unicorn dance party

CHILDREN can enjoy a fun-packed day of free activities and entertainment being staged by Renfrewshire Leisure.

The annual Summer Family Day is being held at various venues throughout Paisley, on Saturday, July 13.

unicorn dance party

Youngsters can journey into space at Paisley Arts Centre with lift off at 10.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm when they join children’s theatre maker, Clare McGarry for a drama workshop that is out of this world. They’ll be taken on an adventure in a homemade rocket to meet the mysterious Mrs Silver, and be back on Earth in time for tea.

Also at Paisley Arts Centre and on a space theme, children can visit the Cosmos Planetarium, which is an immersive cinematic dome. Once inside children will try on a space suit and zoom to outer space in a virtual reality headset. Take off at the Cosmos Planetarium is at 10:15am, 11am, 12:15pm, 1pm, 2:15pm, 3pm

Youngsters can also enjoy Unicorn Dance Party at the Arts Centre and meet two unicorns spreading joy through the power of dance. This event is on at 1:45am, 12:45pm and 2:45pm.

The events at Paisley Arts Centre are suitable for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult.

At Paisley Central Library, next to the Lagoon Leisure Centre a Storytime session for children aged six and under between 9.15am and 9.45am. There is also a Lego Storytelling activity between 10am and 11.30am for children aged over six. They can build and animate their own story using Lego and an iPad.

The library is also hosting a Bookbug session between 2pm and 2.30pm along with Craft Sessions and Games between 3pm and 4.30pm.

And at the POP! Events space in Paisley’s Piazza Shopping Centre a space-themed Make and Take workshop is being held. This drop-in session is for children of all ages, although they must be accompanied by an adult.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “We’ve decided to designate Saturday, July 13 as the official fun day in Paisley. And there’s certainly plenty of free activities and entertainment to keep children amused.

“We hope to see lots of children and their families coming down to the various venues in town.”

sma shot day

Sma’ Shot Day 2019 was a fantastic day out for thousands of Paisley buddies as we watched the parade come down from Brodie Park at the Dooslan Stane to its new finish point right beside Sma’ Shot Cottages themselves, lots to do, great bit of sunshine went down well too as Tony Lawler who has been the Charleston Drummer now for 27 years.

Brian McGuire captured the parade from start to finish and even some bits of the main stage before the finale.

Sma Shot Day 2019

A crowd of thousands enjoyed an all-day family spectacular of parades, performances and pyrotechnics as one of the world’s oldest workers’ festivals took over Paisley town centre on Saturday.

The annual Sma’ Shot Day event turned the town into a hub of activity as the sun shone, with more than 50 events taking place across 20 outdoor stages and venues.

Sma Shot Day 2019

The event – which celebrates the victory of Paisley’s weavers in a 19th-century industrial dispute – celebrates the town’s rich textile heritage and had the theme ‘let’s party like its 1856’.

The fun began with the colourful parade – featuring colourful characters, floats and costumes and led by the Charleston Drum – from Brodie Park to the town centre.

This year’s event was taking place in a new event site in the streets around the town’s historic Sma’ Shot Cottages.

Sma Shot Day 2019

Huge crowds gathered at Paisley Arts Centre for the spectacular pyrotechnic Burning of the Cork, featuring an effigy of one of the middlemen who demanded payment from the town’s weavers for the Sma’ Shot – the unseen thread which held together the Paisley Patterned shawls.

The outdoor stages saw performances from groups including PACE Youth Theatre, Right2Dance, Starlight Music Theatre and a drumming finale from the Charleston Drummers School of Rock.

Families enjoyed kids’ activities including an outdoor beach, circus skills and carnival workshops in the streets around New Street, Shuttle Street and Brown’s Lane

The pubs and clubs along Shuttle Street opened their doors for the day to join in the fun – with The Bungalow hosting a family ceilidh with local group Fèis Phàislig and kids workshops in Faction nightclub.

Local businesses across the town have been throwing open their doors for the Creative Craft Trail, with designers from Renfrewshire’s InCube creative business incubator showing off their skills at various venues around the town today and tomorrow.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, who joined the parade on the day, said: “Once again, there was a wonderful family atmosphere along the parade route and at the event itself as we celebrated this important part of Paisley’s heritage.

“The new event site worked really well and helped spread the activity and benefits throughout the town centre.

“We were delighted this year to work with many of the pubs, shops and cafes to make them venues for event activity and drive footfall directly through their doors.”

Sma’ Shot Day is part of Renfrewshire Council’s major events programme which last year brought around 160,000 attendees and an economic boost of around £4.7m to Renfrewshire.

sma shot day 2019

The Sma’ Shot celebration always takes place on the first Saturday in July – to mark the time of year when the weavers and their families would traditionally take their holidays.

