Edinburgh's Festivals will receive a larger tranche of expo funding this year as the city works to solidify its place as, according to Minister for Culture Michael Russell, "the pre-eminent festival capital of the world."
A total £2.046m expo funding will be split between the 12
main Edinburgh festivals over the coming financial year, an increase of £740,000 on
the previous year's round of festival funding.
A total of £6 million will be dispersed to Edinburgh's Festivals by the Scottish Arts Council over three years to 2012.
"Our Expo Fund is designed to help maintain the global competitive edge of the festivals and to increase funding available to Scottish-based artists and practitioners," said Russell, who was at the Dovecot Studios to announce the first Expo funding award of £250,000 to the Edinburgh Art Festival over two years.
Of that funding £150,000 is to be used to set up the Commissioning
Fund. The other £100,000 will be used to work with visiting
delegations, curators and media in promoting the work.
The main role for coordinating and delivering the portfolio of Expo
projects falls to Festivals Edinburgh, led by Faith Liddell. A panel
comprising members of the Thundering Hooves steering group and
Festivals Forum has recommended the projects for funding in 2009-10.
Festivals Edinburgh is a high-level organisation created by the directors of
Edinburgh's 12 major festivals to take the lead on their joint
strategic development and to look at over-arching areas of mutual
Liddell said: "The Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund will allow our directors to create a rich portfolio of projects that represents the largest and most important showcase of Scottish work and talent ever presented here."
How do the Festivals Spend their Expo Cash?
Edinburgh International Book Festival: Kath Mainland, Administrative Director
"The Scottish Government's Festivals Expo Fund... has allowed the Edinburgh International Book Festival to work with Scottish writers and poets to create new Scottish work which has been presented to audiences both here in Edinburgh, the world's first UNESCO City of Literature, across Scotland and internationally. We very much look forward to the opportunity to extending this vital area of our work, promoting the strength, diversity and excellence of Scottish literature at home and abroad."
Janice Galloway, Author of fineday; commissioned by the Edinburgh International Book
Festival and published in Lights off the Quay, a collection of work
from four of Scotland's finest writers, supported through the 2008
Scottish Government's Festivals Expo Fund.
"Investing time, planning and money in ensuring a future of Scottish Literary Art is time, planning and money invested in hope. However straitened the times, perhaps especially in straitened times, writers are our voice. They are what we dare to express, what we dare to confront, what we dare to imagine. Support for that is in everyone's interests, and I thank the Scottish Government for its commitment to providing that support through the Festivals Edinburgh Expo Fund."
Edinburgh's Hogmanay: Norman Ireland , Director, Edinburgh's Hogmanay
"The New Year period is a wonderful time, and Edinburgh the perfect place, to showcase Scottish creative talent. A huge international audience descends upon the capital city and the eyes of the world's media are on us. Expectations are always high and the Expo Fund will allow us to broaden even further the appeal of the festival by presenting new , quality, Scottish-originated entertainment."
Scottish International Storytelling Festival: Donald Smith, Director, Scottish International Storytelling Festival
"Scotland has an acclaimed role in the worldwide revival of live storytelling and the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund has enabled the Scottish International Storytelling Festival to link into events around the globe. The Festival Expo Fund boosts Scottish storytelling as storytellers across the world come together in a shared celebration of heritage, humour and the fragile ecologies of nature and culture on which we all depend."
David Campbell, Scottish Storyteller: "The Storytelling Festival is the inspiring hearth for Scottish storytelling -- and a beacon for the storytelling renaissance worldwide"
Edinburgh International Festival: Jonathan Mills, Director
"The Scottish Government's Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund is a hugely welcome initiative, enabling the Edinburgh International Festival to enhance its collaborations with the very best Scottish artists and companies. The fund enables us to develop projects which would not otherwise be possible, offering the very best international platform for Scotland's world class artists."
Bank Of Scotland Imaginate Festival: Tony Reekie, Director, The Bank Of Scotland Imaginate Festival
"This (Expo funding) will allow us to develop our work with some of the best and brightest talent working in performing arts for children and young people in Scotland and to build on the worldwide success we already enjoy.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Tim Hawkins, General Manager Edinburgh Festival Fringe
"The support from the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund will allow the Fringe to work in partnership with the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Arts Council to encourage and support performing artists based in Scotland to present their best and most ambitious work at the Fringe and to increase opportunities for them to tour their work overseas. As cities around the world increasingly recognise the value of setting up and supporting festivals, the Festival Fringe is grateful to the Government for recognising that this kind of investment is necessary so it can remain both the leading fringe festival and the world's largest arts festival."