BEMIS Scotland in collaboration with the Scottish Government is delighted to announce the commencement of a new programme which invites multicultural communities across Scotland to join the celebration of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and the 2016/17 Winter Festivals.
The new programme, which is being supported by a £54,000 funding contribution from the Scottish Government, builds on the success of earlier similar activity led by BEMIS Scotland in 2014 and 2015 and esteems to practically enable Scotland’s ethnic and cultural minority communities to participate in and enhance the dynamic celebrations which are taking place across Scotland.
Scotland’s social, economic and cultural vibrancy is enhanced by our diverse ethnic and cultural minority communities who now call Scotland ‘home’. Our mosaic of communities has had an immeasurably positive impact on Scotland’s physical and cultural infrastructure.
BEMIS Scotland and the Scottish Government share an objective and commitment to facilitate, celebrate and enhance Scotland’s inclusive national identity predicated on acknowledging that the diverse cultural characteristics of Scotland’s minority communities combine to represent a dynamic, progressive, vibrant and engaging national narrative.
As in previous years, the bulk of programme funding in 2016/17 will support a small grants scheme which will be split into two components. £20,000 is being allocated to celebrate the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and £28,000 to celebrate Scotland’s Winter Festivals focusing on the seminal dates of St. Andrew’s Day (30th November 2016) and Burns Day (25th January 2017).
Over the course of the themed years BEMIS Scotland has been delighted to develop a range of bespoke partnerships with key agencies and stakeholders including VisitScotland, the Scottish Football Association, Celtic Connections, Just Festival, SOLAS, Creative Scotland and Scotland Food and Drink .
This approach will be progressed within this year’s context with the introduction of ADS (Architecture and Design Scotland) and TRACS (Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland).
Building on these new and existing partnerships, and in addition to the small grants component, other planned activity includes a unique, bespoke winter conference which will assemble the multifarious narratives of Scotland to encourage new horizons and interpretations of Scottish, European and Global identity and citizenship. Who is Scotland, Where is Scotland, We are Scotland.
Also, as part of the winter festival celebrations, BEMIS Scotland in partnership with Scotland Food and Drink will celebrate the St. Andrew’s weekend by utilising the culinary and cultural narrative of South Asian diasporas in Scotland to celebrate our shared social, economic and cultural links.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:
Building on the success of earlier programmes, I am delighted that BEMIS Scotland and partners are inviting multi-cultural communities across Scotland to join the celebration of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and the Winter Festivals, supported by a funding contribution of £54,000 from the Scottish Government.
People from across the world have settled in Scotland, they are welcome here and their contribution is valued. Now more than ever the multi-cultural celebration of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and the Winter Festivals provides us with a fantastic opportunity to showcase how Scotland’s diversity enriches our nation. I would encourage multi-cultural communities to take part in this initiative by developing their own events celebrating the place they live and Scotland’s national days and also to check out the many other major events happening the length and breadth of the country in 2016 and beyond.
These sentiments were echoed by BEMIS CEO Dr Rami Ousta:
BEMIS Scotland welcome the continued commitment of the Scottish Government to progressing our shared objective to utilise the intangible cultural characteristics of Scotland to foster our shared, living, dynamic and diverse national identity. Under the auspices of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and Scottish Winter Festivals period we are committed to maintaining our engagement with the diverse communities of Scotland.
This approach places domestic, European and global citizenship at the heart of our cultural and social agenda. Scotland is a nation of diversity in a global community of equals.
Our social and cultural rights advanced, evidenced and championed in partnership with the Scottish Government reflect a shared commitment to showcasing our communities in Scotland and via our diasporas projecting Scotland across the globe via the eyes, anecdotes, experiences and stories of our minority communities.
We look forward to working with key agencies and our communities in the year ahead to progress this shared human aspiration, to foster our sense of Scotland as home, safe, inclusive, confident and culturally intelligent.