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£2million Expo Fund to boost Scotland's world-class festivals

Published: 09 Mar 2018

Festivities on George Street - photo Marketing Edinburgh

The Scottish Government has announced that it will invest £2 million in 2018-19 in support of Scotland’s international Festivals. The funding, part of the Festivals Expo Fund, promotes the development of Scottish artists and creative expression across the country and will contribute to raising the profile of Scotland’s world-class festivals.

This funding will enable the creation and presentation of ambitious and innovative work from Scotland’s outstanding talent to audiences at home and abroad.”- Lorna Duguid, Multi-artform Manager

The Festivals’ Expo Fund assessment process and funding is administered by Creative Scotland, with input from Event Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Festivals Edinburgh, British Council and City of Edinburgh Council.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop, said:

“Over the past 10 years, our Expo Fund has enabled us to invest in the development of both emerging and established artists in Scotland, supporting the creation of new partnerships and collaborations, and enabling artists to tour locally and internationally.

“Through this funding, projects that encourage collaborations between Scotland’s artists and cultural organisations are supported to create new work of local, national and international relevance.”

Scottish International Storytelling Festival - photo Roberto Ricciuti

Julia Amour, Director Festivals Edinburgh, said:

“Ten years after the creation of this innovative festivals fund, we’re delighted that the Government continues to support Scottish creative careers through our unique international platforms, networks and audiences– and our forthcoming study of the first ten years of Expo will reveal the extent of its impact on the Scottish cultural sector.”

Lorna Duguid, Multi-artform Manager, Creative Scotland, said: 

“The continued support from the Scottish Government Expo Fund is a significant endorsement of the vital contribution festivals make in ensuring Scotland continues to be a distinctive creative nation connected to the world. This funding will enable the creation and presentation of ambitious and innovative work from Scotland’s outstanding talent to audiences at home and abroad.”

Children at Imaginate - photo by Ruth Armstrong

Details of 2018-19 Expo allocations are as follows:

  • Edinburgh International Film Festival (£104,000) - Edinburgh International Film Festival will support the best new and emerging filmmakers to develop their skills, knowledge and awareness of all stages of the filmmaking chain, from development through to distribution.
  • Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival (£120,000) - To mark the 40th Anniversary of Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, the longest running Jazz Festival in the UK, a series of special events featuring Scottish musicians and international initiatives to refresh the Festival’s profile and impact.
  • Edinburgh Art Festival (£140,000) - Through music, poetry and magic, leading Scottish and international artists invite us to reflect on urgent political themes in a new series of ambitious publicly sited artworks for Edinburgh.
  • Edinburgh International Festival (£190,000) - The Edinburgh International Festival returns to the Leith Theatre for the first time in 30 years with a series of events which underscore Scotland’s distinctive culture of music-making and herald the resurgence of Leith as a creative hub.
  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe (£550,000) - Made in Scotland (MIS) is a partnership between the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society with Federation of Scottish Theatre, Scottish Music Centre and Creative Scotland. It provides a showcase of world-class Scottish theatre, dance and music at the world’s biggest arts Festival, The Edinburgh Fringe. Made in Scotland is designed to raise the international profiles of Scottish artists, ensure their work is seen by global arts industry and that international touring opportunities are created and secured. Over 10 years, MIS has supported 125 artists, ensembles and companies to present over 180 shows at the Fringe. The MIS Onward Touring fund has enabled 65 to tour to over 35 countries across 6 continents.
  • Edinburgh International Book Festival (£120,000) - Sixty writers from different nations across the world, including twenty from Scotland, will be commissioned to explore the concept of freedom and what it means to them. Producing new writing on the subject, the authors will share their work, offering fresh new perspectives to audiences at the Book Festival in August.
  • Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF) (£90,000) - The 30th Scottish International Storytelling Festival Growing Stories feeds the creativity of Scottish and international storytellers to unearth ancient roots and make new talent blossom across Scotland. At the heart of the programme is the shared culture of Scotland and Ireland, with their international connections and influence, and the way in which Celtic traditions unite word, image and sound to pack a big emotional punch.
  • Edinburgh International Science Festival (£80,000) - The Edinburgh International Science Festival extends their successful Science in the Spotlight project – blending the worlds of science and theatre – with a brand new theatre commission for family and schools audiences. Premiering in the 2019 Festival, the work will then tour Scottish primary schools as part of their Generation Science national outreach programme, bringing engaging science content to a wide audience and helping teachers enliven the teaching of science in the classroom.
  • Edinburgh International Children’s Festival (£126,000) - Imaginate at 30 marks thirty years of the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival in 2019 by creating new performances, new partnerships and celebrating the best of Scottish children’s theatre.
  • Edinburgh’s Hogmanay (£180,000 reserved pending application)
  • Celtic Connections (£100,000 reserved pending application)
  • An additional £200,000 is provided to Festivals Edinburgh to promote and position Edinburgh as the world’s leading festival city.

Further details of individual projects which will benefit from the funding will be announced in due course by festival organisers.

Festival Fireworks - photo Dave Stewart

Photos courtesy of Ruth Armstrong, Roberto Ricciuti, Dave Stewart and Marketing Edinburgh