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Voluntary Arts Festival shines spotlight on Paisley

Taking place in May each year, the Voluntary Arts Festival celebrates the wide range of creative activity taking place in cities, towns and villages across the UK and Ireland – and encourages newcomers to get involved.

Run by Voluntary Arts, the Festival features ‘come and try’ sessions, open rehearsals, workshops, flashmobs and CraftBombs – all designed to inspire people to get involved and find a creative passion, whether it’s singing, acting, painting, knitting, dancing, digital arts, cooking or the many other ways people get creative.

For 2017, with support from Renfrewshire Council and Paisley 2021, we’re shining an extra special spotlight on Paisley and Renfrewshire.

Between 5 – 14 May, events will be taking place across the town and surrounding area, with a special Voluntary Arts Festival ‘What’s On Guide’ available in local venues and online, to point people in the right direction. Events include a family ceilidh, workshops and open rehearsals from craft, music, digital art, dance and painting groups – with more to be announced.

An exhibition, created by Paisley Photographic Society in partnership with Voluntary Arts Scotland, will run at Paisley Central Library capturing local creative groups in action – and giving details of how people can join them.

A special map has been produced, giving local residents an overview of creative groups in the Paisley area, so people can see how they can get creative year-round.

An informative training session, run in conjunction with Access Renfrewshire, will take place on Saturday 6 May at Tannahill Centre, Paisley, to help groups be as accessible and welcoming as possible to participants.

To learn more about the Festival, and find events taking place nationwide, visit www.voluntaryarts.org/festival

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Paisley’s Beer and Food Festival recognised in Parliament

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has submitted an Early Day Motion to the UK Parliament to recognise the success of the most recent Paisley Beer and Food Festival.

The 30th anniversary of the Paisley Beer Festival took place from the 19th to the 22nd of April in the Paisley Town Hall and was held in conjunction with the Paisley Food Festival.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“Over the past 30 years, the Paisley Beer Festival has gone from strength to strength, with the most recent one proving once again how successful this event is for locals and to those who visit Paisley to sample beers from across Scotland and the rest of the UK. As a regular attendee of this annual festival, I know how great an event it is for the town.

“Last Saturday, our annual Beer Festival was held alongside the food festival, allowing locals to try a variety of foods from all over the world and to see cooking demonstrations from top chefs.

“As we take forward our bid to be named UK City of Culture in 2021, the Paisley Beer and Food Festival highlights once again the very best that our town has to offer.”

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Ferguslie Learning Centre Open Day

West College Scotland will be holding an Open day at Ferguslie Learning Centre on Thursday 4th May from 10am until 2pm.

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CALL FOR SCOTS TO WALK ALL OVER CANCER

SCOTS are being invited to take on Cancer Research UK’s latest fundraising challenge, Walk All Over Cancer, to help beat cancer sooner.

 

In Scotland, around a fifth (21 per cent) of people are getting less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week.* Now the charity is calling on people to sign up to walk 10,000 steps every day throughout the month of June and raise money through sponsorship. Based on the average person’s strides, 10,000 steps equates to approximately five miles or eight kilometres per day, and adopting small lifestyle changes can go a long way in making the goal feel achievable.

Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman for Scotland, said: “Walk All Over Cancer is a fantastic way to become more active, with the motivation of raising money for Cancer Research UK’s life-saving research. Walkers can take part on their own or challenge family, friends and colleagues to join them.

“Ten thousand steps per day is quite a challenge for many people. Some of us spend our days transferring from seat to seat – whether that’s driving to work, sitting at a desk or enjoying a boxset on the sofa. By signing up to Walk All Over Cancer, participants will start to realise all the opportunities they have to squeeze in some extra steps.

“People can tackle the challenge at their own pace and build the walking into their day to day routine. By taking part this June, supporters could tread through 150 miles by the end of the month which is nearly the distance between Glasgow and Inverness!

