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Highland arts group gets a £65k share of emergency Covid funding

By Calum MacLeod

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Fèis Rois musicians entertain the public in Dingwall.
Fèis Rois musicians entertain the public in Dingwall.

Traditional arts and culture organisation Fèis Rois is among 18 arts and culture organisations sharing over £1 million to help support their work with young people.

Dingwall-based Fèis Rois, which launched the careers of many of the stars of the contemporary traditional scene, will receive £64,820.

Its fellow fèisean organisation, Fèisean nan Gàidheal, will receive £30,000 to support its work in the Highlands and nationally.

Other groups receiving a share of the £1,053,000 from the Scottish Government’s £3 million funding package for Youth Arts, include Drake Music Scotland, which works with young disabled people across the country, Scotland's National Youth Choir and National Youth Orchestra, the Scottish Book Trust, the National Piping Centre, Youth Theatre Arts Scotland and Scottish Youth Theatre.

Fèis Rois chief executive Fiona Dalgetty said: "This funding will support us to work on the recovery of youth arts provision across all nine Highland Council Community Planning Partnership areas, taking into account the specific needs of different communities.

"As well as benefitting young people across the whole of the Highland region, the funding will also allow us to create paid work for artists in the local area."

Her Fèisean nan Gàidheal counterpart Arthur Cormack added: “We are delighted to have secured funding to extend music-making opportunities for young people, offering longer-term employment to a number of musicians at the same time as supporting the work of local fèisean and mentoring less experienced tutors. This will strengthen the skills available in several communities to support youth music work in the future.”

Fiona Dalgetty, Feis Rois chief executive
Fiona Dalgetty, Feis Rois chief executive

Further announcements will follow regarding recipients of at least £1.2 million through the Access to Youth Arts Fund, £700,000 Small Grants Scheme and £50,000 assigned to the Time to Shine Nurturing Talent Fund.

Scotland's culture secretary, Fiona Hyslop said: “Youth music and youth arts organisations across Scotland are playing an important role in the lives of young people during these difficult times.

“This funding will support these organisations to expand their work and provide creative opportunities to young people as well as work and income for the artists and practitioners working with them through these projects.”

Creative Scotland chief executive Iain Munro said: “All the emergency funds currently being delivered by Creative Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government are vital in addressing the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I’m particularly pleased that we are able to announce the first recipients of this Youth Arts funding which will reach some of the children and young people most adversely affected by the pandemic and provide important work for freelance artists whose opportunities have been so severely impacted by Covid-19.”

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