway is one of many art-spaces across Scotland that continues to make a significant contribution to the country's reputation as an international centre of excellence for the visual arts.”

  • 11 November 2015

    Funding puts Highland cycle events into gear for 2016

    Two major cycling events in the Highlands which attract thousands of cyclists to the region have been given a combined financial boost of £16,400 for 2016.

     The funding has been awarded by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s events directorate. Etape Loch Ness has been given £10,900 which will be put towards marketing and social media campaigns. Strathpuffer 24 has received £5,500 to enhance onsite facilities for spectators and competitors and to contribute towards a website upgrade.

     Etape Loch Ness is a cycle sportive following a 360 degree 66-mile/106km route on closed roads around Loch Ness starting and finishing in Inverness.  The 2015 event, in April, received 3,328 entries. The event attracts a wide range of cyclists including elite and club cyclists, seasoned non-club cyclists, amateur cyclists, newcomers to road cycling and charity fundraisers looking for a new challenge.

     Building on the success of the inaugural event, the organisers’ mission is to grow and develop the Etape Loch Ness to be recognised as one of the UK’s leading cycle sportives.

     Its focus will be on delivering a quality, memorable and safe experience, increasing participant numbers, developing the event’s national appeal, developing stakeholder and sponsor investment, fostering good community relations, increasing economic impact to the local area, providing a platform for charity fundraising, delivering a targeted PR and marketing plan and increasing national media coverage.

     The Strathpuffer is a winter 24-hour cross country mountain-bike race open to male, female and mixed teams with categories for solo, pairs and quads between the ages of 16 and 80. It attracted 800 bikers in 2015.

     The ‘Puffer’s main objectives are to encourage visitors to the area  and experience other cycling areas away from the main well-known sites such as Glentress, Innerleithen, Mabie and Dalbeattie by showing them a wilder, not often seen side of the Highlands, which will enhance Scotland’s reputation as a world-class cycling destination.

     By offering a unique adventure, creating a fun ‘all-in-it-together’ friendly atmosphere, yet run as tough a race as possible, the aim of the event is to introduce the Strathpeffer/Contin area as a superb off-road cycling destination which has fantastic, on the doorstep mountain-biking, available to all abilities. The expectation is that competitors will make a return visit at another time of the year with friends and/or family.

     Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said:

    “I am thrilled that these two great cycling events have received a total of £16,400 funding to help them promote the Etape Loch Ness and Strathpuffer 24 even more widely than before.

     “The Highlands are a major draw for outdoor enthusiasts and events such as these really put the region on the map and help cement our reputation as a must-visit cycling destination.

     “Conferences and events such as these don’t just provide entertainment, they represent a multi-million pound opportunity to boost jobs as well as deliver cultural and social benefits.”

     Etape Loch Ness event director, Malcolm Sutherland, said:

    “The funding that we have received from EventScotland has been instrumental to the overall success of the event, and we are very grateful to learn that we have the support of the organisation for the 2016 event.

     “The support has allowed us to carry out additional promotional activities and help us to spread the word about the event to a much wider audience all over the UK. Statistics from the 2015 Etape Loch Ness show a 20% increase in the number of riders travelling from outwith the local area to participate, and with the help of EventScotland we hope to see this figure increase again in 2016.

     “The funding that we receive helps us to attract cyclists from all over the country – and some riders from overseas – to this beautiful part of the Highlands which is such a perfect backdrop for large-scale sports events like Etape Loch Ness.”

     Clancy Macdonald, from the Strathpuffer 24 organising team, said:

    "It was only ever meant to be a one-off but the Strathpuffer24 continues to go from strength to strength. Eleven years on, it is widely recognised as the UK's iconic must-do true mountain-biker's event.

     “We're really delighted EventScotland are now on board. Their funding means we will be able to improve our infrastructure so we can increase competitor capacity and also look to adding to the event categories.

     “Additionally we intend to upgrade the shelters for our fantastic well-deserving, loyal band of marshals, without whom we could not run the event. With the help of VisitScotland, all these things will help maintain the longer term future of the Strathpuffer24.”

    The EventScotland National Programme helps to provide financial assistance to events which provide a real benefit to their local areas. The Scottish Highlands has some of the finest terrain for all cycling disciplines, which is something that thousands of enthusiasts will experience through both of these events in 2016.

    Paul Bush, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The EventScotland National Programme helps to provide financial assistance to events which provide a real benefit to their local areas, and we were delighted to be in the position to support Etape Loch Ness and Strathpuffer 24 in the most recent funding round. The Scottish Highlands are blessed with some of the finest terrain for all cycling disciplines, which is something that thousands of enthusiasts will experience through both of these events in 2016. We look forward to working closely with the organisers of both over the coming weeks and months to ensure their success.

    For more information, please visit: http://www.eventscotland.org/funding/national-events-programme/

    Category: National Events

  • 10 November 2015

    Hogmanay in the Honest Toun 2015

    The Brunton is the place to be...for Family Hogmanay.

    On Thursday 31 December The Brunton, Musselburgh hosts a day packed with fantastic activities for families, to celebrate Hogmanay. Ticketed activities and events run from 11am – 5pm, for all the family to enjoy, with an early evening FREE Lantern Parade and spectacular FREE Fireworks Display at Fisherrow Links.

    Paid for ticketed activities include:

    Family Ceilidh: Lively fun for all the family with pipers, ceilidh band and Scottish Country dancers.

    Illuminated lantern making: To carry in the evening parade.

    Edinburgh Samba School: Drumming workshops.

    The Starlicht Runaway: Storytelling and song from Sonsie Music.

    The Fisherman and the Seal: Puppetry, storytelling, music and movement from Yugen Puppet Theatre.

    Cinderella: Traditional family pantomime.

    Hogmania!: See in the New Year at this family ceilidh with live band, food, pipers and more. Presented by Musselburgh Riding of the Marches 2016 and The Brunton.

    There will also be face painting and craft activities running all day, additional charges apply.

    The FREE evening events start at 6.30pm as people gather at The Brunton for the Lantern Parade which sets off at 7pm led by the Edinburgh Samba Band, walk-about illuminated birds and Jacks of Frost. This leads to Fisherrow Links for a spectacular fireworks display from 7.30pm to 8pm.

    Hogmanay Celebrations in the Honest Toun are delivered by East Lothian Council and The Brunton and are part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals – a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by VisitScotland.

    Councillor Tim Day, Cabinet Spokesperson for Community Wellbeing at East Lothian Council said: “We look forward to welcoming families from East Lothian, Edinburgh and beyond to celebrate Hogmanay in the Honest Toun. This is the fourth year we have run this event with the support of Scotland’s Winter Festivals. Our focus is on fun for all the family, and there is a real buzz in Musselburgh all day as a result. This year we are delighted to be teaming up with Musselburgh Riding of the Marches 2016 to present Hogmania! an evening ceilidh for all the family to see in the New Year, as well as our much loved family afternoon ceilidh.”

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Scotland is the home of Hogmanay and I’d encourage families, friends and loved ones to come together to enjoy the full programme on offer at The Brunton Theatre and in Musselburgh.  "Hogmanay in the Honest Toun” is part of the Scottish Government's Winter Festivals programme, which has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country. Events will run across Scotland from the lead up to St Andrew's Day, through Hogmanay, to Burns Night, showcasing Scotland as a modern and creative nation with a rich heritage."

    Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “Scotland’s Hogmanay celebrations attract visitors from across the UK and the world to experience unique, traditional and contemporary celebrations. The Honest Toun has a fantastic line-up of activities that is sure to delight the whole family and give our visitors a chance to celebrate the beginning of 2016, the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, in style.”

    Information and booking: www.thebrunton.co.uk / 0131 665 2240

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 06 November 2015

    Brightest Ever Big Burns Supper Packed With Fun For 5th Birthday

     

    Dumfries winter festival lines up The Beat, Eddi Reader and Jason Byrne plus spectacular carnival, cabaret, folk and trad. The line-up for the fifth Big Burns Supper has been unveiled with headliners including Black Grape, Jason Byrne, The Beat and Eddi Reader.
    The nine-day festival in Dumfries, from 22-30 January, will be overflowing with party spirit from start to finish and will bring thousands of people onto the streets for the annual Burns Carnival, which takes place on Sunday, 24 January.
    Big Burns Supper 2016 has received support as part of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals events programme.
    On the Bard’s birthday itself there will be the festival’s own fifth birthday party, featuring special guest performers, and a family Burns Supper for around 300 inside the mirror-lined Spiegeltent which is the event’s main venue.
    Another major highlight of BBS 2016 is Le Haggis III which sees a triumphant return to Dumfries of the saucy and spectacular Caledonian cabaret after its award-winning run at the Edinburgh-Fringe. As ever it will be a feast of Scottish and international circus, aerial dance and music – featuring some of the country’s best young trad and folk musicians.
    There will also be a strong emphasis on children’s entertainment with the arrival of Celtic Circus, a Spiegeltent show with acrobatic thrills and spills to delight a younger audience.
    Dumfries children themselves take command for a series of By Kids activities. One will be the pop-up Salon 1962, where adults will have their nails and make-up done by enthusiastic Lochside Primary School pupils. The most daring will also have their hair cut!
    Graham Main, Artistic Director, said: “It’s our fifth birthday, so we want Big Burns Supper 2016 to be huge fun for everyone. It will be packed with great music, comedy and cabaret plus a fabulously colourful street carnival.
    “We’re offering a really joyful mix of the current and the classic – and a great chance to dig out your Harrington, trilby and DMs. 
    “As one of Scotland’s fastest-growing winter events we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of people from all across Scotland, the rest of the UK, Ireland and beyond for an event which celebrates all that’s best in life.”
    As a “thank you” to the Big Burns Supper’s many loyal supporters the festival will be bringing back some highly popular acts from previous years. These include the magnificent singer songwriter, and huge champion of Rabbie Burns, Eddi Reader and also the wonderful Inner Mongolian musicians of Anda Union.
    There will be a new performance and bar area at the Spiegeltent where audiences will find themselves in the capable hands of Big Burns Supper 2016 Mistress of Ceremonies the ever-bonnie, if occasionally unshaven, Misschief Amor.
    There will be a host of other superb shows from Irish vocalist Camille O’Sullivan, the Scots trad Treacherous Orchestra, comedian Andrew Maxwell and Irish folk act the Dublin Legends.
    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “The Big Burns Supper, which is now in its fifth year, is the perfect opportunity to celebrate our Scottish identity. I congratulate the festival organisers for another impressive performance line-up and I’d encourage friends, families and loved ones to come together to take part.
    “The celebrations are part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which this year has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country.”
    Lesley Douglas, Principal Teacher of Lochside Primary School, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the children and they are really excited about taking part in the carnival and in Big Burns Supper. It brings them a whole breadth of new opportunities and fits perfectly with the Curriculum for Excellence.”
    VisitScotland Regional Director Paula McDonald said: “The Big Burns Supper has fast become a real favourite of our regional events calendar and it’s fantastic to see it attracting more and more visitors to the region every year. It’s a unique, exciting and vibrant celebration which embodies and befits our national Bard. The event is brimming with spirited character, spontaneity, irreverent humour and bawdy fun, and is underpinned by great music and story-telling.  
     
    “With its superb line-up of talent and packed programme, next year’s Big Burns Supper promises to be bigger and better than ever before. It will definitely be an unmissable highlight of the New Year so I hope as many people as possible will come along and enjoy the party atmosphere in Dumfries throughout the festival’s nine days.”
    Lesley Douglas, Principal Teacher of Lochside Primary School, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the children and they are really excited about taking part in the carnival and in Big Burns Supper. It brings them a whole breadth of new opportunities and fits perfectly with the Curriculum for Excellence.”
    Tickets for Big Burns Supper are now on sale at www.bigburnssupper.com and from the box office at 28 Munches Street, Dumfries or by calling 01387 271820.  Box Office is open from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Saturday.
    Big Burns Supper is a registered charity and is funded by Holywood Trust, Robertson Trust, Scotland’s Winter Festival programme, and through Dumfries & Galloway Council’s event strategy, and sponsored by 8020 Communications, and Electric Theatre Workshop.

    Dumfries winter festival lines up The Beat, Eddi Reader and Jason Byrne plus spectacular carnival, cabaret, folk and trad. The line-up for the fifth Big Burns Supper has been unveiled with headliners including Black Grape, Jason Byrne, The Beat and Eddi Reader. The nine-day festival in Dumfries, from 22-30 January, will be overflowing with party spirit from start to finish and will bring thousands of people onto the streets for the annual Burns Carnival, which takes place on Sunday, 24 January. Big Burns Supper 2016 has received support as part of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals events programme.


    On the Bard’s birthday itself there will be the festival’s own fifth birthday party, featuring special guest performers, and a family Burns Supper for around 300 inside the mirror-lined Spiegeltent which is the event’s main venue.Another major highlight of BBS 2016 is Le Haggis III which sees a triumphant return to Dumfries of the saucy and spectacular Caledonian cabaret after its award-winning run at the Edinburgh-Fringe. As ever it will be a feast of Scottish and international circus, aerial dance and music – featuring some of the country’s best young trad and folk musicians.There will also be a strong emphasis on children’s entertainment with the arrival of Celtic Circus, a Spiegeltent show with acrobatic thrills and spills to delight a younger audience.
    Dumfries children themselves take command for a series of By Kids activities. One will be the pop-up Salon 1962, where adults will have their nails and make-up done by enthusiastic Lochside Primary School pupils. The most daring will also have their hair cut!

     

    Graham Main, Artistic Director, said: “It’s our fifth birthday, so we want Big Burns Supper 2016 to be huge fun for everyone. It will be packed with great music, comedy and cabaret plus a fabulously colourful street carnival.

    “We’re offering a really joyful mix of the current and the classic – and a great chance to dig out your Harrington, trilby and DMs. 
    “As one of Scotland’s fastest-growing winter events we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of people from all across Scotland, the rest of the UK, Ireland and beyond for an event which celebrates all that’s best in life.”


    As a “thank you” to the Big Burns Supper’s many loyal supporters the festival will be bringing back some highly popular acts from previous years. These include the magnificent singer songwriter, and huge champion of Rabbie Burns, Eddi Reader and also the wonderful Inner Mongolian musicians of Anda Union.There will be a new performance and bar area at the Spiegeltent where audiences will find themselves in the capable hands of Big Burns Supper 2016 Mistress of Ceremonies the ever-bonnie, if occasionally unshaven, Misschief Amor.There will be a host of other superb shows from Irish vocalist Camille O’Sullivan, the Scots trad Treacherous Orchestra, comedian Andrew Maxwell and Irish folk act the Dublin Legends.


    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “The Big Burns Supper, which is now in its fifth year, is the perfect opportunity to celebrate our Scottish identity. I congratulate the festival organisers for another impressive performance line-up and I’d encourage friends, families and loved ones to come together to take part.“The celebrations are part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which this year has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country.”

     
    Lesley Douglas, Principal Teacher of Lochside Primary School, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the children and they are really excited about taking part in the carnival and in Big Burns Supper. It brings them a whole breadth of new opportunities and fits perfectly with the Curriculum for Excellence.” 


    VisitScotland Regional Director Paula McDonald said: “The Big Burns Supper has fast become a real favourite of our regional events calendar and it’s fantastic to see it attracting more and more visitors to the region every year. It’s a unique, exciting and vibrant celebration which embodies and befits our national Bard. The event is brimming with spirited character, spontaneity, irreverent humour and bawdy fun, and is underpinned by great music and story-telling.   

