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Nomination deadline looms for Provost’s Community Awards

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron is urging people not miss out as the nomination deadline for the Provost’s Community Awards approaches.

The awards, which are into their third decade, aim to give civic recognition to those who work or live in Renfrewshire and are making a difference to their community.

This year, nominations can be made in six categories, including a new Arts and Culture award which has been created to find the hidden, or not so hidden, gems who light up Renfrewshire’s cultural scene.

Five other awards, Community Group, Community Volunteer, Sporting Achievement, Carers’ Award and Employer of the Year, give the opportunity for local people to give recognition to their colleagues, friends and family for the work they do in their community.

Provost Cameron said: “We’ve had a fantastic number of entries already but we want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to make their nominations.

“I meet so many inspiring groups and people in my role as Provost so I know the talent and dedication is out there, but I need the local community to nominate them.

“If a person, or a group, is making a real difference to your life or is making your local area a better place, then please put them forward and give them the recognition they deserve.”

The closing date for nominations is Friday 1 December.

This year, Employer of the Year is sponsored by UNISON Renfrewshire and encourages nominations for employers who have provided a positive working environment for their staff.

Mark Ferguson, Branch Secretary, said: “We represent 52 employers in the local area and we’re delighted to sponsor the Employer of the Year Award.

“This award recognises employers who value their workforce and contribute to both the local economy and community in Renfrewshire.

“If your employer has gone above and beyond the call of duty, then make sure you nominate them before the deadline.”.

Sponsored by Glasgow Airport, the Community Volunteer award recognises those who give their time and effort for nothing more than the knowledge that they are making a difference to their community.

Craig Martin, Head of HR, said: “Glasgow Airport are proud to serve Renfrewshire. We have strong connections with our local community through our staff and customers, therefore we are delighted to sponsor this award and recognise individuals who are making a real difference in their local area.”

The Community Group award is sponsored by the Piazza Shopping Centre and celebrates the organisations in Renfrewshire that have a positive effect on their communities

Perennial award sponsor Acre Industrial will present the Sporting Achievement award to the person, team or group who have represented Renfrewshire to a high standard this year in the sporting arena.

Former Renfrewshire Provost Nancy Allison, who has been a part of each of the Community Awards since its inception, donates the Carers Award which recognises anyone who cares for a relative, friend or neighbour.

Anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire can be nominated for an award.

Nominations can be completed online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostawards

Printed nomination forms are available at Council offices.

The winners in each category will be invited to a special ceremony which will be held in March 2017

For further enquiries contact: provostawards@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

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Thousands expected for Paisley’s Christmas Lights Switch On

Northern Irish rockers Ash will mark the start of Paisley’s festive season with a headline performance at the annual Christmas Lights Switch On.

Thousands are expected to head to the town centre on Saturday, November 18th to enjoy a host of free family fun, including the famous Reindeer Parade.

The switch on is the latest event in Paisley’s winter season, itself part of a wider programme in the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron will press the button to light up the town, assisted by lucky schools competition winner, 10-year-old Aleena Albin, from St Peter’s Primary School.

Santa and his helpers will lead the procession down High Street at 1.30pm, before he opens his grotto at the Paisley Centre.

A performance from Children’s Classic Concert will provide a seasonal soundtrack from 2.30pm, with audience participation a must.

Twice-voted best music act at the Edinburgh Fringe, percussion superstars Owen and OIly, shake up your idea of classical music with a high-energy family concert.

Music headliners Ash will take to the Live Stage at 5.15pm for a performance before the town’s festive countdown officially starts with the annual Christmas Lights Switch On at 6pm.

With 18 Top 40 singles including ‘The Girl from Mars’ and ‘Shining Light’ under their belt, the band, who first found fame as teenagers in the nineties, still know how to start a party.

Clyde 1 favourites, Callum Gallacher, Greigsy Grant Thomson, Amber, George Bowie and Cassi will be adding to the festive fun by spinning Christmas classics from the main stage.

