SISF 2020 – Charting new waters with CalMac Ferries

We are delighted to announce a new partnership with Caledonian MacBrayne Hebridean and Clyde Ferries. The three-year support of the festival starts with the Year of Scotland’s Coasts and Waters and continues until the 2022 festival, which will take place in the Year of Scotland’s Stories. Aligned with this year’s festival theme, In the Flow, the partnership will see both funded and in-kind support across an eclectic mix of online events and small-scale face-to-face events, celebrating Scotland as ‘a nation shaped by water’.

Voyage, a series of new work developed by storytellers and performers in line with Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters, and the Community and Family Programme, which will see events taking place across Scotland and online between Monday 12 October to Monday 30 November, mark the beginning of our partnership with CalMac.

The Voyage series will be premiered as a pre-recorded studio broadcast and includes interpretations of the slave passage across the Atlantic and Scotland’s part in it, the colonisation of Iceland, James VI’s ‘Hamlet’ voyage to Elsinore, Johnson and Boswell’s Tour to the Hebrides and the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, illustrating ‘a nation shaped by the sea’.

Speaking at the announcement of the partnership, SISF Director Donald Smith said:

“We are delighted to partner with CalMac, and their three-year commitment to the festival has allowed us to explore new ways of reaching audiences in these uncertain times for live events. Scotland’s island communities have always played a huge part of the festival since its inception in 2006 and many of the best stories shared at the festival have travelled over on CalMac Ferries. Taking the exchange further we’re excited to explore new possibilities with CalMac and we look forward to developing the partnership in the coming years.

Diane Burke, Commercial Director at CalMac, said:

“People love traveling to the Scottish islands to hear stories of the past and to create their own tales for the future.  Working with the Scottish International Storytelling Festival allows us to share the stories of our part in those journeys with new audiences far and wide.”

We’re grateful for their support, and we’re excited to see how the partnership will develop in the coming years.

Our full programme will be revealed on Wednesday 16 September, and this year’s festival will run from the 17 to 31 October 2020.

Connect with us on social media and follow our hashtag, #SISFInTheFlow




Take a trip to Scotland’s west coast isles and you’re bound for experiences you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll make lasting memories and have stories to tell again and again. With 29 destinations to choose from, whether you’re looking for a short break, a day trip or a longer Island-Hopping discovery, when you set sail with CalMac, you’re off on an adventure. Every Journey Starts a Story – sign up to the CalMac newsletter to begin your story today.

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