This year will be no different – everyone is invited to join the annual party this Saturday 6 July from 12 noon to 5pm. And with almost 50 events taking place across 20 different venues, this year’s celebration promises to be the best yet!

sma shot day 2019

Festivities will get underway at noon as the colourful parade leaves Brodie Park, heading for Paisley Arts Centre led by the tuck of the Charleston Drum. The parade this year will feature local groups, performers, spectacular floats and giant puppets, all co-ordinated by parade specialists Bridgeman Arts.

2019 will also see Sma’ Shot Day return to its roots, quite literally, by moving to the streets around the historic Sma’ Shot Cottages in Paisley’s town centre; with Shuttle Street, New Street, Witherspoon Street and Brown’s Lane all set to come alive with music, theatre, poetry, crafts and lots of family-friendly activities.

sma shot day 2019

Amongst these activities there will of course be the Burning of the Cork (1.20pm within the grounds of Paisley Arts Centre) which sees the ‘Corks’ – the middlemen between the owners and the weavers – meet their fate at the hands of the working weavers in spectacular fashion. Right2Dance will deliver a short pre-Burning of the Cork performance with live music in front of Paisley Arts Centre at 1.15pm.

sma shot day 2019

Plus, there will be lots of opportunities to learn a new craft at a series of artists workshops taking place all over Paisley. Follow the Creative Craft Trail for mural painting, jewellery making, embroidery and loads more.

The Sma’ Shot Cottages will also be open 12 noon til 5pm for your chance to see what life was really like for the weavers in the 19th century. Catch a guided tour and watch live weaving demonstrations with Paisley Museum’s textiles expert, Dan Coughlan. We also recommend a trip to Paisley Thread Mill Museum to complete your weaving experience on the industry’s most celebrated day of the year.

Download the Paisley.is handy event map and start planning your day!

 

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One of Scotland’s best-known Gaelic singers has signed up to help promote the town’s hosting of the world’s largest celebration of Gaelic culture – the Royal National Mòd – in 2022.

Award-winning singer, dancer, journalist and TV presenter Joy Dunlop has joined the Mòd Phàislig Local Organising Committee, which is planning the nine-day festival, due to return to Paisley three years from now in October.

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And Joy is already helping develop Renfrewshire’s next generation of traditional music talent – by tutoring some of the young people involved with Gaelic music group Fèis Phàislig

Fèis runs a year-round programme of activity giving young people a chance to get involved in the Gaelic arts – and will be showcasing their talents with an interactive performance called Stramash as part of the programme for Sma’ Shot Day, this coming Saturday.

Joy took a break from rehearsals with Fèis to look ahead to the Mòd 2022. The event – run by An Comunn Gàidhealach – will be in Paisley for the second time, having debuted here in 2013.

The previous event was the second-largest in Mòd history, with 8,000 people over nine days, a £1.4m economic impact for the area, and a tremendous festival atmosphere around the town.

Joy said: “I’m really looking forward to Mòd Phàislig in 2022. We had a great Mòd in Paisley last time and I’m sure we will have excellent events again.

“Paisley is a central location which will help take the event to new audiences and there is already some really great Gaelic cultural talent in the town, as I know from working with Fèis Phàislig.”

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And any residents looking for a free taster of what is to come should go to The Bungalow in Shuttle Street between 2 and 5pm on Saturday to for Fèis’s first-ever Stramash event.

Some of Scotland’s top traditional musicians will join young up-and-coming talent for a bumper afternoon of music and interactive performances for all ages, with space for dancing.

The Ceilidh Trail group will perform new material ahead of their summer tour and will invite audience members to learn a Gaelic song or two and become part of the band for the afternoon.

Stramash will also return to Paisley later in the year with a free show as part of the Spree festival

Fèis Co-ordinator Grant McFarlane said: “We’re delighted to be part of this year’s Sma’ Shot Day and to bring some traditional music and Gaelic to the event.

“We’ve got a full afternoon of music planned and can’t wait to welcome everyone in for a song, dance or just to enjoy the tunes!”

Sma’ Shot Day is one of the world’s oldest workers festivals and will take place on Saturday between 12pm and 5pm, with around 50 events across 20 different venues in an all-new event site in the area around Shuttle Street, New Street and Brown’s Lane

The parade leaves Brodie Park at noon, led by the tuck of the Charleston drum and throughout the day, the streets around the historic Sma’ Shot Cottages will come alive with music, theatre, poetry, crafts and lots of family friendly activities.

All events are free to attend. More information and full bill – including parade route, road closures, and a detailed FAQ for the event, is at www.paisley.is

Katherine Pentney and Lynn McGrady

It’s an annual celebration which harks back to the time weavers and their families would traditionally take their holidays.