“Cancer survival has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress – but every step our doctors, nurses and scientists take relies on donations from the public and the tireless fundraising of our supporters.

“Every stride taken and every donation made will help fund research to accelerate the charity’s progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”

Eight-seven people are diagnosed with cancer** in Scotland*** every day. Now Cancer Research is urging people to put on their walking shoes this June and take part in Walk All Over Cancer to help beat cancer sooner.

From walking to work, jogging in the park or opting for the stairs, the money raised through sponsorship will fund Cancer Research UK’s ground-breaking research to help improve cancer survival.

Not only will walking help to raise money, it also comes with many added health benefits as moderate exercise can help build stamina, burn excess calories and protect against a range of diseases including cancer.

Keeping check on the number of steps taken each day has never been easier with many smartphone health apps, pedometers and wearable activity trackers helping you keep a tab on your physical activity.

To sign up and download motivation tools including a wall chart, leader board and sponsorship form, visit www.cruk.org/walkallover

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FIRST EDITION OF PAISLEY POEMS MAGAZINE RELEASED FRIDAY 28TH APRIL

A new magazine featuring poetry with a connection to Paisley releases its first edition this Friday.

The pamphlet-style magazine, Paisley Poems, showcases work from 13 local poets. The poems range from depictions of life in Paisley past and present, to musings on life’s big questions.

The featured poets are: Sarah Baird, Alec Beattie, Eleanor Capaldi, Ryan Goodwin, Kate Gordon, Trisha Heaney, Kathryn Metcalfe, Maxine Rose Munro, David Rae, Max Scratchmann, Morag McDowell Smith, RK Wallace, and Lindsey Shields Waters.

Copies cost just £1.50, and from this Friday they will be available to buy online at www.paisleypoems.scot, as well as in local shops Abbey Books and Rainbow Turtle. The magazine will also be on the shelves of the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh.

Paisley Poems is a true Paisley affair, and is printed by Print Studio Scotland on Seedhill Road.

Founded by 23-year-old Hannah Wilson, Paisley Poems was started with help from Renfrewshire Council’s Culture, Heritage, and Events Fund – created to support Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Hannah said: “The quality of submissions we received was overwhelming, and it was a tough job to whittle it down to just 13 poems.

“Hopefully the first edition gives a good flavour of the different voices of the town, and we’ll be opening up for submissions again soon, so there’ll be plenty of opportunities for more people to get involved!”

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron, said: “We are delighted to have helped fund the first volume of Paisley Poems through our Culture, Heritage and Events Fund.

“The town has such a rich history of written verse, dating back to our original weaver poet Robert Tannahill – so it is fitting the current generation of talent be given this platform to show their work as part of the UK City of Culture bid.

“I look forward to seeing the first edition when published this week and hopefully this is the first of many – I wish the team every success for the future.”

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Funbox return to Paisley Town Hall with their new show Underwater Adventure

Bust out those arm bands, shimmy on your scuba gear and dive in with Funbox as the tide sweeps them back to Paisley with their brand new show for 2017, UNDERWATER ADVENTURE.

Its been non stop for FUNBOX since their first show in 2015, and now the former Singing Kettle trio have 8 shows, 6 DVDs, 5 CDs and 24 costumes to their name as they embark on their ninth tour in 2 years. When it was made clear that the Singing Kettle was not for sale, Gary, Anya and Kevin took their first steps into business. “We knew we could write songs, perform and make music, but none of us had any real experience of running a business. We just went into it head first.” says Gary. “Our Pirates and Princesses tour was funded out of our own pockets and a Crowdfunding campaign that saw us raise over 20k in 4 weeks thanks to the support of our fans.” The gang admit they were having far too much fun working together and entertaining families of Scotland and beyond to say goodbye. Anya remarked “We wanted to carry on, not just for us but the kids who loved coming to see us and the parents and grandparents who wanted to take their children. It
seemed like too important a thing to let go”.

