Fringe 2019 Tickets On Sale!

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2 – 26 August 2019

The world’s largest arts festival is almost upon us again and the Centre has the usual packed programme of top-class events for children and adults, showcasing stories in all their forms.

Children’s Shows

Specifically designed for babies, Celeste’s Circus is an award-winning show that offers a first trip for wee ones into the magic world of circus with visual thrills, spills, oohs and ahhs, and plenty of bubbles.

For older kids (5+), join storyteller Daniel Serridge at his dinner table of foolishness as he regales you with tales of disgusting banquets, salubrious suppers and measly meals, serving you a Feast of Fools. While Janis Mackay’s delightful family show Wee Seals and Selkies combines storytelling and music to create an enchanting performance, evoking the Scottish northern seashores.

Storytelling Sessions to Suit All

If you’re looking for traditional tales that suit all, Dougie Mackay has got a pocket full of Supernatural: Wonder Tales from Scotland, featuring strange places full of fantastic creatures, where the veil is thin, and the people are wise, wild and terrifying.

Telling the tale of the Viking’s arrival in Scotland, Danish storyteller Svend-Erik Engh and Scottish musician/singer Neil Sutcliffe, invite you to board their long ship of music and tales at Walk the Oars.

The Golden Fly is an epic tale of a shape-shifting goddess in search of her truth. Follow storyteller Alice Fernbank and musician Graham Dickson on a storytelling voyage laden with song and myth, presented through flute and voice.

Theatre to Inspire Change

Puppet State Theatre Company are enchanting us with two of their critically acclaimed literary adaptations, starting the Fringe run with JRR Tolkien’s Leaf by Niggle, a miniature masterpiece of enchanting storytelling for fantasy fans and phobics alike, followed by The Man Who Planted Trees, Jean Giono’s classic environmental tale using puppetry and inspiring storytelling.

David Greig’s Dr. Korczak’s Example, set in 1942 in the final days of an orphanage in the Jewish ghetto of Warsaw, tells the true story of Janusz Korczak, a Polish doctor and writer who championed every child’s right to freedom, respect and love.

Half music concert, half spoken word performance, (Can This Be) Home examines the immigrant experience of Brexit, performed by Kolbrún Sigfúsdóttir with flautist/composer Tom Oakes.

Stories with Something to Say

Ancient mythology and modern storytelling collide in Blood and Gold’s contemporary exploration of the legacy of colonialism and slavery by Scottish Kenyan storyteller Mara Menzies, which is part of the Made in Scotland showcase.

With Jenny Lindsay’s trademark wit and lyrical dexterity – This Script combines poetic memoir with a fierce call for empathy – delving into often turbulent contemporary waters.

Looking for a fantastic night out in August? Loud Poets: Best of Fringe showcases the top spoken word talent the festival has to offer, from the laugh-out-loud funny to thoughtful and emotional, there’s something for everyone.

In his dynamic solo-performance I am Mark, Stefan Smart recreates Mark’s Gospel the way the story was once narrated – as a full-bodied drama brought startlingly to life.


For those who love to explore the experimental side of the Fringe, The Red Hourglass features five characters locked up together in a mysterious research facility – a unique horror comedy from Alan Bissett.

Dispatches on the Red Dress uniquely weaves immersive storytelling with live fiddle, banjo and genre-melding original songs, presenting new writing wrapped up in the warmth of a live gig from BBC Radio 2 Folk award-winner Rowan Rheingans.

Returning to the Netherbow stage to celebrate the centenary year of Hamish Henderson (1919-2002), On the Radical Road is an evocative, innovative, shape-shifting drama sculpted from Hamish’s poetry, music and songs.

The Night With… Evenings delivers three concert programmes over multiple days, featuring Scottish composers and poetry, aiming to showcase interesting music in informal spaces.

Scotland’s Greats

Burns for Brunch revives the nation’s favourite Scot with a twist, as the bard awakes in Auld Reekie 2019 sharing his thoughts, poems and songs, casting a satiric eye around his Scotland and ours.

Acclaimed musical duo Neil Adam and Judy Turner present the wit, wisdom, adventures and heartbreaks of the beloved author of Treasure Island, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, in Sing Me A Song: The Robert Louis Stevenson Show.

