A £13 MILLION arts and culture festival to accompany the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will include a new woodland park, a one-off Mega-Orchestra and events from Shetland to the Borders.
Forty two new events for the festival were announced in Glasgow yesterday, including films about ships built on the Clyde, a major season of South African culture at the Edinburgh International Festival and a Classical Marathon Day, which involves all of Scotland's major orchestras, as well as violinist Nicola Benedetti, below.
The marathon will begin at midday on July 26 and run until 9.30pm, culminating in the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra joining forces to perform together at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Ms Benedetti will perform at three concerts.
The Caribbean Emancipation Day will be celebrated on August 1 to mark the freedom of African and Caribbean slaves.
An Emancipation Jam, taking in dance, drama, music and photography, will be staged in four venues in Glasgow's Merchant City and recognise Scotland's role in the slave trade.
A project called Ebb Tide will see the Shetland Moving Image Archive make films about Shetlanders travelling the world on Clyde-built ships, which will be shown in venues across Scotland, while there will also be free dance classes across the nation with the Get Dancin' project in March,
Funding for the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme is up to £13.175m, with £9.675m coming from Creative Scotland's National Lottery funding and £3.5m coming from the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee.
Leonie Bell, the director of art and engagement at Creative Scotland, said the event would be Scotland's biggest and most extensive festival. "We believe this is something that has never been seen before, it is massive," she said. "We believe Scotland has never had a festival on this scale before ... and it covers every art form."
Other new events announced include a project involving more than 800 children from around Scotland, who will be brought together by the National Youth Choir Of Scotland and Children's Classic Concerts for family concerts in Dundee and Glasgow in May called Going For Gold.
In the A Breath Of Fresh Air project, a woodland park is being created in Glasgow for East End communities at the Cuningar Loop.
There are two parts to the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme: a Scotland-wide programme called Culture 2014; and a Games-time celebration in Glasgow running alongside the sporting action. This is called Festival 2014 and will take place in the city from July 19 to August 3.
A key part of the festival will be three Live Zones, one at Glasgow Green, one in the Merchant City and a third at the redeveloped Kelvingrove Bandstand. People at these venues will be able to watch the Games on screens as well as see music, dance, comedy and film on outdoor stages.
The Games start on July 23 and end on August 3.