Monday, 25 May 2009

Gibson backs island festival idea

News release
Immediate release


Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has lodged a motion calling for a debate to raise the potential for a Festival of Island cultures in 2011.

The proposal would run along the lines and be a progression of Homecoming Scotland which could attract more visitors, investment and improve transport links.

Speaking as he lodged the motion Mr Gibson said…

"A year of island cultures is a cracking idea. Not only are Scotland's islands stunning and culturally unique they also have a great deal to offer to the nation's economy."

"A couple of years ago I and a group of writers from the Western Isles, Shetland, Fair Isle, Orkney and Skye attended a book festival on the Breton Island of Ouessant which (that year) was dedicated to the island writers of Scotland. It was a fantastic event which highlighted the wealth of talent both past and present from the islands of the North and West."

"What became apparent to the writer present was that despite their cultural and geographical differences there was a sense of a shared island experience. This has led to greater cooperation and inter action between islands writers across Scotland. So a wider celebration of islands would be something to savour."

"I hope that all MSP's sign the motion so that a debate on the subject can take place in the Parliament to help raise the profile of the potential event. An event which would have the benefits of celebrating the cultures of the islands as well as show casing their positives and pointing to their great potential."

"It is a great privilege to represent some of the finest islands in the world. i hope that islands festival would help raise their profile so people can live, taste and see what they have to offer."

Mr Gibson also urged all elected representatives in the 27 EU member states to agree to inaugurate a European year of islands at the earliest opportunity.



Copy of motion

S3M-04209 Rob Gibson (Highlands and Islands) (Scottish National Party): Festival of Island Cultures— That the Parliament welcomes growing support for a festival of island cultures for 2011; notes that Argyll and Bute, Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles, North Ayrshire and Highland councils in partnership are promoting the importance of their islands to the nation’s economy, sustainable growth, environment and cultural diversity; believes that such a festival is a natural development of Homecoming Scotland 2009 and will attract more visitors and investment and improve transport links; praises the work of the Scottish Islands Federation as a champion of our islands and commends the extension of its influence through the European Small Islands Network, and urges all elected representatives in the 27 EU member states to agree to inaugurate a European year of islands at the earliest opportunity.

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