Classics Retold

You can’t beat a classic, which is why TumbleDry Theatre are serving you a fine selection of horror stories by iconic authors in A Trilogy of Horrors: Vol I (Dickens, Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe) and A Trilogy of Horrors: Vol II (HP Lovecraft, E Nesbit, HG Wells) – guaranteed to give you a fright.

You can call the Centre for special preview prices, family tickets, accessible performances and 241 offers on 0131 556 9579 and browse further information on the fantastic line-up online.

You can also book the Centre’s events through the Fringe Box Office:
0131 226 0000 |

Book Tickets


Staying Healthy On Tour Workshop – 22nd May 2019, Glasgow

Check out this fantastic FREE workshop from The Musicians’ Union. Make sure you register soon if you’d like to go along.


In this free workshop you will learn how to stay healthy whilst on tour, by juggling the many demands that this has both on body and mind.

75% of musicians develop a health problem in relation to their occupation. Touring is intense, tiring and there is a higher risk of developing injuries or health problems which can have an impact on performance, career and personal well-being.

In this session we will explore the key areas that put health at risk while on tour.

These include the physical and emotional demands of touring, pain and injury, social isolation, maintaining a healthy diet, sleep, hearing, exercise, use of alcohol and drugs, and sexual health.

We will discuss strategies for tour planning, taking into account personal health issues, the impact of air travel, moving equipment, appropriate recovery times, vaccinations and strategies to promote resilience on tour. We will explore group dynamics, leadership and communication planning too.

Seeking physical and emotional support while touring can be difficult, particularly when working abroad. Planning in advance can help prevent some of these problems. We aim to raise awareness and share practical strategies to promote healthy artists and successful tours.

To register to attend this FREE workshop please email

About Dr Pippa Wheble

Dr Pippa Wheble, a GP with a Masters in Performing Arts Medicine, will be leading this course. She works as an assessing clinician for BAPAM (The British Association for Performing Arts Medicine) and is part of the BAPAM Trainer Network.

She specialises in the physical, vocal and mental health issues for performing artists and teaches conscious breathing for improved mental health and well-being.

She is also a violinist and singer based in Edinburgh. She is experienced with performance anxiety and burnout and is passionate about promoting health and well-being for musicians and healthcare professionals.


BAPAM’s healthy performance training sessions are designed to help you avoid the health problems often encountered in the course of an arts career. When problems do occur they provide specialist medical advice in their free clinics.

BAPAM (the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine) use evidence based clinical and educational approaches to support musicians, all performing arts professionals and students.

BAPAM run a regular free clinic in Glasgow for anyone working in performing industries. You can book a free confidential appointment by calling 020 7404 8444 or by emailing The next two clinics in Glasgow take place on 10 May and 7 June 2019.

Visit BAPAM’s website for more information.

Event location

Scottish Music Centre, City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow G1 1NQ


Retail & Box Office Supervisor

Applications are now open for a Retail and Box Office Supervisor at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

You will play a pivotal role within the Scottish Storytelling Centre team by overseeing and supervising the box office and retail aspects of the Centre, leading a small team of permanent and temporary staff to ensure the provision of outstanding customer service for visitors to the Centre.

The role also contains responsibility for the Duty Management of the Centre on a rota basis.

You must have excellent communication, teamwork and interpersonal skills, be highly organised and able to demonstrate a flexible and adaptable approach to your work in order to meet the daily demands presented.

Numeracy and the ability to pay close attention to detail are essential along with a good level of IT skills.

This is a fixed-term post until 31 March 2021.  You will work 35 hours per week on a flexible rota which will include evenings and weekends.

The Scottish Storytelling Centre is a partnership between The Church of Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland (TRACS). The SSC is a vibrant arts venue with a seasonal programme of live storytelling, theatre, music, exhibitions, workshops, family events, and festivals.

  • Title:  Retail & Box Office Supervisor
  • Location:  Edinburgh
  • Hours:  35 per week
  • Closing date:  Monday 13 May, 12pm
  • Reference number: 13/19

Full Job Description

Application Form A

Application Form B

Applicants need to return Parts A and B marked ‘Private and Confidential’ to:
Human Resources Department, The Church of Scotland, 121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN
or email:


Scottish Music Industry Association – SURVEY

All individuals working in any capacity in Scotland’s music industry are invited to complete the new survey to help inform future activities.