    “With its superb line-up of talent and packed programme, next year’s Big Burns Supper promises to be bigger and better than ever before. It will definitely be an unmissable highlight of the New Year so I hope as many people as possible will come along and enjoy the party atmosphere in Dumfries throughout the festival’s nine days.”


    Lesley Douglas, Principal Teacher of Lochside Primary School, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the children and they are really excited about taking part in the carnival and in Big Burns Supper. It brings them a whole breadth of new opportunities and fits perfectly with the Curriculum for Excellence.”


    Tickets for Big Burns Supper are now on sale at www.bigburnssupper.com and from the box office at 28 Munches Street, Dumfries or by calling 01387 271820.  Box Office is open from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

    Big Burns Supper is a registered charity and is funded by Holywood Trust, Robertson Trust, Scotland’s Winter Festival programme, and through Dumfries & Galloway Council’s event strategy, and sponsored by 8020 Communications, and Electric Theatre Workshop.

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 05 November 2015

    FARAH SETS OFF ON THE ROAD TO RIO BY RETURNING TO HIS ROOTS IN THE GREAT EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL XCOUNTRY

    Mo Farah’s first test of 2016, as he prepares to defend his Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m crowns in Rio, will come in Scotland’s capital city when he spearheads the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team challenge in the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country on Saturday 9 January.

     For the 32-year-old home town hero of the London 2012 Olympics, who took his haul of global gold medals to a magnificent seven when he retained his World Championship 5000m and 10,000m titles in Beijing in August, the 8km event at Holyrood Park will mark a return to his racing roots.

     Farah forged his distance running reputation as a winter mudlark and the reigning world, Olympic and European 5,000m and 10,000m champion will be contesting his first cross country race for five years when he lines up in the televised new year event.

    Now, as he works towards the defence of his Olympic titles in Rio de Janeiro in August 2016, the leading light of the distance running world will be laying the groundwork with his first cross country race since he triumphed in the 8km Great Edinburgh International race in January 2011.

     “It will be an important year for me in 2016 and I’m looking forward to returning to the Great Edinburgh Cross Country to kick off my season,” said Farah. “For many years cross country was a key building block for the year ahead and I’m pleased to add it to my schedule for the first time since I ran in Edinburgh back in 2011.”

     Farah enjoyed a trailblazing time in 2015, opening with a world indoor two mile best on the boards in Birmingham in February, overcoming all challengers to retain his World Championship 5,000m and 10,000m titles at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing, and setting a British and European course record as he finished his season in fitting style with a second successive victory in the Morrisons Great North Run.

     “It was a fantastic feeling winning the Great North Run in front of a home crowd,” said Farah. “I’m sure there will be plenty of support in Edinburgh for my first event in 2016.”

    “It's a big year for Mo and this race is a serious part of his plan and programme." said Barry Fudge, Head of Endurance for British Athletics.

     “Mo has previously built his base for a summer track season with cross country races over the winter season, so we see this as a fundamental part of his preparation as we build towards the defence of his Olympic titles in Rio – which is ultimately his main goal for 2016. He enjoys nothing more than running in front of the British public so this is a great way for him to kick off his most important of years.”

     The Great Edinburgh International XCountry, televised live on BBC, is part of a New Year festival for runners of all abilities, based at Holyood Park, next to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

     The popular Pure Gym Great Winter Run, held on a scenic 5km course that loops around Arthur’s Seat, provides the public with a perfect opportunity to dust off the New Year cobwebs before watching the world’s best test themselves in the international cross country races.

    Entry to the Pure Gym Great Winter Run is available online at www.greatrun.org/winter

    Category: International Events

  • 05 November 2015

    Edinburgh will be the City of Lights this Christmas!

     

    An incredible 100,000 tickets have already been snapped up for what promises to be the biggest and brightest new show in the Capital  - the Virgin Money Street of Light at Edinburgh's Christmas.
    Demand for these free shows has been huge, with a sensational 100,000 free tickets being issued to audiences within a few days of tickets being made available. To put that in perspective, 100,000 tickets is the combined capacity of the city's three main sporting arenas - Murrayfield, Easter Road and Tynecastle stadiums.
    With enormous demand from Edinburgh, Scotland and around the world, organisers Underbelly are urging people to make sure they get their tickets booked. Already bookings have been made from as far afield as the USA, Australia, New Zealand, the Far East, and throughout Europe.
    Visit www.virginsmoneystreetoflight.com to reserve your FREE ticket NOW!
    Charlie Wood, director of Underbelly, said: “The response from not just Edinburgh but the rest of the world has been amazing with no sign of demand slowing down. We are so happy to have already issued 100,000 free tickets in such a short period of time. I advise everyone to book NOW to avoid disappointment. There will be no finer place to celebrate the spirit of Christmas this year than here in Edinburgh.”
    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: "These figures speak volumes and demonstrate that people across Scotland, and the world, are hugely excited about The Virgin Money Street of Light event. The event is an outstanding addition to Edinburgh's Christmas programme and will showcase our beautiful capital city from the City Chambers to the Tron Kirk in the lead up to Scotland's Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in 2016.
    "The Virgin Money Street of Light is part of the Scottish Government's Winter Festivals programme which has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country. Events will run across Scotland from the run up to 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."
    Cllr Richard Lewis, Festival and Events Champion, said: “The appeal of Edinburgh’s winter festivals is truly international. Tickets are being reserved for Edinburgh’s Street of Light from all over the world but local residents are also rushing to snap up spaces. It really is shaping into one of the city’s must-see attractions and will help to promote the Royal Mile during the winter months. The city’s famous festive markets, ice rinks, shows and rides will also make a return meaning one trip to Edinburgh’s Christmas won’t be enough.”
    Andrew Elmer - Chairman, Royal Mile Business Association, said:  "What an incredible response from around the world! The Royal Mile Business Association continues to be delighted with the growing numbers of people who are booking tickets to enjoy this amazing Christmas light show on this iconic street. This really is going to be a spectacular, global event!"
    Virgin Money Street of Light is made possible with the support of Virgin Money and is also part of Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations with support from Scotland’s Winter Festivals. The Virgin Money Street of Light is supported by the Royal Mile Business Association and local businesses.
    The event runs for 25 days from St Andrew's to 24 December 2015. There are two shows a day, Monday – Saturday at 6.30pm and 8.15pm, Sunday at 5.30pm and 7.30pm each lasting approximately 20 minutes. The lights synchronise to specially commissioned pieces of music sung and recorded by the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, the Edinburgh Gay Men’s Chorus, the Edinburgh Police Choir and the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union.  The schedule of choirs can be found in Notes to Editors below. 
    RESERVE YOUR FREE TICKETS NOW 
    VIRGINMONEYSTREETOFLIGHT.COM

    An incredible 100,000 tickets have already been snapped up for what promises to be the biggest and brightest new show in the Capital  - the Virgin Money Street of Light at Edinburgh's Christmas.

    Demand for these free shows has been huge, with a sensational 100,000 free tickets being issued to audiences within a few days of tickets being made available.

    To put that in perspective, 100,000 tickets is the combined capacity of the city's three main sporting arenas - Murrayfield, Easter Road and Tynecastle stadiums.

    With enormous demand from Edinburgh, Scotland and around the world, organisers Underbelly are urging people to make sure they get their tickets booked.

    Already bookings have been made from as far afield as the USA, Australia, New Zealand, the Far East, and throughout Europe.

    Visit www.virginsmoneystreetoflight.com to reserve your FREE ticket NOW!

    Charlie Wood, director of Underbelly, said: “The response from not just Edinburgh but the rest of the world has been amazing with no sign of demand slowing down. We are so happy to have already issued 100,000 free tickets in such a short period of time. I advise everyone to book NOW to avoid disappointment. There will be no finer place to celebrate the spirit of Christmas this year than here in Edinburgh.”

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: "These figures speak volumes and demonstrate that people across Scotland, and the world, are hugely excited about The Virgin Money Street of Light event. The event is an outstanding addition to Edinburgh's Christmas programme and will showcase our beautiful capital city from the City Chambers to the Tron Kirk in the lead up to Scotland's Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in 2016."

    "The Virgin Money Street of Light is part of the Scottish Government's Winter Festivals programme which has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country. Events will run across Scotland from the run up to 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."

    Cllr Richard Lewis, Festival and Events Champion, said: “The appeal of Edinburgh’s winter festivals is truly international. Tickets are being reserved for Edinburgh’s Street of Light from all over the world but local residents are also rushing to snap up spaces. It really is shaping into one of the city’s must-see attractions and will help to promote the Royal Mile during the winter months. The city’s famous festive markets, ice rinks, shows and rides will also make a return meaning one trip to Edinburgh’s Christmas won’t be enough.”

    Andrew Elmer - Chairman, Royal Mile Business Association, said:  "What an incredible response from around the world! The Royal Mile Business Association continues to be delighted with the growing numbers of people who are booking tickets to enjoy this amazing Christmas light show on this iconic street. This really is going to be a spectacular, global event!"

    Virgin Money Street of Light is made possible with the support of Virgin Money and is also part of Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations with support from Scotland’s Winter Festivals.

    The Virgin Money Street of Light is supported by the Royal Mile Business Association and local businesses.

    The event runs for 25 days from St Andrew's to 24 December 2015. There are two shows a day, Monday – Saturday at 6.30pm and 8.15pm, Sunday at 5.30pm and 7.30pm each lasting approximately 20 minutes. The lights synchronise to specially commissioned pieces of music sung and recorded by the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, the Edinburgh Gay Men’s Chorus, the Edinburgh Police Choir and the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union. RESERVE YOUR FREE TICKETS NOW VIRGINMONEYSTREETOFLIGHT.COM

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 03 November 2015

    Edinburgh Food-Lovers Ready for a Festive Feast as Foodies Festival Christmas Comes to Edinburgh

     

     

    Retro recipes in the Chefs Theatre, vegan treats in the Artisan Christmas Market, Champagne Ski Bar and a Scottish Gin Theatre are just some of the festive features food-lovers can look forward to as Foodies Festival brings its winter edition - Foodies Festival Christmas – to Edinburgh’s EICC 13-15th November.
     
    Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre will be transformed into a spectacular culinary wonderland next weekend, 13-15th November, as Foodies Festival Christmas brings Scotland’s top chefs, award-winning artisan producers and international street food together under one roof for a fabulous festive feast.
     
    Acclaimed chefs from across Scotland swap their aprons for Santa hats in the Chefs Theatre, sharing their favourite recipes and top tips to help visitors create the perfect Christmas banquet. 
    Confirmed chefs include:
     
    Jamie Scott - MasterChef The Professionals Winner 2014
    Scott Davies - The Three Chimneys
    Hardeep Singh Kohli - V Deep
    Tony Rodd - MasterChef Finalist 2015
    Brian Grigor - Number One at The Balmoral (Michelin starred)
    Peter McKenna – The Gannet (2015 AA Scottish Restaurant of The Year)
    Neil Forbes - Cafe St Honore
    Mark Greenaway - Restaurant Mark Greenaway
    Fraser Allen - The Pompadour
    Gordon Craig – The Field
    Romy Gill - Romy's Kitchen 
    Rosario Sartore - Laconda de Gusti
    Three Sisters Bake 
    Ian Pirrie – Edinburgh School of Food & Wine
     
    Retro Recipes in the Chefs Theatre will transport festival-goers back in time to the 1960s when glacé cherries and multi-coloured jellies were all the rage. Inspired by infamous TV chef Fanny Cradock, flamboyant baking extraordinaire Charlotte White will recreate classic desserts such as the Baked Alaska, Sherry Trifle and Black Forest Gateau with a modern twist, inspiring visitors to cook something old but new this Christmas. 
    An Artisan Christmas Market boasts over 150 of Scotland's finest producers selling locally produced cheeses, chutneys, chocolates, sauces and jams, biscuits and crackers, cakes, puddings and more for visitors to sample and shop from; perfect for picking-up those little extras that make Christmas extra tasty and special. 
    A Vegan area in the Christmas Market offers a range of delicious and healthy vegan, veggie and gluten-free treats for visitors to indulge in including desserts, street food, bakes, condiments, beers, wines and more. 
    Scottish Gin Theatre - Gin lovers will rejoice as Edinburgh's gin producers, Daffy's, Pickering's and Edinburgh Gin, host daily Christmas Gin Cocktail masterclasses. Wine experts Charles Metcalfe and Neil Philips are also on-hand helping visitors match wines with Christmas flavours in the Drinks Theatre and beer expert Melissa Cole champions craft beers as an alternative to wine and champagne this Christmas in masterclasses with local brewers. 
    Other features of the festival include a Street Food Village where visitors can feast of flavours from around the world, a Cake & Bake Theatre hosted by Scotland's top bakers and chocolatiers, and an accompanying Pudding Hall - a haven of sweet treats selling festive favourites such as eggnog and mulled wine, mince pies, Christmas cakes, marzipan bonbons and macaroons. 
    While parents shop and enjoy a chilled glass of bubbly from the Champagne Ski Bar, children under 12 can enrol in the Elf Cookery School with Kiddy Cook, where they can bake and decorate snowballs, gingerbread men, cookies and cupcakes to leave out for Santa. 
    Just like Christmas day there is lots of post-feasting fun to be had with live music, local choirs singing carols and entertainment throughout the day. Visitors can enter the Chilly-Eating Competition (the winter version of the famous chilli contest), register their team to compete in the Christmas Bumper Quiz and have a group Christmas jumper picture taken in the photo booth. 

    Retro recipes in the Chefs Theatre, vegan treats in the Artisan Christmas Market, Champagne Ski Bar and a Scottish Gin Theatre are just some of the festive features food-lovers can look forward to as Foodies Festival brings its winter edition - Foodies Festival Christmas – to Edinburgh’s EICC 13-15th November. Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre will be transformed into a spectacular culinary wonderland next weekend, 13-15th November, as Foodies Festival Christmas brings Scotland’s top chefs, award-winning artisan producers and international street food together under one roof for a fabulous festive feast. 

     

    Acclaimed chefs from across Scotland swap their aprons for Santa hats in the Chefs Theatre, sharing their favourite recipes and top tips to help visitors create the perfect Christmas banquet. 


    Confirmed chefs include: 

     

    Jamie Scott - MasterChef The Professionals Winner 2014

    Scott Davies - The Three Chimneys

    Hardeep Singh Kohli - V Deep

    Tony Rodd - MasterChef Finalist 2015

    Brian Grigor - Number One at The Balmoral (Michelin starred)

    Peter McKenna – The Gannet (2015 AA Scottish Restaurant of The Year)

    Neil Forbes - Cafe St Honore

    Mark Greenaway - Restaurant Mark Greenaway

    Fraser Allen - The Pompadour

    Gordon Craig – The Field

    Romy Gill - Romy's Kitchen 

    Rosario Sartore - Laconda de Gusti

    Three Sisters Bake 

    Ian Pirrie – Edinburgh School of Food & Wine 

     

    Retro Recipes in the Chefs Theatre will transport festival-goers back in time to the 1960s when glacé cherries and multi-coloured jellies were all the rage. Inspired by infamous TV chef Fanny Cradock, flamboyant baking extraordinaire Charlotte White will recreate classic desserts such as the Baked Alaska, Sherry Trifle and Black Forest Gateau with a modern twist, inspiring visitors to cook something old but new this Christmas. 


