SANTA PAISLEY

It’s his busiest time of year, so no wonder Santa Claus was spotted getting ship shape for Paisley’s Christmas Lights Switch-On.

SANTA PAISLEY

The big man checked out the Abbey and Town Hall ahead of the event this Saturday, 17 November, in Paisley town centre.

Santa himself needs to look his best and so his famous white beard was given a timely trim, and he popped into Houston Kiltmakers in Paisley for a new belt.

SANTA PAISLEY

He also found time to enjoy a mince pie and catch up on local news ahead of the festive cracker, as well as indulging in a bit of his own Christmas shopping.

His reindeer weren’t forgotten as he stocked up on armfuls of carrots for his faithful friends. They will take part in a glittering parade along with hundreds of tinsel-clad youngsters and of course, Santa Claus himself, which will wind through the town from 1.30 – 2.15pm.

SANTA PAISLEY

There will be activities galore for children and families from 12pm, including a funfair and storytelling igloo, with Santa’s Grotto, face painting and Christmas crafts in the Paisley Centre and a dedicated Kids Zone in Paisley Town Hall.

SANTA PAISLEY

For anyone with a sweet tooth who is aged five and upwards, Lime Tree Larder’s free chocolate making workshops are a must. Have a go at making your very own chocolate Dasher, Dancer, Prancer or Vixen and book ahead to secure your place. A food marquee on the grass at Paisley Abbey will ensure nobody goes hungry, with sweet treats provided by Ta Ta Bella’s.

Christmas shopping is covered too, with the town centre shops open for business. The Urban Market will be at Paisley Abbey for the very first time and head there for original gifts and creative crafts from some of the best artists and makers in Scotland.

There is entertainment from Capital FM DJs Des Clarke, Steven Hill and Garry Spence, who will be on the main stage with music and chat from 1pm.

There will also be performances from family favourites Funbox, while the Princesses of Pop will pay tribute to the music of Ariana Grande and Little Mix.

X-Factor stars The Cutkelvins will play in front of a crowd of thousands before Provost Lorraine Cameron carries out the big switch on at 6pm. She will be assisted by 11-yearold Skye Thomson, from Paisley’s Heriot Primary School, who won the annual Christmas card design competition.

There is also a specially designed ‘Sensory Safe Space’ in the Town Hall for those with additional support needs and their carers, with sensory arts and crafts, musical instruments and lighting, as well as gentle music and soft seating, from 1pm. The  45 minute sessions are bookable via Eventbrite.

The Sma’ Shot cottage complex which showcases Paisley’s weaving heritage will also be open to visitors on the day from 12 till 4pm.

The winter event thrills will also extend across Renfrewshire with Christmas Lights Switch-Ons in Renfrew on Saturday, 24 November and Johnstone on Saturday, 1 December.

Paisley First’s WinterFest also opens in the town centre on 24 November and runs daily until December 30 except for Christmas Day.

For full details and timings on the Christmas Light Switch-On please visit: https://paisley.is/featured_event/paisley-christmas-lights-switch-on/

To book a space in a sensory safe space session please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/paisley-christmas-lights-switch-on-sensory-safe-space-tickets-52264005046

Provost Cameron with all sponsors

The stars in Renfrewshire’s communities are set to be honoured once again this year and the long-standing sponsors of the awards have shown their support once more.

Provost Cameron with all sponsors

Glasgow Airport Ltd, ACRE Industiral, UNISON Renfrewshire and the Piazza Shopping Centre have committed yet again to sponsoring one of the awards which aims to recognise the unsung heroes of Renfrewshire.

Provost Cameron

Nominations for the 2019 awards are now open and will see six individuals or groups celebrated for their hard work and dedication within Renfrewshire.

Anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire is invited to nominate in any of the following categories:

  • Community Volunteer (sponsored by Glasgow Airport Ltd)
  • Community Group (sponsored by the Piazza Shopping Centre)
  • Sporting Achievement (sponsored by ACRE Industrial)
  • Employee of the Year (sponsored by UNISON Renfrewshire)
  • Carers Award (sponsored by former Provost Nancy Allison)
  • Arts and Culture Award (sponsored by Renfrewshire Council)

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “We’re delighted to have the continued support of our sponsors who make it possible for me to honour some of the amazing people in our communities.

“It’s a fantastic part of my role being able to reward the inspiring people we see nominated every year and I can’t wait to see who is put forward this year.

“Please don’t miss the chance to give that person or group the recognition they deserve and get your nominations in now.”

The deadline for entries to all categories is Wednesday 12 December.