Deadline: 10th May 2019


Digital Ghosts: New Gothic Storytelling in Scotland

The Scottish Storytelling Forum (SSF) is a membership organisation, dedicated to keeping the art of live oral storytelling alive and growing in Scotland – a diverse network of storytellers and individuals supporting Scotland’s vibrant storytelling community.  It’s facilitated by Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland (TRACS) and based at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

The SSF blog series hopes to introduce you to the many different strands within the storytelling scene in Scotland and Beyond.

This month, we hear from Rebecca Wojturska, lover of all things gothic and founder of Haunt Publishing, an independent publisher of Gothic fiction in all formats and creator of a new audio book that celebrates the various forms of oral storytelling throughout Scotland. The first, focusing on Gothic horror stories.

‘Oral storytelling has a strong tradition in Scotland, with a dark vein of the Gothic running throughout. From local lore to Burke and Hare and beyond, some seriously spooky tales haunt the history of Scotland and are kept alive-and-well through, not only traditional oral storytelling and haunted tours, but also through new modes.

‘My interest in storytelling blossomed when, during holidays in the Highlands, I would watch the local storyteller, who would sweep into a pub, adorned in a floor-length black coat and wide-brimmed hat, pockets full of props, and tell us stories in hushed whispers (which somehow carried through the room). The description of romantic landscapes blended with unease and fear was perfect. I sat, transfixed, jumping at all the right moments and nervously laughing if the storyteller broke the tension they had built with dark humour.

‘Since then I have enjoyed haunted tours and events at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh, which highlight the rich tradition that storytellers preserve and disseminate. From original stories of internal horrors to retellings of classics including Poe, Shelley and Dickens, the mode of storytelling has so much to offer when it comes to preserving local history and the literary tradition.

‘Alongside the preservation of traditional storytelling, new forms are emerging; new ways of orally transmitting stories that reach new audiences further afield. It has been interesting to see the development of digital storytelling, podcasts and spoken word events, all of which serve to communicate new stories that will hopefully be passed along and down through time.

‘When I founded Haunt Publishing in 2017, it didn’t take me long to decide what my first project would be. I not only wanted to celebrate the rich tradition of oral storytelling that I had grown to love within Scotland, but also the new and emerging forms, which bring new audiences. Basically, I wanted to showcase Gothic horror stories and storytellers from across Scotland working in the form today. Whether they were historians who deliver chilling tales of the likes of Burke and Hare, local storytellers who sweeps into pubs and storytelling events, writers involved with spoken word nights, or those who creates spooky podcasts, I wanted to celebrate it all.

‘Haunt’s anthology will showcase the range of oral storytelling, and some of the best storytellers, in Scotland: traditional tales told by well-known storytellers of the past (archived recordings licensed from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Scottish Studies); contemporary storytellers keeping traditional methods alive; and writers working in newly emerging oral spaces (e.g. spoken word events, podcasts).

‘Finding the storytellers was easier than anticipated, as the Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland website and the Scottish Storytelling Forum have a wonderful directory of storytellers and strong network of active professional tellers willing to help.  I was able to browse storytellers from across Scotland and narrow my search down to the spookiest of spooky tellers. I contacted those who hadn’t already contacted me, regarding submissions, and found the process of communicating and booking easy and efficient!

‘I’m proud to have a variety of names on board, including David Brown, Pauline Cordiner, Fran Flett Hollinrake, Sheila Kinninmonth and Daru McAleece. Each celebrate different modes of storytelling and will bring fresh telling to classic tales and local lore.

‘The anthology will also contain traditional tales told by well-known, respected storytellers of the past (archived recordings licensed from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Scottish Studies), including Stanley Robertson, Betty Whyte and Duncan Williamson. It will also showcase those involved in modern forms of storytelling, such as spoken word and podcasts. These are: Fiona Barnett, Paul Bristow, Chris Edwards, Gavin Inglis, Kirsty Logan, Conner McAleese, Jen McGregor, Paul McQuade, Ricky Monahan Brown, Jude Reid, Max Scratchmann and Dave Watson.

