Media Release: The Highlands hosts Commonwealth Games cultural celebrations

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The Highlands hosts Commonwealth Games cultural celebrations

High octane contemporary circus

Storytelling on two wheels

Cutting edge visual arts 

A BICYCLE with saddle bags packed with books by the author of The Gruffalo and an incredible group of young contemporary circus performers are heading to the Highlands this summer as more events are about to take place for 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.

Jubilee Park, Dingwall

Adding to the excitement of the Queen’s Baton Relay coming to the region Jubilee Park, Dingwall will be the setting for a high octane, spectacular performance showcasing contemporary circus skills.

The Commonwealth Youth Circus is a new company featuring specially recruited young performers from Scotland and the Commonwealth who are wowing audiences along the route of the QBR. Catch them from 5pm on Friday 11 July.

To find out more visit:

Macphail Centre, Ullapool; Lairg; Thurso; Wick; Brora; Dingwall, Pefferside and Jubilee Parks

Actor Tam Dean Burn will be cycling into the Highlands 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 on Wednesday 9 July in Macphail Centre, Ullapool; Lairg; and Thurso and on Friday 11 July in Wick; Brora; and Dingwall, Pefferside and Jubilee Parks.

For details visit:

Eden Court

The fantastic range of activities taking place on Friday 11 July also includes a screening of The Runner, a documentary telling the story of a champion long-distance runner whose journey transformed him from an athlete into the symbol of a national liberation movement. This screening at Eden Court at 7.15pm is part of Scotland wide programme of events and films, Sports Stories from around the African Commonwealth. Presented by Africa in Motion the events take viewers on a journey through the African Commonwealth highlighting triumphs and key challenges and opportunities through sport.

To book tickets visit:

Cannich Hall

Saturday 12 July sees a free to attend community music event at Cannich Hall as part of a nationwide initiative.

Our Big Gig Scotland aims to bring people together to celebrate the amateur and voluntary musicians in their area and encourage new people to get involved in music making activities.

The day at Cannich Hall will include a workshop and an evening Ceilidh with musicians from Fèis Rois.

To find out more visit

Eden Court, Inverness; Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Isle of Skye; MacPhail Centre, Ullapool

In My Father’s Words is a beautiful play about identity – national and personal – and language, and the utter indivisibility between the two.  In the year that the Commonwealth Games comes back to Scotland, Dundee Rep Ensemble presents a play which re-tells the Scottish emigrant story for our times. In My Father’s Words, written by Justin Young with Gaelic text by Iain F MacLeod and directed by Philip Howard will be at Eden Court on Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 July, Sabhal Mor Ostaig on Tuesday 22 July and MacPhail Centre on Thursday 24 July.

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig; Eden Court

The Fèis an Eilein Festival at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig will host the world premiere of a new musical work Aiseag (The Ferryboat) on Thursday 3 July.

Created as part of the first New Music Biennial by Mary Ann Kennedy and Scott Macmillan with audio designer Nick Turner and poet Aonghas MacNeacail the work combines electronica, found sound and features musicians from both Cape Breton and Scotland.

There’s a second chance to catch the piece, at Eden Court on Friday 1 August.

To find out more visit:

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery; Portree

As part of the most ambitious programme of visual art ever held in Scotland, GENERATION, two fascinating exhibitions will show at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and Portree.

A new installation by Toby Paterson will be at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery from Saturday 26 July to Saturday 23 August.

An exhibition of new work commissioned by ATLAS Arts and developed by artists Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan, Are you LOCATIONALIZE, will show from Wednesday 6 August to Saturday 30 September. The work includes a new and evolving artwork to coincide with the Highland Games Days in Portree on the Isle of Skye. Visitors will come across the installations at this event and as they explore the islands by car and on foot.

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.

Isle of Canna

Artist, composer and performer Hanna Tuulikki’s Air falbh leis na h-eòin (Away with the Birds) is an ambitious site-specific project exploring the vocal mimesis of birds in Gaelic song which will be performed on the Isle of Canna on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 August.

Air falbh leis na h-eòin is a re-imagining of the archives and vibrant lives of John Lorne Campbell and Margaret Fay Shaw, two of Scotland’s most important ethnomusicologists and the last Laird and Lady of the island.

Between them, they helped to rescue vast quantities of oral tradition from oblivion.

To find out more visit:

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 the Highlands 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 the Highlands 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