Blas Festival gets Creative Scotland backing

CREATIVE SCOTLAND BACKS 2011 BLAS FESTIVAL

The seventh Blas festival in the Highlands and Islands has received a major boost with the confirmation of £50,000 investment from Creative Scotland.

The investment from the national leader for Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries has enabled the organisers of Blas, which has established itself as the premier event celebrating all that is good about the Gaelic language and culture of the Highlands, to offer a packed programme of events which features top performers and two new commissions, one celebrating the culture of Scotland’s islands.

This year’s Blas festival will deliver nearly 100 cultural events between 9 and 17 September in venues across the Highlands ranging from community halls to Inverness Airport, The Jacobite Queen cruise boat and Eden Court Theatre.

Welcoming the news, Arthur Cormack of organisers Fèisean nan Gàidheal said: “The additional investment from Creative Scotland for Blas 2011 is a major boost. Most people will be aware of the funding pressures which we have had to face, in common with every other arts organisation and event. As part of Creative Scotland’s role is to enable creativity to shine at home and abroad, Blas will certainly be well burnished with this assistance. It will enable us to approach the starting date of the festival at the beginning of September with increased confidence and hopefully Creative Scotland will continue to invest in future Blas festivals.”

Traditional music as well as Gaelic language and song are the bedrock of the festival but, for the first time, Blas will also have a strand featuring Gaelic writers, organised in collaboration with Comhairle nan Leabhraichean – the Gaelic Books Council.

The 2011 festival is also a key part of the Year of Scotland’s Islands initiative and with tickets sales holding up well, the festival looks set to be a roaring success.

Ian Smith, Portfolio Manager for Music and IP Development, Creative Scotland, said, “The Blas Festival is a true celebration of Highland music and culture, and this year’s line up doesn’t disappoint with performances from some of Scotland’s best traditional artists. The Blas Festival is also an excellent platform for the Fèis movement, offering young performers the opportunity to learn and develop their skills in traditional dance, music and song. We are delighted to have invested in the Blas Festival at a time when we are reviewing our interaction with the Highlands and Islands region as a whole.”

Featured artists at Blas 2011 will include top musical talent such as Karen Matheson, Karine Polwart, Iain Morrison & Daibhidh Martin, Kathleen MacInnes, Maggie MacInnes & Colum Sands and chart-bidders Mànran.

The Blas Festival is a partnership between Fèisean nan Gàidheal, the Promoters Arts Network and its main funder, The Highland Council.

The full programme and information about several ways in which to buy tickets – which are still available at a reduced rate until the end of this week (July 31) – is available from the festival website http://www.blas-festival.com

Deagh Bhlas air taic Alba Chruthachail

Fhuair an seachdamh Fèis Blas togail mòr leis an naidheachd gu bheil Alba Chruthachail air taic £50,000 a thoirt dhan fhèis.

Tha seo uile a’ ciallachadh gum bi sreath de thachartasan èibheiseach agus prìomh luchd-ealain nan tarraing, a bharrachd air dà choimisean ùr ciùil, aon dhiù sin a’ comharrachadh ealain nan eilean, aig cridhe Fèis Blas 2011, a’ luaidh cultar na Gàidhealtachd. Tha Blas a-nis stèidhichte mar phrìomh fhèis a’ taisbeanadh subhachas is cultar na Gàidhlig air a’ Ghàidhealtachd.

Bidh Blas a’ cur air adhart faisg air 100 tachartas cultarail air feadh na Gàidhealtachd eadar 9 agus 17 Sultain ann an àiteachan cho eadar-dhealaichte ri tallaichean coimhearsnachd gu Port-adhar Inbhir Nis, air a’ bhàta Jacobite Queen agus ann an Eden Court fhèin.

A’ cur fàilte air an naidheachd, thuirt Art MacCarmaig às leth Fèisean nan Gàidheal, a tha a’ stiùireadh Blas, “Tha an taic a bharrachd a tha sinn a’ faighinn bho Alba Chruthachail na thogail air leth. Bidh a’ mhòr-chuid de dhaoine eòlach gu leòr air na duilgheadasan a tha mar coinneimh, cleas bhuidhnean eile a tha a’ cur thachartasan air adhart ann an saoghal nan ealan. Seach gu bheil e na phàirt dhen dleastanas aig Alba Chruthachail a bhith a’ cruthachadh cothroman do dhaoine thall sa bhos, bheir seo gleans às-ùr air Blas gun teagamh. Tha e na thogail dhuinn agus gar misneachadh agus toiseach na fèis a’ sìor thighinn oirnn san t-Sultain agus bidh sinn beò agus an dòchas gu bheil a leithid eile romhainn fhathast còmhla ri Alba Chruthachail.”

