3 PAC auditorium

The first images showing how Paisley’s iconic arts centre will look after a £2.8m transformation have been revealed – including a new extension and public space at the heart of Paisley’s nightlife district.

The Paisley Arts Centre stage has hosted some of Scotland’s biggest names in the three decades since the 250-year-old former church building was converted into one of the country’s most vibrant small entertainment venues.

Arts-Centre-Summer-9546

The building is being upgraded as part of a wider investment in Paisley’s venues and outdoor spaces aimed at using the town’s internationally-significant cultural and heritage story to change its future.

And plans have been submitted for the work, with images revealed today showing:

– a redesigned public space around the arts centre, removing railings and bringing the street to the building – creating a new outdoor area for events and for people to dwell;

– how the building’s location at the junction of New Street and Shuttle Street means it is perfectly placed to add new vibrancy to the surrounding already-busy nightlife area;

– a new-build extension to the existing entrance – creating more room to expand facilities inside – including an improved café-bar;

3 PAC auditorium

– improved auditorium with retractable seating offering a capacity of 150 (seated) and 200 (standing) and creating the flexibility to offer more events, bringing more footfall to the town;

– better audience and performance facilities – retaining the intimate atmosphere the building is known for but adding more comfortable seating with better legroom, improved sightlines, better sound and lighting, upgraded toilets, and better disabled access and facilities;

There will also be new back-of-house facilities expanding what the building can do and making it more attractive to performers – including a new kitchen, improved dressing rooms, and workshop space for rehearsals and other events.

1 PAC Front Approach Evening View

The arts centre is due to close in summer 2020 to allow the transformation to take place, and is expected to reopen in summer 2021.

The venue is home to a year-round performance programme and last week hosted several events as part of Paisley’s Spree festival, and will be packed out again for the ever-popular PACE Youth Theatre panto this festive period.

While the arts centre had a number of improvements to the outside of the building in 2012 the facilities inside had become outdated and needed more than a makeover to change that – but the planned work will create 21st-century facilities inside the historic building.

The project is being taken forward by Renfrewshire Council and the venue will continue to be operated by Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd.

2 PAC extnded reception area

Cllr Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “The images revealed today show how Paisley Arts Centre will be transformed into a unique and intimate performance venue capable of hosting a greater range of events and performances than ever before.

“The council is investing in Paisley’s venues as part of a wider push to use the area’s unique heritage and thriving cultural and events offer to bring people into the town and create new life and footfall.

“The revamped arts centre will be more than a building – it will be a place where the town’s next generation of talent can learn, be inspired and have their first time on a stage.

“It will also complement other investments happening in Paisley’s venues around the town – both council and community-run – helping connect, build and support the growing creative community already active in the town.

“We expect the improved performance programme the new facilities will allow us to offer will see increased numbers coming to arts centre shows day and night – and boost the surrounding pubs and eateries while here.”

Other major investments happening in Paisley town centre just now include a £42m transformation of Paisley Museum into a world-class destination showcasing the town’s internationally-significant collections and story.

There’s also work to preserve Paisley Town Hall’s place at the heart of life in the town by turning it into a landmark entertainment venue and a new learning and cultural hub offering library services to be built in a modern facility at the heart of Paisley High Street.

For more information, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/paisley or www.paisley.is

jennifer 2

JENNIFER Wilkie fears that one day she will be completely deaf.

But the 29-year-old from Paisley is determined that if and when that day comes she’ll be prepared and still be able to communicate.

Jennifer has joined Renfrewshire Leisure’s Sign Language Club, which meets several times a week at Paisley Arts Centre.

jennifer 2

She is joined by dozens of other people who want to learn British Sign Language (BSL) in a fun and relaxing way.

An Early Years Excellence and Equity Lead, at a local children’s centre, Jennifer explains:

“My main reason for learning BSL is to prepare me for the day I don’t have any hearing at all.

“I have profound hearing loss that is helped by two hearing aids, which I use every day and I can’t function without them.

“My hearing has slowly become worse over the years and there is no way of knowing if I will lose all my hearing and when this might happen.”

She continues: “It became apparent when I was young that I had hearing problems, but no one knows what has caused my deafness.

“I joined the Sign Language Club so I can communicate with people if my hearing ever goes completely. My mum comes to the club with me and we both pass on what we have learned to our family, so if the day ever comes that I am completely deaf, they will be able to communicate with me as well.”