    An Artisan Christmas Market boasts over 150 of Scotland's finest producers selling locally produced cheeses, chutneys, chocolates, sauces and jams, biscuits and crackers, cakes, puddings and more for visitors to sample and shop from; perfect for picking-up those little extras that make Christmas extra tasty and special. 


    A Vegan area in the Christmas Market offers a range of delicious and healthy vegan, veggie and gluten-free treats for visitors to indulge in including desserts, street food, bakes, condiments, beers, wines and more. 

     

    Scottish Gin Theatre - Gin lovers will rejoice as Edinburgh's gin producers, Daffy's, Pickering's and Edinburgh Gin, host daily Christmas Gin Cocktail masterclasses. Wine experts Charles Metcalfe and Neil Philips are also on-hand helping visitors match wines with Christmas flavours in the Drinks Theatre and beer expert Melissa Cole champions craft beers as an alternative to wine and champagne this Christmas in masterclasses with local brewers. 


    Other features of the festival include a Street Food Village where visitors can feast of flavours from around the world, a Cake & Bake Theatre hosted by Scotland's top bakers and chocolatiers, and an accompanying Pudding Hall - a haven of sweet treats selling festive favourites such as eggnog and mulled wine, mince pies, Christmas cakes, marzipan bonbons and macaroons. 


    While parents shop and enjoy a chilled glass of bubbly from the Champagne Ski Bar, children under 12 can enrol in the Elf Cookery School with Kiddy Cook, where they can bake and decorate snowballs, gingerbread men, cookies and cupcakes to leave out for Santa. 


    Just like Christmas day there is lots of post-feasting fun to be had with live music, local choirs singing carols and entertainment throughout the day. Visitors can enter the Chilly-Eating Competition (the winter version of the famous chilli contest), register their team to compete in the Christmas Bumper Quiz and have a group Christmas jumper picture taken in the photo booth

    Category: Food and Drink

  • 02 November 2015

    SCOT:LANDS: EDINBURGH’S POP-UP MULTI-ARTS NEW YEAR FESTIVAL PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED FOR 1 JANUARY 2016

    Organisers today announced the full-line up for Scot:Lands, the exclusive pop-up festival within a festival, on January 1st 2016. Now in its third year, and an integral part of the three day Edinburgh’s Hogmanay which is produced on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council by Unique Events, Scot:Lands is supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.

     An essential component of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, Scot:Lands takes over New Year’s Day as a multi-arts festival in its own right and, as can be seen by the programme announced today, offers a scintillating selection of the best of Scotland’s artistic talent – intriguing, provocative, sometimes reflective; always entertaining. With many of the performances created or re-imagined exclusively for Scot:Lands, this pop-up Festival offers one chance, on one afternoon only, for audiences to enjoy an extraordinary collection of spoken word, dance, music and film, fashioned and curated by some of Scotland’s most innovative artists and arts organisations.

     Pete Irvine, Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said: “We’re delighted that through the support of the Expo Fund we set off on our New Year’s Day journey again and this year from a new starting point, our Departure Lounge within the Old College Quad. This, truly the first Scottish Festival of the year, may have a short life – 4 to 5 hours – but it’s packed with unexpected in-situ performances from a stellar line-up of Scottish artists, each creating something you’ll never see again. It’s the spin of the compass alone that will determine your New Year journey. Edinburgh’s Old Town is both the theatre and the landscape for discovering and experiencing culture, in a format perhaps unique in the world of festivals.”

     Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Over the last three years, Scot:Lands has grown in prominence, attracting an audience from far and wide. More than 150,000 visitors from 70 countries visited the capital last year to take part in Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme. Scot:Lands draws together artists from across Scotland to provide a ‘whole’ experience of music, theatre, installations, audio visual and the spoken word in unique settings. Scot:Lands is part of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, one of the cornerstone events of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme. This year a record £390,000 of funding has been provided to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country.”

     The all-important element of chance returns again this year, as audiences ‘check in’ at the Departure Lounge in the University of Edinburgh’s Old College, before spinning a compass to discover their first destination on a randomly, tantalisingly selected, unpredictable journey through eleven hidden Edinburgh Old Town venues – some familiar and some unknown and rarely accessible to the public.

     They  alight might on Blazin:Land, presented by renowned fiddle collective Blazin’ Fiddles who will be joined by some very special guests including Rachel Sermanni and Adam Holmes; or be transported to the Isle of Skye in Blue Skye:Land where they will be treated to captivating musical and performance pieces including the UK premiere of a collaboration between beatboxer Jason Singh and Gaelic vocalist Anne Martin. Sea Bird:Land will introduce a reconfigured live performance of Dalziel + Scullion’s mesmerising, multi-media art installation, Tumadh is Turas: Immersion & Journey, in a hauntingly atmospheric venue with a live soundtrack from Aidan O’Rourke, Graeme Stephen and John Blease.

     Elsewhere Coorie-In:Land will introduce an exhilarating menu of lyrical delight and artsy mischief curated by Edinburgh literary duo Rally & Broad; Licht:Land will offer a celebration of light at the gateway to the New Year with puppetry, live music and storytelling while Lyrical:Land will bring together some of Scotland’s foremost singer/songwriters with intimate performances from Kathryn Joseph, Mercury Prize nominated C Duncan, Roddy Woomble and poet Michael Pedersen amongst others. Cine:Land will mark 70 pioneering years of the Edinburgh International Film Festival with a labyrinth of mini-cinemas showing award-winning short films in a celebration of Scotland on the big screen; and Glasgow’s Chemikal Underground will celebrate their 20th anniversary in Chemikal:Land featuring live performances from R M Hubbert, Emma Pollock and Miaoux Miaoux. Curious Seed will create a mesmerising, immersive and improvised new dance work for the turn of the year, which will be accompanied by live music from Luke Sutherland in d’Arc:Land and dropping in from Aviemore The Insider Festival will recreate the essence of an outdoor festival in an indoor venue – Insider:Land – with a distillation of music, food and drink from the Inver Restaurant and performances from Admiral Fallow, Blue Rose Code, Findlay Napier and BEAM.

     For the first time, a Land has been specially created for families and children under 10. WeeScot:Land will offer a theatre show as well as arts and crafts, balloons, face-painting, storytelling, music and street  performance in the most unexpected forms at the National Museum of Scotland, presented by Festival partners Pleasance KidZone and National Museums Scotland.

     At the end of the afternoon, as all other Lands draw to a close, audiences are invited to come, or come back to, the National Museum of Scotland for The Final Fling, the closing event of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2015/16 with music and Ceilidh Callers from Edinburgh’s top ceilidh outfit, the Portobello Ceilidh Band.

     Scot:Lands has become increasingly popular every year, and places are limited. Tickets are free and from today, Monday 2 November 2015, are available from www.edinburghshogmanay.com.

    Category: International Events

  • 02 November 2015

    Etape Loch Ness sells out in record time – but cyclists raising money for official charity Macmillan Cancer Support can still apply

    A closed-road cycling event which circles Scotland’s most iconic loch has sold out in record time. Thousands of cyclists have signed up to take part in Etape Loch Ness, with general entry filling up after just 51 hours despite an increase in capacity. Cyclists who missed out on one of the highly sought after spaces can still register through the event’s official charity, Macmillan Cancer Support.

    A limited number of entries are being accepted from participants who pledge to raise a minimum of £100 for Macmillan Cancer Support – the official charity partner of the 66-mile sportive which takes place on Sunday, April 24 next year.

    Event director Malcolm Sutherland says, “We increased the field of entry for 2016 following the high demand for our last event, so to sell out faster than ever is incredible. It’s a real testament to the reputation Etape Loch Ness has built in the last two years.

    “Priority entry opened on Tuesday for those who had registered their interest on our website, and by the time general entry opened on Thursday morning we were well on our way to maximum capacity.

    “We are now seeing the number of Macmillan Cancer Support riders rising, and it is fantastic to see so many people coming forward to fundraise for worthwhile causes at Etape Loch Ness.”

    Macmillan Cancer Support has been the official charity partner of Etape Loch Ness since its inception in 2014, and participants have raised over £245,000 so far to support its work with cancer patients and their families. The charity provides a number of services across the Highlands, including a team of specialist care nurses and mobile information centres.

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, adds, “Etape Loch Ness has been an incredibly popular event since launching in 2014, and we are delighted to be supporting it through our National Programme.

    “With thousands of riders participating in the closed-road sportive we can expect to see a real benefit to the local area, along with wonderful efforts for charity.”

    Riders are being encouraged to #ridehappy in the Etape Loch Ness 2016, following Inverness’ recent nomination as the happiest place to live in Scotland. The closed-road sportive, which begins in Inverness and skirts along the edge of the loch, is guaranteed to bring a smile to any cycling enthusiast’s face.

    Following the A82 along the northern side of the loch, the route passes through Fort Augustus onto the south side for the most challenging leg of the course – the King of the mountain – a 4.8 mile climb which rises to 380m in height. The route then continues around the southern side of the loch before returning to the Highland capital.

    For more information visit www.etapelochness.com, or follow Etape Loch Ness on social media on Facebook www.facebook.com/etapelochness and Twitter @EtapeLochNess

    Category: National Events

  • 30 October 2015

    Biles Blows Away Field to Make History at World Gymnastics Championships

    A sell-out crowd of over 6,500 gathered at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro to witness history in the making as the USA’s Simone Biles became the first woman to win three consecutive World Gymnastics Championship All-Around titles. Of the world’s top 24 female gymnasts to arrive at the SSE Hydro with dreams of All-Around gold, only a few held realistic expectations of glory.

     Pursued by her compatriot, Gaby Douglas, Biles set about demonstrating her class early, producing the night’s standout performance on her first apparatus. Facing the Vault, her Amanar produced an evening-high score of 15.8333 to establish her charge towards the title. Beam, typically, produced a far sterner test and, at one stage, saw Biles clutch the apparatus in a desperate effort to stay on. A score of 14.4 was a long way shy of the 14.966 she’d produced in qualification and could have left the door open for Douglas, the 2012 London Olympic All-Around champion, to capitalise. However, although far less theatrical in her errors, a series of tilts and quivers prevented Douglas from doing better than a 14.4 of her own. It was the only opportunity she would see to redress the margin on the evening, and that which has been set between the two since Biles adopted the mantle of world’s best two years ago.

     Douglas completed her rotation with a solid routine on Floor, but, as the podium cleared and all other routines drew to a close, the stage was set. A gold medal-winning performance from Biles was the moment the crowd had come to see. And she didn’t disappoint. Although, by this point, there was little doubt about where the gold was destined, Biles delivered a champion’s display. She twisted and tumbled her way to a score of 15.2 and a comfortable winning margin of 1.083. It wasn’t quite the dominance she had shown in qualifying, but the record books will show a third consecutive World All-Around title nevertheless.

     “I’m just really proud of myself and all the work I put in,” said Biles, after collecting her second Glasgow gold, following USA’s Team Final success two days previously. “I know it wasn’t my best meet but I’m still proud of the outcome. “I’m still in shock. I feel very weird and I guess it’s maybe how Kohei (Uchimura, winner of five consecutive men’s World All-Around titles) feels. I feel really proud of myself. We put a lot of hard work and dedication into what we do, and if you’re always having fun and loving what you do, I think that’s when you get the best results.” On the chances to building on her medal haul, she added: “I still have three finals to go, and we’ll see what happens.”

     Credit must also be given to a resurgent Larisa Iordache. Shrugging off the disappointment of failing to make the women’s Team Final with Romania, the fans’ favourite was resolute throughout a determined display and captured the bronze. Prior to this evening’s all-important finale, which was the only remaining chance Iordache would have to medal in Glasgow, she was paid a welcome visit by the great Nadia Comaneci.

     For home hopes Ruby Harrold and Amy Tinkler, who each played a telling contribution in Great Britain’s Team bronze medal success two days ago, it was a challenging occasion but one that will surely prove to be invaluable as a learning experience. Each was below her best but remained philosophical in assessing the final. Harrold said: “To be honest I'm a bit disappointed. A lot of effort went into the qualification and Team Final and, after walking away with the bronze, we were on massive high and it was a challenge to come down and get the mind ready to compete. 

    “We had to enjoy it out there today. It wasn’t the result we were after but we enjoyed it. The home crowd were amazing for every routine – brilliant. Hopefully I can rest and get my head together for Bars final which I’m really looking forward to now.”

    Category: International Events

  • 29 October 2015

    Largest Ever St Andrew’s Day Events Programme for 2015

     

    With just over a month to go, Scots and Scots at heart are being encouraged to plan their perfect St Andrew’s Day weekend by taking advantage of the huge programme of offers, activities and events taking place across the country.
    There are 560 free, two-for-one or child goes free activities and offers happening across 400 Scottish venues and attractions in the run up to St Andrew’s Day with downloadable vouchers available at www.scotland.org/standrewsday, presenting a variety of days out to suit every taste.
    As part of this year’s St Andrew's Day celebrations, Historic Environment Scotland will be offering thousands of free tickets to some of Scotland’s best known heritage attractions via a pre pre-registration scheme. Further details will be released later this month at www.historic-scotland.gov.uk.
    In addition to the hundreds of offers going on throughout Scotland, a series of eleven funded events are taking place including the new Virgin Money Street of Light in Edinburgh and The St Andrew’s Day Fusion Festival in Dundee, through the Scotland’s Winter Festivals events programme, funded by the Scottish Government and managed EventScotland.
    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: 
    “St Andrew’s Day is going to be bigger than ever before with a huge range of offers and events taking place in the lead up to our national day. I’d encourage people to get together to celebrate and get involved in the fun and exciting activities taking place across the country.
    “The celebrations are part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which this year has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country.”
    Those looking for outdoor activities can take advantage of two-for-one surf lessons with Coast to Coast surf school in Dunbar, kids go free canoeing in Lochgilphead and a two-for-one offer on Segway Safari tours in Loch Lomond.
    Budding young scientists will get free entry into the Stratosphere Science Centre in Aberdeen, while water babies can enjoy the huge variety of swimming centres offering free child classes across the country.
    Mike Cantlay, VisitScotland Chairman, said: “St Andrew’s Day is a chance to celebrate all the things that make Scotland so special - from our rich heritage and unique culture to our delicious food and drink and warm and welcoming people. This year is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet with a huge array of exciting events planned the length and breadth of the country. There really is something to suit all tastes! With 50 million people across the world claiming Scottish ancestry and the millions of others who simply love Scotland, the 30th November is the perfect time for the world to unite and celebrate Scotland, and what better way to do that there than in Scotland itself.”
    A selection of home grown recipes are also available at www.scotland.org/standrewsday for those looking to celebrate St Andrew’s Day at home with friends and family.
    To mark the celebrations, social media users are being asked to take to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to talk about their ideal St Andrew’s Day using the dedicated hashtag #mystandrewsday. Whether it’s sharing a picture of a Scottish landscape or landmark, posting a link to a Scottish recipe or sharing plans on how to celebrate St Andrews Day, #mystandrewsday will gather together everyone’s unique ways of celebrating.
    To find out what’s going on in your area and download vouchers for your St Andrew’s Day out visit www.scotland.org/standrewsday
    Scotland’s Winter Festivals is a programme of events which will run across Scotland in the lead up to 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.

    With just over a month to go, Scots and Scots at heart are being encouraged to plan their perfect St Andrew’s Day weekend by taking advantage of the huge programme of offers, activities and events taking place across the country.