At Paisley Abbey, festive shoppers can explore the Slug in a Bottle Christmas Market from 1pm, with over 30 stalls to search out the perfect gifts. Face painting and storytelling are among the family fun also on offer. An interactive snow globe in will be in Abbey Close for festive photo opportunities.

Revellers will find it hard to resist embracing the festive atmosphere and singing along with the merry Massaoke band as they play Christmas favourites with the words displayed on giant screens.

Paisley has been shortlisted for the UK City of Culture title alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea, with a decision expected in December.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “This year’s Christmas Lights Switch On is bigger and better than ever and will bring thousands of people into the town centre which is great for business.

“As we bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 it’s great to show that we can host events on this scale. A winning bid would mean Paisley town centre would be hosting big events similar to this one every weekend.”

Paisley is also gearing up to host a four week Christmas spectacular in the town from November 24th, with plans, subject to approvals, for an ice rink, a panoramic Star Flyer ride and a Continental style market.

Hosted by Paisley First, Winter Fest also include a free festive Nutcracker Trail with 10 nutcracker kings spread throughout the town, from Saturday 2nd December until Saturday 16th December.

For more information and timings on the Paisley Christmas Lights Switch on go to:http://www.paisley2021.co.uk/paisleys-winter-festival/paisley-christmas-lights/#whats-on-4826

The event means there will be a series of road closures around the town centre from 12.01am on Saturday morning, including parts of Gauze Street, St Mirren Street, Cotton Street, Lawn Street and Smithhills Street.

County Place, Gilmour Street, High Street and Abbey Close will close from 8am on Saturday morning until after the event.

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Thousands turn out for Paisley Fireworks spectacular

Thousands turned out to enjoy a dazzling display as Paisley’s annual fireworks spectacular went off with a bang this weekend.

The town’s historic skyline lit up in the extravaganza which delighted the gathered crowds of more than 25,000 when it burst into life on Saturday night, accompanied by an 80s soundtrack.

The themed event took place as part of Paisley’s Winter Festival as the town bids to be named UK City of Culture 2021.

Each of the town’s rivals – Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea – were given a surprise musical shout outs across the day.

The soundtrack to the display itself referenced Sunderland with ‘Sweet Dreams’ by the Eurythmics in celebration of the duo’s Dave Stewart, who hails from the city.

Stoke’s musical heritage was marked with ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ by Guns N’ Roses from 1987 in honour of guitarist Slash who was born in the city and spent his formative years there, while ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ from Bonnie Tyler was the musical nod given to Swansea. ‘One Step Beyond’ by Madness marked Coventry’s moment to celebrate its’ links with ska music and Paisley’s own musical heritage was celebrated with local star Kelly Marie’s 1980 hit, ‘Feels Like I’m in Love.’

Radio Clyde DJs Callum Gallacher and Grant & Amber earlier added to the musical fun, with George Bowie & Cassi also playing 80s classics leading up to the dazzling display, introduced by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron.

Earlier in the day revellers enjoyed a host of 80s themed free family fun, including a silent disco, kids workshops and retro arcade games.

Remode Redesign ran fabric print workshops using a range of 80s games themed wooden blocks, while a silent disco saw two sets of music fans of all ages dance to different soundtracks through headsets.

Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is part of a wider push to use the town’s unique heritage and cultural story to transform the whole of the Renfrewshire area.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “This year’s display was nothing short of spectacular and it was great to see so many of the community come into the town centre to enjoy it.

“Seeing the fireworks against the back drop of Paisley Abbey really is something special and as we bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021 it’s a great reminder of how Paisley is capable of staging events such as this one.

“We were also delighted to pay special tributes to our fellow UK City of Culture 2021 rivals with a musical shout out at one of our biggest annual events.

“It seemed fitting to give a nod to them all – and to also mark our own home grown musical talent.”

The fireworks display follows the Halloween festival and parade in the town centre and precedes the Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-On on November 18.

To hear the spectacular 80s fireworks soundtrack by DJ Gerry Lyons go to:  Fire 2017 Wav 16bit by gerry lyons

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Photographs of Paisley Fireworks Display 2017

Photographs of Paisley Fireworks Display 2017. Thousand’s turned up to tonight’s event. Paisley was packed and the 80’s music went down a storm with families with the kids being stunned by the powerful display held at the heart of Paisley’s Historic centre.