The Provost will be joined by the award sponsors and other local elected members to choose the winners who will be invited, along with their nominator, to the awards ceremony on Friday 15 March 2019 and the Lynnhurst Hotel in Johnstone.

For more information, and to submit your nomination, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostawards2019, email provostawards@renfrewshire.gov.uk or call 0141 618 7102.

Paisley Fireworks 2016 MFG

Paisley is set for a special 90s themed fireworks spectacular as the town’s annual display takes place on Saturday 3 November.

Paisley Fireworks 2016 MFG

Thousands are expected to turn out and see the skies above Paisley Abbey light up – and this year’s dazzling fireworks display will be backed by a soundtrack of popular hits from the 1990s.

The display will burst into life from 7pm with organisers recommending Bridge Street, Dunn Square and Gauze Street (section from Smithhills Street to Silk Street) as viewing points.

The funs starts in Paisley Town Hall from 2pm, with a series of free family activities throughout the afternoon – including activity workshops, animation sessions, face painting and a floor paint zone. There’s also the chance to meet cartoon character favourites with Pikachu, Minions, Superman, Batgirl, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell mascots all in attendance.

The 90s themed fun continues with iconic arcade games on the ground floor and a ‘silent disco’ – back by popular demand – for music fans of all ages.

There will also be a host of activity in the town’s County Square with fantastic funfair rides from 2pm.

Capital FM presenters Fat Brestovca and Des Clarke will take to the balcony of Paisley Town Hall for a two-hour live DJ set packed with 90s classics from 5pm before the stunning fireworks display lights up the sky above the Abbey.

Paisley’s winter events programme will continue with the town’s Christmas Lights Switch-On two weeks later, on Saturday 17 November. The festive cracker will feature entertainment from Capital FM and performances from family favourites Funbox, Princesses of Pop and X-Factor stars The Cutkelvins, as well as the famous Reindeer Parade with Santa and much more.

The winter event thrills will also extend across Renfrewshire with Christmas Lights Switch-Ons in Renfrew on Saturday, 24 November and Johnstone on Saturday, 1 December.

For more information about Paisley Fireworks Spectacular, visit https://paisley.is/featured_event/paisley-fireworks-spectacular/

Paisley_Museum_Exterior_2

A Dutch based company has been awarded the £1m contract to redesign the exhibitions for the Paisley Museum Reimagined project.

Paisley_Museum_Exterior_2
OPERA Amsterdam will create the interior displays housing the museum’s internationally renowned collections as part of a major refurbishment and extension.

The museum is the signature project of Paisley’s heritage led regeneration strategy and is part of an £100m investment by Renfrewshire Council to transform town centre venues and cultural infrastructure over the next four years.

Opera
Award winning firm AL_A have already been appointed as architects for the ambitious £42m plans to transform it into an international-class destination.  Work at the A-listed building due to start in early winter this year, with an estimated completion date of late autumn 2022.

OPERA’S co-director Jo Pike says that the firm, which has worked with prestigious venues across the globe, including Kensington Palace and the British Museum in London, is excited about the ‘radical’ brief.

OPERA & Studio Louter
It will work in close cooperation with another Dutch based company, Studio Louter, and Jo, who heads OPERA with co-director Jeroen Luttikhuis, said: “There is so much here that really excited us, including the town’s rich history and heritage. The Museum Team have asked us to be bold, radical and ambitious in our approach to achieve something different.

“We are excited to work with the collection as it is very eclectic, from archaeology to textiles, to scientific instruments.”

More than double the number of objects previously displayed will go on show in 2022 with the opportunity to display parts of the collection never seen before.

The museum has the largest known global collection of Paisley shawls and also has art works by the Glasgow Boys, Scottish Colourists, John Byrne and other key 20th century artists.

Jo says that her first visit to the town and museum was inspiring and says the community will also be involved in the project.

She said: “Paisley Museum Reimagined is about co-production, it’s a museum of the community and we are going to be working with them and hearing their stories and ideas because who better an expert than the people who’ve lived and worked here and have donated objects?

“That will inform a lot of how we approach the project and help formulate our ideas and designs.”
Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, which operates the museum, said: “We are delighted to welcome on board an exhibition collection design team of such calibre as OPERA.

“Renfrewshire’s heritage and collections are globally significant and we want Paisley Museum to reflect the town’s bold and radical past as well as inspire future generations and be a valuable educational resource for our young people.

