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Countdown to 2014 Edinburgh International Culture Summit
WITH less than four weeks until the 2nd Edinburgh International Culture Summit gets underway at the Scottish Parliament, it is set to be a unique and memorable event. Award-winning a cappella vocal group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, described by Nelson Mandela as South Africa’s cultural ambassadors, will close the Summit with an uplifting showpiece during the closing ceremony on Tuesday 12 August 2014.
Culture Ministers from all corners of the globe will join an impressive array of arts leaders and cultural experts in an inspiring programme of lively discussions, presentations and performances. The programme features a stellar line-up of speakers including Benjamin Barber from the City University of New York, Nandi Mandela, business woman and grand-daughter of Nelson Mandela; and Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO.
Other speakers include Simon Anholt, the world’s leading authority on national image & reputation, and a world leader on ultra-wide scale human engagement; Danilo Santos de Miranda, Sao Paolo Director of Brazilian arts funding agency Serviço Social do Comércio (SESC), will talk on the success of the SESC Funding Model; and Australian-based poet, philosopher and artist Paul Carter will present on ‘Place-making and Storytelling’.
Set during the largest annual celebration of the arts in the world, Edinburgh’s summer festivals, the Summit’s belief in the ability of the arts and culture to unite and connect will be echoed on the streets of Edinburgh amongst hundreds of international performers and visitors.
Supporting the Summit and adding extra colour and depth to the theme, ‘Culture – A Currency of Trust’,will be new programme partners the Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI), launched in 2000 by His Highness the Aga Khan; Asialink at The University of Melbourne; and the United Cities and Local Government (UCLG) Committee on Culture – Agenda 21. These partners will widen the reach and range of the Summit’s global cultural conversations.
There will be special presentations from Kent Larson, director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab’s Changing Places Group on the latest tools and templates used for analysing urban environments, and French-Vietnamese artist, choreographer and writer Ea Sola will give a personal reflection on her work in ‘Choreography of imagination, Body and Memory’.
The Summit will open on 10 August 2014 with a performance from world-renowned musician Jordi Savall accompanied by Hespèrion XXI musicians performing works from the cosmopolitan traditions of peaceful co-existence inspired by the Caliphate of Cordoba.
Commenting ahead of the Summit, Sir Jonathan Mills, director of the Edinburgh International Festival and programme director of the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, said:
“The Edinburgh International Culture Summit is a forum in which artists and leaders come together to discuss substantial, global issues of mutual interest, during the Edinburgh International Festival. It is a great pleasure to welcome politicians and practitioners from across the globe to Edinburgh at its most diverse and dynamic – to a wonderful city, in ‘full Festival’ flow.
“The Summit exists to make the argument for culture and the arts as an essential enlargement of the circumstances in which we imagine our lives.
“I wish you well in your deliberations at the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, and hope that your time in Scotland is inspiring and rewarding.”
Speaking ahead of the event, the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP, Presiding Officer, said:
“You only need to walk into our main hall and see the crowds gathered for the Great Tapestry of Scotland to understand the power culture has to engage people.
“It is therefore our great pleasure to host the 2nd Edinburgh International Culture Summit. We are delighted to offer members of the public this rare opportunity to hear from eminent speakers as they explore the power of culture on nations. It is particularly exciting to be able to offer the public the chance to hear world-class musicians performing in our unique Debating Chamber.”
The 2014 Edinburgh International Culture Summit runs from 10 to 12 August 2014.
Big Big Sing Glasgow Green Live Zone This Sunday
Big Big Sing is a UK-wide celebration of singing, encouraging the nation to start enjoying the health and well-being benefits of singing. Following a full programme of events, workshops and flashmob choirs across the UK during 2014, Big Big Sing invites everyone, no matter their age or ability, to join in a spectacular free day of singing and fun at the Big Big BIG Sing at Glasgow Green Live Zone on Sunday 27th July from 8am to 9pm, as part of Festival 2014.
On the same day that the Glasgow 2014 Marathon starts and finishes at Glasgow Green, Big Big Sing will be rousing the whole Live Zone with a host of singing activities, ‘Come and Try’ sessions, entertainment and performances for everyone. At locations across the Green, there will be a Pied Piper enchanting the kids with songs and rhymes; a Musicals Marathon where you can join in singing favourite hits from the musicals; ‘Come and Try’ sessions teaching singing in different styles, including Gaelic mouth music, Indian singing and beatboxing; a tea song and dance for those who prefer a more sedate tempo; and Song Stages featuring performances by choirs from across the country. As well as the packed programme of events, a cast of roaming performers – including Valkyries and a singing horse – will be entertaining kids and adults alike throughout the Green all day.
