Imogen Stirling

Imogen Stirling, Paisley Book Festival Writer in Residence, embarked on a three week workshop with the young people of Renfrewshire as part of Create Paisley’s Teach Me Tuesday sessions. The sessions were part of a wider project Imogen was working on with the Paisley Book Festival, which explored ‘Radical New Futures’, helping to influence the sessions with the young people at Create. As well as working with Create, Imogen worked with another group U3A, University of the Third Age,  on this project which has resulted in curating a final poem which was showcased as part of the Book Festival.

Imogen was delighted by the success of the workshops and was pleased to connect with Create through her work.

‘It was such a pleasure to be involved in Teach Me Tuesday, teaching creative writing and poetry to CREATE’s young people. I was so impressed by their enthusiasm, imagination and storytelling skills. They were a wonderful group to work with.’ 

These workshops saw a group of young people set about using creative writing exercises , discussion, poetry readings to tell their own stories.. The sessions focussed on Imogen leading exercises with the young people and exploring themes relating to isolation during lockdown as well as looking forward to the future. 

The young people involved took full advantage of the time Imogen took to work with them and teach them new skills. “I am really grateful that she took the time to teach us what she knew”.

Imogen guided the young people through activities from their own perspective using their own thoughts and feelings which allowed them to embark on an excellent creative outlet to express these feelings. “Even when you don’t know what to write. You can just write what you are feeling”, “It was such a good way to express yourself”. 

Imogen was able to introduce the young people to a wider range of vocabulary that the young people could use to express their thoughts and feelings but also to help them in other educational channels such as their school work. “This project helped me open my brain more”. The youth workers at CREATE were delighted with the sessions and that young people were still motivated to engage in creative writing workshops after being at school during the day too. 

Nicola Fergusson, Youth Worker at Create, who was leading the session for Create side felt the engagement the young people had with Imogen was beneficial to them and enjoyed watching them learn new writing techniques from Imogen.

“I saw the young people adapt to work in a new different way where they learned new skills from Imogen. It was rewarding to see them engage and express themselves throughout the sessions and see them develop as time went on. It is great to see the young people take such an interest in the workshops and develop their talents, 

Create looks forward to future workshops with Imogen Stirling, where she will lead on Creative Writing workshops as part of the Culture Academy starting in April 2021 with Create.

Renfrewshire Council’s spring and summer events programme will be going online over the coming months.

The popular Paisley Food and Drink Festival will take a different shape for 2021 – with an online programme across 10 days in April.

The Festival will showcase the rich diversity of Renfrewshire’s food and drink offer along with interactive culinary experiences, including cooking demonstrations and workshops, ways to grow your own food and much more.

More details about the programme for this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Following the success of last year’s event, Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day celebrations will once again be marked with a programme of online events to commemorate the historic victory of local weavers.

This year’s online event will take place on Saturday 3 July – the time when the weavers and their families would traditionally take their holidays.

The move to take the events online for 2021 is in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure celebrations can still take place in adherence with national guidance.

The British Pipe Band Championships, which were due to be staged in Paisley in May, will no longer take place.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “The Paisley Food and Drink Festival is always one of the highlights of our annual events calendar – and this year’s online programme will provide a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on the exceptional food and drink offer we have across Renfrewshire.

“We look forward to telling you more about the festival programme and how people can get involved very soon.

“Sma’ Shot Day represents an important part of Paisley’s heritage and we were delighted with the warm reception last year’s online celebrations received from local people, as well as those from further afield who wouldn’t normally be able to take part in the day’s events.

“This year’s online event will look to carry on these traditions and feeling of community spirit, while offering opportunities for everyone to get involved in celebrating this great day.

“Due to the current restrictions on major events, it’s a great shame that we will be unable to host the British Pipe Band Championships in Paisley this May. The Championships is a fantastic event which draws competitors and spectators from over the UK and across the world and it’s just not possible to stage such an event right now.

“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed partnering with the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association since 2016 and it’s disappointing that the last two years of our partnership – 2020 and 2021 – have coincided with the pandemic.

“We wish the Association, and everyone in the piping world, the very best in successfully resuming competition when it’s safe to do so – and we will continue our dialogue with the Association, actively seeking alternative events and activities to partner on in the future.

“Decisions on the remainder of our 2021 events programme will be made throughout the year, in line with national guidance and public health advice. We will continue to work with events sector and other local authority partners to ensure that we can deliver a safe, accessible, and inclusive programme when physical events are permitted again.”