Jennifer is urging other people to join the Sign Language Club and learn BSL from profoundly deaf tutor Graham Dow and BSL qualified David O’Rorke.

She says: “I would encourage everyone to come along and learn BSL. It’s such an essential skill to have to allow everyone to communicate and to lessen the barriers for deaf people.

“Graham and David who run the classes are very motivational, but make the classes very relaxed for everyone. The have inspired me to learn even more about sign language and I want to go on to gain a BSL qualification”

A new family BSL group has recently been started at Paisley Arts Centre, every Saturday, between noon and 1pm. Beginners meet on a Saturday, between 11am and noon and a Monday between 7pm and 8pm. The intermediate group meets on a Monday between 6pm and 7pm.

Anyone interested in coming along to the Sign Language Group should contact Emma Armstrong, on 0300 300 1210.

Paisley Halloween Festival - Big Grey

For the first time, this year’s Paisley Halloween Festival will feature a spooky silent disco where party-goers can show off their best Monster Mash and Thriller dance moves.

Part of the award-winning annual festival, taking place on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October, the open-air silent disco, delivered by Silent Knights, is a family-friendly activity promising plenty of dancing, DJs, singing and a whole lot of Halloween fun.

Paisley Halloween Festival - Big Grey

Taking place in the heart of the town in Dunn Square, there will be a series of 40-minute sessions for families and festival-goers to head along to over the two-day event. They will be provided with wireless headphones and can select their tunes of choice.

There will also be two relaxed disco slots suitable for those with additional support needs and their families and carers. During these time slots the music will be turned down in the headphones and there will be more room to dance around. These sessions will take place on Friday from 5pm to 5.40pm and Saturday 2pm to 2.40pm. A walk-in Sensory Safe Space will also be available in the POP store in the Piazza Shopping Centre during the festival. This will be a relaxed space specially created for individuals with additional support needs and their carers.

Paisley Halloween Festival - Big Grey

Event DJs will be spinning tracks over three channels from Halloween hits to classic Ibiza dance anthems and pro-dancers will be on hand with classic dance moves that will keep everyone moving all day long.

The festival is being delivered in partnership with acclaimed outdoor theatre specialists, Cirque Bijou. There will be plenty of opportunities for people to join in the fun with a huge range of Halloween-themed activities including the dark circus style Halloween parade, aerial performances, workshops, street theatre and musical performances, scary movie screenings, live stage acts, creepy installations and a Halloween Fun Fair.

Paisley Halloween Festival - Big Grey

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “The popular Paisley Halloween Festival is one of the most highly anticipated events in Renfrewshire’s annual calendar. Every year it gets bigger and bolder and this year is no exception.

Paisley Halloween Festival - Big Grey

“The Silent Disco is sure to be another exciting addition to the creative programme, drawing festival-goers right into the heart of Paisley town centre and offering a fantastic, fun, family experience.

“The support of partners like EventScotland has helped us grow our ambitious major events programme and establish the town as one of Scotland’s key cultural destinations in recent years. We look forward to continuing to deliver top class events in Renfrewshire in the future.”

The Paisley Halloween Festival, which was supported in 2018 through the Year of Young People event fund, was awarded £16,950 of National Programme funding from EventScotland part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate for this year’s event.

The Silent Disco is accessible for all abilities and is recommended for ages 4 and over but all ages are welcome. Under 2s do not require a ticket but cannot be provided with headphones.

Tickets are on sale now and cost £5 for adults and £3 for kids (under 14 years old). A family ticket (two adults and two kids) is available for £14. Prices include booking fees.

To book tickets for the Paisley Halloween Festival Silent Disco please visit: www.paisley.is/discover/silentdisco/.  To find out more about the event please visit www.paisley.is/halloween.

Youth Festiva Launch 21.8.19-4057

PAISLEY YOUTH ARTS FESTIVAL TO TAKE PLACE FROM 3-15 SEPTEMBER 2019

 

Paisley Youth Arts Festival – a brand new multi-arts festival for young people in Paisley – has been launched today (Wednesday 21st August 2019).  The festival will run from 3-15 September 2019 and will feature over 50 events taking place in venues around the town centre, attracting up to 6000 young people from Paisley, Renfrewshire and beyond. 

