News

Culture to strengthen Scotland’s global links

Published: 23 Jun 2019 00:01

Minister announces event funding at international ceremony in Bilbao.

The unifying power of culture will be used to emphasise Scotland’s global connections in the face of Brexit.

Europe Minister Ben Macpherson is to tell an international arts awards ceremony in Spain tomorrow (Monday June 24) that Scotland will continue to develop strong cultural links with the European Union.

Speaking to artists and arts organisation leaders at Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, Mr Macpherson will say:

“Three years ago the Scottish people voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union, and whatever happens over the coming months Scotland will continue to be an outward-looking, welcoming nation, committed to strengthening our bonds with EU partners.

“Culture in all its forms highlights what we have in common and helps us to celebrate our differences. It broadens our horizons when sometimes the world can seem to be closing in. It reminds us of what is important beyond the current political news cycle. It helps to bring us together, and we have rarely needed that more.”

Mr Macpherson will make the speech at a ceremony recognising the Fair Saturday movement for positive social change, which began five years ago in Bilbao as a response to television footage the previous day of Black Friday shoppers pushing and jostling to buy reduced price consumer goods.

Fair Saturday now sees cultural events take place in cities around the world. Scotland was the first country to adopt the idea on a national basis, with 84 events staged in 26 different towns and cities during last November’s St Andrew’s Fair Saturday.

The Minister is to announce that St Andrew’s Fair Saturday 2019 will take place on 30 November, supported by funding from the Scottish Government. So far, 30 communities have signed up to take part.

Mr Macpherson will add:

“Combining our national day with the international Fair Saturday movement is a powerful expression of Scotland’s determination to remain welcoming, open and outward-looking in these challenging times, working in collaboration with European friends and other global partners to bring about positive change.”