‘Although storytelling is best served live and face-to-face, not everyone is able to encounter this, perhaps owning to disability, monetary struggles or location. I therefore decided the core format for the project should be an audio book; a one-off purchase which can help bring oral storytelling into the home, to seep into the walls and create shadows in the corners. A key aim of the audio book is to bring this listening experience to this audience as well as to listeners across the world. A print book will also be available for the avid readers amongst the story-loving community.

‘This project is (as far as we are aware) unique: the first to bring together and showcase, in a single book, many forms of oral Gothic storytelling in Scotland, old and new.’

The anthology will be released later this year. Keep an eye on and their Twitter feed @hauntpublishing

You might want to leave the lights on though whilst you give it a listen! 

About Haunt:
Haunt Publishing was founded in 2018 and is an independent publisher of Gothic fiction in all formats. Dedicated to exploring both traditional and contemporary Gothic literature, Haunt will promote global and underrepresented voices. Haunt publishes in any genre – horror, thrillers, mystery – that has a taste of Gothic. Haunt is led by Rebecca Wojturska, who loves all things Gothic. With three dissertations in Gothic literature and almost six years’ experience in publishing, she has finally combined her two loves.

About the Scottish Storytelling Forum:
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May Day Is Here! Dress Up, Dance & Celebrate the Arrival of Summer

May Day, known as Beltane in Gaelic, marks the beginning of summer in the Scottish Calendar. Yet some still argue that the Scots are a pessimistic nation…

Whatever the weather, traditionally life moved outdoors on 1 May after the long dark days of winter and TRACS is marking the celebration this year in traditional and new ways.

Just as Beltane Eve fires were once lit on hilltops across Scotland, the Beltane Fire Society perform a seasonal ceremony, including a wild mix of fire, drumming, dance and acrobatics, on Calton Hill on Tue 30 April, with a focus on climate change this year through the May Queen, the embodiment of the Earth. Follow the story as the May Queen awakens and transforms the Green Man from his wintery guise.

On Wed 1 May, many will watch the sun rise from Arthur’s Seat, and that evening ‘Stones of the Ancestors’ will evoke Scotland’s oldest landscape myths. Join Stuart McHardy and Douglas Scott as they launch their book, exploring Scotland’s standing stones and folklore legends, in front of the accompanying photography exhibition, on display at the Storytelling Centre until Sun 5 May.

On Sat 4 May the Edinburgh and Lothians May Day Procession will muster in Johnstone Terrace at 11.30am. This event links with International Labour Day, with the May Mummers (join in costume on the day) and processional musicians – led by Stan Reeves’ The Aye Notes – adding a splash of traditional cultural colour to the event.

On the same afternoon there is political song and declarations event Pith and Power, featuring Jenny Lindsay and Dick Gaughan. Then on Sun 5 May there is a ‘Come All Ye’ song and story ceilidh in tribute to Hamish Henderson in his centenary year, with a galaxy of Scottish folk talent including Lori Watson, Alison McMorland & Geordie MacIntyre, Nancy Nicolson and Margaret Bennett.Throughout this period Scotland’s capital is thrumming with traditional music and song through Tradfest. In addition to the music programme, partner venues including the Scottish Storytelling Centre and Edinburgh Filmhouse mount their own concurrent and complementary programming, ranging from film to spoken word, and family events.

All this creative activity puts the Traditional Arts in fresh and sometimes unexpected contexts.

Seasonal turning points such as May Day/Beltane continue to offer all Scotland’s communities ways to explore our relationship with the natural world, and to address environmental change.

Book Tickets


The Art of Treepling – Mini Traditional Dance Festival Announced on International Dance Day

The Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland & The University of Edinburgh present ‘The Art of Treepling’, a mini festival of percussive dance culminating the First Footing residency with international dance artist Nic Gareiss. 

TODAY, on International Dance Day, the grand culmination of the First Footing residency – The Art of Treepling – is announced. The mini festival of percussive dance including public workshops, masterclasses, work-in-progress showings, dance-for-camera screenings, panels and performances with international dance artists Sandy Silva (Canada), Colin Dunne (Ireland) and artist-in-residence Nic Gareiss (USA) is now on sale, and celebrates bringing Scotland’s dance communities and traditional musicians together to encourage renewed engagement, connectivity and support for traditional dance.

