Media Release: Take a ‘pekoe’ at the Creative Mackintosh Festival programme

Doors Open

THE programme for next month’s Creative Mackintosh Festival was unveiled today (Tuesday) at the Willow Tea Rooms along with a new blend of tea – specially selected as a Mackintosh favourite.

Supporters including Creative Scotland and Scottish Enterprise, gathered to take the new tea, pekoe, at the Willow Tea Rooms as Mackintosh Heritage Group chair, Caroline Barr, unveiled details of the programme.

The innovative Glasgow architect, whose work is being celebrated in a two-week festival from October 15, referred to pekoe, a fine grade black tea, in a letter he wrote to his wife, Margaret Macdonald.

At the recent Glasgow Doors Open Day weekend (September 15 and 16), visitors were surprised to meet the couple – aka performers from interactive performance company Mischief La-Bas – when they visited some of his best-loved buildings.

He interrupted a Victorian maths class at his Scotland Street School and chatted to admirers at the Willow Tea Room, Glasgow School of Art, the Riverside Museum and House for an Art Lover.

And last month, work by Mackintosh and other members of the Glasgow Four were sold at auction for £1.3million.

Festival organiser, Susan Garnsworthy, said: “We hope that we have created an exciting festival, connecting Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s achievements in design, art and architecture with contemporary arts.

“We also hope that this festival will become an annual celebration of his influence, to bring visitors to Glasgow, which is the place to come to appreciate his work.”

In all, the fortnight will include a total of around 30 activities, performances and events.

Visitors will be encouraged to enjoy recitals and performances in Mackintosh buildings or to roll up their sleeves and try crafts such as drawing, knitting and photography inspired by Mackintosh’s work.

A new exhibition, Unbuilt Mackintosh, displays large-scale architect’s models of Mackintosh buildings that were designed and drawn but never built during his lifetime.

David Taylor, portfolio manager for the Year of Creative Scotland at Creative Scotland, said: “The festival is a terrific opportunity for visitors and locals to explore, discover and create in a celebration of Scotland’s most famous architect, designer and artist.

“We are especially pleased that the programme not only offers new ways to access Mackintosh’s work, but also includes work from contemporary artists such as Liz Lochhead and Alex Rigg.

“We are delighted to have invested in this festival through our Year of Creative Scotland investment programme.”

Welcoming the programme, Councillor Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “There is a great diversity in the festival’s programme, which features a varied range of talented writers, artists, musicians and performers.

“And with a number of workshops and events on offer there are plenty of opportunities for people to really discover Mackintosh and get involved.”

The Creative Mackintosh Festival runs from October 15 to 28, 2012. The full programme is now available.

For more details of the Creative Mackintosh Festival, check


A selection of images of the brochure launch at the Willow Tea Rooms, and of Charles Rennie Mackintosh during Doors Open Day (including captions) are available at

or from Malcolm Cochrane Photography,

Tel: 0131 466 6799, Mob: 07971 835 065, Email:

All media are welcome to join the launch at 10.30am at the Willow Tea Rooms in Sauchiehall Street.

For any further information contact:
Mackintosh Heritage Group Press Officer,
Andrea Pearson
House for an Art Lover,
Bellahouston Park,
10 Dumbreck Rd,
Glasgow, G41 5BW

Mobile: 07769676899

Artists and performers are available for interview, please contact Andrea Pearson for details.

Notes to editors

1. The festival runs from October 15 to 28. Details of some events are already available online at A downloadable brochure is available online. Please contact organisers to receive a printed copy.

2. The Mackintosh Heritage Group is a non-profit making organisation, initially established in 1982 and formally constituted in 2008. Its mission is to promote and raise awareness of the unique Mackintosh heritage. The group is made up of representatives from the principal Mackintosh properties and collections in Glasgow, with one key property in Argyll and Bute. 
These include: The Mackintosh Church at Queen’s Cross, Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Martyr’s School, Scotland Street School Museum, Ingram Street Tearoom Interiors, The Glasgow School of Art, House for an Art Lover, The Lighthouse, The Hill House, The Mackintosh House at The Hunterian, The Willow Tearooms and Glasgow Art Club.

3. Funding to stage a “Creative Mackintosh” programme during 2012, has been provided by Creative Scotland, as part of the Year of Creative Scotland; Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Scottish Enterprise.

4. Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) is the official destination marketing organisation (DMO) for the city of Glasgow. As custodian of the Glasgow: Scotland with style brand, GCMB works with numerous partners, stakeholders and businesses to position and promote Glasgow across national and international markets as one of Europe’s most vibrant, dynamic and diverse cities in which to live, work, study, invest and visit. For more information, visit:

5. Creative Scotland is the national development agency for the arts, screen and creative industries. We will invest almost £60m of Scottish Government and National Lottery funding during 2011-2012. The Year of Creative Scotland began on January 1, 2012 and is a chance to showcase, celebrate and promote Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage. Through a dynamic and exciting year-long programme of activity celebrating our world-class events, festivals, culture and heritage, the year puts Scotland’s culture and creativity in the international spotlight with a focus on cultural tourism and developing the events industry and creative sector in Scotland.

Poet Liz Lochhead, and costume designer and choreographer Alex Rigg, will be involved in performances at the Scotland Street School museum during the festival.

Creative Scotland has invested over £8m of National Lottery funds into a programme of activity to support the year that shows Scotland’s creativity at its best: contemporary, international and reflecting the joy that a vibrant cultural life brings to our communities. More information about the programme can be found at:

6. The Willow Tea Rooms is launching a new blend of loose leaf tea for the festival, pekoe tea. The tea was referred to by Mackintosh in a letter he wrote to his wife Margaret, documented in The Chronycle, published on 14 May 1927: “Your tea came when I got back from posting your letter. I have just put your tea in the tin box and it nearly fills it but not quite – it seems good, a nice smell and lots of green Flowery Peko.”

7. For the festival, Glasgow-based creative agency Front Page Design created a 16-page A5 brochure, three versions of a promotional poster, window clings, outdoor banners, online adverts, and advertising panels for the escalators on the Glasgow Underground.

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Contact: Andrea Pearson
Phone: 07769676899