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Glasgow Canal Festival to host flotilla and celebrate 'migration, identity & diversity'

The fourth annual festival will feature a captivating Canal Carnival Flotilla for the first time.

The date has been set for Glasgow Canal Festival - and its themes are 'migration, identity and diversity'.

Glasgow's canal corridor will come alive on Saturday, 25 July.

And the event has been formally announced as part of 'Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020'.

 Glasgow's canal corridor will come alive on Saturday, 25 July
Glasgow's canal corridor will come alive on Saturday, 25 July

It means the celebrations will be marketed to international tourists along with dozens of other events taking place next year.

The fourth annual festival will feature a captivating Canal Carnival Flotilla for the first time.

Produced by Carnival Arts, the parade of boats adorned with artworks will travel down the Forth and Clyde Canal in North Glasgow.

The parade will be accompanied by costumed performers on the ground who will ‘drag’ the boats with symbolic brightly coloured ropes, reminiscent of boat horses in days gone by.

The event will explore themes of migration, journeys, identity and celebrate the diversity of Glasgow’s communities which will be represented across the festival and explored in storytelling, dance, installation and song.

'Unique environment'

Hosted by Glasgow Canal Co-op, Glasgow Canal Festival is nestled on the balcony to the city between Speirs Wharf and Firhill Basin, just ten minutes from the city centre.

Sally Hobson, festival director for the Glasgow Canal Festival, said: “The banks of Glasgow’s stretch of canal will come to life once again this summer with a programme of live music, artistic performances and workshops, sporting activities and chances to explore and celebrate the area’s heritage and unique environment.

“Thanks to funding from the Years of Coasts and Waters, we’re excited to work with Carnival Arts to bring something really special to the waterway so put the date in your diary and join us next year for this wonderful event in the heart of Glasgow.”

The festival is one of several events and initiatives to share in £770,000 of Scottish Government funding as part of a year-long programme of activities which will shine a spotlight on the vital coasts and waters of Scotland’s landscape.

 How Glasgow Canal Festival looked last year
How Glasgow Canal Festival looked last year

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said: “We have an exciting year ahead celebrating Scotland’s wonderfully diverse coasts, canals, rivers and lochs.

“Scotland’s Themed Years have been running since 2009 and we know they are a proven mechanism for us all to work together to create opportunities to diversify our tourism offer whilst promoting Scotland as a great place to visit for people from around the world.

“Whether it’s a canal boat holiday, a week sailing round the Western Isles, an afternoon kayaking or walking by our rivers, lochs or on the beaches, I would encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Scotland’s beautiful coasts and waters.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said: “We are inviting the world to dive into the amazing experiences our coasts and waters provide. Scotland’s enviable reputation for unspoiled beaches, vibrant natural and cultural heritage and thrill-seeking adventure activities will be celebrated through a packed year-long programme of events and activities”

Glasgow Canal Festival will take place on Saturday, 25 July. Keep up to date at: www.glasgowcanalfestival.com

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