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Coast to Coast: SISF Celebrates Cultural Links with Canada

The 2019 Scottish International Storytelling Festival – Beyond Words – will have a special focus on Canada, showcasing new creative work developed by Scottish and Canadian artists.

This international project to develop new collaborations between Scotland and Canada has been awarded £80,000 through Festival Expo funding, which is supported by the Scottish Government through Creative Scotland and was announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon while she was on a visit to North America.

Donald Smith, Director of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, stated:

Canada and Scotland are closely interwoven in our identities, histories and contemporary friendships so the Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF) is delighted to headline ‘Canada-Scotland: Coast to Coast’ for its International Exchange, thanks to Festivals EXPO support.

This will begin in Toronto in March when Scottish storytellers will feature at the Toronto Storytelling Festival (18-24 Mar), while in October (18-31 Oct) storytellers and tradition bearers from regions including the Pacific Coast, Manitoba, the Yukon, Ottawa, Montreal and Newfoundland will visit Scotland.

Canadian guests will perform in Edinburgh and travel to make connections throughout Scotland with ‘Festival on Tour’, encouraging grassroots storytelling in the community, and pioneering the importance of storytelling to build inter-cultural bridges.

In this UN International Year of Indigenous Languages, First Nation and Scottish tradition bearers will share their story, dance and song inheritance, while recent stories of exile, migration and cultural displacement will be aired in a search for mutual understanding and healing across a fractured world.

Perfectly positioned with Scotland’s ‘A Year of Conversation 2019’, the Scottish International Storytelling Festival will nurture a space to express shared human values, aspirations and hope for the future.

Authentically routed in Scotland. Creatively engaged with the world.

Nicola Sturgeon stated:
Scotland has a long history of storytelling and it is a large and significant part of our heritage. It is a history that is alive and well today.
“This funding will spark a fascinating exchange of Scottish and Canadian cultural heritage, including a celebration of our indigenous languages, and I look forward to seeing the creative links between Scotland and Canada continue to flourish.

Mairi Kidd, Interim Head of Literature, Languages & Publishing at Creative Scotland, stated:
Scotland and Canada both have a strong heritage of storytelling, and our histories interact in complex ways.
“During the UN Year of Indigenous Languages many of our organisations plan to celebrate and investigate links between the diverse peoples of Canada and Scotland, and the Storytelling Festival will lead the way.

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