    There are 560 free, two-for-one or child goes free activities and offers happening across 400 Scottish venues and attractions in the run up to St Andrew’s Day with downloadable vouchers available at www.scotland.org/standrewsday, presenting a variety of days out to suit every taste. As part of this year’s St Andrew's Day celebrations, Historic Environment Scotland will be offering thousands of free tickets to some of Scotland’s best known heritage attractions via a pre pre-registration scheme. Further details will be released later this month at www.historic-scotland.gov.uk.


    In addition to the hundreds of offers going on throughout Scotland, a series of eleven funded events are taking place including the new Virgin Money Street of Light in Edinburgh and The St Andrew’s Day Fusion Festival in Dundee, through the Scotland’s Winter Festivals events programme, funded by the Scottish Government and managed EventScotland.


    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “St Andrew’s Day is going to be bigger than ever before with a huge range of offers and events taking place in the lead up to our national day. I’d encourage people to get together to celebrate and get involved in the fun and exciting activities taking place across the country.“The celebrations are part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which this year has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country.”

     

    Those looking for outdoor activities can take advantage of two-for-one surf lessons with Coast to Coast surf school in Dunbar, kids go free canoeing in Lochgilphead and a two-for-one offer on Segway Safari tours in Loch Lomond.


    Budding young scientists will get free entry into the Stratosphere Science Centre in Aberdeen, while water babies can enjoy the huge variety of swimming centres offering free child classes across the country.
    Mike Cantlay, VisitScotland Chairman, said: “St Andrew’s Day is a chance to celebrate all the things that make Scotland so special - from our rich heritage and unique culture to our delicious food and drink and warm and welcoming people. This year is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet with a huge array of exciting events planned the length and breadth of the country. There really is something to suit all tastes! With 50 million people across the world claiming Scottish ancestry and the millions of others who simply love Scotland, the 30th November is the perfect time for the world to unite and celebrate Scotland, and what better way to do that there than in Scotland itself.”


    A selection of home grown recipes are also available at www.scotland.org/standrewsday for those looking to celebrate St Andrew’s Day at home with friends and family.


    To mark the celebrations, social media users are being asked to take to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to talk about their ideal St Andrew’s Day using the dedicated hashtag #mystandrewsday. Whether it’s sharing a picture of a Scottish landscape or landmark, posting a link to a Scottish recipe or sharing plans on how to celebrate St Andrews Day, #mystandrewsday will gather together everyone’s unique ways of celebrating.
    To find out what’s going on in your area and download vouchers for your St Andrew’s Day out visit www.scotland.org/standrewsday


    Scotland’s Winter Festivals is a programme of events which will run across Scotland in the lead up to 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.

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 29 October 2015

    Stellar Line-up Confirmed for Scotland's National Events Conference

     

    STELLAR LINE-UP CONFIRMED FOR SCOTLAND’S NATIONAL EVENTS CONFERENCE
    Scotland’s National Events Conference, Scotland the Perfect Stage, will be lit up by a Key Note speech from one of the world’s leading Events and Festivals industry figures, Brendan McClements, Chief Executive of Victorian Major Events Company (VMEC), Australia.
    McClements has held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne-based organisation for the past six years, further establishing its reputation as a world-leading major events acquisitions business.
    He gained extensive experience in sport during his time with the International Cricket Council and, prior to his current role, held senior posts in commercial, marketing and public affairs within the brewing, financial and sporting industries. 
    His address will draw a number of interesting parallels between international and community events across sport and culture in both Scotland and Victoria, and will be his first Key Note speech outside of Australia.
    Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is home to over 4 million people and is a destination celebrated for its style and sophistication. In hosting some of the world’s biggest sporting, entertainment and cultural events - including the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open Tennis Championships, White Night Melbourne, Grace Kelly: Style Icon Exhibition, and the British and Irish Lions Tour in 2013 - visitors from around the world have revelled in Melbourne’s inspiring architecture, exceptional hotels, outstanding food and drink offer and friendly atmosphere. 
    Excited at the prospect of sharing his considerable knowledge with a captive audience at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, McClements said: “Scotland’s reputation as a home for major events continues to go from strength to strength and there are a number of parallels between Scotland and Victoria in the approach they’ve each adopted in driving success in this area. 
    “I am looking forward to the opportunity to share with the local events industry some insights into what Victoria has learnt over the years and continue to learn more about what is a competitive, dynamic but, above all, interesting industry.”
    The National Events Conference, delivered by VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, will examine the latest industry trends, issues and topics with insight from expert speakers and in-depth sessions on the areas affecting the Scottish events industry.
    The international context will also be considered as Scotland maintains and builds upon its reputation as an elite event destination. The recently refreshed National Events Strategy, Scotland the Perfect Stage, will provide a central theme to the conference and will allow all of those involved in the delivery of events to discover more about the opportunities it will provide to their businesses.
      
    Compered by renowned Scottish broadcaster, Rhona MacLeod, the session will open with a welcome address from Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chair of VisitScotland, and Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs.
    VisitScotland’s Director of Events and Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, Paul Bush OBE, will then offer insight into the international context within which Scotland’s event portfolio operates. This will be followed by a panel session involving Eleanor Cannon, the first Chair of Scottish Golf; Chief Executive of Perth and Kinross Council, Bernadette Malone CBE; and Colin Hartley, Championships Director of the recently held World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow.
    Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, will provide an analysis of the new national events strategy until 2025 while Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, Producer and Chief Executive of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, will explain what its revision could mean to events of all shapes and sizes. 
    Gurjit Singh Lalli, curator of TEDxGlasgow, will also lead an innovation-themed discussion and reflect upon the exciting opportunities new developments could bring to events in Scotland. 
    In-depth sessions on key topics affecting the industry will also feature events experts to complete the not-to-be missed line-up.
    Delegates can sign up to the National Events Conference at www.nationaleventsconference.scot. Register before midnight on 31st October to take advantage of the 3 for 2 delegate offer – buy two places and take a third colleague for free.
    The full list of confirmed speakers for the National Events Conference is as follows:
    Brendan McClements, Chief Executive Victorian Major Events Company, Melbourne
    Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chair of VisitScotland
    Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs
    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events
    Eleanor Cannon, Chair of Scottish Golf
    Bernadette Malone CBE, Chief Executive of Perth and Kinross Council
    Colin Hartley, Championships Director of the World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow
    Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland
    Marie Christie, VisitScotland’s Events Directorate Head of Development
    Neil Brownlee, VisitScotland’s Events Directorate Head of Business Tourism 
    Paul McGreal, owner of Durty Events and Race Director, Celtman Extreme Scottish Triathlon 
    Fiona Richmond, Project Manager, Scotland Food & Drink
    Kresanna Aigner, Director, Findhorn Bay Arts Festival
    Angus Gordon Lennox, Executive Chairman at Gordon Castle
    Bernard Higgins, Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable
    Kevin Sewell, Scottish Borders Council 
    Gurjit Singh Lalli, Curator TEDxGlasgow
    Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, Producer and Chief Executive of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
    For more information on the conference and further details of the full programme, visit the conference website: www.nationaleventsconference.scot.Scotland’s National Events Conference, Scotland the Perfect Stage, will be lit up by a Key Note speech from one of the world’s leading Events and Festivals industry figures, Brendan McClements, Chief Executive of Victorian Major Events Company (VMEC), Australia.

    Scotland’s National Events Conference, Scotland the Perfect Stage, will be lit up by a Key Note speech from one of the world’s leading Events and Festivals industry figures, Brendan McClements, Chief Executive of Victorian Major Events Company (VMEC), Australia. Brendan McClements has held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne-based organisation for the past eight years, further establishing its reputation as a world-leading major events acquisitions business.


    He gained extensive experience in sport during his time with the International Cricket Council and, prior to his current role, held senior posts in commercial, marketing and public affairs within the brewing, financial and sporting industries. 


    His address will draw a number of interesting parallels between international and community events across sport and culture in both Scotland and Victoria, and will be his first Key Note speech outside of Australia.
    Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is home to over 4 million people and is a destination celebrated for its style and sophistication. In hosting some of the world’s biggest sporting, entertainment and cultural events - including the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open Tennis Championships, White Night Melbourne, Grace Kelly: Style Icon Exhibition, and the British and Irish Lions Tour in 2013 - visitors from around the world have revelled in Melbourne’s inspiring architecture, exceptional hotels, outstanding food and drink offer and friendly atmosphere. 


    Excited at the prospect of sharing his considerable knowledge with a captive audience at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, McClements said:

    “Scotland’s reputation as a home for major events continues to go from strength to strength and there are a number of parallels between Scotland and Victoria in the approach they’ve each adopted in driving success in this area. 


    “I am looking forward to the opportunity to share with the local events industry some insights into what Victoria has learnt over the years and continue to learn more about what is a competitive, dynamic but, above all, interesting industry.”


    The National Events Conference, delivered by VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, will examine the latest industry trends, issues and topics with insight from expert speakers and in-depth sessions on the areas affecting the Scottish events industry.


    The international context will also be considered as Scotland maintains and builds upon its reputation as an elite event destination. The recently refreshed National Events Strategy, Scotland the Perfect Stage, will provide a central theme to the conference and will allow all of those involved in the delivery of events to discover more about the opportunities it will provide to their businesses.  

     

    Compered by renowned Scottish broadcaster, Rhona MacLeod, the session will open with a welcome address from Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chair of VisitScotland, and Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs.


    VisitScotland’s Director of Events and Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, Paul Bush OBE, will then offer insight into the international context within which Scotland’s event portfolio operates. This will be followed by a panel session involving Eleanor Cannon, the first Chair of Scottish Golf; Chief Executive of Perth and Kinross Council, Bernadette Malone CBE; and Colin Hartley, Championships Director of the recently held World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow.


    Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, will provide an analysis of the new national events strategy until 2025 while Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, Producer and Chief Executive of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, will explain what its revision could mean to events of all shapes and sizes. 


    Gurjit Singh Lalli, curator of TEDxGlasgow, will also lead an innovation-themed discussion and reflect upon the exciting opportunities new developments could bring to events in Scotland. 


    In-depth sessions on key topics affecting the industry will also feature events experts to complete the not-to-be missed line-up.


    Delegates can sign up to the National Events Conference at www.nationaleventsconference.scot.


    Register before midnight on 31st October to take advantage of the 3 for 2 delegate offer – buy two places and take a third colleague for free.


    The full list of confirmed speakers for the National Events Conference is as follows:

     

    Brendan McClements, Chief Executive Victorian Major Events Company, Melbourne
    Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chair of VisitScotland
    Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs
    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events
    Eleanor Cannon, Chair of Scottish Golf
    Bernadette Malone CBE, Chief Executive of Perth and Kinross Council
    Colin Hartley, Championships Director of the World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow
    Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland
    Marie Christie, VisitScotland’s Events Directorate Head of Development
    Neil Brownlee, VisitScotland’s Events Directorate Head of Business Tourism 
    Paul McGreal, owner of Durty Events and Race Director, Celtman Extreme Scottish Triathlon 
    Fiona Richmond, Project Manager, Scotland Food & Drink
    Kresanna Aigner, Director, Findhorn Bay Arts Festival
    Angus Gordon Lennox, Owner at Gordon Castle, venue for the Gordon Castle Highland Games and Country Fair

    Bernard Higgins, Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable

    Kevin Sewell, Scottish Borders Council 
    Gurjit Singh Lalli, Curator TEDxGlasgow
    Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, Producer and Chief Executive of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

     

    For more information on the conference and further details of the full programme, visit the conference website: www.nationaleventsconference.scot

    Category: Industry News

  • 29 October 2015

    Scotland wins the right to host The 2019 Solheim Cup

    The Solheim Cup will be played at The Gleneagles Hotel in 2019 after the Ladies European Tour voted to stage the event in Scotland, the Home of Golf for the third time in its history.

    The event is regarded as the biggest tournament in women’s golf and will pit the best female professional golfers in Europe against their United States counterparts, attracting a huge worldwide audience and media profile for the host country.

    And now, just five years on from hosting what was dubbed the “best-ever” Ryder Cup in September 2014, The PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles will be the venue for the biggest event in women’s golf following Scotland’s successful bid.

    Commenting on the news that the Ladies European Tour’s Board voted in favour of Scotland, The Right Honourable Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland MSP, said: “This is tremendous news, not only for golf tourism and events in Scotland but for Scotland as a whole. As a nation we take a huge amount of pride in welcoming major events to our country and in women’s golf they don’t come any bigger than The Solheim Cup.

    “The outstanding success of 2014 still looms large in the memory and I am delighted that Gleneagles and Scotland will once again play host to a major international team golf event. It will help cement Scotland’s reputation as the Home of Golf and the perfect stage for major golf events and help inspire a new generation of children to take up the game invented in their home country.”

    Scotland’s bid, which was led by the EventScotland team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and backed by The Scottish Government, was submitted in August and received huge support from stars across the golfing, sporting and media spectrum.

    Following the initial submission, a delegation from the Ladies European Tour visited Gleneagles as part of an official site inspection, where they met key partners who will be involved in the staging of the event including VisitScotland, The Scottish Government, Gleneagles, Perth & Kinross Council, Transport Scotland and Police Scotland. To show the nation’s support for the bid, they were also welcomed at The Scottish Parliament by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health Jamie Hepburn.

    Bernard Murphy, Managing Director of The Gleneagles Hotel, said: “We are extremely proud to be chosen as the host venue for The 2019 Solheim Cup. Gleneagles has a great history of holding major international events and we are delighted to be able to add The Solheim Cup to that list. We look forward to welcoming the teams and spectators from both sides in 2019 to take part in what we are sure will be yet another memorable event.”

    The Solheim Cup has grown in stature since it was last held in Scotland at Loch Lomond in 2000. The event at Gleneagles is expected to attract more than 100,000 spectators as well as being screened to hundreds of millions of homes across the globe.

    Much like The Ryder Cup in 2014, Scotland will look to capitalise on the legacy associated with hosting such a major international sporting event. A key focus will be looking to drive participation in the game, with a particular emphasis on junior and family participation.

    The event will also add to Scotland’s already impressive portfolio of world-class golf events lined up in future years, which includes The Open Championship in 2016 and 2018, the Senior Open Championship in 2016 and the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2017 in addition to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open on an annual basis.

    It will also take place just a year after the recently-announced inaugural European Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles in 2018, which will see professional men and women golfers compete for the first time in the same competition.

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, added: “Hosting major international sporting events is a key strand in our National Events Strategy, The Perfect Stage, and the fact that we can now add The 2019 Solheim Cup to an already envied list is fantastic news for Scotland.

    “Golf is one of our key drivers for inbound tourism and hosting The Solheim Cup in 2019 will ensure that we continue to play on the world stage when it comes to major golf events. We are looking forward to once again welcoming spectators from Europe and the US and showing the world how Scotland embraces major events.”

    Category: International Events

  • 29 October 2015

    GB men make history with World Championship silver

    Britain’s gymnasts have once again made history as the men’s team of Max Whitlock, Louis Smith MBE, Kristian Thomas, Nile Wilson, Brinn Bevan and Daniel Purvis have taken silver at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships at the Hydro Arena in Glasgow our greatest ever artistic gymnastics World Championships team result.