The project is one of the initiatives to come out of the Paisley 2021 legacy’s focus on youth arts events and is an independent project by local partners:  Create Paisley; Erskine Music and Media Studio; Outspoken Arts Scotland, PACE, Renfrewshire Leisure and University of West of Scotland (UWS).

Youth Festiva Launch 21.8.19-4057

The festival will feature gaming, virtual reality, workshops for skills knowledge and pathways, podcasts, exhibitions, talent showcases, live music, open mic nights, parties and much more.  There are three strands to the programme: Kids (age 5-12 year olds); Teens (age 13-18) and Young Adults (18-25 year olds).  

Renfrewshire Leisure have programmed an evening of cool new bands and rising talent featuring: Man of Moon, Tiny Murder, Ghost Baby, Lunir + others.  Fresh from a summer tour, taking in Kelburn Garden Party, Belladrum, King Tut’s and the Outwith festival, the formidable Man of Moon bring their juggernaut of sound to Paisley. On the night they will be joined by up-and-coming Tiny Murder, who will bring their unique cinematic dream pop to the audience one of the most talented young groups to come from Renfrewshire, the unmissable Ghostbaby and electronic duo, Lunir.  Tickets available here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/man-of-mon-tiny-murder-ghostbaby-tickets-67009504231

Youth Festiva Launch 21.8.19-4057

Outspoken Arts Scotland’s programme for the festival will celebrate women in music with a full evening of folk, acoustic, singer-songwriters, unique and original talent at UWS.  The event will feature Paisley’s very own Carol Laula, who will perform with her band in this female-focused, variety-packed music extravaganza, presenting a full and fabulous set of her own whilst introducing some exciting women in music showcasing songs old and new. Featuring:  Jordan Stewart; Lisa Kowalski; Mandulu & Hephzibah; Marina Rolink; Erskine Music & Media; PACE Youth Theatre Choir + other acts tba. Book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/carol-laula-band-guests-celebrating-women-in-music-tickets-67457775021

 

PACE Rep Company present four shows:  Little Wings, fresh from Edinburgh Festival; The Diary of Anne Frank; Avalanche and Sad Eyes to Smile With by performance poet, Ink Asher Kemp.  PACE will also be running workshops in acting, directing and performing skills.  All events take place at The Wynd on School Wynd. Tickets available here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/pacetheatre

POP at The Piazza shopping mall in Paisley town centre will be the festival hub and will feature a variety of events including: a Retro Gaming Zone with a chance to play some of the classic platform games over each weekend;  The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging – a visual art installation by artist, Toby Messenger; a live Scottish video games podcast from The Nearly Men; an Open Mic Session by Erskine Music and Media Studio and a Zero Waste origami wallet/purse making workshop hosted by ReModeCreate Paisley will run a young creators relaunch party and art workshops for:  paper and ipad; poster printing and giant string arts.

Erskine Music and Media Studio will present: ‘Intro 2021‘- a compilation album featuring young up-and-coming artists aged between 12-25 from within Renfrewshire. The album will be launched at Comicrazy in Paisley with vinyl available to purchase at the event. This is a family-friendly free event celebrating the exciting local music scene in Renfrewshire.

University of West of Scotland’s Student Union in Storie Street will host their Freshers’ Finale UV Paint Party; The Big Quiz; A White T shirt party club night; a karaoke night; a ceilidh and whisky tasting and a silent disco.

The Fourth Wall is a virtual reality experience by John M Walter, part of 131st Annual Exhibition of Paisley Art Institute in the old Co-Op unit in The Piazza. 

Quotes from Erskine Music and Media Studio; UWS and Renfrewshire Leisure to follow. 

Youth Festiva Launch 21.8.19-4057

Steven Thomson, Creative Director, Outspoken Arts Scotland, commented: “The team at Outspoken Arts Scotland are absolutely delighted that Paisley Youth Arts Festival has truly emerged as a shining example of collaboration and partnership with other key youth organisations in the area and as a direct outcome of all of our efforts in the bid legacy from Paisley 2021 UK City of Culture.” 

For further information and to see the full programme: http://youthartsfestival.co.uk/

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:  @pyaf19

Open Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

Venues all over Renfrewshire are preparing to throw open their doors and invite people to delve deeper into their history.

