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‘Time and Tide’ to be showcased in Peterhead on the Winter Solstice

By David Porter

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A North-east fishing community is to be put under the international spotlight during a coveted arts festival being held on the Winter Solstice.

Peterhead has been selected as one of only seven locations in four countries to play a part in the 2019 Solstice Shorts Festival of live new stories, poems and songs on the shortest day of the year on Saturday, December 21 under the theme ‘Time and Tide’.

The festival, now in its sixth year, will also be showcased in Clydebank, Holyhead in Wales, Maryport, Greenwich and Hastings in England and the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.

Live-streaming of all six events will enable a global audience to enjoy the performances, with a video and book capturing the events scheduled for the Spring.

Artventure - a Peterhead-focused group working to support and promote the town's art and culture - has received £600 in regeneration funding from Aberdeenshire Council to enable it to host the North-east event.

It has also been supported by Arts Council England and a crowdfunding campaign.

‘Time and Tide’ will focus on stories and poems about communities which make a living from or beside the water, but also about the forging of new lives across the seas to highlight the history of immigration, emigration and diaspora.

Peterhead was chosen for inclusion in this project for its rich maritime heritage and will see the return of Intuitive Music Aberdeen to the town to present an event at the Symposium Coffee House in the Scottish Maritime Academy in collaboration with Artventure.

Poems and stories were submitted to the project from writers around the world, with those chosen for the Peterhead event including pieces by local writers from Buchan, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen, as well as from far further afield.

The music for the north-east event will again be provided by Buchan based composer Haworth Hodgkinson and local actors and musicians are already in rehearsals.

The Peterhead event brings together a wide range of partners at local, regional, national and international level including Peterhead Arts and Culture network, Artventure, British Sign Language, Maritime Academy and Coffee Symposium, Arts Council England, Arachne Press London and Intuitive Music Aberdeen.

Dr Nick Brown of Aberdeenshire Council’s Regeneration Executive said: “The role played by the arts in urban regeneration has been much documented, enhancing a sense of pride of place, stimulating mental health and encouraging cultural participation and community involvement.

“The Time and Tide event provides a major opportunity to strengthen Peterhead’s place on the cultural map, both nationally and internationally, with local writers and performers seen in a wider context.

“We expect the event to attract people to Peterhead who might not otherwise visit, and those who attend or watch the event online will see Peterhead as an attractive vibrant location where high-quality arts events can happen.”

Artventure chair William McNeil added: “Time and Tide is an ambitious project which fits with the overall aim of ‘Creative Peterhead’ as this is an opportunity to contribute towards transformational change through the mechanisms of arts and culture and collective creativity.

“The event will help promote Peterhead as a distinctive, compassionate, and outward-looking community and hopefully stimulate the community towards taking greater pride of place and sense of confidence in the town and its people.”

For more information and to live-stream the event visit www.intuitivemusic.co.uk/2019/time-and-tide/ or log onto www.facebook.com/intuitivemusicaberdeen/

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