     

    The GB men, who have never taken a world team medal, finished with 270.345, just 0.473 behind the newly crowned champions Japan (270.818) and 0.386 ahead of former world champions China (269.959). The silver medal was sealed with the last performances of the championships as the Hydro Arena awaited the placing’s, finally the scoreboard revealing the result confirming Great Britain’s standing amongst the best gymnastic teams in the world.


    The British men’s competition got off to a great start with Louis Smith performing a difficult pommel routine under the pressure of opening the campaign, scoring 15.333. Brinn Bevan’s huge shout of “come on” to the crowd showed how happy he was with his pommel with Max Whitlock last up produced an outstanding routine for our top score of 15.700.


    GB then moved to rings where Max Whitlock was again in good form scoring 14.400, the roar of the crowd indicated ScotsmanDan Purvis was next up and he was solid for 14.333, Nile Wilson the last up with an impressive 14.933. 


    Brinn Bevan on vault showed no nerves in his first World Championships, his double pike Tsukahara scoring 15.133. Max triple twisted to 15.033 and Kristian Thomas followed with a double piked Yurchenko vault with 15.333. After three rotations this placed GB third in at the half way mark. 


    Max lead the way once more on parallel bars with a 15.033, Nile Wilson who has made the parallel bars final had some difficulty but battled well for a score of 15.033. Dan Purvis then produced a superb 15.466 to regain the momentum and keep the team in third heading to high bar as the pressure intensified.


    Max again was the man to calm the nerves, executing an impressive routine with a near perfect landing for 15.000 points.Kristian Thomas’s routine was packed with difficult release moves, re-catching with cross arms to the amazement of the crowd and impressing the judges for another 15.000 for GB. Nile Wilson had the whole arena focussed on his routine and rose to the challenge, the arena and his teammates erupting after his clean routine scored him 14.833.


    Heading into the final apparatus, GB needed to score in the mid 14s to overtake Russia and solid scores above 15 to overtake gymnastic greats and the reigning world champions China. Kristian started off GB’s campaign with a strong routine packed with difficulty, a few small steps on landing but it was clean for 14.600 to keep GB in contention. Up next, Dan proved his consistency at high level competition and completed an outstanding routine for a high 15.400. Then came the question, could Max score in the mid to high 15s to overtake China? The answer was yes, Max stuck cold nearly every landing to score 15.766. 


    Max Whitlock led the team competing on all apparatus and summed up the achievements saying: “To be honest there was pressure but the amount of support that goes with that was unbelievable. The crowd were absolutely crazy today and I think that has helped us get these silver medals that are round our necks now. The atmosphere was unbelievable and I think the team pulled together brilliantly and we got exactly what we wanted.”


    Teammate Nile Wilson proud of the result: “That Olympic medal has spurred us all on made us all believe that we are one of the best countries in the world at gymnastics. To be a part of this team was incredible. We were all relentless out there and hit every routine and you can’t ask for more than that.” 


    Full results.


    The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships continues with the women’s all-around final tomorrow (Thursday 29th October) with Britain’s Ruby Harrold and Amy Tinkler fighting for world glory. Follow the action LIVE on BBC Two from 7pm.

    Category: International Events

  • 29 October 2015

    Gilmour faces big tests in Scottish Open draw

    Kirsty Gilmour learned the size of her task if she is to lift the Scottish Open Grand Prix women’s singles title for the first time in Glasgow next month.

     The Commonwealth silver medallist and recent Dutch Open Grand Prix winner is top seed at the Emirates Arena from November 18-22 and she has drawn a start against a qualifier in the first round.

     But she is then likely to meet Denmark’s Bulgarian International winner Natalia Koch Rohde in her second contest and, if the draw unravels according to seeding, Swiss seventh seed Sabrina Jaquet and German third seed Karin Schnaase, whom Gilmour defeated to win the Dutch title, will bar her path to the final.

     Second seed and 2014 runner-up Beatriz Corrales has the fourth, fifth and sixth seeds in the shape of Denmark’s Line Kjaersfeldt, Bulgaria’s Linda Zetchiri and Ireland’s Chloe Magee in her half of the draw.

     In the men’s singles the Scotland challenge is once again led by Kieran Merrilees but he faces two-time former champion and 11th seed Anand Pawar of India in the first round. Ben Torrance, the young prospect who reached the second round last year, will do so again if he can overcome Mateusz Dubowski while Matthew Carder meets another Pole in Michal Rogalski.

     Denmark’s top seed Hans-Kristian Vittinghus faces Frenchman Lucas Corvee in his first contest while England’s two-time champion and second seed Rajiv Ouseph starts against Czech No.1 Petr Koukal.

     Scotland’s men’s doubles hopes Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh failed to get the luck of the draw as they face a first-round test against second seeds Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge. The England pair are leading the GB Olympic race to qualify for Rio next summer in men’s doubles.

     If Campbell and MacHugh can pull off a shock they could face team-mates Alex Dunn and Josh Neil in the second round. But the youngsters would first need to overcome German pair Andreas Heinz and Fabian Holzer.

     Former men’s doubles winner Robert Blair is again giving young prospect Adam Hall the benefit of his experience but they face a hard test against another German pair in Raphael Beck and Peter Kaesbauer.

     In the women’s doubles Julie MacPherson and Eleanor O’Donnell received a first-round bye when the draw was announced today but they gained scant reward as they must take on top seeds and defending champions Stefani and Gabriela Stoeva of Bulgaria in the second round.

     The draw was also tough on Rebekka Findlay and Kirsten Geals, who must defeat Linda Efler and Franziska Volkmann in the first round if they are to earn a crack at a second German pair in second seeds Carla Nelte and Johanna Goliszeski while Ciara Torrance and Toni Woods will take on Japan’s Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hiroto.

     Hall and O’Donnell carry Scotland’s hopes into the mixed doubles but they face a tall order against seventh seeds Gaetan Mittelheiser and Audrey Fontaine of France.

     A total of 278 players from 37 nations have made this the biggest entry since 2010 thanks to the Olympic qualifying race and the fact that Scotland will be staging the 2017 World Championships in the Emirates Arena.

     BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said: “We knew the draw would be tough on our players given the strength of this year’s entry. But we are delighted to be able to offer this quality of competition to our ever-growing badminton audience.”

     Paul Bush, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Scottish Open Grand Prix will see some of the world’s finest players come together for an incredibly exciting occasion, and we are delighted to be supporting it in 2015. Evidenced by the strength of the draw, the event is set to provide a tremendous experience for spectators at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena, an outstanding sporting venue that adds much to Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.”

     To view the full draw go to http://www.bwfbadminton.org/tournamentcalendar_event.aspx?id=21389

    Category: International Events

  • 28 October 2015

    Historic World Gymnastics Championship team bronze for GB

    Great Britain’s women’s gymnastics team have made history at the Hydro Arena in Glasgow by winning world bronze at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships, the first ever team medal won by Great Britain at a World Championships.

    The team of Rebecca Downie, Ellie Downie, Claudia Fragapane, Amy Tinkler, Ruby Harrold and Kelly Simm sensationally overtook powerhouses Russia to clinch the bronze medal in style at their home championships scoring 172.380 behind the USA (181.338) and China (176.164).

    After a having to count a fall on their first piece of apparatus, the bars, the girls needed to be on top form as they progressed through the competition. Becky Downie anchored the team with an impressive 14.833 on what is her specialist piece, to keep to girls in contention. Moving on to beam, the British girls looked calm and confident as they went through cleanly, at this point in the competition the only country to do so, Ellie Downie scoring the top mark with 14.133. Moving on to floor the girls looked incredible as they powered through difficult tumbles and nailed their landings, all the while the home crowd cheering their every move. Pocket-rocket Claudia Fragapane brought the house down with her routine and her score of 14.733. Moving onto the final apparatus, GB had to score in the high 14’s minimum to overtake Russia who had troubles on the bars and beam. Claudia and Amy produced some superb vaults to put GB right in the mix and it all came down to Ellie Downie, she produced the vault of her life to score a worlds class 15.133 to seal the deal and take the historic bronze medal.

    Ellie Downie spoke after about clinching the bronze medal with her vault: “It was quite nerve-racking, I could hear the crowd and all of the girls getting behind me so, I’m so proud of these guys I love them all so much!”

    Sister Rebecca Downie, as the most experienced team member, could not have been prouder of the girls: “I think we all knew that we had a shot coming into it today and I just tried to keep the girls just as relaxed as we could. We went shopping earlier, we’ve just had a chilled out day and tried to keep the mood pretty light. After the first mistake on bars, I was like, it’s never over until the end that’s what GB is about we fight for everything and I am so proud of all of them, it’s just amazing!”

    Full results.
    Watch the girl’s reaction after they received their medal.

    The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships continues tonight, as the British boys go for gold in the men’s team final with coverage on BBC Two from 7pm.

    Category: International Events

  • 27 October 2015

    Scotland's Solheim Cup bid receives star backing

    As Scotland awaits a decision this week to determine whether its submission to host The 2019 Solheim Cup is successful, stars from across the world of golf, sport and media have given their backing to the bid.

    The Scottish bid, which proposes staging the biennial event at The Gleneagles Hotel in 2019, looks to bring the event back to Scotland for the first time in almost 20 years and a decision is expected to be made by the Ladies European Tour Board of Directors on Thursday 29 October.

    It has already received backing from top names in women’s golf from both sides of the Atlantic with American duo Paula Creamer and Cheyenne Woods joining proud Scots Catriona Matthew, Kylie Walker and Carly Booth in voicing their support.

    Now the bid has received further backing from a plethora of famous names across the golfing, sporting and media spectrum, each of whom recorded a personal message in support of Scotland’s bid to send to the Ladies European Tour.

    Those backing the bid include Scotland’s leading male golfers Stephen Gallacher, Paul Lawrie and Marc Warren; former Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance; Fed Cup captain Judy Murray; Scotland rugby captain Greig Laidlaw; Olympic Curling medallist Eve Muirhead; Olympic Gymnastics medallist Louis Smith; Scottish women’s football captain Gemma Fay as well as sports broadcasters Dougie Donnelly, Hazel Irvine, Sarah Stirk and Cara Robinson.

    Irvine, a long-time presenter for the BBC’s golf coverage, said: “I am hugely excited about our bid to host the Solheim Cup for a third time. I was there at Dalmahoy in Edinburgh for the 1992 match. It was the very first time that Europe won the Cup and it remains one of my most precious memories in almost 30 years of working in golf.

    “How appropriate and exciting that moment should be in Scotland, the Home of Golf. Scotland has played a significant role in events since that time in 1992 and helped to raise the profile of the women's game. Who can forget the impact, profile and support that women's golf enjoyed when the Ricoh Women's British Open came to St Andrews for the first time in 2007 and again in 2013? 

    “Moreover, The 2014 Ryder Cup demonstrated, beyond doubt, that Gleneagles is a fabulous venue for a trans-continental golf match. It produced a world-class event last year and did so with great class and grace.  I strongly believe the crowds would flock back to Perthshire in their droves to witness the best women players from Europe and the United States go head to head in 2019.”

    Torrance, a vice captain to Paul McGinley in the European Team at Gleneagles in 2014, added: “We all saw the terrific spectacle of The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and the magnificent support from the Scottish crowds there. It’s time we got the Solheim Cup back to Scotland to give the women the chance to represent their countries in the Home of Golf.”

    The Scottish bid, which is led by VisitScotland and supported by The Scottish Government, proposes staging the event on the world-renowned PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles, which hosted The Ryder Cup in 2014. There is also a bid to stage the event at Bro Hoff Slott in Sweden.

    Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We have delivered a strong and comprehensive bid to stage The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, a tried and trusted venue with great experience of hosting major events.

    “We are looking forward to the decision on Thursday, after which we hope to be working towards staging the best-ever Solheim Cup in Scotland in 2019.”

  • 27 October 2015

    Gilmour top seed at Scottish Open Grand Prix

    Kirsty Gilmour will go into the Scottish Open Grand Prix as favourite for the women’s singles title after the seedings were announced by the Badminton World Federation.

     The Scotland No. 1 and leading GB player is top seed after her victories at the Forza Prague International and Yonex Dutch Open helped lift her to her current No. 24 in the world rankings. That makes her the highest-ranked player in the draw as she bids to better her runners-up spot in 2013 and semi-final place last year at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.

     She was, of course, also runner-up at the Commonwealth Games 14 months ago at the Emirates and will be up against strong competition again when the five-day Scottish Open gets under way on November 18.

     Gilmour will have to withstand the challenge from Spain’s second seed and 2014 runner-up Beatriz Corrales and third seed Karin Schnaase, the German player she defeated to win the Dutch title. But as Gilmour said: “It’s always a treat to play in Glasgow. I look forward to it every year.”

     This year’s entry is so strong that Gilmour is the only Scot seeded across the five draws. But promising youngster Adam Hall and Eleanor O’Donnell are top qualifying seeds in the mixed doubles while Ben Torrance, who was originally top seed in the men's singles qualifying, has moved up into the main draw. Julie MacPherson has been promoted from the reserve list to join Holly Newall in women's singles qualifying.

     Kieran Merrilees will once again lead Scotland’s men’s singles challenge where two-time champion Rajiv Ouseph is second seed behind Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus. Ireland’s Scott Evans is third seed while Finland’s defending champion Ville Lang, who is another two-time winner, is only  No. 9 seed in a strong men’s singles line-up.

     In the men’s doubles India’s Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy, who have reached five finals this season and won the Belgium International title, are top seeds ahead of England pair Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis. Atttri and Reddy are bidding to be India’s first men’s doubles winners at the Scottish Open.

     Defending champions Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva are top women’s doubles seeds with Germany’s Carla Nelte and Johanna Goliszewski No. 2 seeds and last year’s runners-up Heather Olver and Lauren Smith of England at No. 3. The England pair defeated the Germans in last year’s semi-finals.

     In the mixed doubles Germany’s world No. 14s Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels will start as favourites as Fuchs looks to add to his 2008 title triumph with Annekatrin Lillie. Last year's men's doubles winner Mathias Christiansen is also among the seeds with his Danish partner Lena Grebak and Poland's former European champions Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Zieba will also be strong contenders.

     A total of 278 players from 37 nations have entered this year’s Scottish Open Grand Prix and BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said: “We are delighted with the quality of the entry but I am especially pleased that Kirsty is top seed in the singles. It is a reflection of all the hard work she has put in recently and that has been rewarded by her successes in the last four weeks, particularly in winning her first Grand Prix title in Holland.

     “But Kirsty won’t be the only top player in action next month and it promises to be a fabulous tournament.”

     Paul Bush, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The Scottish Open Grand Prix will bring together some of the best talents from the world of badminton and we are delighted to be supporting the event in 2015. Almost 300 athletes and thousands of spectators will converge on Glasgow’s Emirates Arena and I think each will agree that it is an outstanding sporting venue that adds much to Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.”

     Tickets for the Scottish Open Grand Prix are still on sale. Go to www.badmintonscotland.org.uk for details and to book your tickets.

     For the full list of seeds go to http://www.bwfbadminton.org/tournamentcalendar_event.aspx?id=21389

     

    Category: International Events

  • 26 October 2015

    5,000 DRAGON PROTECTORS DESCEND ON ANGUS

    As an ancient dragon prepares to spend its final week in an Angus park, organisers of DragonQuest are revealing that 5,000 visitors have explored the magical woods of Monikie Country Park since the event began – and that the dragon will return!

