Guest blog - Kibble Flavours of the Festival

Thursday May 30, 2013

Each year the Mardi Gras parade is made up of costumed groups and individuals who come from all walks of life. Most (but not all) of the groups are from support organisations that help people in a variety of ways in their everyday lives. The parade is an opportunity for them to work together to create entertaining and stunning artworks that can draw attention to important work of those organisations and individuals. The support organisations work tirelessly all year around to make a difference to peoples’ lives and the art projects are a great way to remind participants and spectators of the value of meaningful, shared, social activities.

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On 22nd April 2013, we invited members of the public and community organisations to the Kibble Palace to share in a showcase event profiling the community engagement aspects of the Mardi Gras Parade and several organisations who exemplify this model were represented, including Glasgow City Council’s Leaving Care Services, LGBT Youth Scotland, Depot Arts, New Rhythms For Glasgow, Turning Point Scotland and Spider Arts.

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There were live musical performances from a Springburn Community Choir (Local Vocals), some featured live singing from young people from Leaving Care Services, an original dance work by a new dance group in Drumchapel “Aspirate” and several costume artworks by artists Kenny Burns and Siobhan Lawson.

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To see some of these fantastic organisations in action, come along to the Mardi Gras Parade on Byres Road on Sunday 9 June 2013. The street will be closed, there will be food and drink, stalls and entertainment, and the parade with costumes and samba bands will set off from the Botanic Gardens at 3pm. See the West End Festival website for more information!

Guest blog post by:

Noel Bridgeman, West End Festival Parade Co-ordinator

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West End Festival Literature programme

Wednesday May 15, 2013

Family Book events

Announcing a feast of Festival book events for families!  Opening the West End Festival Family Book Programme will be the creator of the much loved Katie Morag stories - Mairi Hedderwick at Hillhead Library on Saturday 1 June at 2.30pm.  A combination of masterly storytelling and the stunning Hebridean illustrations give this remarkable series enduring appeal for children and adults alike. Join Mairi to hear all about Katie Morag’s adventures!

Saturday 8 June sees a Socktastic celebration of a fantastically funny picture book Socks with Nick Sharratt who is one of most creative and loved illustrator talents in the UK.  Later, he will be joined by Julia Donaldson, creator of The Gruffalo. In their new picture book Animal Music, the animals get together for a sing-song. Why not join in the fun and meet two leading talents of the children’s book world! At The Kelvin Gallery, University of Glasgow. Tickets John Smith’s Tel 0141 342 5986.

All aboard The Tall Ship on Sunday 9 June at noon to hear the captivating tales of Bottlenose Bay which have already been featured on Bookaboo on television. Meet award-winning illustrator/writer Jan Fearnley to hear about the adventures of Harry the harbour mouse and a host of other loveable characters.  Tickets £2.50 in person only from The Tall Ship.

On Saturday 29 June there is a chance to be a princess for the day and enjoy storytelling and fun activities at a Princess Poppy party. The adventures of the enchanting Princess Poppy have become a firm favourite with little girls.  A global phenomenon, over 2 million copies have been sold to Princess Poppy fans worldwide.  Join author Janey Louise Jones at Hillhead Library at 11.30 am to hear the latest tales about the delightful Princess Poppy.

Princess Poppy - Holiday

Spotlight on The Children’s Wood and North Kelvin Meadow

With some seventeen literary happenings at North Kelvin Meadow and The Childrens Wood during The West End Festival, there are some magical experiences on offer for families and schools. On Saturday 15 June, children’s writer and storyteller Lari Don will visit this special piece of West End wilderness, to read her stunning new retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, encouraging the listener to imagine fairy tales and magical journeys of their own.  Meanwhile, back by popular demand, actor Tam Dean Burn celebrates Father’s Day on Sunday 16 June with a collection of favourite Julia Donaldson stories with musical accompaniment from Emma Schad and Andy Alston. In the afternoon, there is a once in a lifetime opportunity for children to meet The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child!

Sunday 30 June sees Glasgow’s own literary and artistic genius Alasdair Gray lending his unique voice in a reading of The Just So Stories and Tales by Hans Christian Andersen to mark this closing Celebration of the West End Festival Book Programme at North Kelvin Meadow.  At this colourful family event, there will be a range of other activities.  Children and adults are also  invited to come dressed as their favourite character from the Just So Stories!

Alasdair Gray

Spotlight on the West End Festival schools book programme at Glasgow City Libraries

Unputdownable stories are the hallmark of Cathy MacPhail’s writing for young people.  The West End Festival and Glasgow City Libraries are proud to premiere her latest novel Mosi’s War at The Mitchell Theatre on Monday 3 June at 10am. We’re delighted that an author who connects with such a wide range of children and young people is able to open the Schools Programme for The West End Festival.

Back by popular demand,  ‘A master of funny’ the hilarious writer (a.k.a. “The Fibster”) Steve Hartley returns to The West End Festival and The Mitchell Library for a super-heroic session of fun and fibbing. Be a part of “Fact or Fib”, the silliest game-show in the galaxy. Play the “What If?” game, and help Steve make up the biggest, fattest fib in the universe. And finally. . . hear all about Oliver Fibbs and The Giant Boy-Munching Bugs.

 The West End Festival and Glasgow City Libraries are also very excited to feature Carrie and David Grant, presenters of CBeebies show Pop Shop and voice coaches for Take That and Fame Academy. Carrie and David are passionate about promoting opportunities for children to enjoy music. Their brand new series of high energy picture books Elephants Birthday Bells and Lions Speedy Sauce are all about MAKING MUSIC and JOINING IN!  

lions speedy sauce

These are just some of our events for schools - don't miss out!

The West End Festival’s roving Writer in Residence

My West End –The Never Ending Story

Come meet our first ever Roving West End Festival Writer in Residence, Cathy Forde and be inspired to create a short piece about your favourite West End Place.  It could be new, or in the past.   Perhaps your special West End place has vanished and is now a memory or has changed significantly. Or maybe it is a new discovery or a cutting edge new design June.  Open to all at 6.30pm Thursday 6 June at Hillhead Library.   Elsewhere in this fascinating project, Cathy will lead school classes in a series of creative writing workshops held at The Botanic Gardens and The Childrens Wood encouraging them to express their response to their special West End place.

 

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News- WEF's opening Torchlight Procession launched

Wednesday May 1, 2013

This year’s West End Festival will be opened by an inaugural Torchlight Procession, which will start at the iconic Riverside Museum and end at one of Glasgow’s historic buildings, Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery.

Riverside Museum with Kids 2

The Torchlight Procession will take place on the evening of Saturday, 1 June and will be the first family event of the festival, bringing people together by torchlight to celebrate Glasgow’s West End.

Michael Dale, Director of the West End Festival said: “This is a real family event, signalling the first weekend and inclusiveness of the festival. Participation is the key to its success and we encourage people of all ages to join in.  The route from the Museum to the Art Gallery is doable for all ages, taking in new sites and old, including the University and Kelvingrove.

"We want people to come out for the evening with their families and feel a part of something special.”

Riverside Museum will be the host for families and participants prior to setting off on the procession with live music, entertainment and a special festival late opening night.  The mass procession of Torchbearers will then take the route from Riverside to Byres Road, University Avenue and finish at Kelvingrove Museum, where they will be met by street performers and musicians.

Torches are priced at £7 and will be available to purchase prior to the event at: www.torchlightprocession.co.uk

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