Scotland Goes Creative in 2012

Travelers will find a host of good reasons to make Scotland their destination of choice next year as the Year of Creative Scotland 2012 program of events, activities and festivals focuses on promoting Scottish culture. With a reported £6.5 million in lottery cash supporting the initiative, it will be a collaborative effort between the creative, events and tourism sectors and include a number of smaller selected communities. As London hosts the Olympic Games in 2012, it is anticipated that the Year of Creative Scotland will encourage international tourists attending the Olympics to include Scotland in their itineraries.

Details of the project, together with a specially designed map depicting Scotland as a creative community, were recently unveiled by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop. The program for Creative Scotland 2012 will start with Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations and continue until the last day of the year. One of the highlights will be the RockNess Express train service to ferry party-goers from London’s Kings Cross Station to the renowned RockNess Festival on the banks of Scotland’s beautiful Loch Ness in June 2012. Between July and September, Traquair House in the Scottish Borders will be featuring contemporary Scottish printmaking, while the City of Literature Trust will be promoting their enLIGHTen project with building-sized projections on Edinburgh’s streets.

With winners to be announced at a ceremony in Janury, the nominations for the communities to participate in the Year of Creative Scotland 2012 are Creetown, Wigtown and Kilmartin Glen in the category for places with less than 2,500 residents. Kilmartin Glen proposes to develop the community performance of Sounding Dunadd which takes place at the historic Dunadd Fort under the direction of the Kilmartin House Museum. Wigtown plans to build on its already successful annual book festival, while Creetown plans to include the National Symphony Orchestra in community music workshops. The under 10,000 residents category included Huntly, West Killbide and Prestonpans. West Killbride plans to use the opportunity to create new exhibitions for the Barony Centre, while Prestonpans will develop its Prestongrange Arts Festival and Huntly will extend its programme, Room to Roam. The under 100,000 residents category’s nominations are Perth, Irvine and St Andrews, with the latter being the official host for the Year of Celebration, it would dedicate the Creative Place Award on the town’s current cultural programme and support new events. Irvine would use the award to develop an all-seasons cultural programme, while Perth plans to develop its Living Communities project should it receive the Creative Place Award from the Year of Creative Scotland 2012.