The photographs above were taken by Ian McDonald Photography and kindly allowed for use on www.paisley.org.uk

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HALLOWEEN PARADE THIS SAT – NEW ROUTE FOR 2017!

Our spectacular Halloween Parade is always a festival highlight!
With a Fire Monster on a Paisley Chariot, the Spark! Drummers, LED lanterns, Mr Wilson’s Second Liners Band and lots more colourful participants, this is one not to be missed.

Parade route: New Street – Causeyside Street – St Mirren Brae – Gauze Street- Cotton Street

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Paisley 2021 album launch hits all the right notes

Twelve aspiring music stars who wrote songs to capture what Paisley means to them have had their original works recorded for a special album to mark the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

2021 Album Bands play at the Spiegltent in Paisley 23.10.17

The compositions make up Paisley 2021: The Album, which was launched last night, with performances by all the artists (Monday 23 October) to a sold out audience in the Spiegeltent at The Spree festival, with former River City star Tom Urie acting as event compere.

The only stipulation was that the songs had to be about the town or Renfrewshire and had to be an original work.

Profits from the record, which was funded by a grant from the Paisley 2021 Culture, Events and Heritage fund, will be shared equally among the 12 singer songwriters.

Alan McEwan from Brick Lane Studios who recorded the album and whose brainchild it was, said: “When we put the call out for local musicians to submit original songs we didn’t know what the demand would be like. But we had about 25 applications from people who wanted to be part of the album and whittled it down to 12.

“The album is very diverse – we’ve got traditional and folk music to rock and pop and even a world percussion band. There’s a real variety of music talking about Paisley’s past, present and future and the initial feedback is fantastic.”

Alan added: “It’s a great way of supporting local musicians as it’s giving them an income from their time on the project and its giving them exposure as well. They’re getting music videos and air play as part of the project – Celtic Music Radio are making it album of the week next week.”

Arhythmia Grooves featuring Samadhisoundscapes kicked off the evening with ‘Threads’ and other artists performing last night included Mandulu and Hephzibah, who were one of the support acts for Paolo Nutini at his sell out Homecoming show at Paisley Abbey last Friday.

Paisley based singer songwriter Matt Fotheringham, aka the Highway Chile, showcased ‘Patterns’ while three piece The Pilgrim Society from the University of the West of Scotland played their song ‘Welcome to Paisley’.

Local 24-year-old acoustic pop artist Linzi Clark loved every minute of her time on stage and hailed the opportunity to write her Paisley 2021 album track, called ‘Gallow Green.’

It is based on how seven people were found guilty in the infamous witch trials of 1697. They were sentenced to death in the last mass execution for witchcraft in western Europe.

Linzi said: “I’m born and bred in Paisley, I have been writing my own songs since I was 17 and I saw this opportunity and thought it would be a good challenge.

“There has already been an increase in opportunities for young artists and performers in Renfrewshire since the bid began. Paisley has a rich history of talented musicians and the bid has provided an opportunity to showcase the next generation coming through.”

There were other songs by Dogtooth, by music composer Alan Fleming Baird who recorded the ‘The Secret Tear (Tannahill)’ and by Evelyn Laurie, whose song Keep Your Eye on Paisley was warmly received.

Evelyn said: “I was honoured to add my voice to this album as making music is what Paisley is all about. The town has always been full of talent. When I was a college student in Paisley everyone played music – we just didn’t realise that was culture.”

Maria McMillan, Christy Scott and Seve Smith all also showcased their original work before the Hellfire Club, featuring Meadows rounded off the night’s entertainment with their track ‘The Bungalow Bar’ in tribute to the popular music venue.

An initial release of 1,000 copies of the album – complete with artwork designed by West College Scotland students – have gone on sale at £8 each and are available from Feel the Groove and The Music Centre, the InCube shop and Brick Lane Studios, all in Paisley.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “The album is a fantastic way of helping to nurture fledgling local talent and to give them a stage, as well as supporting the Paisley 2021 UK City of Culture bid.”