    DragonQuest is a theatrical, mystery spectacular created especially for the woods of Monikie.  With the final show taking part on Sunday 1 November, countless 3D fairies, trolls, goblins, hovering flies and, of course, the breath-taking dragon itself, will then leave the park they have been inhabiting since the event began on Wednesday 7 October. 

    However, Vision Mechanics, the Edinburgh-based theatre company behind the show, are promising that the event will return next year due to its ‘overwhelming success’ to date.

    Symon Macintyre, Artistic Director, Vision Mechanics said, “As we enter the final week, we are absolutely delighted that 5,000 people have joined us on our DragonQuest so far.  We have not only achieved our targets but exceeded them, and all expectations we had for the show.  We have reached out to audiences in Dundee, Angus, Aberdeenshire, Fife and Perthshire, opening their eyes to an entirely new style of theatre, and early indications show that ticket sales remain very healthy for the final few days.”

    However, Mr Macintyre added, “The challenge ahead is to develop DragonQuest further, to take it to the next level and meet our audiences’ growing expectations.  We are hugely grateful to our funders but, to make DragonQuest even bigger and better, and to help it evolve, we are looking to secure a major sponsor to fund new creatures, installations and more lighting.  This month’s audiences are all now members of the Dragon Protection League and next year, it’s our hope and intention to secure more funding to take them on the next step of the journey - an even bigger and better one.”

    DragonQuest has been supported by Creative Scotland, EventScotland, part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate, and Angus Council.  Meanwhile, arts workshops with children and young people to produce stunning dragon scarers for Monikie Country Park and local schools were funded by The Gannochy Trust, The CashBack for Creativity Open Arts Fund and Creative Scotland.

    As well as traditional theatrical treats, illuminations and music, a downloadable App allows visitors to reveal what was hidden - a world of magical creatures which they can scan and snap for social media, friends and family alike.  Indeed, the technology is the first ever use of Augmented Reality (AR) in a live theatre performance.

    Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said, “We are delighted to support DragonQuest, attracting impressive crowds to Angus to experience this fantastical evening show. The stunning setting of Monikie Woods combined with the event’s immersive storytelling and state-of-the-art technology, demonstrates just why Scotland is the perfect stage for events.”

     Tickets remain available for certain performances this week, and are available from The Webster Memorial Theatre, 64 High Street, Arbroath, DD11 1AW - telephone 01241 435800, email info@webstertheatre.co.uk or via www.webstertheatre.co.uk.

    The Box Office is open Tuesday – Friday, 1pm-6pm and on Saturday, between 10am and 3pm. On performance nights, the Box Office hours will be extended, changing to Tuesday – Friday, 1pm-7.30-pm and on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays from 6pm-7.30pm.

    For further information, visit the DragonQuest website – dragonquest.org.uk and Facebook page - facebook.com/DarkWoodDragonQuest.

    For more information, please contact Vision Mechanics – telephone (0131) 554 8923, email info@visionmechanics.org or website www.visionmechanics.org.

    Category: National Events

  • 23 October 2015

    Aberdeen announced as the venue for the LEN European Junior Championships

    LEN, British Swimming, Scottish Swimming and Event Scotland are pleased to announce that Aberdeen has been awarded with the LEN European Junior Swimming and Diving Championships in 2020.

    The competition will see the continent’s best young swimmers and divers come to Scotland for the first time. The 2020 event will be hosted at Aberdeen Sports Village’s Aquatics Centre, which opened in 2014 and boasts a 50m 10 lane competition pool with spectator seating for 500 and 25m six lane pool with full floating floor and full Olympic standard diving facilities, including springboards and platforms up to 10 metres, with spectator seating for 130.

    The 16-day competition will be supported by an excellent volunteer and staff base who have experience of world class events like Duel in the Pool and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    British Swimming Chief Executive David Sparkes said: “We are excited to welcome the LEN European Junior Championships to the UK. This event will no doubt be the biggest competition athletes of that age group will have competed at.

    “The new pool will provide everything the athletes could need and I know we will see some excellent performances through the competition.”

    Jan Griffiths, Acting Chief Executive, Aberdeen Sports Village commented: “Aberdeen Sports Village is absolutely thrilled to have been awarded the hosting of the 2020 Championships. 

    “We are very much looking forward to working with our partners to deliver a world class event, and welcoming Europe's top junior swimmers and divers to the City.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland's Director of Events said: "We are delighted to be hosting the European Junior Championships 2020 in Aberdeen. We look forward to welcoming the swimming stars of the future to compete in Scotland, the perfect stage for events such as this."

    Category: International Events

  • 23 October 2015

    Gymnastics and golf join prestigious line up

     

    Gymnastics and Golf are to join the prestigious line up for the European Sports Championships as organisers set the date for Glasgow and Berlin in 2018, it was announced today.
    The two new additions complete the impressive roster for Scotland alongside Aquatics, Cycling, Rowing and Triathlon. Berlin will also host the 2018 European Athletics Championships as part of the inaugural event.
    The dates of for the event were confirmed today as the 1st to 12th August 2018, just four years after Glasgow staged what were widely regarded as the best ever Commonwealth Games in 2014.
    The new sporting partnership will create a strong multi-sport event on the world stage, attracting a projected television audience of around 850 million and an even wider audience via multiple digital platforms.
    Following the decision of the European Sports Championships 2018 Board today, the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships will be staged in Glasgow at the SSE Hydro, currently the venue for the 2015 FIG World Gymnastics Championships. Commonwealth Games gold medallist Scotland’s Dan Purvis hailed the return of another world-class gymnastics event to Glasgow.
    The brand new European Golf Team Championships will take place at Scotland’s prestigious Gleneagles, host of the 2014 Ryder Cup.
    This innovative new approach by the sports’ governing bodies, who announced their plans earlier this year, bring six existing European Championships together with the new Golf event in a sustainable format once every four years to continue to build their prestige, profile and media exposure.
    Around 3025 athletes will come to Scotland as part of a total delegation of around 8500 including officials, media and others. A further 1500 athletes will compete in Berlin.
    Funded jointly by the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, the new event will be run in
    partnership and allow Glasgow and Scotland to continue to build on the economic and sporting legacy
    achieved by staging the Commonwealth Games. With a cultural, tourism and sporting partnership also
    planned with Berlin, Glasgow will be promoted across Europe as a tourist and business destination.
    With sport now contributing more than £360m of added value to the Glasgow economy and tourism
    bringing £495m a year to the city, attracting events of this calibre has become key to the city’s
    economic success. As well as Glasgow’s businesses enjoying a direct economic impact of more than
    £200m over the period of the Commonwealth Games, around 6000 young people gained jobs or
    apprenticeships as part of Games legacy and sport now supports around 10,000 jobs in the city.
    The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the consortium for the continent’s public service free-to-air
    broadcasters including the BBC, will be the broadcast partner for the combined championships, which
    are expected to generate more than 2750 hours of programming across Europe’s biggest
    broadcasters.
    The Gymnastics event will include both the Men’s and Women’s Artistic Championships with around
    600 athletes competing in Glasgow over six days.
    The Golf event will be staged over five days and include men’s team, women’s team and mixed team
    competition. Two male and female athletes per nation will participate, with the top 16 European nations
    included.
    Commonwealth Games, gold silver and bronze, medal winner, Scotland's Dan Purvis, said: "Glasgow
    is showing exactly what it is capable of during the current FIG World Championships at the SSE Hydro
    and did so during the 2014 Commonwealth Games but it can now look ahead to 2018 and the
    excitement of the inaugural European Sports Championships.
    "It is fantastic that gymnastics is now part of this exciting new multi-sport event and for the athletes it
    will be great to return to Glasgow - the scene of so many memorable sporting moments over the last
    two years."
    Britain's greatest ever female gymnast, triple World Champion, Beth Tweddle MBE said: "The 2018
    European Sports Championships is coming to Glasgow during what is a golden era for sport across the
    UK - with gymnastics taking centre stage.
    "Sport changes lives and events like this will allow the city to continue the legacy journey started at the
    2009 World Championships in London, helping inspire the next generation of young gymnasts."
    Jamie Hepburn, Scottish Government Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said: “The European Sports Championships is shaping up to be a tremendous event for Scotland and Scottish sport. It’s great news that two more sports have been added to the roster.
    “There is no better place than Scotland to play and watch golf. I’m delighted that Gleneagles has been chosen as the venue for the inaugural European Golf Team Championship. If last year’s Ryder Cup is anything to go by, it promises to be a fantastic event and a great showcase for what Scotland has to offer.
    “I’m also delighted to be able to welcome another major gymnastics event to Scotland. This is a growing sport, and hosting major competitions like this will only help to build interest in gymnastics in this country.”
    Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “With all the sports now confirmed for 2018 Glasgow is again ready to show the excellence and innovation with which it can stage world class events on the global stage.
    “Major events have become a crucial part of Glasgow’s economy and we can now look forward with tremendous excitement and focus to partnering with this fantastic group of sports to continue to create opportunity and help improve health and wellbeing outcomes for our citizens.
    “Hosting these world class events not only projects Glasgow across the world as a fantastic tourist destination but, for example, has helped us increase attendance at sporting facilities by 50 per cent, and increased the number of people joining sports clubs by a staggering 288 per cent.”

    Gymnastics and Golf are to join the prestigious line up for the European Sports Championships as organisers set the date for Glasgow and Berlin in 2018, it was announced today.

    The two new additions complete the impressive roster for Scotland alongside Aquatics, Cycling, Rowing and Triathlon. Berlin will also host the 2018 European Athletics Championships as part of the inaugural event.

    The dates of for the event were confirmed today as the 1st to 12th August 2018, just four years after Glasgow staged what were widely regarded as the best ever Commonwealth Games in 2014.

    The new sporting partnership will create a strong multi-sport event on the world stage, attracting a projected television audience of around 850 million and an even wider audience via multiple digital platforms.

    Following the decision of the European Sports Championships 2018 Board today, the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships will be staged in Glasgow at the SSE Hydro, currently the venue for the 2015 FIG World Gymnastics Championships. Commonwealth Games gold medallist Scotland’s Dan Purvis hailed the return of another world-class gymnastics event to Glasgow.

    The brand new European Golf Team Championships will take place at Scotland’s prestigious Gleneagles, host of the 2014 Ryder Cup.

    This innovative new approach by the sports’ governing bodies brings six existing European Championships together with the new Golf event in a sustainable format once every four years to continue to build their prestige, profile and media exposure.

    Around 3025 athletes will come to Scotland as part of a total delegation of around 8500 including officials, media and others. A further 1500 athletes will compete in Berlin.

    Funded jointly by the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, the new event will be run in partnership and allow Glasgow and Scotland to continue to build on the economic and sporting legacy achieved by staging the Commonwealth Games. With a cultural, tourism and sporting partnership also planned with Berlin, Glasgow will be promoted across Europe as a tourist and business destination.

    With sport now contributing more than £360m of added value to the Glasgow economy and tourism bringing £495m a year to the city, attracting events of this calibre has become key to the city’s economic success. As well as Glasgow’s businesses enjoying a direct economic impact of more than £200m over the period of the Commonwealth Games, around 6000 young people gained jobs or apprenticeships as part of Games legacy and sport now supports around 10,000 jobs in the city.

    The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the consortium for the continent’s public service free-to-air broadcasters including the BBC, will be the broadcast partner for the combined championships, which are expected to generate more than 2750 hours of programming across Europe’s biggest broadcasters.

    The Gymnastics event will include both the Men’s and Women’s Artistic Championships with around 600 athletes competing in Glasgow over six days.

    The Golf event will be staged over five days and include men’s team, women’s team and mixed team competition. Two male and female athletes per nation will participate, with the top 16 European nations included.

    Commonwealth Games, gold silver and bronze, medal winner, Scotland's Dan Purvis, said: "Glasgow is showing exactly what it is capable of during the current FIG World Championships at the SSE Hydro and did so during the 2014 Commonwealth Games but it can now look ahead to 2018 and the excitement of the inaugural European Sports Championships."

    Jamie Hepburn, Scottish Government Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said: “The European Sports Championships is shaping up to be a tremendous event for Scotland and Scottish sport. It’s great news that two more sports have been added to the roster.

    “There is no better place than Scotland to play and watch golf. I’m delighted that Gleneagles has been chosen as the venue for the inaugural European Golf Team Championship. If last year’s Ryder Cup is anything to go by, it promises to be a fantastic event and a great showcase for what Scotland has to offer.

    “I’m also delighted to be able to welcome another major gymnastics event to Scotland. This is a growing sport, and hosting major competitions like this will only help to build interest in gymnastics in this country.”

    Category: Gymnastics

  • 23 October 2015

    Sports Minister Tracey Crouch visits World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow to support British Gymnasts on their Road to Rio

    UK Sports Minister Tracey Crouch is to visit Glasgow’s Hydro Arena to see the legacy from the 2014 Commonwealth Games as the city stages the World Gymnastics Championships.

     The event - the second most prestigious event in the sport after the Olympic Games - is being supported with over £1 million of public funding from UK Sport, backed by the National Lottery and UK Government investment.

     Glasgow, as a world-class sports city, is welcoming over 500 athletes from 90 countries with over 50,000 tickets sold for the event - the largest ever for a gymnastics event in the UK.

     The World Gymnastics Championships is a key qualification event for Rio 2016. The top eight teams who qualify for the final of the Championships will secure their place for the team competition at the 2016 Olympic Games.

     Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch said:

     “Hosting the World Gymnastic Championships is another coup for Scotland and a real legacy from last year’s Commonwealth Games. The British gymnasts will get an incredible reception from the fans in the Hydro Arena and ticket sales have been really strong. I am delighted that we are supporting the event, through UK Sport, that will further strengthen Britain’s reputation for staging major events but also provide a boost to the economy in Scotland.”

     Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive of UK Sport, said: “Bringing world class events to Scotland is a key part of our commitment to building a strong legacy from the success of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

     “Not only does the World Gymnastics Championships make use of one of Scotland’s world-class venues, it also gives thousands of people the opportunity to witness outstanding sport first hand and delivers significant economic impact for Scotland.

     “There’s an important performance benefit too as we know our talented gymnasts will be inspired by the passionate home crowd as they strive to qualify for Rio 2016.

     “Staging this prestigious event would not have been possible without the wonderful support of The National Lottery and key partners including EventScotland, Glasgow City Council and British Gymnastics.”

     Team GB gymnast, Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallist Dan Purvis said:

     “The whole British team are excited and ready to compete in Glasgow. Having the World Championships on home soil is a massive boost for us.

     “The home crowd make a huge difference and definitely add that extra percentage of motivation and inspire us to excel. Competing at London 2012 and at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year proved how all our gymnasts rise to the occasion with the massive support from the British crowd and I’m sure that will be the case again as we aim for Olympic qualification at these vital World Championships.”

     Paul Bush  OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:

     “Scotland is now well established as one of the world’s elite event-hosting nations and the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow will further contribute to its reputation as the perfect stage for events. Following a remarkable 2014, during which the nation was the focus of the sporting world as host of the Commonwealth Games and 2014 Ryder Cup, Scotland now has the capacity, capability, credibility and confidence to welcome sport’s biggest occasions.

     “We are highly excited about the prospect of visions of The SSE Hydro and Glasgow being beamed around the world during this critical Rio 2016 Olympics qualifying event, as well as the associated economic benefits the 2015 World Gymnastics Championship will bring to Scotland as a whole.”       