Colin Dunne, Sandy Silva, Nic Gareiss

The Art of Treepling weekend celebrates and unites these relationships and although it marks the close of the First Footing residency, it is just the beginning for imaging new futures for step dance.

Treepling is a phrase found in Joan and Tom Flett’s 1964 book ‘Traditional Dancing in Scotland’ which means “beating out the rhythm of the music with the feet” and was one of the lesser-known features of Scottish dancing that almost completely disappeared.

The residency has rejuvenated treepling, bringing the phrase back into the vocabulary of contemporary dance artists and educators and reaching across Scotland to bring new energy and support to the Scottish step dance tradition, as Nic Gareiss states:

Over the past six months of the First Footing residency, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of travelling widely throughout Scotland – from Aberdeen to the Isle of Skye, Inverness to Dumfries – to teach workshops, give performances, and offer professional development to step dancers and teachers. I have been overwhelmed by the warmth, enthusiasm, and tremendous heart across dance communities here.

There’s new palpable energy around percussive dance – the act of making music with our feet – which is a practice indigenous to Scotland that many dancers here are joyfully engaging with once again. In this spirit, I wanted to put together a weekend of events to culminate and celebrate the eight-month residency. The Art of Treepling weekend is a parting gift designed to intrigue, nourish, encourage, exhort and hopefully delight the rich community of dancers and dance lovers in this country, and we hope you can join us in Edinburgh from Friday 7 – Sunday 9 June!


The packed programme has been coordinated and supported by the Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland and The University of Edinburgh who host 8 opportunities to engage, reimaging percussive dance as a rich cultural locus of music-making, creativity, identity and community-building.

Nic is an internationally recognised percussive dance artist voted Dance Magazine’s 2019 “25 to Watch” and we’ve been extremely lucky to have him in Scotland these past seven months, working with the Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland to inspire and foster new connections, sharing footwork and his wealth of knowledge on traditional dance forms.

He has taken influence from Scotland’s communities and through the School of Scottish Studies archives to reimagine The Art of Treepling, which we’ll have the pleasure of seeing and hearing at his work-in-progress sharing on Friday 7 June. We also have the great honour of hosting two of Nic’s former teachers, acclaimed dance artists Sandy Silva and Colin Dunne who will share their years of practice in masterclasses, panel talks and the final treat – Treepling in Performance – featuring solos and improvisations by these three masters of contemporary percussive dance.(Michelle Brady, Dance Network Co-ordinator Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland)

Traditional step dance in a contemporary setting is the ethos of the First Footing residency, ensuring ancient methods are understood and utilised in modern times, with dance integral to human expression, as Wendy Timmons states:

2019 marks a celebratory year for dance at The University of Edinburgh. It is ten years since the MSc Dance Science and Education was launched and delivered at Moray House School of Education and Sport, which provides dance practitioners and artists with a distinctive route to academic study, research and optional qualified teacher status.

‘Over the past decade we’ve developed a strong “community of practice” where the conforms of dance are explored, challenged and questioned. The artist in residence project is a vital part of this community and Nic Gareiss marks our fourth successful residency, which has been a very distinct and rewarding journey.

DATES:           Friday 7 – Sunday 9 June 2019
LOCATIONS:  Scottish Storytelling Centre, St. Leonard’s Land Dance Studio, St. Cecilia’s Hall, The University of Edinburgh
TICKETS:       Available from the Scottish Storytelling Centre’s Box Office, 0131 556 9579

Book Tickets

Event Listings

Fri 7 June

Sat 8 June

Sun 9 June


The People’s Friend: Sesquicentennial Celebrations at the SSC

A copy of The People’s Friend is sold somewhere in the world every 3.44 seconds. Not bad for a bespoke magazine that first hit the shelves on 13 January 1869, which has managed to cultivate a readership by promoting fiction amongst history, nature, science, recipes, games, puzzles and tips for housewives, and retain a loyal base amidst the decline in print journalism in the digital age.

Read more in The Courier feature by Caroline Lindsay

The first ever edition of The People's Friend, Jan 13, 1869

Celebrating 150 Years, The People’s Friend are hosting events throughout the year, and the Centre is delighted to host an exhibition and events, highlighting the legacy of the publication and its connection with Dundee.