FUNBOX offers the same traditional songs and silliness known and loved by many but with their own brand of manic humour with a modern twist. “We’ve been described as fresh and edgier than before. Even the big people are enjoying it! We spotted a few grown up mermaids and deep sea divers at our DVD recording at Glasgow SEC back in February.” laughs Kevin.

Take the plunge with Gary, Anya and Kevin (the stars formerly of The Singing Kettle) for their all new show for 2017 – UNDERWATER ADVENTURE where they voyage beneath the waves to the bottom of the ocean. There’s some-fin fishy going on in their latest singalong ‘tail’ – the FUNBOX is locked and the gang will have to cause a splash because their magical keys are all tucked up in the sea bed. Fluffy and Flossie the Funsters will be diving in to lend a hand and of course everyone’s favourite salty sea dog; Bonzo will be joining the aquatic action, but has he packed his trunks, snorkel and rubber ring?

Packed with familiar favourites like ‘When the Boat comes in’, ‘The World must be coming tae an’End’ and ‘Hole at the Bottom of the Sea’ as well as brand new songs, UNDERWATER ADVENTURE is the perfect swimalong singalong treat for kids of all ages from nought to ninety! You might even cause a splash on stage with us!

Dress up for the sea and join in the fun. You’ll have a whale of a time!

Paisley Town Hall, Sunday 14 May, 1pm and 3.30pm

Tickets available from the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 www.renfrewshireleisure.com or Ticketmaster
For more information go to www.funbox.co.uk or find us on facebook and twitter.

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Human Paisley Pattern sends off town’s 2021 culture title bid

Paisley marked the send-off of the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid by forming a human Paisley Pattern in the town centre in a colourful show of mass support.

Around 200 people donned bright T-shirts in front of the striking backdrop of Paisley Town Hall to form the giant teardrop motif – the globally-recognised symbol carrying the town’s name – to mark the bid being lodged with the UK Government today.

The giant gathering included a wide cross-section of the community, with pupils from local schools Williamsburgh Primary and Castlehead High, plus local businesses, disability groups, cultural organisations, and staff and students from the University of the West of Scotland and West College Scotland.

The teardrop shape was choreographed by and included staff and young people from PACE Youth Theatre – one of the largest groups of its kind in the UK.

Paisley is bidding for the UK City of Culture 2021 title as part of wider plans to transform the area’s future using its unique cultural and heritage story.

The 30-page bid document is now being lodged with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport ahead of Friday’s deadline. A shortlist is expected over the summer, with the winner to be announced at the end of the year.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture has captured the imagination of the whole town over the past 18 months – with more than 30,000 people involved in the conversation around it.

“That was never more evident than in the phenomenal response to the call-out for people to join the human Paisley Pattern photo.

“People of all ages and backgrounds – senior managers, schoolkids, business owners and artists – were lined up together and for me that sums up what Paisley’s bid is about…everybody coming together to show how much we want this title.

“The bid document submitted to DCMS this week carries the voices and hopes of those people – as well as a clear vision of how Paisley will harness the power of culture to transform our economy, town centre and reputation, and with it, the lives of the people who live here.”

David Wallace, executive director of PACE, and a member of the Paisley 2021 executive bid team, added: “Paisley’s cultural sector has always been strong – this is a town which punches well above its weight in producing talented people.

“But the work going on around the bid gives us a chance not only showcase that to a wider audience, but to also build a lasting legacy of excellence.

“With its stunning architectural heritage, unique venues and great transport links, Paisley is the perfect stage for a year of international-class culture.

“The momentum built up over the past 18 months has set Paisley off on a journey which will continue no matter what – and today shows how excited we are to be part of that.”

