International Creative Ambition Programme

Funding announced to support worldwide cultural partnerships.

Scotland’s cultural links around the world will be strengthened thanks to Scottish Government investment of £150,000.

The funding will come from the new International Creative Ambition Programme which was launched today by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop to showcase Scottish talent at events and festivals worldwide.

The money will go towards sending Scottish artists to two major international events – the Year of Scotland Australia, and the Festival Interceltique de Lorient. And funding will also be provided to Scottish orchestra Nevis Ensemble for a 14-day European tour.

Ms Hyslop said:

“The International Creative Ambition Programme will enable some of Scotland’s best young artists to perform at major cultural gatherings around the world, and help them to build connections with international artists, performers and audiences.

“International connections are increasingly valuable, not only for the sharing of culture but the exchange of knowledge, skills and experiences which in turn help to shape our understanding of the world.

“This fund is another development in strengthening our cultural links and supporting some of Scotland’s best talent on the international stage.”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland, said:

“For centuries our music has built bridges across the world, but it’s now more important than ever to connect our talented artists to international audiences and let the world see what a vibrant, collaborative country Scotland can be.

“Creative Scotland is a proud funding partner of the Year of Scotland in Australia and Feis Rois’s exciting concerts at Lorient, and we recently funded Nevis Ensemble’s domestic Scottish tours for the summer of 2019. The musicians involved in all of these projects are among the best that Scotland has to offer.”

As announced in the 2018-19 Programme for Government, the International Creative Ambition Programme has been created to “support international cultural partnerships which develop new work and support talent through international collaboration and exchange”.

The announcement comes on the day the Culture Secretary visits Rennes for the Women’s World Cup, where she will be joined by the Director of the Lorient festival Lisardo Lombardia.

Funding of £30,000 from the International Creative Ambition Programme has been awarded to Feis Rois to bring artists to the Festival Interceltique de Lorient - the largest Celtic festival in Europe. Dingwall-based Feis Rois is developing an exciting new project which will see six Breton artists collaborate with six Scottish artists in a large showcase concert at the 10-day event in Brittany in August.

Showcase Scotland Expo will receive £80,000 for the Year of Scotland Australia (YoSA). At least 40 Scottish bands will visit Australia for tours in 2020, including the award-winning indie folk group Elephant Sessions. The band, which is based in the Highlands, has played twice before at Lorient and will be opening the YoSA at a folk festival in Queensland. Scotland will be promoted in more than 35 festivals across Australia over the course of the year.

Nevis Ensemble will receive £40,000 for a 14-day tour across Europe in 2020, taking in smaller cities and towns. The ensemble, who are Scotland’s Street Orchestra, will aim to give 55 performances, reaching an audience of around 20,000 people.

Once the UK’s relationship with the EU becomes clearer, we will review the future of the programme in mitigating barriers to our cultural sector’s international ambitions.

The Scottish Government wishes to see continuing participation in EU programmes supporting international cultural collaboration, such as Creative Europe. But if such programmes are no longer accessible to Scottish organisations, we will consider how their impacts may be captured through other means.

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