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Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme unveiled as nationwide celebration

Press Release   •   Jul 16, 2013 00:00 BST

The Organising Committee of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games today (Tuesday 16 July) launched its official Cultural Programme and unveiled the new brand that will promote the year-long countdown of events.

Designed by internationally-acclaimed Scottish artist Jim Lambie the brand draws inspiration from the famous star-clad façade of Glasgow’s legendary east end venue, the Barrowland Ballroom and utilises Lambie’s characteristic approach to line, colour and popular culture.

The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme will be a key part of the Games experience for spectators and visitors.  Running from the ‘One Year to Go’ milestone in July 2013 until the end of August 2014, it will showcase the best of Scottish culture alongside creative work from across the Commonwealth and be a nationwide celebration of the Games, reaching its peak as Glasgow bursts into life at Games time.

The programme will feature theatre, dance, music, visual arts, comedy and multi-media; intimate shows and outdoor spectaculars; work in theatres, community centres, on bicycles, by rivers, in botanic gardens, art galleries, cinemas, public spaces and much more.

There are two strands to the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme – itself a collaboration between the Organising Committee, Creative Scotland and Glasgow Life. These are:

  • Culture 2014 will kick off this year and is the Scotland-wide cultural countdown to the Games, extending beyond the Closing Ceremony. Many events will happen from mid-June to tie-in with the Queen’s Baton Relay – the global precursor to the Games – as Scotland’s towns and communities celebrate as the baton passes through.
  • Festival 2014 is the massive Games-time celebration in Glasgow running alongside the sporting action, transforming the city from 19 July to 3 August with an invigorating mix of entertainment, culture and enjoyment filling the streets, spaces and stages of Glasgow. 

Highlights of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme include:

  • Big Big Sing - Produced by Glasgow Unesco City of Music, a range of inspiring singing events taking place across Scotland from October 2013 including 'Big Sings’, an online Commonwealth choir, and staged singing events in Glasgow during Games Time.
  • Perch - An ambitious and spectacular global performance on multiple stages high above streets in three countries - Scotland, Australia, and Brazil - Perch will utilise aerial theatre, street theatre, community participation, choirs, orchestras and media broadcast in an international collaboration by Conflux, Legs On The Wall and Lume Teatro.
  • News Just In by Random Accomplice will be a continually evolving, satirical comedy set in a fictional media office of Glasgow 2014. Described as ‘part 2012’, part ‘Drop The Dead Donkey’, it will mix live theatre, a live 'studio' audience, filmed news reports and on-line content to explore the everyday office stress of organising an international event of the size and scale of the Games. 
  • Blueblock Studio - An interactive pop-up space for children aged 4 and under and their parents and carers to participate in energetic and immersive storytelling performances linked to Commonwealth values of friendship and understanding. Led by artist Katy Wilson and produced by Starcatchers, Blueblock Studio will visit communities right across Scotland.
  • Julia Donaldson Cycling Marathon – acclaimed actor and theatre maker Tam Dean Burn will undertake a marathon endeavour to travel by bicycle to locations across Scotland and read to children, over the course of his journey, all of former Childrens’ Laureate Julia Donaldson's 167 books. Best known for the phenomenally successful children's book The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson's catalogue of works includes picture books, phonic books, music books, plays, and early age books.

Organisers are also delighted to confirm that the previously announced exhibition celebrating 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland, Generation, and the first ever New Music Biennial, including performances of 20 new commissions in Glasgow on 2 – 3 August as part of Festival 2014, will become part of the official Cultural Programme along with the hugely successful country-wide initiative Get Scotland Dancing.

Another major commission as part of Cultural programme will see a disused site nearby to the Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in the east end of Glasgow transformed by a public artwork.  For Making the Most of Dalmarnock, which is promoted by VELOCITY, Create London, architects Assemble and Scottish artist Ruth Ewan will work with local communities in Dalmarnock to design and construct a permanent outdoor learning and play area. 

