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International ambitions of Edinburgh’s Festivals
In a unique initiative, the major public funders of Edinburgh’s Festivals – The Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council, EventScotland and Creative Scotland – have combined forces to agree an increased investment of £3.2 million into Edinburgh’s Festivals 2012 programmes. As part of this, the Scottish Government is expanding its Expo Fund for Edinburgh’s Festivals this year, providing a total of £2.25 million in support.
The world premiere of a new work by James MacMillan, a series of major public art commissions in the New Town, a World Dance Feste, the first ever World Fringe Congress, a World Jazz Orchestra directed by Joe Temperley, and The Edinburgh World Writers' Conference 2012 are amongst the highlights announced today.
This increased programming support for the Festivals is in addition to significant levels of core revenue and project funding, and aims to maximise the impact of overall investment as demonstrated in last year’s Festivals Impact Study.
Taking advantage of the unique alignment in 2012 of the Olympics and the Year of Creative Scotland, these programmes illuminate the ambition and vision of the world’s leading festival city. With the Festivals’ peak summer period coinciding with the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the world’s elite and emerging cultural talent will gather in Edinburgh as their sporting equivalents compete in London.
Already world-class cultural brands with a truly international appeal, these programmes will place the Festivals at the heart of the UK cultural offer in this Olympic year. Prominently featured are showcases of the most exciting contemporary culture and ambitious collaborations between Scottish and international artists - asserting the true internationalism of Edinburgh’s Festivals and making them an even more vital part of the tourist offer during the Year of Creative Scotland.
Commenting, Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said:
“Edinburgh’s Festivals are known all over the world and provide a platform to showcase our rich culture and exceptional creative talent, as well as raise the international profile of Scotland. That is why we are expanding the Expo Fund, increasing our support for Edinburgh's Festivals to £2.25 million.”
The supported programmes announced today are:
Cllr Steve Cardownie, Festival and Events Champion at City of Edinburgh Council said:
"Edinburgh has an enviable international reputation as a festival city and supporting the cultural ambitions of the Festivals in this unique year makes perfect sense given the proven positive impact they have on the people and economy of the city. The Scottish Government should also be commended for initiating the Expo Fund around which the other partners have worked to supplement."
This announcement follows the news that Edinburgh will host the first ever International Culture Summit, with ministers for culture from around the world invited to attend – an event being organised as a collaboration between the Scottish Government, the Department of Culture Media and Sport, the Edinburgh International Festival and the British Council.
Lady Susan Rice, Chair of the Festivals Forum, welcomed the investment saying:
"This announcement is wonderful recognition from our public funders of the value of Edinburgh’s Festivals. Internationalism, excellence and the nurturing of talent are at the core of Edinburgh’s Festivals, as they are in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and we are committed to capitalising our enormous global value for the benefit of Scotland, in this The Year of Creative Scotland and in the years to come.’
Commenting on the initiative, Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland said:
"Edinburgh’s festivals are recognised as the world’s greatest cultural event and this programme across the festivals will be one of the highlights of the Year of Creative Scotland. Scotland has an abundance of talented artists and creative organisations and the Edinburgh Festivals provide the platform to showcase this cultural excellence to a global audience."
Echoing this theme Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said:
"Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and 2012 provides a strong platform to maximise the impact of our key festivals. This programme of support for Edinburgh’s Festivals will help to reinforce our international pre-eminence, and exploit the opportunity that London 2012 and the Year of Creative Scotland presents."
These programmes are expected to provide a long-term legacy for Edinburgh and Scotland in terms of cultural development, UK and international visitor numbers, and positioning as a place of unrivalled cultural excitement and creative significance.
The dates for each of Edinburgh’s Festivals in 2012 are as follows:
Edinburgh’s Festivals host over 20,000 international artists, more than 2000 accredited media and audiences of 4m+ while generating £260 million for the Scottish economy.
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