Renfrewshire Council advises everyone to stay safe and continue to follow the national guidance on coronavirus set out by the Scottish Government.

For the latest local updates, visit our ‘Information, help and guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)’ webpage: http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.

The show must go on as they say and Rainbow Nursery took those words to heart and made a fantastic movie, we were sent this in last night and its fun just pure fun, well worth a watch for any age… Here is the message I received and video from last night.

Louise Borris: Hi there I work in a little nursery on Paisley called Rainbow. Due to Covid restrictions, our annual Christmas Show was cancelled, and as we could not get out into the community to spread festive cheer, the 3-5 room decided to go digital and put a 2020 twist on this years show. Turns out our show is very popular and has succeeded in getting some Christmas cheer out into the wider community. We thought you might like a look at our superstars and hoped that you could also share our show out there to help us bring a smile to as many people as possible, everyone could do with a smile this year.

Actor, Director and Writer, Scott Vickers, is joining forces with Renfrewshire Charity CREATE Paisley to help bring a little Hollywood glamour to young people during the pandemic.

Scott who made his name as a cop with a temper in the Glasgow based Rivercity has went on to work with some of Hollywood’s biggest names since leaving the soap. He has written, directed and starred in indie horror film ‘Matriarch’ and been signed by industry powerhouse 3 Arts Entertainment, who also manage Hollywood stars like Chris Evans and produce shows such as Brooklyn Nine Nine and The Good Place.

‘Since leaving Rivercity I have been lucky enough to work with some incredible people on Matriarch and had amazing opportunities thanks to the support of friends, family and an incredible team of people. That’s why when CREATE Paisley approached me and asked if I would like to help support some young people living through these tough times I jumped at the chance’

 

Scott is working with CREATE as part of their Teach me Tuesday programme which will give young people the opportunity to take part in a 5-week screen writing workshop culminating in a recorded video drama. 

 

CREATE knows the difference that creativity can make to a young person’s life and the role that supportive adults play.

 

Brid Gallagher, Youth Development Worker at CREATE has been working across the charities online programme since the start of lockdown and has seen how it has affected young people. 

 

‘We work with lots of young people who are facing extreme challenges in their day to day lives that have only been made worse by the pandemic. No young person should feel lonely or that they have no one that they can reach out to for support. We are so grateful to Scott for giving up his time to work alongside us to give these young people the chance to talk about their feelings and express themselves’ 

 

The workshops are open to anyone aged between 12 and 21 and will start on Tuesday 17th November at 7pm. To sign up visit www.createpaisley.org.uk/calendar 

 

www.scott-vickers.com
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3159714/
Visual Reel: https://vimeo.com/455741104
Drama / Dialogue Reel: https://vimeo.com/384953799

Santa has made Christmas a little easier this year by delivering all his goods to The Diane Mitchell Music School!
Christmas Cards, Guitars, Ukuleles, Musicianship packs, and more available in-school now

Contact us at:

Mobile: 07896689816
The Diane Mitchell Music School
Brick Lane Studios
Paisley
PA3 4DW
The Diane Mitchell Music School
BRAND NEW! Boomwhackers class
Suitable for primary school age group
Make new friends and have fun as you learn to play rhythm & percussion music as part of a brand new team!
Starting: 5th of Nov 2.30-3.30pm

Local live music venue, The Bungalow in Paisley, has received £21,500 in emergency funding from the Scottish Government’s Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund through Creative Scotland.

Aimed at providing grassroots music venues with emergency support to help address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and prevent closure, the £2.2million fund, which launched on Thursday 3 September, received 98 applications from across Scotland, totalling £3.2million. All 72 eligible applications have received funding.

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland said: ““Live music has been hit particularly hard by Covid-19, and Creative Scotland is only too aware of the severity of that impact. These awards, to 72 venues across Scotland, will help bring short-term stability to the grassroots music sector and alleviate some of the challenges that the ongoing pandemic has presented.

“Music is such a significant part of Scotland’s cultural life and it is here, at grassroots level, that talented musicians create new material connecting with audiences young and old. We look forward to the day when we’ll all be back together, cheering on artists face to face – but, until then, this fund will provide a lifeline to one of the most vibrant scenes that Scotland has to offer.”

Beverley WhitrickStrategic DirectorMusic Venue Trust said: “Music Venue Trust is grateful to Scottish Government for creating a ring-fenced fund which recognises the vital role that Grassroots Music Venues play in Scottish culture.

