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Paisley Halloween Festival secures Year of Young People funding

Chamber News, Member News 3rd August 2018

Paisley’s popular Halloween Festival will be one of the major events as part of the Year of Young People 2018 celebrations.

The town’s two-day fright-fest, which will take place on 26 and 27 October, is supported by the Year of Young People event fund, managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate which has awarded just over £48,000 to the festival.

The Year of Young People 2018 is a Scottish Government initiative consisting of a year-long programme of events and activities which aim to inspire all ages through young people (8-26 years) by celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine on a local and global stage.

The funding that has been secured will help deliver an enhanced parade and finale on Saturday 27 October inspired by Renfrewshire’s dark and deathly 17th century witch history which will see around 500 local young people take part and will, for the first time, include floats designed by young people.

The popular parade, creatively led by Bridgeman Arts and 21CC, will culminate in a spectacular new aerial performance, ‘The Flying Witches’, involving a cast of 50 young people especially for YOYP2018 and led by All or Nothing – one of Scotland’s leading aerial dance theatre companies.

This activity will be driven by a specially assembled youth panel made up of 20 young people from across Renfrewshire who will take a lead role in helping design and deliver the event working in partnership with Renfrewshire Council, youth services, creative and community partners, and embedding the event’s collaborative approach

A key element of the programme which is being directly supported by the additional funding is the creation of a Youth Training Programme. Around 180 young people, many from lesser-heard communities, will be given experience and skills in areas such as creative performance, costume, make-up, technical production, marketing and, event design and delivery through a series of taster sessions and masterclasses, in order to build their experience while positively impacting on their confidence and broadening their skillset.

The funding will also support the delivery of a volunteering and internship programme that will see a creative internship and a number of volunteer roles for young people in the council’s events and marketing team as well as mentee opportunities with arts and cultural professionals.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Paisley Halloween Festival to expand its offering as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 celebrations. It will be fantastic to see young people getting hands-on experience and participating in the design and delivery of a fun event within their local community. It is a great opportunity for them to showcase their own unique skills and bring a new perspective to the festival, further reinforcing Scotland as the perfect stage for events.”

Paisley’s Halloween Festival is one of the town’s most popular calendar events. Inspired by similar festivals which take place worldwide in places such as Salem and New Orleans, the ambition is to heighten awareness of the festival on the Scottish, UK and world stage as a must visit attraction not just for locals but visitors and tourists as well.

Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Councillor Iain Nicolson, said: “Paisley’s Halloween Festival is always a popular event for the town with thousands of people coming into the town centre to experience the full spectacle of the event.

“It’s fantastic that this year’s festival will be a highlight event as part of the Year of Young People 2018 celebrations. This provides an excellent opportunity to realise our ambitions of co-production and co-creation of our events in collaboration with young people – this is a key part of our Event Strategy 2018 – 2021.

“This collaborative approach and the various training programmes being delivered will also help our young people develop their skills enabling them to think more about career opportunities in the creative sector that they may not have otherwise considered.”

All of the additional youth activities taking place as a result of the funding tie in with Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 core themes – participation, education, health and wellbeing, equality and discrimination, enterprise and regeneration, and culture.

Further information about the event programme for Paisley Halloween Festival will be released at a later date.

To keep up to date on all events taking place in Paisley and Renfrewshire please visit www.paisley.is.

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