    The World Gymnastics Championships is one of 16 major sporting events being held in Scotland between 2013 and 2019, backed by UK Sport funding. The body is investing £3.4 million of National Lottery and UK government funds into the events that is expected to deliver at least £24 million to Scotland’s economy.

     Forthcoming events in Scotland include the Cycling Track World Cup in Glasgow in 2016 and the World Badminton Championships in the city in 2017.

    Category: International Events

  • 22 October 2015

    Sign up to The List's Scotland Festival and Event Organiser News

    A quarterly email dedicated to business news for Scotland’s festival and event organisers from the publisher of the annual guide to Scotland’s Festivals.

    This quarterly email will keep you up to date with news and developments related to festivals and events in Scotland - industry news, funding information, legislation, ticketing trends, market intelligence and opportunities to promote your festival. The newsletter comes from The List, publishers of The Guide to Scotland's Festivals, each January.

    To recieve the newsletter sign up here. 

    Category: Industry News

  • 21 October 2015

    Virgin Money Street of Light Launches - Exciting new event as part of Edinburgh's Christmas

     

    Virgin Money Street of LIGHT
    30 November – 24 December
    Tickets now available 
    Choirs and music announced
    Visit www.virginmoneystreetoflight.com to reserve FREE tickets. 
    Up to 250,000 people are expected to enjoy a major, new free event for Edinburgh’s Christmas – and boost local businesses in Edinburgh’s historic Old Town at the same time.
    Edinburgh’s Christmas already drives enormous footfall to Princes Street and St Andrew Square, creating significant economic benefit for Edinburgh (£118 million in 2014/15), and now the Royal Mile and the Old Town are set to see numbers swell thanks to The Virgin Money Street of Light.
    This stunning new addition to Edinburgh’s Christmas launches on St Andrew's Day (Monday 30 November) and runs till Christmas Eve, with a specially designed architectural installation of 60,000+ lights stretching along the Royal Mile, from City Chambers to the Tron Kirk. Enter this stunning canopy of light, rising up to 19 metres high and listen to music from choirs from across Edinburgh in specially commissioned recordings and synchronised to the lights.
    Virgin Money Street of Light is made possible with the support of Virgin Money and is part of Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations with support from Scotland’s Winter Festivals.
    The music comes from the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, the Edinburgh Gay Men’s Chorus, the Edinburgh Police Choir and the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union.
    The Edinburgh Festival Chorus will sing extracts from Stella Natalis and Joy To The World (Karl Jenkins) accompanied by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Bell.
    The Edinburgh Gay Men’s Chorus will sing Gaudete (Traditional), The Flood (Take That), Suddenly I See (KT Tunstall), Jolene (Dolly Parton), I Wanna Hold Your Hand (The Beatles) and Deck The Halls (Traditional).
    The Edinburgh Police Choir will sing One Day Like This (Elbow), Don’t Stop Me Now (Queen), Get Lucky (Daft Punk/Phinarrell Williams) and Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen).
    The Edinburgh Royal Choral Union will sing extracts from The Messiah (Handel) accompanied by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Michael Bawtree 
    The event runs for 25 days from 30 November to 24 December 2015. There are two shows a day, Monday – Saturday at 6.30pm and 8.15pm, Sunday at 5.30pm and 7.30pm each lasting approximately 20 minutes. The schedule of choirs and performances is at the end of this release.
    Tickets are free of charge, and 5,000 tickets will be issued for each show, giving a total capacity over the event of 250,000 people. 
    The Virgin Money Street of Light is supported by the Royal Mile Business Association.
    People are being encouraged to share their highlights and images of the Virgin Money Street of Light on social media using the hashtag #mystandrewsday
    Charlie Wood, director of Underbelly said: “We are delighted to be extending Edinburgh's Christmas this year into the Old Town with an installation that has been specially designed for this historic site, with music sung by some of Edinburgh’s finest choirs and which offers something truly unique, not just to Edinburgh but to the whole of Scotland and the rest of the UK. Tickets are FREE and demand will be high, so please pre-book to avoid disappointment. I would also like to thank Virgin Money and Scotland's Winter Festivals for their incredible support.”  
    Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said “The Virgin Money Street of Light is a hugely exciting addition to Edinburgh’s Christmas programme which will showcase our beautiful capital city from the City Chambers to the Tron Kirk. More than 2 million people visited Edinburgh’s Christmas festival during 2014, and I’d encourage people of all ages to get involved in the celebrations this year.
    “The Virgin Money Street of Light is part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 22 key cultural events in 14 local authority areas across the country. 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.”
    Underbelly has worked closely with the Royal Mile Business Association since being first approached by them to create an event for the Royal Mile area. This unique and site specific architectural installation has been designed in such a way that the pavements will remain clear at all times allowing the free flow of pedestrians up and down this area. 
    Andrew Elmer - Chairman, Royal Mile Business Association said: "The Royal Mile Business Association are very proud and excited to be involved with Underbelly in bringing Edinburgh's Christmas to the Royal Mile. The contribution and efforts of our Members have all helped to support Underbelly in showcasing one of the most famous and iconic streets in Scotland with an incredible free light show that will be enjoyed by everyone. We are delighted to be associated with such a major project and it's been great to see local businesses take the opportunity to be part of such a unique and spectacular event."
    With an estimated 250,000 people expected to enjoy this magical experience over 25 days, they will be able, before and after each show to enjoy all that the businesses on the Royal Mile and Old Town have to offer.
    Mr Surinder Gold, Founding Director of Gold Brothers said: “Through our participation in the Royal Mile Business Association (RMBA), we have been involved in discussions regarding a Christmas programme for the Royal Mile since early 2014. The Royal Mile business community collectively and others understood that the vast majority of European capital cities who had large Christmas and Winter Festivals had their Old Town’s very much at the heart of it. We were all keen to see the Old Town included in the wonderful and highly successful ‘Edinburgh’s Christmas’, building on the amazing offer the Royal Mile already gives our city's visitors from across the world.. We congratulate the Royal Mile Business Association for their great efforts and we applaud the producers Underbelly for bringing the Street of Light to Edinburgh and very much thank Virgin Money for their continued and expanded involvement in activities on the Royal Mile. We believe the Street of Light initiative will be an outstanding success for Edinburgh and we hope to see it grow. It has our full support for the good of the whole community, our city at large and all the visitors who come here.”
    John McCormack, GM of Bella Italia Northbridge said: “It is brilliant to be part of something so unique and fitting, not just to Edinburgh but to the historic Old Town. The event gives Christmas time visitors to Edinburgh more varied choice of attractions and a sprinkle of magic that nowhere else in the UK can offer. We at Bella look forward to you spending the festive period with us.”
    Craig Miller, General Manager at The Real Mary King’s Close commented: “We are delighted to welcome Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations to the Old Town and we are proud to be supporting the Street of Light in its inaugural year. We hope this 25-day event will encourage those who come to see the light spectacular to explore all that this historic and vibrant area has to offer. It really is a fantastic project and we can’t wait to see the Royal Mile light up this Christmas.”
    Siobhnan Leith from Heritage Portfolio said: “As an Edinburgh based catering and event design company we are delighted to support the Street of Light.  The Royal Mile is the perfect location to host this spectacular event as it will showcase Edinburgh’s dramatic history and also Scotland’s expertise in creating unforgettable experiences for visitors and locals.  Heritage Portfolio is proud to work with the grand café ‘Colonnades’ at the Signet Library which is located at the entrance to the Street of Light.  We have worked with our head chefs to create special menus for guests and families and to enjoy pre and post the light show.”
    Judith Grieve, from the Old Town Chambers said: “What an absolutely fantastic installation for Edinburgh and at a great time of year. We know our guests are going to love it!” 
    Demand for the Virgin Money Street of Light  is expected to be high. Reserve a ticket to ensure entry at virginmoneystreetoflight.com 

    Virgin Money Street of Light

    30 November – 24 December

    Tickets now available 

    Choirs and music announced

    Visit www.virginmoneystreetoflight.com to reserve FREE tickets. 

    Up to 250,000 people are expected to enjoy a major, new free event for Edinburgh’s Christmas – and boost local businesses in Edinburgh’s historic Old Town at the same time.

    Edinburgh’s Christmas already drives enormous footfall to Princes Street and St Andrew Square, creating significant economic benefit for Edinburgh (£118 million in 2014/15), and now the Royal Mile and the Old Town are set to see numbers swell thanks to The Virgin Money Street of Light.

    This stunning new addition to Edinburgh’s Christmas launches on St Andrew's Day (Monday 30 November) and runs till Christmas Eve, with a specially designed architectural installation of 60,000+ lights stretching along the Royal Mile, from City Chambers to the Tron Kirk.

    Enter this stunning canopy of light, rising up to 19 metres high and listen to music from choirs from across Edinburgh in specially commissioned recordings and synchronised to the lights.

    Virgin Money Street of Light is made possible with the support of Virgin Money and is part of Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations with support from Scotland’s Winter Festivals.

    The music comes from the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, the Edinburgh Gay Men’s Chorus, the Edinburgh Police Choir and the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union.

    The Edinburgh Festival Chorus will sing extracts from Stella Natalis and Joy To The World (Karl Jenkins) accompanied by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Bell.

    The Edinburgh Gay Men’s Chorus will sing Gaudete (Traditional), The Flood (Take That), Suddenly I See (KT Tunstall), Jolene (Dolly Parton), I Wanna Hold Your Hand (The Beatles) and Deck The Halls (Traditional).

    The Edinburgh Police Choir will sing One Day Like This (Elbow), Don’t Stop Me Now (Queen), Get Lucky (Daft Punk/Phinarrell Williams) and Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen).

    The Edinburgh Royal Choral Union will sing extracts from The Messiah (Handel) accompanied by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Michael Bawtree 

    The event runs for 25 days from 30 November to 24 December 2015. There are two shows a day, Monday – Saturday at 6.30pm and 8.15pm, Sunday at 5.30pm and 7.30pm each lasting approximately 20 minutes. The schedule of choirs and performances is at the end of this release.

    Tickets are free of charge, and 5,000 tickets will be issued for each show, giving a total capacity over the event of 250,000 people. • The Virgin Money Street of Light is supported by the Royal Mile Business Association.
    People are being encouraged to share their highlights and images of the Virgin Money Street of Light on social media using the hashtag #mystandrewsday

    Charlie Wood, director of Underbelly said: “We are delighted to be extending Edinburgh's Christmas this year into the Old Town with an installation that has been specially designed for this historic site, with music sung by some of Edinburgh’s finest choirs and which offers something truly unique, not just to Edinburgh but to the whole of Scotland and the rest of the UK. Tickets are FREE and demand will be high, so please pre-book to avoid disappointment. I would also like to thank Virgin Money and Scotland's Winter Festivals for their incredible support.”  

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said “The Virgin Money Street of Light is a hugely exciting addition to Edinburgh’s Christmas programme which will showcase our beautiful capital city from the City Chambers to the Tron Kirk. More than 2 million people visited Edinburgh’s Christmas festival during 2014, and I’d encourage people of all ages to get involved in the celebrations this year.

    “The Virgin Money Street of Light is part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 22 key cultural events in 14 local authority areas across the country. 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.”

    Underbelly has worked closely with the Royal Mile Business Association since being first approached by them to create an event for the Royal Mile area. This unique and site specific architectural installation has been designed in such a way that the pavements will remain clear at all times allowing the free flow of pedestrians up and down this area. 

    Andrew Elmer - Chairman, Royal Mile Business Association said: "The Royal Mile Business Association are very proud and excited to be involved with Underbelly in bringing Edinburgh's Christmas to the Royal Mile. The contribution and efforts of our Members have all helped to support Underbelly in showcasing one of the most famous and iconic streets in Scotland with an incredible free light show that will be enjoyed by everyone. We are delighted to be associated with such a major project and it's been great to see local businesses take the opportunity to be part of such a unique and spectacular event.

    "With an estimated 250,000 people expected to enjoy this magical experience over 25 days, they will be able, before and after each show to enjoy all that the businesses on the Royal Mile and Old Town have to offer.

    Demand for the Virgin Money Street of Light  is expected to be high. Reserve a ticket to ensure entry at virginmoneystreetoflight.com 

    Category: Food and Drink News

  • 21 October 2015

    Etape Loch Ness is smiles better – entries open next week for cycle sportive in Scotland’s happiest city

    Cyclists who sign up for the 2016 Etape Loch Ness closed-road sportive are being promised grins and not grimaces – the event will lead off from a city officially recognised as the happiest place to live in Scotland.

    Inverness was also named as the second happiest place to stay in the UK in a survey undertaken earlier this year and organisers believe riders who sign up to the event – which opens for entries next week – will also leave with smiles on their faces.

    Etape Loch Ness follows a 66-mile route on closed roads from Inverness around the shores of the world-famous loch before returning to the city. It will take place on April 24 next year, and is expected to see thousands of cyclists converge on the Highlands.

    Event director Malcolm Sutherland says, “With stunning scenery, traffic-free roads and great camaraderie among the riders, Etape Loch Ness already has a reputation as being a very happy and friendly event.

    “But the fact that Inverness is now recognised as the happiest place to live in Scotland and that we are more content here with our local community than any other part of the country just adds to the feel-good factor.

    “This year we are encouraging our cyclists to #ridehappy in the lead-up to and during Etape Loch Ness. Cycling brings great joy to so many people, whether they are experienced riders looking to better their performance, or training for their first cycle sportive.

    “They might have started cycling to get fit and improve their health, or perhaps they are taking part in Etape Loch Ness to raise money for a charity that is close to their hearts. Whatever the reason, we want them to celebrate the happiness that cycling brings to their lives.”

    Etape Loch Ness is now in its third year, and 2016 is expected to follow the same pattern as the previous two years where places have been in exceptionally high demand. All places were snapped up within 72 hours last year, with a limited number of entries later made available for charity riders.

    Priority entry for 2016 will open on Tuesday, October 27 for those who have pre-registered their interest via the event website www.etapelochness.com before opening to the general public 48 hours later, subject to event capacity.

    Macmillan Cancer Support will once again be the official charity partner of Etape Loch Ness. Last year the organisation raised £170,000 at the event, while a total of £228,000 was generated for good causes.

    Malcolm adds, “The way in which Etape Loch Ness has raised so much money for charity is something that makes us as event organisers incredibly happy. Completing the course in itself is an achievement, but to do so knowing that your actions are directly helping others will really bring a smile to your face.

    “The feedback that we had from the 2015 event was really positive and as the event is garnering a reputation as a must-do sportive, we expect that demand will be high again for 2016.”

    Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, adds, “Etape Loch Ness has been an incredibly popular event since launching in 2014 and we are delighted to be supporting it again next year.

    “Traffic free roads and one of Scotland’s most stunning natural landscapes make Loch Ness the perfect stage for cycling, and I look forward to seeing thousands of participants make their way to the Highlands for Etape Loch Ness again in April.”

