Storytelling and song: National Lottery funding for arts projects across Scotland

Across Scotland, 39 cultural projects have received funding from The National Lottery in the latest round of Creative Scotland’s Open Fund awards.

Following its premiere at last year’s Manipulate Festival, Glass Performance theatre company will stage The Yellow Canary at Edinburgh International Children’s Festival (EICF) in May 2024. Created by artistic director Tashi Gore, writer Will Gore and animator Ross MacKay, The Yellow Canary narrates the harrowing journey of a young boy compelled to flee his homeland to evade the ravages of war. Drawing inspiration from a real-life account within the creators’ own family, the performance delicately explores profound themes such as love, loss, and the anguish of displacement.

A woman with dark hair speaks into a microphone while she sits at a desk on stage with a spotlight on her. The rest of the stage is in darkness, other than a projection onto the wall behind her to the left, which shows an illustration of a bird in someone's hands

Image: Tashi Gore of Glass Performance performing The Yellow Canary, photography by Jassy Earl.

Tashi Goreartistic director and performer of The Yellow Canary commented: “I’m looking forward to sharing my family’s story with school children, young people and communities in Edinburgh. We hope to encourage audiences to have intergenerational discussions about real lived experiences and create a space for reflection on the current refugee crisis and the forced displacement of children.

“This award from the Open Fund will allow us to re-mount the production with the creative team focusing specifically on young audiences and making the show adaptable to tour to diverse venues and spaces in anticipation of any touring opportunities that may arise from presenting the work at this international platform.”

The Mull of Kintyre Music Festival's five-day celebration will take place in Campbeltown this summer from 21-24 Aug. Alongside traditional Scottish and Pan-Irish folk music, contemporary rock and pop acts, the festival will also feature workshops, heritage walks, and its signature community gala day and parade.

Alex McKinvenFunding Secretary of Mull of Kintyre Music & Arts Associatio said: “Our Creative Scotland award allows us to bring top-class artistic talent and music to an area far removed from the main centres of entertainment. It also supports the expansion of our project’s reach, assists audience and artistic development, and helps us provide a programme of quality tuition for young students”.

Spoken word company I AM LOUD will present the Our Loud Poets 2024-25 Season featuring spoken word showcases, poetry slams, workshops and digital media initiatives. The season will feature a lineup of 12 showcases, spotlighting both local Scottish talent and esteemed voices from across the UK. Additionally, the company will spearhead a national series of slam events, encompassing regional heats and culminating in a grand slam finale at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2025.

Bex Bidgood, Marketing & Communications Director at I Am Loud CIC commented: "This funding from Creative Scotland allows us to provide many performance and development opportunities for spoken word poets across Scotland. Paid opportunities for spoken word poets are generally limited, particularly for those outwith the central belt, so we are looking forward to supporting our community this season through coordinating events nationwide, including in some new locations."

Further awards in this round of the Open Fund include:

  • SOLAS FESTIVAL, who have received £47,000 for their 2024 gathering this summer. The festival will bring a vibrant programme of multidisciplinary events to Errol Park in Perthshire throughout June.
  • OUTSPOKEN ARTS SCOTLAND who will use their award of £19,989 to run a year-round programme of free creative learning workshops at The Art Department in Paisley, led by professional artists in a range of visual art disciplines.
  • HANNA LOUISE, who will use £2,915 from the Open Fund for her project Recovery Magic, which will offer six free creative workshops in accessible artforms for people in mental health recovery in Aberdeen.

Paul Burns, Interim Director of Arts at Creative Scotland commented: “Increasing access to the arts brings so many benefits to communities across Scotland. The fantastic projects awarded in the latest round of our Open Fund will bring vital opportunities for people all over the country to experience enriching culture and creative learning activities, all thanks to this crucial National Lottery funding.”


Header image: Section of the poster artwork for Mull of Kintyre Festival 2024, created and designed by Iain Maclean of Do More Creative Ltd

Creative Scotland’s Open Fund

  • In March 2024, Creative Scotland’s Open Fund made 39 funding awards totalling £831,331.
  • The Open Fund is one of Creative Scotland’s key funding routes, supporting the wide range of activity initiated by artists, producers and other creative practitioners in Scotland. The Open Fund has no deadlines, and full eligibility criteria and application guidance can be found on the Creative Scotland website.

The National Lottery

The National Lottery has raised more than £41 billion for more than 565,000 good causes across the UK since 1994. Thanks to The National Lottery players, up to £600 million has been made available to support people, projects and communities throughout the UK during the Coronavirus crisis.

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland, distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at Follow us on XFacebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at

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