Media Release: Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme appeals for Orkney votes to win coveted nationwide award


Public voting opens: 9am, Wednesday 24 June

Deadline: Midnight, Wednesday 29 July

To vote: or Telephone: 0844 836 9707


THE organisers behind the 2014 Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme are appealing for local votes as they strive for nationwide acclaim on BBC One in this year’s National Lottery Awards.

The Cultural Programme – which celebrated Scotland’s hosting of the XX Commonwealth Games and was the most ambitious and wide-reaching programme of national cultural activity that has ever taken place in the country, with audiences of over two million in theatre, music, exhibition, dance, poetry and film, and over 600,000 participants – beat off stiff competition from 620 organisations to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards – the annual search for the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects.

Five projects took place across Orkney as part of the Cultural Programme, including The Marathon Storytelling Cycle Challenge delivered by Tam Dean Burns and Squish Squared produced by Room 2 Manoeuver.

Tam Dean Burns set off on the Marathon Storytelling Cycle Challenge as part of the Glasgow 2014 Culture programme, arriving in Orkney in July 2014. His challenge was to read all of Julia Donaldson’s 195 children’s books, whilst cycling across Scotland.

Tam Dean Burns said: “Having our Marathon Storytelling Cycle Challenge as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme gave us a totally unique opportunity to travel the length and breadth of Scotland following the Queen’s Baton Relay and then all across Glasgow during the Games reading all the books and singing all the songs of former Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson to families along the way.

“We were able to do all this as free events for everyone and seeing how much it meant to children and their families, along with the glorious weather we had, made it a quite unforgettable experience for us. The particular emphasis on such culture for children and families is a major reason why the programme deserves recognition from the National Lottery Awards.”

Dance and squash collide in Squish Squared, an energetic and humorous look at the spirit of competition, created especially for the Glasgow 2014 Culture Programme.

A contemporary dance male duet Squish Squared took place within glass backed squash courts with the show revolving around the theme of inherent one-upmanship between two protagonists as they ultimately discover that, despite their differences, they are both competing for the same thing, and will have to work together to achieve that goal.

Tony Mills, at Room 2 Manoeuver, said: “Squish Squared was a project that exceeded all of our expectations. It was quite a gamble to see if a dance show in a squash court could physically be achieved, touring across all of Scotland and working with multiple partners at each venue.

“Apart from a few minor hiccups along the way, the project went incredibly well both logistically and in terms of how it was received. The balance of dance education and quality performance in an unusual setting made it a hit with both our audiences and local authority, cultural and leisure staff who we worked with to deliver the project.

“In my opinion, Scotland’s cultural landscape was brought to its most vibrant as a result of Culture 2014. Both art and sport had been able to stimulate and inspire people of all ages across the country and, as a company, we feel very proud that we have been able to contribute in some way.

“The legacy continues, and certainly from our point of view we will be re-mounting Squish Squared with a view to sparking interest around the UK and internationally.

“It is fitting, that after generating such a huge positive impact on a nation that will last beyond its remit, the Culture 2014 programme should receive such recognition.”

To vote for the 2014 Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme, please go to or telephone 0844 836 9707 and follow the campaign on twitter: hashtag #NLAwards.

Voting runs for five weeks from 9am on Wednesday 24 June until midnight on Wednesday 29 July.

The programme is competing against six other organisations to be crowned the winner of the Arts category. Winners of the seven National Lottery Awards categories will get a £2,000 cash prize, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and attend a star-studded Awards ceremony, broadcast on BBC One in September.

Janice Kelly in capacity as portfolio manager for the 2014 Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme for Creative Scotland, said: “On behalf of all the projects which took place right across Scotland, I’m delighted that the 2014 Cultural Programme has reached the finals of The National Lottery Awards.

“Lottery money has really helped local communities throughout the country take part in a huge range of activity from grassroots workshops and learning opportunities, to large scale, spectacular and fun events, all inspired by the values and spirit of the Commonwealth Games.

“From the Highlands and Islands to the Borders, from east to west and in towns and villages in between, visitors and communities have come together for a unique experience.”

TV star and actor, John Barrowman, will be presenting the National Lottery Awards for the fifth time this year.

He said: “The exceptional work carried out by National Lottery Awards finalists never fails to astound me. Their work deserves to be celebrated nationally; the community spirit, social cohesion and compassion.

“It is crucial that you show your support for your local project so it can get the national glory that it richly deserves. National Lottery players should swell with pride that £34 million of Lottery funding is raised every single week for projects like this across the UK.”

The 2014 Cultural Programme consisted of two strands: the Scotland-wide programme of activity, Culture 2014 and the Games-time Glasgow-based Festival 2014.

This ambitious and accessible cultural celebration was developed through a unique collaboration between the performers and artists, communities across the country

Work was presented for the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme across all artforms, from the intimate to the spectacular, as well as ground-breaking nationwide projects such as GENERATION – the celebration of 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland, Big Big Sing and Get Scotland Dancing.

There are seven projects competing for votes across seven categories, reflecting the main areas of National Lottery funding: arts, sport, heritage, health, environment, education and voluntary/charity.


For further information please contact: THE NATIONAL LOTTERY AWARDS

Sarah Myers
T: 0141 242 1414 / 07828 617962


Sophie Bambrough
T: 0131 523 0015 / 07747606146

Notes to Editors

  • Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme received £9.1m of National Lottery funding through Creative Scotland. Creative Scotland, Glasgow Life and the National Lottery Promotions Unit (NLPU) are coordinating the campaign.
  • The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme was a partnership between the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, Glasgow Life and Creative Scotland through National Lottery funding. Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and
  • Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme was Scotland’s biggest ever nationwide cultural celebration. Audiences of more than 2.1 million actively engaged with and enjoyed cultural activity throughout Scotland For further information about the Cultural Programme please visit;
  • If the Glasgow 2014 Cultural programme wins the Award in its category the £2,000 cash prize will be donated to UNICEF, the official charity partner of the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
  • Telephone voting calls cost 5p max (a connection charge may be applied by some networks. Please check with your provider.)
  • All voting will be independently adjudicated and verified by Electoral Reform Services.

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