Investing in Scottish Talent

5 March 2016

The latest Expo Fund awards are unveiled for 2016/17. Fiona Hyslop has confirmed £2 million in funding to support Edinburgh’s Festivals. The award, from the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, has been announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs.

The funding package will support eleven projects during 2016/17, while part of the investment has also been committed to Festivals Edinburgh for joint-festival marketing. The fund will provide festivals with assistance to promote themselves overseas and invest in the work of talented Scottish artists and performers.

Starting in 2008/09, the Expo Fund investment has been transformative for the Edinburgh Festivals and their artists. It has allowed them to create a legacy of important new work, from exceptional writing by Award winning poet Don Paterson, to the interventions of artists Callum Innes at Regent Bridge and Martin Creed at the Scotsman Steps. The creation of new performances such as a stage adaptation of ‘Lanark’ by Alasdair Gray and the addition of SCOT:Lands on 1st January to create a new multi-arts festival within Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has also been well received by audiences.

Ms Hyslop said:

The Scottish Government Expo Fund has administered more than £17 million of direct investment since 2008. This year’s fund will provide creative directors with the opportunity to continue delivering world class performances, drawn from the exceptional talent we have across the whole of Scotland. Edinburgh's festivals are renowned worldwide and provide a platform to showcase our rich culture and exceptional creative talent to a global audience, as well as raise the international profile of Scotland. The festivals contribute more than £261 million in additional tourism revenue to Scotland’s economy every year. We are supporting the work of Edinburgh’s festivals through the Expo fund to drive up innovation, collaboration and artist development which are all vital for the future success of our festivals and Scotland.”

Julia Amour, Director at Festivals Edinburgh, said:

We are delighted that the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund once again recognises that our Festivals are a unique asset for Scotland. By providing the means to showcase Scottish talent on the unparalleled international platform that the Edinburgh Festivals represent, the EXPO Fund opens up a world of opportunity for our country’s artists and thinkers.Whether in creating new work, nurturing young talent or developing international tours, the EXPO Fund has been an innovative finance scheme and in this Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design it is more relevant than ever.

Leonie Bell, Director, Arts and Engagement, Creative Scotland, said;

The ongoing support from the Scottish Government’s Expo fund is a terrific endorsement of the significant contribution Edinburgh’s festivals make in showcasing the range of outstanding work produced in Scotland to audiences at home and abroad.

The eleven funded projects develop the creative industries at home and showcase Scottish talent abroad:

Edinburgh International Science Festival: Considering themes of global connectedness, the Edinburgh International Science Festival will create an interactive exhibition and art installation focused on digital creativity, design and innovation. It will be delivered with partners in Germany.

Imaginate Festival: will create a partnership with RiccaRicca festival, Japan, and commission a range of new work by Scottish artists 

Edinburgh International Film Festival: will showcase new Scottish filmmakers through the EIFF Short Film Challenge, offer career changing professional development to emerging feature film writers, directors and producers through the EIFF Talent Lab, support animation filmmakers through our bespoke Animation events and provide industry insights into new models of online distribution through EIFF's Distribution Rewired event.

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival: “Europe Jazz Summit” – Over 30 events including concerts by Scottish and European musicians featuring new work, and new collaborations; a conference on European Jazz; an exchange with European Festivals, and a digital expression. 

Edinburgh Art Festival: In the Year of Innovation, Architecture & Design, a programme of ambitious publicly sited commissions by leading and emerging Scottish artists, will open up hidden corners and overlooked histories in the city. Platform 2016 is a new dedicated showcase for emerging talent, casting a spotlight on 4 talented young artists from around Scotland.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Made in Scotland, in partnership with Federation of Scottish Theatre, Scottish Music Centre and Creative Scotland, showcases world-class Scottish theatre, dance and music at the Fringe, raising the international profiles of artists and creating touring opportunities.

Edinburgh International Festival: Innovative collaborations in contemporary Scottish music in a series of events which reflect the dynamism of Scottish music-making and its intersection with film, digital animation and the visual arts. 

Edinburgh International Book Festival: At the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August, the Expo funding will support the creation of a series of performances exploring the migrant experience, written and adapted by notable authors and playwrights from Scotland and overseas.

Edinburgh Mela: The Mela brings a world of dance to Edinburgh with the 2016 edition of the ‘Mela World Dance Feste’ featuring two new commissions from some of Scotland’s brightest and best, young culturally diverse artists.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival: Festival of Dreams: Innovative collaborations reflect the vitality and liberating power of live narrative, linking Scotland’s storytellers with those from Central and Southern America, and reaching out to communities across Scotland. 

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay: An essential component of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay,
Scot:Lands takes over New Year’s Day as a multi-arts festival in its own right and will offer a scintillating selection of the best of Scotland’s artistic talent – intriguing, provocative, sometimes reflective; always entertaining. With many of the performances created or re-imagined exclusively for Scot:Lands, this pop-up Festival will offer one chance, on one afternoon only, for audiences to enjoy an extraordinary collection of spoken word, dance, music and film, fashioned and curated by some of Scotland’s most innovative artists and arts organisations

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