BEMIS Scotland are delighted to announce that our Scotland’s Winter Festivals (SWF) small grant scheme is now open.
With support from the Scottish Government, the small grant fund will be available to Scotland’s diverse ethnic and cultural minority community organisations to programme bespoke multicultural celebratory events that are open to the public to attend. These events will enable everyone to experience the dynamic and invigorating nature of Scotland’s cultural and ethnic diversity.
The application process will be open from today, Thursday 11th July 2019 and close on Monday 16th September. The full programme of events will be announced to the public on Friday 20th September.
Building on the success of our Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme, which has been running since 2014, BEMIS are delighted to announce that we will be continuing our collaboration with the Fair Saturday Foundation (started in Bilbao, Spain) and will integrate our ‘St Andrew’s Fair Saturday Festival’ into the international celebration of arts, culture and diverse communities.
BEMIS and Fair Saturday believe that the arts and cultures of Scotland have a pivotal role to play in helping to shape our cities, towns, villages and communities into thriving, confident and representative places. Thus, like we did for the inaugural St Andrew’s Fair Saturday 2018, we will encourage events to act as a catalyst for additional positive impacts in our communities. For example, in 2018:
- The Falkirk Rainbow Muslim Womens Group’s ‘Là Naomh Anndrais’ Pakistan and Scotland poetry celebration generated £331 for their local Strathcarron Hospice
- The Partickhill Bowling and Community Club’s ‘St. Andrews Day Indian and Scottish Concert and Celebration’ raised £250 for a local ‘Indian Tabla Drumming School’.
- The inaugural ‘St Andrew’s Day Lecture’ by Alastair McIntosh at St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh raised £107 for their ‘Refugee Welcoming Project’.
These are only small examples but from small acorns, oak trees grow. In 2019, we are working towards making the St Andrew’s Fair Saturday Festival bigger, more inclusive, more dynamic and more exciting than ever before.
Ben Macpherson Scottish Government Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development said:
“The multi-cultural celebration of Scotland’s Winter Festivals, led by BEMIS Scotland, has gone from strength to strength. Last year’s programme delivered 32 events and engaged over 23,000 people across many different communities, and I am delighted to announce that this year the Scottish Government will provide BEMIS Scotland with £41,000 to deliver a similarly ambitious programme for 2019/20.
“This funding will allow BEMIS Scotland’s successful partnership with the Fair Saturday Foundation and Celtic Connections to continue to grow, and will again provide funding for local events.
“I invite communities from across Scotland to join the celebrations of St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay and Burns, to showcase the vibrancy of modern Scotland in all of our diversity, and to celebrate building an ever more inclusive, outward-looking, internationalist and welcoming Scotland, together.”
BEMIS CEO Dr Rami Ousta re-affirmed BEMIS commitment to the programme:
“Since 2014, proactive participation in the Multicultural Winter Festival, among the diverse communities of Scotland, has been commendably spiralling at various levels, and we continue to observe a very positive and dynamic advancement in such involvement contributing to enhancing and progressing Scotland’s inclusive national identity for all.
The Multicultural Winter Festival and the St Andrews Fair Saturday programs have and continue to present a unique framework for all to contribute, showcase and celebrate their cultural heritage at several levels. Our diverse cultural heritage in Scotland can only be complemented and cherished as an exceptional platform through which we can sustain, enhance and progress our active citizenship and passion for our HOME Scotland. We are certainly committed to nourishing and advancing our collaborative relationship with the Scottish Government and the Fair Saturday Foundation as well as to facilitating and progressing equal participation of the diverse communities again.”
Jordi Albareda – Director of the International Fair Saturday Foundation commented:
“Scotland is probably one of the best countries in the world to lead Fair Saturday. There´s culture everywhere, combining tradition and a brave look towards the future. It´s a place where while in other places they speak about exits, here we speak about being connected. A place that instead of ignoring organisations like BEMIS, they give them a voice and a place as co-responsibles of the brave evolution of the Scottish identity. Every territory should have it´s own BEMIS. We will only change the world through little steps. Let´s take this one.”