Doors Open Days – Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates heritage and the built environment, old and new – takes place this weekend, Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September.

Open Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

More than 50 buildings across Renfrewshire – many of which do not normally allow access to what’s going on behind the scenes – will welcome people of all ages, and share interesting stories on Renfrewshire’s history and heritage.

Activities will take place in Paisley, Renfrew, Linwood, Johnstone, Lochwinnoch, Kilbarchan, Bridge of Weir, Houston, Erskine and Inchinnan.

New venues introduced across Renfrewshire this year include – Brediland Allotments, Grow in Glenburn, Fountain Gardens, PACE, Paisley Florist Society Gardening Club, Renfrewshire Witch Hunt Experience, Wellmeadow Bowling Club, Renfrew Association of Growers & Gardeners, Renfrew Police office, Renfrew North Parish Church and Johnstone Credit Union.

A group of intrepid individuals will also be going underground on a tour of Paisley’s medieval Abbey Drain. Places on this year’s tour were decided by a ballot.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Doors Open Day nationally, with more than 1000 buildings set to open across the country.

Open Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron will be visiting a few of the venues on Saturday.

Provost Cameron said: “Doors Open Days is a weekend full of learning and fun and it’s always great to see people of all ages taking part.

“To have more than 50 venues signed up to take part this year is fantastic, and I’m looking forward to hearing interesting stories about our history and heritage that will inform our future.

“Major events like this are great for the local economy as they get people out and about and spending money locally. I hope that people of all ages take time out this weekend to get involved.”

Doors Open Days is coordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust and is part of European Heritage Days supported by Historic Environment Scotland.

Visitors are being encouraged to share their Doors Open Days photos on social media using  #DODSCOT

A full list of venues can be viewed online at https://paisley.is/featured_event/renfrewshire-doors-open-days/

For a look forward to what’s coming up across Renfrewshire visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events or www.paisley.is

renfrewshire leisure guide

THERE’S something for everyone to enjoy between now and the end of the year in the new series of shows, performances and events being staged by Renfrewshire Leisure.

The latest free edition of The Guide – the indispensible almanac for lovers of music, theatre and all things entertainment locally – has just been published.

renfrewshire leisure guide

The booklet covers a veritable compendium of comedy, music, family events, thought-provoking theatre performances, dance, talks, film, panto and even Christmas Party nights.

Highlights of the coming months contained in The Guide include a host of events from the upcoming Paisley Youth Arts Festival and the annual Spree Festival.

Morag Macpherson, Renfrewshire Leisure’s Head of Cultural Services Renfrewshire Leisure said: “We have a brilliant independent, dynamic youth arts scene, so expect the best from Paisley’s inaugural Youth Arts Festival in September.

“Young people and their grown ups have some beautifully crafted theatre to look forward to, with Anonymouse and Eaten at Paisley Arts Centre, WhirlyGig, at Foxbar Community Centre, and Stick By Me at Johnstone Town Hall as just a few examples.

renfrewshire leisure guide

“People can experience the best in touring theatre, including Company Chordelia and Stellar Quines, and don’t miss contemporary dance piece The Box by Julia James-Griffiths.”

The Guide can be picked up from Paisley Arts Centre, Renfrew and Johnstone Town Halls and Linwood’s Tweedie Hall, or it can be downloaded from www.renfrewshireleisure.com .

To book any of the events featured in The Guide, log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/whats-on or call the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or visit Paisley Arts Centre, in New Street, Paisley.

Eaten by Mamoru Iriguchi
Independent Arts Projects presents
Eaten by Mamoru Iriguchi
The award-winning performance artist, Mamoru Iriguchi, is back out on tour this autumn with Eaten, a show for children aged 6yrs+ about food, eating and being eaten!
 
What if your food started talking back? Meet Lionel McLion. He’s just eaten a human called Mamoru. But Lionel hasn’t chewed his food well. So Mamoru’s alive and well in his stomach, and now wants to say hello. A strange friendship between the eater and the eaten starts to grow. Eaten invites children to the fascinating world of food chains and digestion. 
Eaten by Mamoru Iriguchi

“Whimsical hi-jinks” The Herald ★★★★ “Big Cuddly and Clever” The Times ★★★★ “Daringly inventive” The Stage ★★★★
 
Donning a lion costume, Mamoru simultaneously plays the roles of the eater (Lionel the lion who dreams of being a vegetarian) and the eaten (Mamoru the human who loves meat) resulting in a dialogue about food between the predator and his prey, locked in one body. 
 