“It is the centrepiece of the work to transform the area’s fortunes by harnessing our unique cultural heritage to make us a destination and help quadruple museum visitor numbers to 125,000 annually.”
The £100m investment in Paisley town centre also includes projects to transform the interiors of Paisley Town Hall and Arts Centre into 21st-century venues, a new learning and cultural hub on the High Street, new sporting facilities and events space at St James Playing Fields, and major investment in outdoor spaces and the town’s transport links.

The museum project is also being funded by The National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

paisley fireworks

Get set to relive all the classics at Paisley’s Fireworks Spectacular on Saturday 3 November – this year with a 90s theme!

paisley fireworks

Remember, remember, activities will get underway from 2pm with plenty on offer for kids and families. Take a funfair ride at County Square (open 2pm – 8.15pm), play some iconic 90s arcade games, have your face painted or relearn the moves to Whigfield’s Saturday Night at Paisley Town Hall’s Silent Disco – back by popular demand!

We’ve also got workshops galore for kids, including a floor paint zone for wee ones, ‘I Love the 90’s’ lollipop making and animation sessions. All activity workshops are free, simply drop in to Paisley Town Hall to take part from 2pm – 6.15pm.

Capital FM presenters Fat Brestovca and Des Clarke will then take to the balcony of Paisley Town Hall for a 2-hour live DJ set from 5pm packed with hits before the spectacular fireworks display lights up the sky above Paisley Abbey at 7pm.

YoYP Champion Cllr Michelle Campbell with young people involved in the Halloween Festival

From soaring through the air as part of a witches aerial performance, creating spooky parade floats and working behind the scenes, more than 700 young people are at the centre of Paisley’s Halloween Festival.

YoYP Champion Cllr Michelle Campbell with young people involved in the Halloween Festival

Renfrewshire’s Year of Young People Champion, Councillor Michelle Campbell, met with some of the volunteers, mentees and Youth Panel members as the town gears up to welcome up to 30,000 visitors to the annual extravaganza this weekend, which is supported by the Year of Young People 2018.

Leading creative companies aerial dance outfit All or Nothing, parade specialists Bridgeman Arts and pyro experts 21cc, have been working with local young people, while a 20-strong Youth Panel has been helping to create the event in tandem with Renfrewshire Council’s dedicated Events Team.

There have been 1,200 creative learning opportunities offered by the spectacle, which is supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Young people have attended masterclasses and workshops and are involved in every aspect, from performance to live event management and technical production.

Around 500 young people will also take part in a Mardi-Gras style parade this Saturday, which will start winding its way through the town centre at 6pm, passing lighting installations and haunting soundscapes along the way.

There will be a series of three separate aerial performances with flying witches suspended 120 feet above the Town Hall from 7pm onwards, making sure no one misses the spectacle.

Year of Young People Champion, Councillor Michelle Campbell said: “Young people are at the very heart of this event and it’s been great to hear about all the different opportunities and experiences they’ve been able to access through taking part.

“As co-creators of the festival, they’ve been able to have their say on every aspect of the event, from the design through to the actual technical production.

“They’ve also been able to develop and showcase their skills through performing or behind the scenes work, and it’s been great to hear how the experience is helping to set many of them on the path to pursue related careers.

“The creative learning programme will help those who would like to become involved professionally in organising large-scale future events like this weekend’s festival.

“It’s also been wonderful to hear how many of the young people are also using the opportunity to be involved towards earning volunteer awards like the Saltire Awards and the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.”

“Renfrewshire’s young people are very impressive and have blossomed being part of this event.”

Some of those taking part will also receive a special legacy ‘Spirit of Halloween’ award at Renfrewshire Council youth services’ Positive about Youth Awards in December.

Patrick Docherty, 16, is taking part in the aerial display and said: “It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve had the opportunity to do things I would never have thought of.

“It’s good to be challenged and learning new skills has made me feel more confident. I’ve also made lots of new friends.”

There will be a packed programme of free family fun in the lead up to the parade, including themed workshops, a live stage and a funfair.

The full programme for the Paisley Halloween Festival 2018 is available at: https://paisley.is/featured_event/paisley-halloween-festival-2018/

Paul Simon’s Graceland was performed in full by The London African Gospel Choir which has been critically acclaimed across the country.

This uplifting and amazing show has sold out venues and receives rave reviews from audiences.

Thirty years after its release, the Choir performed their own powerful twist on Paul Simon’s album, delivering from start to finish. The richness and harmony of the Choir’s rhythmic, evocative and empowering, voices created an overwhelming musical event, for anyone lucky enough to experience this special performance. Performed on Saturday night in front of a packed audience at Paisley Town Hall.