“There is still a lot of work to do to support these venues through the crisis but to see so many venues awarded short-term financial support is an incredible step forward. We thank Creative Scotland for working so hard to make this possible and involving us in shaping the fund so it could be targeted effectively. We look forward to working further with them.”

A list of all 72 recipients of the Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund can be found here.

The Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund is one of a series of measures being put in place to help mitigate the immediate impacts of COVID-19 on the creative and cultural sector, including five new emergency funds which were announced by the First Minister on Friday 28 August and are being delivered through Creative Scotland as follows:

  • The £15million Culture Organisation and Venues Recovery Fund, which has opened for applications today, Thursday 17 September, with a deadline of Thursday 24 September.
  • The £3.5million Independent Cinemas Recovery and Resilience Fund, which opened for applications on Monday 14 September with a deadline of Monday 5 October.
  • The £5million Creative Freelancer Hardship Fund for which we issued an open call for partner organisations to help us distribute this fund on Friday 11 September, has a deadline of Friday 25 September. We aim to be able to distribute funds from October. The Screen element of these Hardship Funds opens for applications on Tuesday 22 September.
  • The £5million Sustaining Creative Practice Fund includes £1.5million for the Culture Collective programme, mentioned in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government, supporting organisations employing freelance artists to work in and with communities across Scotland. The remaining £3.5million has been added to Creative Scotland’s existing Open Fund which is open for applications from individuals now.

The previously announced £5million open call element of the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund which closed for applications on Thursday 27 August has received 42 applications and awards will be announced by Thursday 24 September.

Updates on all emergency funds are being published regularly on the Creative Scotland website and publicised through media and social media communications.

A NEW and exciting programme of online cultural events is being staged to celebrate Black History Month.

Black History Month, throughout October, celebrates and recognises the outstanding contributions people of African and Caribbean descent have made to the world over many generations.

Matt Hickman, lead vocalist of the band Brownbear is appearing in the Black History Month: Our Culture, Our Future series of online events.

 

The programme – Black History Month: Our Culture, Our Future – has been co-curated by Renfrewshire Leisure, Engage Renfrewshire, Jambo! Radio, Pachedu, University of the West of Scotland, Action for Culture and Ethics and the School of African Culture.

This inaugural year of events will be held via online platforms and on Jambo! Radio and includes an online exhibition called Museum of Me, curated by children from the African School of Culture; a podcast featuring the children discussing the theme of identity and exploring what it means to be African and Scottish living in Renfrewshire in 2020.

There will also be online performances from an eclectic mix of musicians and artists including Joshua Idehen, Brownbear, and storyteller Michael Kerins.

The celebration of Black History Month will culminate on October 28 with a webinar on the representation of black, Asian, minority ethnic talent in the arts in Scotland and Renfrewshire, in particular.

Speakers will include Milica Milosevic from Creative Scotland, musician Matt Hickman from Brownbear, and Christian Harrison from the University of the West of Scotland.

They will offer a range of insights for cultural practitioners, students and decision-makers into why black, Asian, minority ethnic representation is vital to the health of our arts sector and to vitality of our art.

Founder of Jambo! Radio, George Tah Meh explains; “Jambo! Radio is involved in the planning sub-group for Black History Month, in Renfrewshire and as a radio station for the people of Afro-Caribbean heritage, it is important we lead by contributing on the theme and programmes of Black History Month.

Poet and musician Joshua Idehen is appearing in the Black History Month: Our Culture, Our Future series of online events.

“It is also important for our organisation to be at the forefront of Black History Month for our audience and the Afro-Caribbean community in Renfrewshire.”

Regine Bews, founder of School of African Culture added: “In the preparation for the Black History Month 2020, we have been co-creating a digital project in partnership with Renfrewshire Leisure’s Creative Learning Team.

“My participation and the decision by Renfrewshire Leisure and Renfrewshire Council be involved in Black History Month is a huge step towards more inclusion of the black and minority ethnic community.

“For our organisation, this is a great opportunity to mark the presence of black African people in Renfrewshire; to foster pride in Scottish children of black African descent about their origins; to educate the community about African history in Renfrewshire and contribute to more community acceptation and cohesion.”

These activities for Black History Month are funded by Renfrewshire Council and delivered in partnership with Renfrewshire Leisure as part of Future Paisley. Future Paisley is radical and wide-ranging programme of events, activities and investments using the town’s unique and internationally significant cultural stories to transform its future.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “The vibrancy of the black community’s art, music and literature is a wonderful aspect to both Scottish and Renfrewshire’s culture.

