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Doors Open Days Perth Soutar House

Posted onSeptember 19, 2014

Doors Open Days Perth Soutar House

Doors Open Days Perth Soutar House

Soutar House, which will be open to the public for the first time in five years this Saturday 20 September, 10am – 4pm, as part of Doors Open Day.

Soutar House is the family home of William Soutar, Perth’s famous poet who was born in Perth in 1898. An accomplished writer, poet and diarist Soutar was struck down my illness at a young age and spent the last 13 years of his life confined to bed in the house on Wilson Street. Most notable writers of Soutar’s day called at the house and found him alert and welcoming but increasingly immobile. The house remains as a permanent memorial to his life and work.
Visitors can see Soutar’s room and appreciate his life in Perth through the exhibition, art and of course his own words in every room. Readings of his poetry in Scots will be given by the Friends of William Soutar throughout the day.
Please contact localstudies@pkc.gov.uk or call 01738 477069 for more information.

Click the photo below to play the video

Doors Open Day The Vine Roseangle

Posted onSeptember 14, 2014

Doors Open Day The Vine Roseangle

Doors Open Day The Vine Roseangle

Our last visit this afternoon on Dundee’s second Doors Open Day was to The Vine in Roseangle. Now while Peter Menzies and his staff offer you the opportunity to rent meeting room and function suite facilities, set in a deluxe 1836 Georgian Town House in the West End of Dundee, this afternoon they were host to a special Art Exhibition and collection of documents collected by Dundee author Andrew David Doyle. Andrew who has written 14 books took time to explain how his collection began, a painting which may be destined for the Scottish Parliament and some of his books which include an account of a German spy operating in Dundee during the war.

Doors open Days is coordinated nationally by the Scottish civic Trust. It runs throughout Scotland every September as part of European Heritage days.  Our picture shows Andrew David Doyle being interviewed in The Vine during the exhibition today.  The video will be on line soon.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Posted onSeptember 5, 2014

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

The Conservatoire will be accepting applications soon from students to start working within the Transitions 20/40 programme from September 2015. In total it will be looking for 168 talented and dedicated students to join the programme in 2015/16 across dance, drama, music, production and screen.

Transitions 20/40 seeks out and develops potential performing and production arts talent from the most deprived Scottish postcode areas. Transitions 20/40 also offers tuition fee and travel support to take part in Royal Conservatoire workshops, classes and short courses in preparation for audition or interview for training at a higher education level.

The deadline for applying for the 2015/16 cohort of dance, drama, music, production and screen students is Friday 5 December 2014.

For more details, please see the transitions 20/40 Guidelines. For further information contact:transitions2040@rcs.ac.uk or (0141) 270 8303.

Local TV invite for five Scottish locations

Posted onJuly 31, 2014

Local TV invite for five Scottish locations

Local TV invite for five Scots locations

Ofcom today invited applications for new local TV channels in seven UK locations – Aberdeen, Ayr, Carlisle, Dundee, Forth Valley, Inverness and Stoke on Trent.

The invitation follows legislation passed in 2011, enabling Ofcom to issue local TV licences allowing the broadcast of local TV channels on digital terrestrial TV.

Five local TV channels are now broadcasting. The first of these was Estuary TV in Grimsby, which launched in November 2013. The first local TV channel in Scotland (STV Glasgow) launched in June this year.

The closing date for applications for the Scottish areas of Aberdeen, Ayr, Dundee, Forth Valley and Inverness, and the English areas of Carlisle and Stoke on Trent, is 23 October 2014.

As well as broadcasting on digital terrestrial, it is anticipated that local TV channels might choose to offer their services on satellite, cable and online.

Details on how to apply can be found here.

Local TV stations

The first local TV licences were advertised by Ofcom in May 2012. In the first phase, Ofcom awarded 19 local TV licences.

Ofcom has already invited applications for 18 locations in the second phase of local TV licensing. During this phase, licences have so far been awarded to Middlesbrough, Scarborough, Mold, York, Cambridge, Swansea, Guildford, Reading, Salisbury, Maidstone and Tonbridge, and Basingstoke.