For more info on Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, see paisley2021.co.uk

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The Pride of Paisley…work set to begin on our latest lion landmark

A Lion is on its way back to Paisley this summer…and a local artist has been chosen to bring the lion magic back to life.

the winning design

With the theme “Inspired by the town of Paisley and its people”, our judges have chosen Maureen Rocksmoore and her colourful design “Superbia – our pride is our strength” as the perfect lion legacy for Paisley town centre.

Maureen, a renowned visual arts specialist born and living in Paisley, has already taken delivery and will soon begin artwork on the lion which will take pride of place in the town.

Pic of Maureen – photo taken by Andy Bell

Maureen’s design is inspired by Paisley’s history of design and manufacturing which is renowned throughout the world.

Paisley First Chairman, Ian Henderson, said: “Maureen has several artist residencies in Renfrewshire and has exhibited her work internationally, she was also involved in the Pride of Paisley last year.”

“Her design for this lion was rich and vibrant and encapsulated the real spirit of the Pride of Paisley which was enjoyed by both Buddies and visitors to Paisley.”

“We are all excited to see Maureen’s design brought to life and looking forward to the lion taking its place among the town’s other famous landmarks.”

Maureen said: “The blue pattern throughout my design represents the River Cart running through the heart of the town.”

“While the proud peacock, a symbol of Paisley pride is a common feature in shawls and the cotton threads carried by birds symbolises how far Paisley’s reputation has travelled throughout the world.”

This unpainted lion was donated to Paisley First by local company MacAsphalt.

Ian added: “We are extremely grateful to Jamie Crumlish of MacAsphalt, who bought four painted lions at the auction and also kindly donated three unpainted lions, one each, to both hospices and Paisley First.”

The Pride of Paisley 2016 consisted of 25 full sized lions which were painted by artists and 40 mini lions which were painted by local school children.

The event was visited by more than 20,000 people with the 25 larger  lions then auctioned off to the benefit of two local hospices- ACCORD and St Vincent’s- with the final amount raised a staggering £79,300.

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Interview with the SP Dolls before their gig at the Bungalow (18 content below)

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We managed to get a cracking interview from the Sex Pissed Dolls ahead of their upcoming Paisley appearances, first they will bet at Feel the Groove on Causeyside Street, Paisley before playing live to a packed house at the Bungalow Bar, Shuttle Street, the gig is organised by NNE events. Saturday the 29th April find out more here. https://www.facebook.com/events/391714861164379/

The Sex Pissed Dolls – an all girl rock band who exploded onto the scene in 2015 – consisting of Kitty Vacant, Connie Rotter, Jilly Idol, Nancy Doll and Anna Key, they have already completed a full UK tour in 2015 and are finishing off their 2016 UK tour to sensational reviews.

With an incredible fanbase for they recreate the raw passion generated by such bands as The Clash, The Ramones, Blondie, Nirvana, The Pistols etc.

Considered by many to be one of the best live bands to emerge in recent years, they are edgy, outrageous and full of energy and attitude. So much so that the girls have just been signed by Worldwide music supremo John Giddings who looks after Lady Gaga, Madonna, Phil Collins, Rolling Stones, Celina Dion, Blondie to name but a few.spd-10

With plans to release their first album in 2016 and with a book already commissioned to chart their first amazing year on tour, watching The Dolls “Is more than just a gig, It’s an Experience”

Feel the Groove appearance

feel-the-groove

Interview

Interview by Peter Greenwood of paisley.org.uk

 

For more on the Dolls please click here.

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Gleniffer High School pupil Lucy Johnston wins a photography grant

My name is Lucy Johnston and I am putting on an exhibition in Ta Ta Bella’s on the High Street in order to celebrate a photography grant awarded to me by the Woodland Trust.

I’m currently a pupil at Gleniffer High School while doing a college course for photography at WCS Paisley Campus, however I applied for the grant on my own. The project focuses on people and their stories about trees in the community – and how the parks, trees and woodlands around us are important.

Lucy has been in the Express and the majority of her photos have been taken in the Renfrewshire area.