Paisley is the only Scottish place to be included on the shortlist for UK City of Culture 2021 with a decision on the winner to be announced in December by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which is running the competition.

The Spree takes place in partnership with local bar Burger and Keg and Fosters.

The festival is also supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and the British Council.

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Competition Win Tickets to the Spree Festival Paisley2021 Album launch

One lucky reader can win a pair of tickets for the Paisley 2021 album launch in the Spiegeltent on Monday October 23.

Part of the annual Spree festival, the event from Brick Lane Records features 12 great local acts including Linzi Clark and Christy Scott performing their specially written tracks celebrating the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

To win, simply answer the question below and email answers to brian@paisley.org.uk

  1. Where does the Paisley Album Launch show take place?    

The Spree Festival runs until October 24 and features a fantastic bill of music, comedy, film, theatre and much, much more packed into various venues across the town.

It comes as Paisley bids to be UK City of Culture 2021, with a decision expected from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport this December.

For more information and tickets for the Spree go to www.thespree.co.uk or call the box office on 0300 300 1210.

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The Spree Festival Competition Tickets for The Brewband

One lucky reader can win a pair of tickets for the Brewband show at Paisley Town Hall this Friday.

Part of the annual Spree festival, the performance by the Marc Brew Company aims to challenge people’s perceptions of identity, and is as much of a music gig as it is a dance performance.

To win, simply answer the question below and email answers to brian@paisley.org.uk

  1. Where does the Brewband show take place?   

The Spree Festival runs until October 24 and features a fantastic bill of music, comedy, film, theatre and much, much more packed into various venues across the town.

It comes as Paisley bids to be UK City of Culture 2021, with a decision expected from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport this December.

For more information and tickets for the Spree go to www.thespree.co.uk or call the box office on 0300 300 1210.

 

 

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Paisley’s Spree festival launches with Scottish-Indian concert link-up

The town which gave the world the Paisley Pattern is set to celebrate its close links with India by forging a musical friendship as its flagship The Spree arts festival starts tomorrow (FRIDAY).

Paisley is hosting the Spree for the sixth year, with more than 60 shows taking place over 12 days, as the town waits to hear whether it will be the first Scottish place to become UK City of Culture, in 2021.

Headline acts this year include an eagerly-anticipated homecoming charity show from the town’s musical megastar Paolo Nutini in Paisley Abbey (Oct 20), and a unique collaboration between Frightened Rabbit and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Oct 16) in the same venue.

And the festival starts tomorrow night with a special Musical Tapestry, celebrating Paisley’s friendship with India through its textile heritage, where three Scottish musicians – piper Ross Ainslie, musician and composer Angus Lyon and singer-songwriter Ross Wilson (aka Blue Rose Code) – team up with Indian counterparts Smita Bellur, Asin Khan Langa and Sawai Khan, for a special collaboration fusing traditional music and instruments from both countries.

The six have just arrived in Scotland after performing the same show last week at the Rajasthan International Folk Festival, with which The Spree has been twinned, thanks to support from the British Council as part of their UK/India Year of Culture 2017.

The Scottish leg will be recorded for BBC Scotland’s Travelling Folk programme and broadcast next Wednesday and is accompanied by a digital tapestry, where school pupils from both countries will work together on an art project to be revealed later in the year.

Some of the participants today met up in the specially-erected Spiegeltent in County Square – which will host tomorrow’s opening concert and the bulk of the Spree action.

Ross Wilson – aka Blue Rose Code – said: “People can expect something genuinely new – we bandy around the terms unique and special but this is a genuine fusion of styles people won’t have heard before.

“As musicians we have been outside our comfort zone but we have learned a lot and really grown together. Last week we performed this show in a 15th-century Indian fort to 3,000 people and the energy was palpable – it couldn’t have been any better.”