And this year, alongside all the music, dance and theatre on show, local businesses will be getting involved in Sma’ Shot weekend by opening their doors to members of the public who are keen to learn new skills.

Katherine Pentney and Lynn McGrady

Bars, restaurants and businesses on the stretch from Gauze Street, onto Shuttle Street and Brown’s Lane, and up to the High Street, are preparing to host bespoke creative workshops and classes from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 July.

The classes are pit stops on the Creative Craft Trail – an initiative which gives members of the public the chance to meet designers from InCube, Paisley’s creative business incubator.

The Bungalow, The Lane, Bar Pre, and Faction in Shuttle Street; The Cave in New Street; Bianco e Nero, Blend and Brew; Fairfull Café, Helen’s Haberdashery, and TaTa Bella’s Café on the High Street; and The Workshop in the Old Fire Station, will all be hosting activities across the weekend. Sma’ Shot Cottages and Paisley Abbey will also be involved.

Katherine Pentney

The venues in Shuttle Street and The Cave will provide food and drink at their events.

Classes and workshops will include jewellery-making, knitting, weaving, embroidery, sewing, painting and pottery.

Textile artist Katherine Pentney (also known as The Canny Squirrel) will be running classes in free motion embroidery at Helen’s Haberdashery on the High Street on Saturday 6 July.

Katherine said: “It’s great to be involved in what’s going on creatively in Renfrewshire at the moment. People are definitely more interested in crafting now and activities that develop creative skills are really making a resurgence.

“To be hosting these workshops in Paisley, home of the famous pattern, and an area with such a rich textile history, is a fantastic opportunity and I’m really looking forward to meeting the students.”

Lynne McGrady, sales assistant at Helen’s Haberdashery, said: “The Sma’ Shot festival is a massive event for Paisley and these creative activities will help shine a spotlight on local businesses.

“It’s so important for us to raise awareness of what Paisley businesses are providing for the people of Renfrewshire, and to encourage people to buy from local entrepreneurs to keep Renfrewshire’s economy healthy.

“We’re very proud to be involved in this year’s activities and look forward to being at the centre of what’s happening on the High Street.”

The main Sma’ Shot Day party will take place on Saturday 6 July between 12pm and 5pm, with around 50 events taking place across 20 different venues.

Festivities will get underway when the parade leaves Brodie Park at noon, heading for Paisley Arts Centre, led by the tuck of the Charleston drum.

As the fun progresses, the streets around the historic Sma’ Shot Cottages in Paisley’s town centre – Shuttle Street, New Street, Witherspoon Street and Brown’s Lane – will come alive with music, theatre, poetry, crafts and lots of family friendly activities.

Barshaw Gala

More than 8,000 people from all over Renfrewshire made it along to Barshaw Park on Saturday for Barshaw Gala Day.

The Barshaw party is one of the most popular events in Renfrewshire’s events calendar – and this year, it was packed with even more activities and entertainment than ever before.

Barshaw Gala

Talented musicians and dancers from the McCallum School of Music, Vision Dance Academy, Razzamataz, RockUs Choir, Inspire School of Dance, and Spangled Cabaret wowed the crowds from the Community Stage, alongside indie rockers Atomic and Zoe Tait.

Magic Daze and Cheeko entertained with their tricks, and Frog Life – a pond wildlife and conservation virtual reality experience – inspired youngsters.

As well as the usual stalls, there were freestyle football sessions and pirate walkabouts.

The gala day was also a Clean Air event with designated smoke-free zones.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “Barshaw Gala Day is a very important part of our summer events schedule and it was great to hear that so many families from all over Renfrewshire were there on the day.

“Thank you to everyone who made it along to celebrate our local area.”

Find out more at www.paisley.is

Paisley Halloween Festival 28.10.17

Community groups throughout Renfrewshire are set to benefit from a new pot of funding and expert advice to help them stage their own events.

Renfrewshire Council is making a festive events fund of £20,000 available to help local groups stage events in towns and villages across the area.

Paisley Halloween Festival 28.10.17

There will also be an events toolkit offering detailed advice on how to plan, organise and promote their own – as well as a series of public surgeries run by the council events team

Paisley’s festive events programme is being boosted with a series of special events to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Glen Cinema disaster, including a torchlight procession featuring local schoolchildren and community groups.

Plus some of Paisley’s upcoming festive events are being reprogrammed to spread the benefits to different parts of the town – Sma’ Shot Day will take place in a new location around New St/Shuttle St next month, and the event sites for Halloween and Christmas lights will include the area at top of the High St.

Scottish Power Win BPBC MFG

The events toolkit has been produced by the council’s events and marketing team and contains their expert advice on everything from applying for licenses and public safety to generating media and online profile.