From the 10 – 25 May, enjoy an Exhibition of original cover artwork and set aside the afternoon of Sat 11 May for a session exploring 150 years of writing and storytelling success which brings together The People’s Friend staff, historians and guest authors for insights. Plus, you can enjoy a special Café Voices on Thu 16 May as Dundee life and culture is explored with songs and stories from local storytellers, with contributions from the floor always encouraged.

View All Events

Alongside the celebrations, the publication is also running an exciting competition for budding artists to submit a painting for the chance to win £300 and have their artwork featured in an upcoming publication.

The distinctive cover paintings of The People’s Friend magazine are recognised across the world. British beauty spots have taken pride of place on the front of the magazine since 11 May 1946, when Edinburgh Castle featured.  Each cover is brought to life by the hands of
J. Campbell Kerr, an alias used by a small and select group of artists who create these unique illustrations in the distinctive style everyone has come to love.

A great supporter of artistic talent, every front cover since the 40s has featured an original illustration. The opportunity to give a talented up-and-coming artist the chance to have their work showcased by the world’s longest-running women’s magazine is a fitting way to celebrate their 150th anniversary.

The People’s Friend have partnered with the Robin & Eirwen Bell Trust, set up by poet and documentary writer Robin Bell in tribute to his late wife, who died from ovarian cancer in 2014 aged just fifty-five. Robin states:
My purpose is to give practical and financial encouragement to talented artists, helping them to engage with the real world of work. The People’s Friend has been brilliant in seeing the big picture and adding imaginative ideas. I’m really looking forward to seeing the entries and how artists produce creative work that fits and addresses the 338,000 audience of readers every week.

To Enter:

  • Submit a painting of a British beauty spot of your choice.
  • The painting must be original and entirely your own work.
  • It should be created by hand on paper or board using traditional methods – digitally created or modified images will not be considered.
  • Only original paintings are eligible, not prints or digital copies.

Please note they cannot return paintings submitted as entries in this competition.

Helpful Hints from Sarah Holliday, The People’s Friend Illustrations Editor:

  • A3 portrait format works best.
  • Scene must fit within the layout, so leave plenty of space at the top and bottom. The main “action” should be kept mostly to a strip in the middle of the painting.
  • Scene should be traditionally painted, but can be in any media – watercolours, acrylics, etc.
  • Consider bright, colourful scenes, and blue sky.
  • Scene can be a city, village, landscape or seascape – anything that looks attractive.
  • Scene must be in the UK.
  • Entrants should ensure that they have the copyright of the image used as a reference.

The Prize:

  • £300 generously donated by the Robin & Eirwen Bell Trust.
  • Winning illustration featured within The People’s Friend.
  • Mentored by Illustrations Editor, Sarah Holliday.
  • Considered for paid commissions for future front-cover artwork.

Judging Panel:

  • Angela Gilchrist, Editor
  • Sarah Holliday, Illustrations Editor
  • One of the current J. Campbell Kerr illustrators
  • Robin Bell


Closing Date:
Sun 30 Jun


Send Entries to:
J. Campbell Kerr Illustrator Prize, “The People’s Friend”, 2 Albert Square, Dundee DD1 1DD.


Visit The People’s Friend website for full competition terms and conditions


TRACS Supports Stay In Scotland Campaign

Jerker Fahlström

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, issued an open letter to EU citizens living in Scotland on 5 April 2019. Following up from her original open letter in 2016, the message of welcome remains, stating:

Scotland is your home, you are welcome here, and you are valued. You play a crucial role in Scotland’s economy and public services. You are a vital part of Scotland not just for the skills and talent you bring to our country but also the diversity and richness you bring to our culture and communities.

As part of the Scottish Government’s Stay in Scotland campaign, the website has been updated with new material to support EU citizens living and working in Scotland, with links to the open letter and support materials below.

Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland (TRACS) fully supports the campaign, which reflects Scotland’s long history of welcoming people of all nationalities, as Chief Executive Donald Smith states:

TRACS is delighted to be a Europewide employer, with staff currently from Germany, Italy and Ireland, with plenty of further connections across Europe through our memberships and networks of Traditional Dance, Music and Storytelling.

This is because our work in traditional arts and community heritage connects Scotland with every part of Europe and beyond. We were among the first to sign up to express an interest in a new European Folk Network and as citizens of Scotland, we look back to a proud European heritage and forward to ever deeper friendship with all parts of this special community of nations.