Photographs kindly taken by David Cameron, you can find more of his photographs here.

martha and the vandellas

Photographs of Martha & The Vandellas at the Paisley Town Hall October 20th 2018 The Spree.

martha and the vandellas

All photographs courtesy of David Cameron, you can visit his Flickr Page for lots more Paisley photographs here.

 

Switching on the Christmas lights is a dream come true, and this year it will be a reality for three lucky school pupils!

Aleena Albin from St Peter’s Primary School was one of the lucky winners last year, and helped Provost Lorraine Cameron switch on the Paisley Christmas lights.

Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron, is once again inviting children of primary school age to design a Christmas card for 2018. Three winners will be selected with each winner having the chance to push the button to light up either Paisley, Johnstone or Renfrew.

The winning designs will also be printed as Provost Cameron’s official Christmas cards and sent out all over the world.

Provost Cameron said: “Thousands of people come to watch the Christmas lights being switched on and I need someone to help me with this really important job. I loved seeing your designs last year and I can’t wait to see what Renfrewshire can create this year.”

Entries must be received by Monday 29 October and can be handed into primary schools or posted to Christmas Card Competition, Member Services, Renfrewshire Council, Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley, PA1 1WD.

theatre in truck

Paisley’s flagship annual cultural extravaganza The Spree gets under way today….helped by National Theatre of Scotland offering a truckload of chances to see the area as never before.

The seventh year of the Spree (12 to 21 Oct) sees 87 shows in 17 venues in five towns around Renfrewshire over ten days – with music, comedy, theatre and much more.

theatre in truck

Big-name headliners include Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi in conversation about his legendary career (Fri 12 Oct) and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and the London African Gospel Choir performing Graceland (Sat 20 Oct), both at Paisley Town Hall.

The iconic Spiegeltent in County Square will host musical acts The Orb (Mon 15th), Traceyanne and Danny and The Pastels (Sat 13th), ex-Kraftwerk man Wolfgang Flur (Sat 13th), The Wandering Hearts (Sun 14th), Vieux Farke Toure (Tues 16th), The Leisure Society and Duke Special (Weds 17th), Big Minds (Thurs 18th), and Gang of Four (Fri 19th).

The festival also includes Rimini Protokoll and National Theatre of Scotland’s Do’s and Don’ts (12-14 and 16-21 Oct) – offering a unique experience touring the area in a mobile auditorium inside a remodelled truck, backed by the soundtrack of a local choir.

The show is presented by award-winning German documentary theatre specialists Rimini Protokoll and is part of NTS’s Futureproof festival, marking Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, and some of the young cast were on hand to help launch the festival yesterday outside Paisley Town Hall.

Other Spree highlights over the next 10 days include a sold-out comedy show with Des Clarke and Janey Godley (Spiegeltent Fri 12th), Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert (Paisley Arts Centre, Sat 20th), the ModStuff festival-within-a-festival (Spiegeltent, Sat 20th) plus a visit from The National Whiskey Festival (Paisley Town Hall, Sat 13th).

Do’s and Don’ts is part of The Wee Spree programme over the October school holiday – with a list of (mostly free) shows for kids offering everything from comedy to ceilidhs, plus video game design, circus skills workshops and a dancealong to The Greatest Showman.

There’s also the Spree for All fringe festival, which includes the daily Danny Kyle Stage for unsigned acts in the Old Swan Inn, and taking top local musical talent to venues in Johnstone, Renfrew, Linwood and Lochwinnoch, as well as the pubs and clubs of Paisley town centre.

The Spree is run by Renfrewshire Council as part of a major events programme also including Paisley Halloween Festival (Sat 27 Oct) – listed as one of the top Halloween events in the UK.

The council’s head of communications, marketing and events Louisa Mahon said: “This year’s Spree will be the biggest and best yet as our events continue to grow and attract more visitors to the area.

“The bill has something for everyone – from world-renowned musical talent to a diverse programme for kids of all ages, to some of the best local acts at a venue near you.

“We are also delighted to building partnerships with organisations such as National Theatre of Scotland and bringing some of the country’s finest performers to the town is helping cement Paisley’s place as one of Scotland’s go-to cultural destinations.”

Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland, said: “DO’S & DON’TS has been co-created by the young people of Paisley as part of our Futureproof festival, marking the Year of Young People 2018, and I am delighted that it is part of the Spree programme.

“It was important to the National Theatre of Scotland that, as part of Futureproof, we had the opportunity to work with the Paisley 2021 Legacy team, and we are incredibly grateful to our partners Renfrewshire Council and Renfrewshire Leisure for making this uniquely special co-production possible.”

For tickets and full line-up info, see thespree.co.uk and nationaltheatrescotland.com/futureproof