Local businesses warned Games are – not for play

Posted onJuly 25, 2014

Local businesses warned Games are ‘not for play’

Local businesses warned Games are - not for play

LEGAL firm, Miller Hendry, have  issued a stark warning to Tayside businesses to beware of the pitfalls of jumping on the ‘Commonwealth Games marketing bandwagon’.

Alan Matthew, partner with Miller Hendry in Dundee, said: “From 23rd July until 3rd August we expect to see many businesses and organisations attempting to take advantage of the incredible hype surrounding the Commonwealth Games by running Games-related promotions, advertising campaigns and events. But, before they do, they need to make sure they are fully aware of what is, and what is not, permitted to ensure they are not exposing themselves to serious commercial risk.”

Use of the Commonwealth Games brand is strictly controlled by the Commonwealth Games Federation and Miller Hendry have issued a stark warning to local businesses wishing to associate themselves with the Games, and that they should first take time to make themselves aware of the restrictions on what they can and cannot do.

Use of the Games symbol and all of the official branding associated with the Games, including certain words, phrases and mottoes, is regulated by law. Such words include – perhaps surprisingly – generic terms such as 2014, Gold, Silver, Bronze and even Glasgow!

However, before you feel compelled to rush out and change the name of your business from Glasgow Gold or Bronze 2014, there are exceptions to the rules which applies only to businesses that have traded from before January 2010, using a name or other representation that may create an association with the Games.

Use of the brand and associated terms is also further protected by The Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008 (Games Association Right) Order 2009 which forges additional protection by introducing the offence of creating an unauthorised commercial association between people, goods or services and the Games.

It is therefore unlawful to use the Commonwealth Games symbol or any of the official branding in the course of trade or for any commercial purposes could find themselves on the receiving end of a not-so-celebratory court writ.

Alan commented:

“With the exception of official sponsors, businesses and organisations certainly cannot use any of the official branding on any advertising or promotional material or on any of their products, but they also can’t use any key terms – many of which are broad and fairly general. It is also unlawful to falsely represent any association or affiliation with the Commonwealth Games.

“This poses a significant commercial risk to small businesses wishing to run Commonwealth Games-themed promotions during the events and the Organising Committee have already confirmed they intend to enforce their rights to protect their big name sponsors. Scottish businesses who may have ‘chanced’ it during the 2012 Olympics will find the policing of the Commonwealth Games branding right on their doorstep this year.”

However, the regulations are different between the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games.

“An example of this is where the Olympics made a very clear provision for small businesses, like pubs, bars, lounges and hotels who were screening the events live on TV as an ‘event’. For the Olympics, they had clear guidelines and official posters which could be downloaded to promote the events. Our understanding is that, for the Commonwealth Games, there is no provision for this type of activity, which largely implies that anyone writing, ‘See the Commonwealth Games Live Here’, on a poster and popping it outside their local, may be getting themselves into potentially murky legal waters.

“For businesses close to the Games venues, even more regulations have been put in place to regulate advertising and trading in the area, although they have a very clear direction on what they can and cannot do. Outwith these ‘zones’, you are largely on your own, attempting to interpret a minefield of regulations and legislative documents.”

So with all these restrictions, what can local businesses do to make the most of the Games?

Alan commented:

“Businesses and organisations are entitled to show support and enthusiasm for the Games so long as this is done in a way which does not associate promotion of the business or organisation with the Games.

“For example, businesses can display flags or national colours to show support for home or visiting nations, or holding an office party to celebrate the Games. If you are in doubt as to whether your advertising, display or event is in breach of the regulations we would suggest that you seek further legal advice.”

For those who may have already fallen foul of the legislation, inadvertently or not, he issued the following advice:

“Withdraw the relevant material or products immediately. So far, the Organising Committee’s general approach to unauthorised use of the brand has been to approach the business or organisation in question and request them to rectify the problem. If you are approached by an official, and asked to remove Games related advertising or products, or to cancel a Games-related event, we would suggest that you do so and apologise unreservedly for the error.