Spiegeltent highlights include Yola Carter with Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards (Oct 14), Sharon Shannon with Fara (Oct 15), Dougie MacLean (Oct 18) and Breabach with Kris Drever and Talisk (Oct 20), as well as BBC Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth and Vic Galloway shows (Oct 19).

Other musical moments include a Paisley: The Untold Story show with James Grant in Paisley Abbey on Oct 21, while Paisley Arts Centre will host Emma Pollock and RM Hubbert (Oct 15) and a Lost Map Records night hosted by the Pictish Trail (Oct 22).

There will also be two Best of Scottish Comedy nights with the Gilded Balloon, as well as theatre, poetry, film, dance, and a full programme of kids shows during the October school holidays.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “The Spree festival is firmly established as a key date in Scotland’s festival calendar and we look forward to welcoming people from across the country for this year’s bill, which is the biggest and best yet, with a range of artforms and some incredible performers

“We are delighted to be welcoming musicians from India to help kick off the packed programme tomorrow night – our UK City of Culture 2021 bid aims to use Paisley’s place as the one-time centre of a global industry to reconnect us to the world and this is a great way to show what that will look like.”

The Spree is taking place in partnership with local bar Burger and Keg and Fosters, who have programmed additional acts in the Burger and Keg Live Tent in Abbey Close during the festival including comedians Rab Florence, Billy Kirkwood and Tom Urie and Janey Godley. More info at burgerandkeg.co.uk

The festival is also accompanied by the Spree For All fringe, which will see gigs taking place in local pubs and venues during The Spree fortnight. More info at thespree.co.uk/spree-for-all

The festival is organised by Renfrewshire Council, programmed by Active Events, and supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and the British Council.

Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting The Spree, and it is exciting to see such a strong programme showcasing Paisley’s cultural and creative vibrancy, especially as they bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

“In particular, we look forward to this year’s opening concert ‘A Musical Tapestry’, which will provide a fantastic platform for exploring the shared heritage and ties between Paisley and Jodhpur, through a line-up of some of Scotland and India’s best folk and traditional music performers.”

Paisley is the only Scottish place to make the final UK City of Culture 2021 shortlist – alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea – with the winner to be announced in December.

The bid is part of a wider drive to transform Paisley’s future using its internationally-significant heritage and cultural story, and thriving events programme.

Spree tickets and info are available from www.thespree.co.uk and from the box office on 0300 300 1210.

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Canadian comedian to front Paisley fashion fundraiser

Canadian comedian to front Paisley fashion fundraiser

Canadian comedian Katharine Ferns is set to call out the catwalk at a charity fashion fundraiser in aid of the Scottish Huntington’s Association (SHA).

Katharine will host the ladies night event at Paisley Town Hall on November 2 to raise money to help families living with the degenerative neurological condition, Huntington’s disease (HD). Fashion show models will showcase clothes from local boutiques and fashion stores.

There will also be Christmas stalls, drinks and nibbles and a variety of fashion pop up shops.

This year Katharine’s critically acclaimed show ‘Ferns is in Stitches’ played to packed crowds at, among others, the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, Manchester Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe and the Vancouver Fringe.

Katharine has been a finalist at many comedy awards in Britain and in her native Canada.

The Paisley based SHA is the only charity in the country supporting families impacted by HD through its network of of HD specialists, a world leading youth support team and a financial wellbeing service.

HD is a complex neurological condition with symptoms that typically begin to develop between the ages of 30 and 50. It causes three main groups of symptoms: changes to thinking processes – a type of early onset dementia, loss of muscle control and involuntary movements which lead to loss of speech and swallow along with mental illness. Those impacted by HD may eventually lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink, make decisions or care for themselves and will eventually need 24 hour care. It is also hereditary with each child of those diagnosed at 50% risk developing the disease. There is no cure.

It is estimated there are around 1100 people living with HD in Scotland and between 4-6000 potentially at risk.

‘This is shaping up to be a brilliant night at a great venue and the first 80 tickets sold also get a free gift from our exhibitors, so get your tickets early,’ said SHA community fundraising officer,’ Gemma Powell.

Tickets are £10 from fundraising@hdscotland.org or 0141 848 0308.