Tha an fhèis an ìre mhath stèidhichte air ceòl traidiseanta agus ceòl is òrain Ghàidhlig ach am bliadhna, airson a’ chiad turas, bidh Blas a’ cur air adhart sreath shònraichte de thachartasan le sgrìobhadairean Gàidhlig, ann an co-bhuinn ri Comhairle nan Leabhraichean.

Thuirt Iain Mac a’ Ghobhainn, Manaidsear Ciùil agus leasachadh IP Alba Chruthachail, “ ‘S e fìor luaidh air ceòl is cultar na Gàidhealtachd a tha sinn a’ faighinn tro Bhlas agus tha an dreach a th’air clàr na bliadhna seo na dheagh theisteanas air sin le cuid de na luchd-ciùil traidiseanta as fheàrr ann an Alba an làthair. Chan eil àrd-ùrlar no cothrom taisbeanaidh eile aig na Fèisean fhèin coltach ri seo, is òigridh a’ faighinn cothrom an sgilean ann an dannsa traidiseanta, ceòl agus òrain a thoirt air adhart. Tha sinn air leth toilichte an cothrom a ghabhail cur ris an fhèis seo aig àm far a bheil sinn a’ toirt sùil anns an fharsaingeachd air an dòigh anns am bheil sinn a’ dèiligeadh ris a’ Ghàidhealtachd agus na h-Eileanan gu h-iomlan.”

A-measg an fheadhainn a bhios air àrd-ùrlair na Gàidhealtachd aig Blas 2011 bidh luchd-ealain ainmeil leithid Karen NicMhathain, Karine Polwart, Iain Moireasdan & Daibhidh Màrtainn, Kathleen NicAonghais, Magaidh NicAonghais agus Colum Sands agus an còmhlan Mànran a rinn oidhirp faighinn gu àireamh 1 le òran Gàidhlig aig toiseach na bliadhna agus a dh’fhoillsich clàr ùr bho chionn ghoirid.

‘Se co-bhanntachd a th’ann am fèis Blas eadar Fèisean nan Gàidheal, PAN (Promoters Arts Network) agus prìomh luchd-maoin na fèise, Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd.

Gheibhear fiosrachadh mu phrògram na fèise gu lèir agus diofar dhòighean air tiocaidean a cheannach – aig prìs nas ìsle gu deireadh Iuchar – bho làrach-lìn na fèise http://www.blas-festival.com

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MUSIC NEWS Scotland was born 12 years ago when dial up broadband was still around and desktop pc’s ruled. So we did what had been done since 220 AD in China and every month put ink on a printing plate, ran some paper over it and hey presto MNS was published (okay it was a wee bit more involved than that, but the basic principle was the same!) Move on to 2011 with high speed broadband and access to the www everywhere and the future was catching up with us rapidly. The volume of information flowing into MNS HQ was more than our monthly issue could cope with, and more and more Scottish music stories of great value were being spiked (an old press term not a dodgy drink). Reaching our vast number of readers in every conceivable nook and cranny of Scotland has always been a challenge monthly but to do that more often was physically not feasible. So we have doffed oor tam o’ shanter to the future and MNS is now a weekly digital publication, and not only weekly now but twice the number of pages than our old printed friend! Along with our weekly GIGguide and FESTIVALS! supplement we are now producing 72 pages of Scottish music news (and only music news) each and EVERY week:) We remain as true as ever to our launch roots of 8 years ago though - MUSIC NEWS Scotland supports all Scottish bands and performers no matter what style of music you’re involved in. Our aim is to circulate music industry news and to help to raise the profile of musicians and improve communications between genres. To help achieve this copies of MUSIC NEWS Scotland are emailed to key industry contacts throughout the UK. Thank you for your support over the last 8 years and please raise a glass to our digital future with you all. Thanks for your support, The MNS team!
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