“This programme of events will certainly be welcome, entertaining and informative to everyone in Renfrewshire and throughout the rest of Scotland.”

Go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/black-history-month/ for details about the Black History Month: Our Culture, Our Future events programme.

St. Vincent’s Hospice are looking for couples and volunteers from the same household to sign up to take part in their Strictly Come Prancing event in Spring 2021, as the charity begin preparations to allow the event to go ahead in a safe, fun and socially distanced dance spectacular.

St. Vincent’s Hospice is a local charity Hospice at the heart of the community, providing specialist care for those affected by life limiting conditions in Renfrewshire. Every year, Strictly Come Prancing generates thousands of pounds in essential revenue to provide this vital support for people across the community going through some of the hardest times of their lives.

Director of Income Generation for the Hospice, Jackie Young, said: “Strictly Come Prancing is the biggest event on our fundraising calendar, with couples and dance partners coming together in front of hundreds of supporters and sponsors every year, to find out who will be crowned the Strictly Champions.

“With the current pandemic, we have no way of knowing what will be allowed in March: so we are currently working on plans A, B, C and D to make sure that we are able to go ahead in some format. Currently this has involved discussions with venues of limited numbers, doing it across multiple nights, all the way to a live streamed online event. Whatever it takes, to keep everyone involved safe and keep everyone dancing!

“What we do know, is that we need volunteers to sign up and be our dance couples for 2021! So, if you are from the same household or extended household, and want to get involved, learn how to dance, have fun and help out a great cause, we want to hear from you!”

Couples who sign up will undergo dance training from experienced choreographers to make sure they are ready to go on the big night in a way that matches their skill level and is sure to wow the judges. All training will be carried out in line with government guidelines to ensure everyone is safe.

Jackie added: “This event is open to everyone, with former champions including an 81 year old dancing the tango, so please support St. Vincent’s Hospice and get in touch to find out more.”

To learn more, sign up, or speak to the Fundraising Team call 01505 705 635 or email Info@svh.co.uk.

This Wednesday, and every Wednesday through to the 30th of September, Create Paisley will be running online graphic novel workshops about a sword-swallowing theatre magnate. John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs will be your hosts, a writer and artist team who work under the name Metaphrog. 

Metaphrog have been nominated for, and won, several awards, and currently have an acclaimed graphic novel called Bluebeard on release. They’ve also done workshops in Paisley before. “We were at the central library for Will Eisner week and we also did several school visits” John tells me. “They went very, very well.” 

 

As for this event, John tells me, ““We loved doing this research. There are some great sideshow posters and some colourful characters.” Delno Fritz is certainly a character. This man, almost forgotten now, was a big draw in his day and a leading international circus performer – as a sword swallower. “He was a friend to Harry Houdini” John says “and a world famous figure”. Colin Begg from Paisley Heritage dug up his story. “Colin came across Fritz and his Paisley connection in David Rowand’s book Silver Threads” John says. “It’s an interesting and very fertile area. The project was to encourage interest in the past, history and local heritage through the story of this man”.

 

He’s quite a man. Delno Fritz, born 1871, was one of 17 children, who ran away to join the circus. Several times. He eventually succeeded in joining with a friend. The friend went on to become a doctor. Delno became a sword swallower, and people went crazy for his act – he even performed for Queen Victoria. “His date of birth is unsure, and his IMDb entry is a bit loose too” John says. “It’s unlikely he is in the 1931 film Freaks for example, since he died in 1925”. The man had become a myth.

The workshops around this myth will run over 6 weeks. “We’ll talk about how comics work” John explains. “We show character design and world building all using the life of Delno as a springboard or inspiration. That life includes his involvement with the Empire Music Hall, and hence life in Paisley in the early 1900s”. You knew there had to be a Paisley connection – “So there will be six modules with a different focus – including cover design and discussion of changing attitudes” It should be an involving 6 modules.

 

When I ask John if it’s weird to be doing a workshop in Paisley from home, he laughs. “Everything is weird right now!” adding, “It was very hard to research especially now with archives closed and facts distant. We’re embracing the weird!” Sometimes weird times can be fun, and it’s always good to have something to occupy you. if you’re looking for that over the next six weeks, you’re welcome to tune in to Metaphrog’s Zoom workshops.