Public surgeries to help local groups will take place in Paisley, Renfrew, Linwood and Bridge of Weir during July and August and are open for booking now – along with details of how to apply for the new fund – via www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/event-checklist

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “Renfrewshire’s major events programme is a massive success story – it has put the area firmly on the map as one of Scotland’s key destinations for great days out, and brings huge numbers of people into our town centres.

Paisley Food Festival 28.4.18

“We want to build on that success and evolve the programme further – and the ongoing work in and around Paisley Town Hall gives us the chance to spread the benefits of some of the major events around other areas of Paisley town centre.

“The new community events fund and toolkit will also help those benefits reach the rest of Renfrewshire by equipping community groups across the area to stage their own – by offering a mixture of funding and expert advice.”

The developments are included as part of a report to the council’s Leadership Board yesterday which covered a number of highlights around the area’s growing events and visitor profile, including:

– the 2018 events programme was worth £4.7m to the local economy and attracted 160,000 attendees (34% of whom were visitors to Renfrewshire)

– this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival saw attendees rise 32% to almost 20,000, with an economic impact of 1.1m – and was listed as one of the best food festivals in the UK

– there were nearly 340 million chances to see or hear something positive in the media or online about Paisley and Renfrewshire in the past year

– the paisley.is website to promote the area as a place to live, visit and invest saw nearly 250,000 page views in its first year, while its social media content had a reach of 3.5m

– a new partnership has been formed with Visit Scotland to drive national awareness of Renfrewshire attractions

The next events in the council’s programme are Sma’ Shot Day in Paisley on Saturday 6 July, and the Johnstone Fire Engine Rally on Saturday 10 August.

Barshaw Gala Day

People from all over Renfrewshire will be heading to one of Paisley’s prettiest parks this weekend for a gala day for all the family.

This year’s Barshaw Gala Day takes place at Barshaw Park on Saturday 22 June, from 11am until 4pm.

Barshaw Gala Day

The Barshaw party is one of the most popular events in Renfrewshire’s events calendar – and this year, it’s packed with more activities and entertainment than ever before.

Talented musicians and dancers from the McCallum School of Music, Vision Dance Academy, Razzamataz, RockUs Choir, Inspire School of Dance, and Spangled Cabaret will be wowing the crowds from the Community Stage, alongside indie rockers Atomic and Zoe Tait.

Magic Daze and Cheeko are all set to entertain with their tricks, and nature fans will love Frog Life – a pond wildlife and conservation virtual reality experience.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will be on hand with a safety demonstration, and youngsters can have a go on the go-karts, take part in freestyle football sessions, and enjoy pirate walkabouts.

And of course, the gala day favourites of inflatables, stalls, and funfair rides will keep everyone entertained.

The park will also have designated smoke-free zones on the day.

Barshaw Park also has play areas, a nature corner, a pond, a BMX area and the ever-popular ride-on train.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming people from all over Renfrewshire to Barshaw Park on Saturday to celebrate our local area.

“Our gala days are very important for our communities, as they encourage people of all ages to get together and enjoy some fantastic free activities on this family day out.

“We hope to see people of all ages having fun on the day.”

Find out more at www.paisley.is

Coats Memorial

THE campaign to save an iconic Scottish building for future generations has received a major funding boost.

An overseas benefactor has stepped in with a six figure donation after visiting Thomas Coats Memorial, the former church in the centre of Paisley.

coats support

Locally based sculptor Alexander Stoddart is working on a statue for one of Harlan Crow’s properties in the USA. During a visit to the sculptor’s studios, Mr Crow was invited to visit Coats Memorial.

He was so impressed that his donation of £100,000 will boost the fund raising effort to create a multi-purpose venue in the threatened Grade A listed building.

Ian Henderson, chairman of Coats Memorial Preservation Trust, said: “We showed Mr Crow, who is a keen supporter of the arts, round Coats Memorial and he was hugely impressed not only with the building but also with our plans to preserve it as a multi-purpose venue to be used by the local community.”

Alexander Stoddart is the Queen’s Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland and is well known for a wide variety of work including statues of Hume and Playfair in the centre of Edinburgh and Burns and his publisher in Kilmarnock.

Ian Henderson added: “This is a very generous donation that not only takes us much closer to our fundraising target but also gives us a great personal boost. It is wonderful to know that someone from more than 4000 miles away is thinking about Coats Memorial. The donation is fantastic news for the project and for the town.”

Thomas Coats Memorial was designed by Hippolyte Blanc and completed in 1894 for the Coats family who had made their fortune in the thread industry. It was known as the Baptist Cathedral of Europe but dwindling congregations and rising costs led to its closure as a church last year.

It is planned that Coats Memorial will become a venue for weddings, concerts and a wide range of events serving the local community and beyond.