Scottish Opera, Louise Welsh, Tam Dean Burn, Claire Cunningham, Aidan Moffat, Paul Fegan, Janice Parker, Cora Bissett, Kieran Hurley, Phil Collins, Janey Godley, the Scottish Poetry Library, the Citizens Theatre, and Barrowland Ballet are also among the artists and organisations who will take part in a programme that will be a massive part of the Games experience for spectators, residents and visitors.

More details of all activity taking place as part of the Cultural Programme announced with key highlights today will be provided in the coming months. There will also be announcements of significant additional projects, currently being developed, which will form part of the Cultural Programme.

Eileen Gallagher, Independent Director on the Glasgow 2014 Board and Chair of the Ceremonies, Culture and Queen’s Baton Relay Committee, said:

“With just over a year to go, Glasgow and Scotland are on a global stage – and our best artists and performers are about to showcase the very finest of Scottish and Commonwealth culture to the world.

“As we count down the days to Glasgow 2014, the entire nation can celebrate and be part of the Games, with an ambitious programme of performance and entertainment which will touch every corner of Scotland. Then as all eyes turn to Glasgow, the city will burst into life with a massive celebration which will provide an entertaining and memorable Games time experience, for citizens, spectators and visitors alike.”

Scottish artist Jim Lambie said:

“I was delighted to be asked to design the cultural symbol for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. One of the most significant cultural contributions to Glasgow has been Glasgow Barrowlands. This became an important reference within the design process. Its iconic ‘shooting star’ emblem has been placed central within the cultural programme’s identity, while maintaining continuity with the overall image of the Games.”

Dr Bridget McConnell, Director of Ceremonies, Culture and Queen’s Baton Relay at Glasgow 2014 and Chief Executive of Glasgow Life, said:

“This is a chance for Scotland and Glasgow to shine and to celebrate and enjoy the very finest of our incredible creative talent. We want everyone to get involved, whether enjoying a performance or taking part, everyone can be part of the Games and feel proud of our great cultural heritage.”

Janet Archer, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland, said:

“Culture 2014 and Festival 2014 are going to be incredible. World leading artists and local communities will work together in a wide range of different places. Work will be cutting edge, insightful, fun, spectacular and intimate. It will challenge and delight.

“Culture 2014 will build up to the Games, making connections across Scotland, the UK and the Commonwealth, with many amazing opportunities for people from across Scotland to get involved. Festival 2014 will place arts and culture at the very heart of Glasgow at Games Time with a dynamic and vibrant celebration that marks the coming together of many nations and people. Culture 2014 will then pick up again, taking us on a cultural journey that marks the end of an incredible summer of sport and culture.

“Today is just the beginning of a programme that is an integral part of the Commonwealth Games, a truly national celebration that shines a light on our artists, our culture, our creativity, our communities and our places.”


Minister for External Affairs, Humza Yousaf said:

“In 2014, the eyes of the world will be on Scotland and Glasgow and we will have the opportunity to build on our international reputation for cultural innovation and excellence. It is testament to Scotland’s talent and ability that such an exciting variety of projects will be on offer for people right across Scotland and the Commonwealth, as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme. All of us will have the opportunity to get involved to experience, celebrate and showcase all that is great about our nation’s culture and our creativity.”

Councillor Archie Graham, the Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council and Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, said:

“Glasgow is Scotland’s cultural powerhouse and we want to show the world that we know how to put on a party. During Games time, the city will be transformed, with outstanding performances and events which everyone can enjoy – and I have no doubt that every Glaswegian will play their part in the Games, not only by enjoying the very best in sport and culture, but by offering an invitation for everyone to come and enjoy our legendary hospitality.”


Jon Doig, Chief Executive of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said:
“The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme will certainly complement the drama and excitement of live sport that will take over the city and its venues at Games Time. We very much welcome today’s announcement which I am sure will create an electric atmosphere in Glasgow and around Scotland in the build-up to the athletes taking centre stage next year and right throughout the competition.”


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