With a surrealist and humorous storyline, Iriguchi, together with director Ivor MacAskill and co-performer Suzi Cunningham, invite children and grown-ups to the fascinating world around food: eating, being eaten, digesting, defecating and everything in-between and beyond, in nature and on our dining tables. Eaten encourages young audiences and adult audiences to carefully examine what they eat and re-think their relationship with food and nature. 
Paisley Arts Centre
Sun 15 Sep | 2pm | £4
BSL interpreted performance
Ope Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

Intrepid members of the public are being given the chance to experience a piece of medieval archaeology up close in celebration of Renfrewshire’s history and heritage.

Ope Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

To mark Doors Open Days 2019, experts from Guard Archaeology will lead guided tours of the historic Abbey Drain on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September.

Ope Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

The expedition down the drain follows on from the success of the tours as part of Doors Open Days 2018 – and as places on the tours will be in high demand, spaces will be allocated via a ballot.

The 100m long underground passageway, thought to be more than 700 years old, was unearthed in the 19th century and rediscovered in the 1990s.

This summer, an eight-week excavation – the Big Dig – unearthed a well-preserved 14th century archway marking where and how the drain met the River Cart, around three metres from the banks of the present-day river.

Archaeologists can now pinpoint the end of the drain and the boundary wall of the monastery, which informs what we already know about the infrastructure and layout of medieval Paisley.

The dig was managed by Renfrewshire Council, run by Guard Archaeology with help from Renfrewshire Local History Forum volunteers, and supported by funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “The Abbey Drain tour is a very exciting opportunity for anyone interested in Paisley’s architecture, archaeology and heritage to experience a medieval structure first-hand.

“I’ve been into the inner workings of the drain myself and it was a fascinating experience.

“There will be plenty going on all over Renfrewshire as part of Doors Open Days. I would encourage people of all ages to get out and about across the weekend and support local businesses while learning more about our heritage and culture.”

To be in with a chance of going down the drain, visit https://paisley.is/listing/win-a-tour-of-the-great-medieval-drain-in-paisleys-abbey-close/ and fill out the ballot form. The ballot will close on Friday 23 August.

Tours will run between 10am and 4.30pm on both Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September.

Participants must be aged 12 or above.

paisley haloween parade 2020
Renfrewshire community groups are being invited to take centre stage at Paisley’s Halloween Festival…by joining the spooktacular parade.

paisley haloween parade 2020

The award-winning festival – the biggest of its kind in Scotland and one of the UK’s must-see Halloween events – will take over Paisley town centre on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October.

The event – run by Renfrewshire Council – is being supported by EventScotland as part of their National Programme funding, which will allow an extended programme of outdoor performances.

Last year’s festival was the biggest yet – with 34,000 visitors to Paisley and worth more than £1.9m to the local economy.

paisley haloween parade 2020

This year’s event will have a theme of ‘dark circus’ – with the parade co-ordinated by internationally-acclaimed performance specialists Cirque Bijou, who want school and community groups to work with them in the run-up to the event and take part in the parade on the day.

They are looking for people to take part in carnival workshops and street theatre, dance and musical performances. Any interested groups should contact events@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Julian Bracey, artistic director of Cirque Bijou, said: “We are really excited to be part of this year’s celebrations. We have some amazing workshop leaders and are looking for local schools, groups and individuals to work with to make this years festival the spookiest yet.”

Louisa Mahon, Renfrewshire Council’s head of marketing, communications and events, said: “We are proud of how our Halloween Festival has grown to become the biggest of its kind in Scotland and an event with UK-wide profile.

“But we are also proud of the way it allows the many talented community and youth groups in Renfrewshire to work with and be inspired by artists of national standing. Our local groups will love working with the talented team at Cirque Bijou and help make this year’s parade as colourful and lively a spectacle as ever.”

The full programme for this year’s festival is currently being finalised and will be announced in August – along with changes to the event site for this year.

The Halloween Festival is one of the top dates within Renfrewshire’s major events programme, which brought 160,000 attendees and a £4.7m economic impact into the area in 2018 alone.

For more information on Halloween and all local events, see www.paisley.is

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.