At 3.30pm, Big Big BIG Sing will take to the main stage and really get the party going, bringing the crowd together as one enormous choir to perform popular classics and learn songs from Big Big Sing’s Big Big Commonwealth Songbook, a collection of great songs from across the globe.
Big Big Sing’s exuberant team of choir leaders, led by Stephen Deazley and Eugene Skeef, will have everyone singing Commonwealth-style, with songs from Kenya, India, South Africa and Scotland and leading rousing renditions of classics including Pharrell Williams’ Happy, Bill Withers’ Lean on Me and hits by Jackie Wilson and Bob Marley. They’ll be joined by the uplifting Soul Nation Choir, internationally renowned beatboxers Jason Singh and Bellatrix, and the brilliant Big Big Sing Band. Also performing will be the winners of Big Big Sing’s schools’ song writing competition: Loch Primary School sings Jump, Swim, Run and Shannon McLean, Evelyn Martin and Lucy Howie from Balfron High School perform Life’s a Game. The afternoon will conclude with a unique mash-up of music from throughout the day, merging singing styles and traditions in a spectacular finale.
To complete the fun and bring the Big Big BIG Sing Day to a close, there will be a one-off sing-a-long screening of Singing in the Rain!
Director of Big Big Sing, Svend Brown said:
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring the whole fun Big Big BIG Sing to Glasgow Green as part of Festival 2014 in July – there truly is something for everyone and to hear all those people singing together, whether it be the Bob Marley classic ‘Don’t Worry About a Thing’ or one of the beautiful songs from the Big Big Commonwealth Songbook, it promises be an extremely happy and moving occasion. Glasgow Green Live Zone welcomes everyone to come join in the 2014 experience. What could be more perfect?
“All the Big Big Sing events we have had so far this year have been wonderful, and the people we have met who have taken part have been inspiring in the sheer enthusiasm they’ve shared with us. We know many of them already have their plans set to join us on the 27th for what is set to be a momentous day of fun and singing.”
Previous Big Big Sing attendee and member of Musselburgh’s Clark Community Choir, Irene Grant said:
“Members of our choir attended the Big Big Sing in the Usher Hall in February. We all came away buzzing with excitement at the atmosphere created on the day by Stephen and Eugene and the inspirational songs they taught us. We all had such a wonderful day and we will most certainly be at the Big Big BIG Sing in Glasgow on 27th – we have hired a bus for 35 people so we will be there in force! We can’t wait for a whole day of singing and being happy.”
Big Big Sing is an initiative of Glasgow UNESCO City of Music, and is set to be one of the highlights of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme. The project is funded by Glasgow 2014, Creative Scotland, Glasgow UNESCO City of Music and the Spirit of 2012 Trust (Spirit) (set up by an endowment by the Big Lottery Fund).
BIG BIG SING – HOW TO GET INVOLVED
The Big Big Sing’s online singing portal – www.bigbigsing.org – provides a wealth of materials and information for those looking to take up singing. The site includes a searchable database of choirs, the Big Big Commonwealth Songbook with lots of learning and teaching resources, a guide on how to set up your own choir, a playlist of performances by choirs and singers from around the Commonwealth and details on all Big Big Sing events.
For further details on everything that’s happening at the Big Big BIG Sing Day at Glasgow Green Live Zone on Sunday 27th July visit www.bigbigsing.org and keep up-to-date with Big Big Sing on Facebook and Twitter.
Harley Davidson in the City
Motorcycles filled the streets of Brechin for the third Harley Davidson ride out in the city. Bikes of all shapes, sizes and makes took part in the ride out today which left Brechin at 12 noon for the third ride out to the home of the Davidson name in Angus Alexander and Mary Davidson’s cottage in Aberlemno. Alexander Davidson left for America in 1857 and it was his three grandchildren who helped start the company which would become such a famous brand. Local retailers helped by displaying black and orange balloons outside their premises and the closed streets allowed a carnival atmosphere in the city.
The Davidson Legacy http://www.thedavidsonlegacy.com/
Worlds longest land based water slide Brechin Angus
Worlds longest land based water slide Brechin Angus. At 200 metres downhill it may have been the worlds longest land based water slide but possibly not the fastest depending on how the laws of physics were treating you. However there was certainly no shortage of people young, old and possibly insane enough to keep throwing themselves at the challenge. Organised by Bravo Brechin the waterslide took place on the same day as the Harley Davidson motorcycle ride out to the home of the Davidson name in Angus.
