Organisers are hoping that the inaugural ‘Culture Day’ in and around Forres on Saturday will spark an annual five-day festival in the area.
Backed by over 100 people from local community groups, artists and creative businesses, Culture Day will take place mainly at indoor venues throughout Forres, Findhorn and Kinloss.
The streets will also come alive however, with several choirs performing alongside bands and a team of stilt-walkers. There will also be a free bus service throughout the day, travelling on a circular route round the venues and providing on-board entertainment.
Dozens of events will ensure something for every taste with organisers Findhorn Bay Arts saying that mini-festival will be a showcase of the full range of Moray’s Arts and Culture offerings.
A spokesperson said: “The challenges facing rural communities are well documented. The economic downturn and competition from global marketplaces have led to downturns in most sectors of the economy and Moray – and the Forres area in particular – has experienced additional difficulties consequent on the closure of RAF Kinloss.
“One of Moray’s important assets is its creative sector; strong and diverse arts and crafts, a rich built and cultural heritage, vibrant new and traditional musicians, film-making, dance production, theatre, photography, novelists, storytellers, poets and a range of individual artists.
“With the Forres area community determined to develop the potential of tourism and culture, and individual members of the creative sector responding to the challenge by embracing change, there is an opportunity to garner the collective strength and experience of the creative sector in Moray, connect with communities, and form innovative partnerships and collaborations which will raise awareness of Moray as a thriving cultural hub resulting in an increase in tourism and a richer experience for visitors.
The Board of Directors of Findhorn Bay Arts feels that this is an ideal time to establish an arts festival – ‘a time for change, and creative thinking’.
“The Festival will showcase the very best of Moray’s arts and cultural sector, alongside a high quality national and international programme of events which will attract local audiences and visitors to the Findhorn Bay area – providing a platform to celebrate our arts and cultural assets and the beautiful natural surroundings.”
Full details of events taking place and location maps can be found online at Findhorn Bay Arts.