Media Release: Orkney hosts Commonwealth Games cultural celebrations

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Orkney hosts Commonwealth Games cultural celebrations

Storytelling on two wheels

Cutting edge visual arts 

A BICYCLE with saddle bags packed with books by the author of The Gruffalo is heading to Orkney this summer as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.

The nationwide Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme is celebrating Scotland and Glasgow’s hosting of the XX Commonwealth Games with more than 1,000 events taking place across the country.

Stromness; Dounby; Pickaquoy Centre, Kirkwall

Adding to the excitement of the Queen’s Baton Relay coming to the region on Thursday 10 July, actor Tam Dean Burn will be cycling into Orkney as part of an epic journey in which he will read all 195 books and plays, and sing all the songs written by former Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson to children along the route of the QBR. Join Tam and friends on The Marathon Storytelling Cycling Challenge in Stromness, Dounby and at the Pickaquoy Centre, Kirkwall

For details visit:

Pier Arts Centre

Running until Saturday 23 August at the Pier Arts Centre Orcadia & Other Stories is a major exhibition of work by Zoë Walker & Neil Bromwich showing as part of the most ambitious programme of visual art ever held in Scotland, GENERATION

Spanning more than 15 years of production Orcadia & Other Stories provides a survey of the artist’s work to date alongside new work created especially for the exhibition in Orkney.

The artist’s interest in archaeology, local mythology and energy production are brought together in new sculptural work reflecting ancient Orcadian culture, as well as more recent island innovations, in creative and revealing ways.

GENERATION, which celebrates 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland, features work by 100 artists in over 60 venues and all exhibitions are free to attend.

The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme is a partnership between the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, Glasgow Life, and Creative Scotland through National Lottery funding.

Janet Archer
, chief executive of Creative Scotland said: “It’s fantastic to see this exciting work being presented in Orkney and I’d encourage everyone to join in with and enjoy the events.”

Eileen Gallagher, independent director on the Glasgow 2014 Board and chair of the Ceremonies, Culture and Queen’s Baton Relay Committee, said: “The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme is offering people the opportunity to be part of the Games wherever they are. With something for all the family, in popular local settings and an inspiring range of shows and activity, there is something for everyone to enjoy.”

To find out more details about what’s happening in Orkney and throughout Scotland visit:

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving 71 teams of athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years. Glasgow 2014 will be the XX Commonwealth Games and will be held from 23 July to 3 August. It will feature 17 sports in 11 days of competition with 261 medal events on show. The Games will play host to 4,500 athletes and sell 1,000,000 tickets with the event aided by an army of 15,000 volunteers. Glasgow 2014 Ltd is the official name for the Organising Committee tasked with delivering the Games in partnership with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and Commonwealth Games Scotland.
  2. Glasgow 2014’s official partner level sponsors are Longines, SSE, Virgin Media, BP, Emirates and Ford. For more information on Glasgow 2014’s full sponsor family, please visit
  3. Glasgow 2014, the Commonwealth Games Federation and UNICEF are working together in an exciting partnership that will transform the lives of children in Scotland and throughout the Commonwealth. Using the power of sport and culture this unique partnership aims to inspire, enable and empower the children of the Commonwealth to be the best they can be.
  4. The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme is a national celebration. Culture 2014 is showcasing dance, theatre, music, visual arts, comedy and much more in the run up to and after the Commonwealth Games, with Festival 2014 transforming the Host City at Games time. The Cultural Programme is a partnership between the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, Glasgow Life, and Creative Scotland through National Lottery funding.
  5. GENERATION is being delivered through a partnership between the National Galleries of Scotland and Glasgow Life, and is supported by Creative Scotland.

Media Contact

Brian Maycock
Interim Media Relations and PR Officer, Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme
T: 0330 333 2000
D: 0131 523 0046
M: 07972 835 212

Gordon Boag
Cultural Press Officer, Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee
T: 030 2014 0000
D: 030 2014 0160

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Contact: Brian Maycock