Brechin’s City Road was closed for the challenge and everyone certainly got into the spirit of the day with a carnival atmosphere in Brechin – even the local Caledonian Railway put on a special Frying Scotsman service serving Fish and Chips on the train.
My Love is like a red red rose – Fiddlers Rally
The Fiddlers Rally took place on Friday evening as part of Broughty Ferry Gala Week. Margaret Wells sings My Love is like a red red rose as part of the evenings performance. The Dundee Channel recorded some of the event as part of a video for the Gala Week on behalf of Broughty Ferry traders.
Click the picture below to play the video
Pre-Nuptial Agreements gaining popularity in Scotland
Celebrities’ relationships are known to end as quickly as they begin, which explains why many lawyers advise that they enter into an iron-clad prenuptial agreement. But what about the rest of us?
A Fife Solicitors firm has revealed that Pre-Nuptial Agreements are gaining popularity in Scotland and amongst its client base, where increasing numbers of couples are resorting to ‘Pre-Nups’ to ensure that neither party loses out if the marriage ends.
Ronnie Murphy, Partner, Murray Donald said, “A few years ago, Pre-Nups were rarely entered into in Scotland and there was even debate in legal circles as to whether they were valid or enforceable. However, as the Law Commission, who advise the Westminster Government on updates to the law, proposes to make them legally binding in England and Wales, Scotland is one step ahead. The starting point in Scots Law is that Pre-Nups are generally accepted as being “legally binding” (or, more accurately, “enforceable by the court.”)
Pre-nuptial agreements are recommended for people who, for whatever reason, wish to ring-fence some of their assets prior to getting married or entering into a civil partnership. When most people think of Pre-Nups, they envisage Hollywood stars protecting their millions from their future spouse. However, they are not just luxuries for the super-rich and may be advisable for individuals of more modest means.
If, for example, you own a business or properties you may be interested in a Pre-Nup. Equally, you might have savings or investments which you would like to protect. You may also wish to consider a pre-nuptial agreement if you are entering into a second marriage or civil partnership, or marrying later in life with a wish to protect inherited or gifted assets.
Regardless of the motivating factors, it is important that the couple seek legal advice prior to entering into a pre-nuptial agreement. The agreement must be fair and reasonable at the time that it is entered into and there should be no suggestion of one spouse being pressurised into signing the agreement.
Mr Murphy continued, “We understand that it’s not necessarily the most romantic conversation to have with your partner but having an open and honest conversation at an early stage in your relationship will mean that it’s dealt with and you can enjoy those honeymoon days worry-free! You should make sure that you allow sufficient time prior to the wedding or civil partnership to get all of the details ironed out, ensuring that it is signed before the big day. It is, in fact, advisable to start the process three to four months before the wedding in the hope of having it signed at least two months before the wedding.”
So what might be included in the agreement?
- Both parties can protect their existing assets
- How other assets will be divided rather than in accordance with the terms of The Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985 which can have unexpected results
- The level of financial support to be paid after separation
- Pension provision for stay-at-home spouses
- Pre-Nups are usually drafted so that they remain in force indefinitely. They could also be written in such a way that they cease to have effect after a certain number of years or when an event such as the birth of a child occurs. However, if past experience of actors, actresses, musicians and those in the media are anything to go by, such “sunset clauses” only result in one of the spouses waiting until the necessary number of years have elapsed before separating thereby rendering the Pre-Nup void.
Some of the more unusual provisions which have been written into Pre-Nups relate to which spouse has custody of the family dog and when the other spouse is allowed to spend time with the dog and a clause stating that mother-in-laws are not allowed to have sleepovers in the couple’s house!
When it comes to the cost for a Pre-Nup, the fee is likely to be money well spent as contested divorce proceedings costing many thousands of pounds may be avoided at a later date. It is usually recommended that the spouse seeking the Pre-Nup pay for the legal fees incurred by the other spouse in entering into the Agreement.
Furthermore, if the Agreement is registered in the Books of Council and Session it can be used to force payment without the need to first apply to the Court.
While Pre-Nups gain popularity in Scotland, in England, the Law Commission has consulted about whether to introduce them and has recently recommended that Pre-Nups should be made legally binding there but only after the financial needs of the separating couple and any children have been taken into account.
The English Law Commission wants Pre-Nups to be strictly regulated and drafted in accordance with standard formulas with official guidance being published on what constitutes legitimate “financial needs”.