    To register interest in the event and to enter visit www.etapelochness.com Regular updates also appear on social media through Facebook www.facebook.com/etapelochness and Twitter @EtapeLochNess

    Category: National Events

  • 19 October 2015

    Celebrate St Andrew's Day this year in St Andrew Square

     

    Sunday 29th November 10am - 10pm
    Free Tickets are now available for a host of fun and family friendly events as part of the 2015 St Andrew’s Day Celebrations in St Andrew Square.
    Underbelly announce that tickets for their packed St Andrew's Day programme of FREE events can be reserved from today online at www.edinburghschristmas.com. There will be no finer place to celebrate Scotland's national day than St Andrew Square in the very heart of the city, where all the events take place. 
    The Edinburgh's Christmas St Andrew's Day celebrations are free to all, including performances within the Speigletent, which are ticketed. 
    Visitors can pre-book via www.edinburghschristmas.com.
    Throughout the day, St Andrew Square will host a diverse selection of free, fun and family-friendly events including: in the Spiegeltent, Stick Man, Royal Scottish Country Dancing, Scottish Storytelling, Scots Makar, Liz Lochhead and Dean Owens and the Whisky Hearts, and out on the Main Stage, Pulse of Place, The Banana Sessions and Blazin’ Fiddles will get you dancing.
    Around the site, you will find face painting, a Haggis Hunt for the young at heart and you can also take this opportunity to sample the culinary delights of our Scottish Market.
    The celebrations in St Andrew Square on 29 November will be followed by the launch on 30 November of the Virgin Money Street of Light, a stunning architectural installation of over 60,000 lights stretching from the City Chambers to the Tron Kirk, set to the music of local choirs. Free tickets for the Virgin Money Street of Light are available to book online from 22 October from virginmoneystreetoflight.com.
    Edinburgh's Christmas St Andrew's Day programme and the Virgin Money Street of Light are supported as part of Scotland's Winter Festivals.
    Selected highlights include:
    Stick Man: Based on the beloved book by Gruffalo creators Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, this brilliant stage adaptation of Stick Man returns to Edinburgh’s Christmas following a hit season in 2014.   Touching, funny and utterly original this award-winning show has delighted audiences across the country. Packed with puppetry, songs, live music and funky moves the show guarantees more fun than you can shake a stick at!
    Dean Owens and the Whisky Hearts: Velvet-voiced Dean Owens is one of Scotland’s most acclaimed singer songwriters and along with his five-piece band will bring his infectious brand of Celtic Americana, from Leith via Nashville to the very heart of the city.
    Liz Lochhead: Scotland’s National Poet, multi award winner and veteran Fringe performer, in a celebration of the word - poems, monologues, characters, lyrics, theatre pieces.  “An inspirational force in British poetry… has tirelessly brought poetry to the drama and drama into poetry … funny, feisty, full of feeling, a fantastic performer” Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate.
    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said: ““St Andrew’s Day offers the perfect opportunity for people of all ages to celebrate our great nation by getting involved in a diverse range of events and activities which are happening the length and breadth of the country to mark our national day.
    “Over the years Edinburgh’s St Andrews Day celebration has gone from strength to strength, attracting visitors from near and far to a packed programme of family friendly events and activities, which this year also includes the eagerly anticipated Virgin Money Street of Light.”
    “Edinburgh’s St Andrews Day is part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which this year has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 22 key cultural events in 14 local authority areas across the country. We want to hear how people are celebrating St Andrews Day and are encouraging them to let us know on #mystandrewsday"
    Charlie Wood, Director of Underbelly, said: “We are delighted to be hosting Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations for a second year, with an all day long programme featuring some of the finest Scottish music, poetry and dance – all free - to celebrate Scotland’s national day.There will be something for everyone and it is all free so we urge people to book in advance via www.edinburghschristmas.com.”
    Roddy Smith, Chief Executive, Essential Edinburgh, said: “What better way to celebrate St Andrews Day than by attending some wonderful free entertainment in the square bearing his name. Essential Edinburgh are delighted to be working with Underbelly to provide the day of activity in the city centre, just one part of a very exciting programme for Edinburgh’s Christmas.” 
    St Andrew's Day is Scotland's national day, designed to celebrate the country's history, culture and heritage with people both at home and abroad. Share your highlights from Edinburgh's St Andrew's Day celebrations using #mystandrewsday. 
    facebook/edinburghschristmas
    @EdXmas
    Tickets for all ticketed events are available from: 
    www.edinburghschristmas.com 

    Sunday 29th November 10am - 10pm

    Free Tickets are now available for a host of fun and family friendly events as part of the 2015 St Andrew’s Day Celebrations in St Andrew Square.

    Underbelly announce that tickets for their packed St Andrew's Day programme of FREE events can be reserved from today online at www.edinburghschristmas.com.

    There will be no finer place to celebrate Scotland's national day than St Andrew Square in the very heart of the city, where all the events take place. 

    The Edinburgh's Christmas St Andrew's Day celebrations are free to all, including performances within the Speigletent, which are ticketed. 

    Visitors can pre-book via www.edinburghschristmas.com.

    Throughout the day, St Andrew Square will host a diverse selection of free, fun and family-friendly events including: in the Spiegeltent, Stick Man, Royal Scottish Country Dancing, Scottish Storytelling, Scots Makar, Liz Lochhead and Dean Owens and the Whisky Hearts, and out on the Main Stage, Pulse of Place, The Banana Sessions and Blazin’ Fiddles will get you dancing.

    Around the site, you will find face painting, a Haggis Hunt for the young at heart and you can also take this opportunity to sample the culinary delights of our Scottish Market.

    The celebrations in St Andrew Square on 29 November will be followed by the launch on 30 November of the Virgin Money Street of Light, a stunning architectural installation of over 60,000 lights stretching from the City Chambers to the Tron Kirk, set to the music of local choirs.

    Free tickets for the Virgin Money Street of Light are available to book online from 22 October from virginmoneystreetoflight.com.

    Edinburgh's Christmas St Andrew's Day programme and the Virgin Money Street of Light are supported as part of Scotland's Winter Festivals.

    Selected highlights include:

    Stick Man: Based on the beloved book by Gruffalo creators Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, this brilliant stage adaptation of Stick Man returns to Edinburgh’s Christmas following a hit season in 2014.   Touching, funny and utterly original this award-winning show has delighted audiences across the country. Packed with puppetry, songs, live music and funky moves the show guarantees more fun than you can shake a stick at!

    Dean Owens and the Whisky Hearts: Velvet-voiced Dean Owens is one of Scotland’s most acclaimed singer songwriters and along with his five-piece band will bring his infectious brand of Celtic Americana, from Leith via Nashville to the very heart of the city.

    Liz Lochhead: Scotland’s National Poet, multi award winner and veteran Fringe performer, in a celebration of the word - poems, monologues, characters, lyrics, theatre pieces.  “An inspirational force in British poetry… has tirelessly brought poetry to the drama and drama into poetry … funny, feisty, full of feeling, a fantastic performer” Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate.

    Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said: “St Andrew’s Day offers the perfect opportunity for people of all ages to celebrate our great nation by getting involved in a diverse range of events and activities which are happening the length and breadth of the country to mark our national day.

    “Over the years Edinburgh’s St Andrews Day celebration has gone from strength to strength, attracting visitors from near and far to a packed programme of family friendly events and activities, which this year also includes the eagerly anticipated Virgin Money Street of Light.”

    “Edinburgh’s St Andrews Day is part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme which this year has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 22 key cultural events in 14 local authority areas across the country. We want to hear how people are celebrating St Andrews Day and are encouraging them to let us know on #mystandrewsday."

    Charlie Wood, Director of Underbelly, said: “We are delighted to be hosting Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations for a second year, with an all day long programme featuring some of the finest Scottish music, poetry and dance – all free - to celebrate Scotland’s national day.There will be something for everyone and it is all free so we urge people to book in advance via www.edinburghschristmas.com.”

    Roddy Smith, Chief Executive, Essential Edinburgh, said: “What better way to celebrate St Andrews Day than by attending some wonderful free entertainment in the square bearing his name. Essential Edinburgh are delighted to be working with Underbelly to provide the day of activity in the city centre, just one part of a very exciting programme for Edinburgh’s Christmas.” 

    St Andrew's Day is Scotland's national day, designed to celebrate the country's history, culture and heritage with people both at home and abroad.

    Share your highlights from Edinburgh's St Andrew's Day celebrations using #mystandrewsday. 

    facebook/edinburghschristmas

    @EdXmas

    Tickets for all ticketed events are available from: www.edinburghschristmas.com 

    Category: Winter Festivals News

  • 16 October 2015

    Scotland plays key role in global golf forum

    Scotland will take its seat at the biggest global platform in golf business next month when VisitScotland plays a prominent role in the HSBC Golf Business Forum in Shanghai.

    The two-day conference is the largest and most significant meeting of golf business executives and decision-makers on the planet, featuring key influencers such as PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of the European Tour Keith Pelley and John Solheim, President and CEO of PING.

    Joining the impressive list of speakers for the conference at the Pudong Shangri La Hotel, from 1-4 November, is Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, who will use the platform to discuss Scotland’s role in attracting and hosting the biggest tournaments in world golf and how the organisation uses these events to market Scotland as the Home of Golf.

    Bush, who oversees an annual investment of £3m in golf through the EventScotland team within the VisitScotland Events Directorate, said: “The HSBC Golf Business Forum is a unique gathering of the most influential people within the sport and I am honoured to have the opportunity to join that stage and to talk about Scotland’s significant role in the world of golf.

     “Scotland is one of the most recognisable brands in golf and the profile we have enjoyed thanks to hosting the biggest tournaments in world golf has been phenomenal.

    “Our investment in golf events is a key strand of our activity to promote Scotland as a global golf and tourism destination. Scotland has been the venue for some of the most dramatic and endearing moments in golf and with each event played in Scotland, new golfing history is made. There is no doubt that when golf fans round the world watch their heroes playing magnificent courses in Scotland it inspires them to learn more and to visit the country for themselves.

    “I look forward to sharing our ideas on such a global forum in Shanghai and to potentially fostering new relationships and partnerships to keep Scotland at the forefront of the game for many more years to come.”

    Scotland has enjoyed an almost unprecedented profile on the world stage in recent years thanks to staging of major golf events including The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, The Open at St Andrews and the Women’s British Open at Turnberry in the space of just 10 months.

    Scotland remains committed to hosting the biggest events in world golf with a number of Major Championships already confirmed for future years including The Open at Royal Troon in 2016 and Carnoustie in 2018,  the Senior Open Championship in 2016 and the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns in 2017.

    In addition, Scotland is currently bidding to host The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, with a decision expected by the Ladies European Tour at the end of October.

    Category: Golf

  • 13 October 2015

    Cabinet Secretary and VisitScotland Chairman to open the National Events Conference 2015

    The National Events Conference 2015 at the EICC on Thursday 3 December will be opened by The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs.  Ms Hyslop and Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland will welcome delegates to the conference which will focus on the recently refreshed National Events Strategy, Scotland the Perfect Stage.

    Sign up to the National Events Conference at www.nationaleventsconference.scot. Register before the end of October to take advantage of the 3 for 2 delegate offer – buy two places and take a third colleague for free.

    Standard ticket: £125 + VAT

    The recently refreshed National Events Strategy, Scotland the Perfect Stage will provide a central theme to the conference.  Providing an opportunity for event organisers, partners, suppliers and practitioners to find out more about the industry’s strategy and how you can maximise the opportunities for your business.

    Delegates have the opportunity to choose from the following in-depth sessions:

     

    • Developing Events - Putting on an outstanding smaller event
    • Developing Scotland - Deliver safer results
    • Developing the Industry - The opportunity: Year of Innovation, Architechture and Design

     

    The international context will also be considered looking at how to maintain and build on Scotland’s position as the Perfect Stage for events. Delegates will also be given the opportunity for valuable networking, meeting fellow events professionals and volunteers.  The Conference will start at 9am and finish at 4pm.
     
    The National Events Conference is delivered by VisitScotland's Events Directorate which encompasses EventScotland.
     
    Keep an eye on National Events Conference website, our e-newsletter, Twitter and LinkedIn for further announcements relating to programme details and speakers. Join the conversation at #perfectstage


    Category: National Events

  • 13 October 2015

    Saltire Festival returns in 2015 with packed programme

     

    The programme for this year’s Saltire Festival has been launched – featuring events celebrating all things Scottish, from enjoying the outdoors to traditional music and food and drink.Once again, the Saltire Festival has received support as part of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme of events.Based around St Andrew’s Day, the Saltire Festival also celebrates East Lothian’s status as the home of our national flag. Events start this year on Monday 23 November, running to Sunday 29th, with something to suit everyone.New to the programme this year are two events at the Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa in North Berwick – The Saltire Wine and Dine and The Saltire Whisky Dinner; a Saltire Lecture in Dunbar; Scotland Through the Ages at Dirleton Castle; Dunbar Arts, Crafts and Produce Market and the Book Week Festival.Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading delivered by the Scottish Book Trust in partnership with local libraries and other organisations. This year, East Lothian Library Service is combining with The Saltire Festival to provide a fantastic week of events. Highlights include an evening with celebrated crime writers Arne Dahl, Eva Dolan and Stuart Neville, in the atmospheric setting of St Mary’s parish church in Haddington; TV presenter and broadcaster, record breaking round the world cyclist and ultra endurance adventurer Mark Beaumont will be appearing at the Brunton theatre;  meet Tartan noir crime novelist Lin Anderson at Tranent library and  Ann Cleeves, author of the hugely popular Vera detective series, will be visiting Port Seton community centre. Saltire favourites from previous years’ programmes return: Appetite for Music, featuring musical entertainment and special menus at a selection of East Lothian’s top restaurants and bars; Scotland on Film at the Brunton, Musselburgh; The Saltire Raceday at Musselburgh Racecourse; The Saltire Haddington Farmers’ Market; John Muir Winter Carnival at Foxlake; The Saltire Epicurean Encounter at Haddington Corn Exchange and the Home of the Flag Celebrations on Sunday 29th November featuring a church service at Athelstaneford, birthplace of the Saltire, Laughs and Lyrics featuring music, comedy and entertainment at the Maitlandfield House Hotel, Haddington and the Saltire Concert at St Mary’s Church, Haddington.Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Council spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism, said: “I’m very much looking forward to this year’s expanded Saltire programme as it’s a great mix of favourite events and some exciting new ones. East Lothian can truly boast attractions and events to suit everyone and the Saltire Festival is a great example of this – and helps us towards achieving our aims of making East Lothian Scotland’s leading coastal leisure and food and drink destination. And of course, we’re celebrating the fact that we’re the home of the Saltire flag. It’s sure to be a great event again this year and I look forward to welcoming along locals and visitors.”Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: “This year’s expanded Saltire Festival programme is shaping up to be engaging and inspiring. I’m sure revellers will enjoy travelling back in time to 832AD to learn about how the Saltire was adopted as Scotland’s flag.“The event is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme which this year is being provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 22 key cultural events in 14 local authority areas across Scotland.”Share your highlights and images of The Saltire Festival on social media using the hashtag #mystandrewsdayFor full details, visit saltirefestival.comDetails of the full book festival programme from East Lothian library service will soon be available at www.eastlothian.gov.uk/libraries   For events nationwide visit www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland
    The programme for this year’s Saltire Festival has been launched – featuring events celebrating all things Scottish, from enjoying the outdoors to traditional music and food and drink.
    Once again, the Saltire Festival has received support as part of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme of events.
    Based around St Andrew’s Day, the Saltire Festival also celebrates East Lothian’s status as the home of our national flag. Events start this year on Monday 23 November, running to Sunday 29th, with something to suit everyone.
    New to the programme this year are two events at the Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa in North Berwick – The Saltire Wine and Dine and The Saltire Whisky Dinner; a Saltire Lecture in Dunbar; Scotland Through the Ages at Dirleton Castle; Dunbar Arts, Crafts and Produce Market and the Book Week Festival.