Since 2017, the steering group for the European Folk Network – TRACS, Traditional Music Forum (TMF), English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) and trac Wales, along with Flemish colleagues, Poppunt – have been sorting the registration and plan for the organisation, with TRACS Director David Francis recently returned from a trip to Brussels organising a conference and launch of the EFN, planned for November 2019.

First Minister’s Open Letter

EU Citizens Support Package


Ship Ahoy! Jan Bee Brown Sets Sail to Tell Stories on Ten Tall Ships, Linking Our Cultural Heritage from Coast to Coast!

This Easter Saturday 20 April, swap your chocolate bunnies and easter eggs for some pickled herring and sailor’s yarn, as Jan Bee Brown, also known as Captain Annie, opens her treasure trove of nasty nautical tales at ‘Worse Things Happen at Sea’.

If you are looking to keep your family entertained during the Easter holidays, why not combine fun with the good cause of enriching and protecting our cultural heritage, by supporting the courageous quest of story collector Jan Bee Brown. A storyteller with a close connection to water, Jan decided to embark on a journey of tenacious strength, with the mission to gather stories from across the sea, whilst tackling her fear of heights.

“As a professional storyteller I have a head full of stories, but I have no head for heights – so I never thought I could climb the mast of a tall ship, let alone stay to tell a tale beyond the futtock shroud!”

“With a help of the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s dedicated professional crew I did make it up the mast and alongside a captive audience of crew-mates I decided that a story of courage and tenacity was called for!” (Jan Bee Brown)

Her journey started in 2017 on the ‘SV Tenacious’, a tall ship run by the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST), offering different generations and people of all abilities to come together for a shared adventure at sea, contributing to the running of the ship according to one’s abilities and strength.

The Jubilee Sailing Trust proudly states their mission as:

“We deliver our Mission aboard two very special tall ships, STS Lord Nelson and SV Tenacious. They are the only tall ships in the world designed and built so they can be sailed by a truly mixed ability crew, including people with a wide variety of impairments and health conditions.”

“On the level playing field we create aboard our ships, barriers break down, differences disappear and friendships form.”

After the initial voyage on the ‘Tenacious’, Jan decided to become a member of the volunteer crew to sail on ‘The Lord Nelson’ up the coast of Norway. On her journey she discovered that one of Norway’s well-loved poets was in fact born in Leith, the place she now considers her adoptive town.

Through the research on her travels, the places she’s visited and the people she’s met, Jan came across many a nautical tale and developed her personal mission to spread the love for stories and the sea, encouraging her to bring to life the crowdfunding project ‘Telling Tales on Ten Tall Ships’.

Jan Bee explains:

“I’m raising funds for this voyage as a research trip to learn more stories and make fast the maritime links between Norway and Newhaven and Leith and Lillesand with the challenge of telling tales on 10 tall ships as I go!”

“I want to make sure that our mutual maritime heritage is celebrated with true stories of tenacious sailors who dared to go as far as they could and then one step further!”

Alongside the ethos of JST, the fundraiser has enabled Jan to work with a range of youth and mixed ability groups and allowed her to share her seafaring stories with coastal communities, creating connections between different cultures and places that once shared close links.

A glimpse into the future highlights the relevance and longevity of this project, with 2020 being the designated ‘Year of Scottish Coasts and Waters’, an initiative led by Visit Scotland, Jan is sailing the sea of opportunity. Scotland’s coastline stretches over 10,000km and Visit Scotland stress that:

“Water is the life-blood of our country and we’ll be hosting an exciting array of events that put our coasts and waters in the spotlight.”

‘Tales on Ten Tall Ships’ not only ties in with the events of the themed year, but also contributes to the research and preservation of our mutual heritage at home and beyond.

We hope that all sailors aged 6+ will join us and Captain Annie Douglas for some nautical Easter fun at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, to hear about pirates a plenty, cheeky monkeys, thoroughly rotten eggs, fermented herring and pickled ears, whilst helping to keep our shared stories of the sea afloat.

Worse Things Happen at Sea

Sat 20 Apr | 11am – 11.45am | £5 per Child | 6+

Book Tickets

Just Giving Crowdfunding Page