Arts festival celebrates Scotland's ties to Canada and Scandinavia

The festival includes tales of pirates, mermaids and Vikings for all ages as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022.

Highlands arts festival celebrates Scotland’s ties to Canada and Scandinavia Https://

A Highlands arts festival is hosting an international line-up of performers aiming to celebrate Scotland’s ties to the north.

The Northern Stories Festival will be taking over Wick and Caithness this October connecting the coastline of the Scottish Highlands with the fjords of Norway and the Great Lakes of Canada.

Performances are taking place in village halls, distilleries, heritage centres, cafes and even a disused salmon bothy in Dunbeath – home of prolific novelist Neil Gunn.

The event, supported by EventScotland, is part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022 which aims to celebrate stories written, created and inspired by Scotland.

Organisers Lyth Arts Centre, hope the festival will be the perfect fix for families looking for fun during the half-term break and chance to hear from performers, writers and storytellers from across the world.

The festival will include talks, workshops, films and exhibitions for all the family.

Tales of shipwrecked pirates and mermaids will be told inside the belly of a 50ft sperm whale, washed up in the heart of Wick in Circo Rum Ba Ba’s ‘The Tale of Whale’.

'The Tale of Whale' at Northern Stories FestivaliStock

The local heritage of Caithness will also be on display through a portrait exhibition called ‘Painted People’.

The specially commissioned photographs by award-winner photographer Susie Mackenzie will be on display at the North Coast Visitor Centre in Thurso.

Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre will bring Vikings to life with the tales of Odin (King of the Gods), Thor with his Magic Hammer and Loki the ‘Trickster’.

The festival will close with a special online reading from former Edinburgh Makar Christine De Luca.

'The Tale of Whale' at the Northern Stories Festival The Northern Stories Festival

Organisers also plan to make the festival as accessible as possible with many events taking place online.

Charlotte Mountford, festival producer said: “We’re really excited to be a part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022. Caithness has really strong ties with our northern neighbours and it’s been a great chance to work with partners and colleagues in Norway and Canada.

“We hope our local community will find something to enjoy on their doorstep, and that our online programme will attract a national and international audience. It’s a great opportunity share our stories and celebrate international connections”

Northern Stories Festival takes place from October 7 to 16.

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