“If you refuse, organisers may take legal steps to protect their rights and this could result in a financial penalty for your business or organisation. If you feel that you are not in breach of the regulations we would still recommend that you comply with their request in the first instance and seek further legal advice.”

Details of the brand elements that are protected are available online here: https://www.glasgow2014.com/about-us/brand/protecting-our-brand-identity

Information about associating your business with the Games can be found online here: https://www.glasgow2014.com/about-us/brand/association-right-guidance

Information about advertising and trading regulations during the Games can be found online here: https://www.glasgow2014.com/about-us/glasgow-2014-brand/trading-and-advertising-regulations

Countdown to 2014 Edinburgh International Culture Summit

Posted onJuly 22, 2014

Countdown to 2014 Edinburgh International Culture Summit

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

Posted onJuly 21, 2014

Big Big Sing Glasgow Green Live Zone This Sunday

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).


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.

Dearest Scotland, future nation in letters

Posted onJuly 18, 2014

Dearest Scotland, future nation in letters

Dearest Scotland, future nation in letters

Take a pen and a piece of paper and write a letter to the future of Scotland…

WHAT sounds like an archaic sentiment in a digital age has sparked a revival in letter writing thanks to a project by the name of Dearest Scotland.

The apolitical initiative has caught imaginations in the year of the independence referendum by inviting letters and illustrations from people of all ages across the world with a connection to, or vested interest in Scotland.

Focused on crowdsourcing from a widest possible demographic with the aim of giving a platform to citizens’ voices, Dearest Scotland’s co-founder, Sarah Drummond, recently spoke of the aspiration to receive handwritten letters that capture insights to what a future Scotland may look like.

Sarah said: “Our team at Snook work in grassroots communities and we hear great ideas everyday from ordinary people. Sadly there is no platform for these voices to be heard in the mainstream media, by governments or local authorities. Dearest Scotland aims to address that.”

For an idea that originated before the independence referendum was announced, since its official launch in March of this year, Dearest Scotland has received a cross-section of letters keen to articulate visions that reach beyond the political debate of the September 18th vote.

While the project proves that the art of letter writing isn’t dead, also provided is the choice to write and illustrate letters digitally via the Dearest Scotland website. Not resting on their laurels in merely collecting letters with no outlet for exposure, Sarah also spoke of the plans to publish received letters in a collated book format.

She said: “Everyone who writes to Dearest Scotland has the chance to see their letter published. This allows for the opportunity to read what people of all ages from every part of the country have to say about their hopes and fears for a future Scotland both in connection to and outside of politics and the referendum.”

While new letters are catalogued daily, Sarah’s aim is to publish the visions in an open source digital catalogue – in addition to the book format – post 13th September 2014, the deadline for submissions; all proceeds of which will be donated to new and existing Scottish literary projects.

While the Dearest Scotland team embark on a summer tour of Scottish venues and events, keen to reach out to towns and rural areas, the initiative has caught the attention of politicians. MSP for Glasgow Anniesland, Bill Kidd, in June lodged a parliamentary motion in support of the project. Given a debate date of 13th August 2014, the motion has received cross-party support from a further 25 members of the Scottish parliament. There are also plans to exhibit a display of letters by theScottish Rural Parliament in November and within Holyrood in early 2015.

Of the letters received, Sarah’s business partner and project co-founder, Lauren Currie, added: “We all have a box of letters stashed away somewhere that fill our hearts with joy every time we dig them out and reread them. Dearest Scotland is our nation’s box of letters. These letters are so much more than communication, they are re-imagining the future of Scotland.”

To find out more information about Dearest Scotland’s project, summer tour, or to submit a future vision of Scotland, visit…


Harley Davidson in the City

Posted onJuly 12, 2014

Harley Davidson in the City

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.

Brechin Harley Davidson in the City Official and Unofficial entertainment

Bikes and Waterslide

The Davidson Legacy   http://www.thedavidsonlegacy.com/

Worlds longest land based water slide Brechin Angus

Posted onJuly 12, 2014

Worlds longest land based water slide Brechin Angus

Worlds longest land based water slide in 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.

Brechin Harley Davidson in the City Official and Unofficial entertainment

Bikes and Waterslide

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