 

You can see more details and a trailer about this event at the following link, with the registration form included too: https://www.createpaisley.org.uk/news/delno-fritz/

 

Article by one of our new Journalist’s Keir Hind, lookout for more of Keir in the coming weeks.

It was a full house when drive-in movies came to the boardwalk at intu Braehead for the first time last night. (Wednesday, July 29)

Grease was the first film shown and it was the one that everyone seemed to want as 150 cars packed with movie fans turned up to watch the iconic film featuring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

And as a thank you for their work on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic, anyone who works for the NHS was given free entry to the first screening.

Later during the second show, which was family favourite, Back to the Future a similar amount of cars were parked up in the boardwalk in front of a giant screen.

The Arena at intu Braehead has teamed up with the Catherine McEwan Foundation charity to help raise much-needed funds to help people living with Crohn’s and Colitis get better care, treatment and quality of life.

There will be two films shown on a giant screen every night and four movies this weekend, with the audio broadcast via a frequency that car radios can be tuned to.

Tickets are still on sale for the drive movie screenings that go on until Sunday, August 2 and the movies being shown are Grease, Jurassic Park, Mama Mia, Goonies, Finding Nemo, Lion King, The Lost Boys, Back to the Future and Dirty Dancing.

Refreshments are provided on site by the UK’s top street food operator, The Big Feed.

Derek McEwan, who launched the Catherine McEwan Foundation after his mother, Catherine passed away after years of suffering from Crohn’s Disease said: “It’s great to be at the iconic Braehead Boardwalk raising funds to help children and adults battling Crohn’s and Colitis.

“Our first night has been great and the fact that we could give a little back to our NHS superheroes tonight made it a bit special.”

Scott Martin, intu Braehead Leisure general manager added: “People seemed to move like greased lightning to snap up the tickets when they went on sale.

“It’s a novel way to have a good night out with the family and there are still a few tickets left for some of the drive-in movie showings during the rest of the week.”

Tickets costing £35 per car plus booking fee are on sale from www.lockdowndrivein.com.

Work to transform the future of Paisley’s much-loved town hall is due to restart – with construction workers due on site at the start of August.

The project will create 21st-century facilities inside the striking Victorian landmark while delivering improvements essential to keep the town hall at the heart of life in the town – and is taking place as part of a wider investment in Paisley’s historic venues by Renfrewshire Council.

No work has taken place on the town hall in recent months due to the coronavirus lockdown – however with restrictions on construction sites being relaxed, workers can now safely go on site in line with national guidance.

The contract for the advance construction works on the town has been awarded to Morrison Construction and is expected to run until December.

The main construction works are expected to start next year, and while the exact impact of lockdown on the original timescale is still unclear, the project is expected to be complete before the end of 2022.

Other planned investments still being delivered in the town centre by the council include the work to transform Paisley Museum into a world-class destination showcasing the area’s unique and globally-significant story and collections, on which construction is due to start in the new year.

And construction work is due to resume soon on the site of the new Learning and Cultural Hub on Paisley High Street, which will be the town’s new home of library services.

Cllr Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd, which operates the town hall, said: “We are pleased work is able to resume on Paisley Town Hall, which is another positive sign as the area’s economy starts to re-emerge from lockdown.

“Although the council faces a very challenging financial outlook, the town hall, museum and learning and cultural hub projects are all well under way – with years of work having already taken place on each – and we intend to see those projects through.

“In the town hall’s case, the work being planned includes investment in 21st-century facilities which will help drive new footfall to the area in the years ahead, as well as essential replacement of outdated infrastructure without which the building would not have a long-term future.

“The completed buildings will be crucial to Renfrewshire’s long-term economic prospects – our vision for Paisley town centre remains one in which we promote its unique cultural and heritage offer to bring people here.

“And while coronavirus has disrupted that work we hope our continued investment in the town hall and other venues will help the area’s economic recovery from lockdown and give confidence to our local businesses.”

The investment in the town hall is aimed at bringing new activity and vibrancy to the town while ensuring the building has a long-term future. It is planned to include:

– a complete and essential replacement of the old and outdated electrical and mechanical systems;

– the preservation of the unique architectural features within this A-listed Victorian gem;

– an expanded capacity in the main hall allowing bigger and better events and driving more footfall to the town centre, boosting the local economy;

– unused spaces brought back into use and entirely new rooms and facilities created including a new café-bar with views over the river, increasing the range of events the building can host;

– a much-improved audience experience including improved staging, lighting and seating with better views, and improved access making it easier for everyone to move around the building.