‘Island of Culture’ and the show to end all shows!
In the Isle of Man, 2014 has been known as ‘Island of Culture’ – a year-long celebration of the wealth of cultural talent on this beautiful, beautiful Island. The Isle of Man Arts Council received sponsorship from companies and used funds ringfenced from their pre-existing budget in order to help the community to put on events and to create works of art, film and music: a fantastic feat! It has meant that there has been a huge variety in fantastic things happening over the past year, and an array of projects that otherwise just would not have been able to take place. One thing that Island of Culture has helped to support is the creation of an album for my new project Aon Teanga – Un Çhengey – a collaboration that brings the three Gaelic languages together through song for the first time ever, so I am personally very grateful!
In September, a wonderful show called the ‘I love culture show’ (pun intended!) took place in our biggest venue – the Villa Marina, a beautiful domed structure that was built in 1913 at the height of the tourism boom! It featured several hundred Manx performers – singers, instrumentalists, dancers of all types, actors… I for one had not realised the sheer range of dance and performing arts groups on the Island, and it was fantastic to see! I sung a version of the song ‘Tree eeasteyryn boghtey’ (three poor fishermen) with the group Mec Lir while contemporary dancers performed a piece that they had choreographed to it! It was brilliant to see such contemporary visuals accompanying a very traditional Manx Gaelic song.
Blog post edit – 7th January 2015! Last night, I went to the ‘wrap party’ for the Island of Culture, and a fantastic video was shown. It includes small sections of footage from the ‘I love culture show’, as well as a range of interviews and footage from other events throughout 2014. Well worth a watch, and it makes me feel very proud of my home.