The government, the Commission said, should also fund a “long-term study to assess whether a workable, non-statutory formula could be produced that would give couples a clearer idea of the amounts that might need to be paid to meet needs”. It added: “Formulae are already used successfully in other jurisdictions such as Canada, where they produce a guideline range of outcomes within which couples can negotiate.”
The Law Commission’s proposals has been sent to the Ministry of Justice, which will examine whether it wishes to draw up legislation on the basis of the suggestions. Past governments have shown reluctance to revise marriage laws.
Ghost Hunters Scotland new site
Ghost Hunters Scotland have let us know they have a new site and forum. They are still at www.ghosthunters.org.uk plus they’ve launched a competition. In the spirit of good fun they are giving away two free tickets to attend one of their events in the future. All you have to do is visit their forum and register with for free then remain active on the forum contributing to discussions etc and they’ll add your name into the prize draw. The more active you are the more chance you have of winning. Every 20 posts made will result in your name being dropped in the hat. The winner will be announced on our forum at the end of July.
Their next event takes place at The Secret Bunker in Fife, details on their website.
Sold Out! – Record-Breaking Sales Success for Perth Builders
The first batch of Perth-built houses within Scotland’s largest planned new town have been snapped up in 3 days.
Stephen house builders have taken reservations on all of their first 13 properties at Chapelton, five miles south of Aberdeen, following their public release for sale at the on-site sales centre at the weekend. Due to demand, the firm hopes to release further properties for sale in July, with hopes to commence construction later this month.
The first phase of the development will see 256 properties being built, 82 of which will be built by Stephen. The 13 Stephen properties which have now been reserved are a variety of three, four and five bedroom homes in semi, detached and terraced forms. Eventually, the new town will provide 8,000 homes.
Tom Buchanan, Sales Manager said, “We are delighted with this early success and staggered by the demand and sense of anticipation which we saw at first-hand at the Chapelton event. Visitors were really excited about the vision for this new town and the range of quality properties on offer, and were particularly impressed with the obvious investment to the entrance and landscaping of the site, which looks superb.
“We very much look forward to seeing the development take shape, and being part of this thriving new sustainable community with its own busy high street, schools, healthcare facilities and lots of green space on 2,000 acres of farmland.”
To see how 2,000 acres of Aberdeenshire farmland will be transformed into Scotland’s largest new town you can watch this short film.
Click the photo below to watch the video
Scotland’s history tapestry to go the Borders
The Scottish Borders Council reached agreement today at a full meeting of Councillors held in Hawick. After a full year of careful consideration of proposals from across the country, a site in the Scottish Borders has been confirmed as the preferred option for a permanent home for THE GREAT TAPESTRY OF SCOTLAND, one of Scotland’s greatest works of art and a remarkable telling of our nation’s story.
The Great Tapestry of Scotland is currently on tour, having completed a record-breaking run in Aberdeen where so many people came to see it, 53,000, that the gallery was forced to schedule late opening nights and weekend hours. It is currently on show in Paisley at Anchor Mill where 10,000+ are expected to view it in just four weeks. It returns to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on 1 July for 11 weeks.
Locally the following groups contributed to the tapestry.
Stitched in Carnoustie, Forfar and Arbroath
- The Coming of the Vikings
Panel stitched by ‘Gaels Stitchers’
Stitched in Perth and Glencarse
- Battle of Carham on the Tweed 1018, The Border Settles in the South
Panel stitched by:
Stitched in Cupar, Auchtermuchty, Dairsie, Upper Largo, Newport on Tay and Ceres
- Duns Scotus and The Schoolmen
Panel stitched by ‘Embroiderers’ Guild Kelso Branch’:
Stitched in Perth, Blairgowrie, Methven and Scone
- Bannockburn 1314
Panel stitched by ‘Two Toxophilists’:
Caroline M Buchanan
Stitched in Blairgowrie, Perth and Dunkeld
- Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Kirkcaldy
Panel stitched by:
Stitched in Newport on Tay
- Dundee: Jute, Journalism
Panel stitched by ‘3J’:
Stitched in Broughty Ferry and Dundee
- Shetland, Ibster Sisters
Panel stitched by ‘Pentland Stitches’:
Angela E. Lewis
Stitched in Cupar, Ladybank and St Andrews
- ‘Liberton Ladies’
Stitched in Alyth, Forfar, Letham, Guthrie and Broughty Ferry
- Doreen Scotland
Stitched in Inverkeilor and Arbroath
- Credit Tree
Panel stitched by:
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