Sunday, August 9, 2015

Isle of Man and Cornwall to be Focus of Lorient Festival

Barrule
Although the  Isle of Man has been represented for many years at the Festival Interceltique Lorient in Brittany, this is the first time in the festival's forty five year history that the Island has been the main focus, sharing the status of 'honoured nation' with Cornwall.

It's a unique opportunity to present the Isle of Man to a wide ranging European audience which attracts more than three hundred journalists, hungry to know more about the Island and generate a greater awareness of its culture, heritage and local produce. Key events will be televised to millions of viewers across France.

Isle of Man volunteer delegate, Ealee Sheard, has been co-ordinating this year's impressive Manx line-up in conjunction with Culture Vannin, the main Island based financial supporter, and the Isle of Man Arts Council, who have also provided a grant to ensure that the presentation is of the highest quality. It's a joint effort between the Isle of Man and Cornwall, with the majority of funding for performers provided by the festival's own budget.

Ruth Keggin
Attracting a delegation of more than one hundred musicians and dancers from the Isle of Man, they will entertain in excess of 800,000 visitors during a busy ten day festival, and will include Barrule, Ny Fennee, Ruth Keggin, Rushen Silver Band, Caarjyn Cooidjagh, Russell Gilmour, Strengyn and Mec Lir amongst others. 

Peter Young, of  Event Management Solutions, will manage the honoured nations' pavilion (around which the festival will be centred) on behalf of Culture Vannin, and has been working with the Cornish delegation to design a venue which will represent both the unique and shared qualities of both Celtic nations; through food, drink, culture, heritage, language, arts and crafts, and tourist information. They've also teamed up with local food and drink suppliers to pursue new markets in Brittany and France.

The pavilion stage will see a packed schedule of both Manx and Cornish acts, including those involved in official performances at other festival venues, which will embrace two major gala events in the Grand Theatre and Espace Marine, and an appearance as part of the popular Nuits Interceltiques; an extravaganza of music, dance, film and fireworks.

Caarjyn Cooidjagh
The festival committee has also put together a TT themed event to attract riders from the region.

In addition, Manx artists Juan Moore, Julie Roberts, Eileen Schaer and Will Sutton, will join four visual artists from Cornwall to present a contemporary exhibition on the theme of mythology, jointly curated by Nicola Dixon from the Isle of Man and Vivienne Gillard from Cornwall.

This year's all-important presentation represents a working partnership between festival organisers, Culture Vannin, the Isle of Man Arts Council, DEFA, DED, Manx National Heritage and local businesses, in conjunction with Cornwall Council and the Cornish Language Partnership. Sponsorship has also been received from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.


Valerie Caine
© August 2015

(Courtesy of Manx Tails)

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