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The Paisley Prince’s Trust Team is Recruiting

Starting in less than a month the Team programme is an action packed 12 weeks for young people to help build self-confidence and motivation.

Aimed at 16 – 25 year olds it could give you the direction you are looking for! Apply to our next Paisley Team: http://www.westcollegescotland.ac.uk/courses/course-directory/courses/princes-trust/princes-trust-team-programme

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Paisley marks Indian independence anniversary with stunning dance video

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has been boosted by a beautifully-made video showing Indian dancers performing against the backdrop of the town’s iconic landmarks.

stills from the video

The video stars dancers from Abhinaya Glasgow Dance Academy and was funded by a grant from the Renfrewshire, Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, created as part of the Paisley 2021 bid.

It has been released to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Indian independence (TUESDAY) which will see events taking place across the UK, India and beyond.

The film can be seen now via paisley2021.co.uk and on the 2021 social media channels.

The four-minute-long film – called The Longing – was shot earlier this summer and uses classical Indian dance to tell the story of ‘a beautiful girl’ Rada, who is waiting for her hero Kanan to return.

It is set in the grounds of Paisley’s 850-year-old Abbey, while dancers in traditional costume can be seen performing in front of local architectural treasures such as Paisley Town Hall, Anchor Mills and the cobbled streets of Oakshaw, while the Paisley Pattern also features.

Paisley is bidding to be UK City of Culture 2021 as part of a wider push to transform the town’s future using the power of its internationally-significant heritage and cultural story.

Earlier this month, the town was confirmed by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as the only Scottish place on the final shortlist – which also features Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.

And Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “We are thrilled to support this wonderful project through Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, created to help bring new talent to the area and boost our local creative scene.

“The diversity it shows will be central to our 2021 cultural programme, while the film also highlights the massive contribution the Indian diaspora make to the UK arts scene.

“Everything about the video is stunning – the choreography, direction, cinematography and costumes, and it shows Paisley, the Paisley Pattern, and our wonderful collection of historic buildings at its best.

“Of course Paisley and India are already linked – with our weavers having mastered the production of the original teardrop-motif Kashmiri shawls in the 19th century and created a fashion symbol which spread the Paisley name around the world.

“We are delighted to be celebrating those links for the 21st century through our digital channels, and to be making our own contribution to the 70th anniversary of Indian independence celebrations.”

The dancing was choreographed by Esther Sunija, artistic director of Abhinaya Dance Academy, who teaches Indian dance classes in the town.

Esther said: “With help from Paisley 2021, we wanted to showcase the important buildings of Paisley to people around the world.

“We used the Paisley Pattern onto the sarees and rangoli and also showed the beautiful venues of Paisley, especially the mill and riverside, to help us communicate the story behind the scene.

“The video also raises awareness of the South Asian classical dance of Bharatanatyam, which is part of one of the eight ancient dance forms in India.

“We found Paisley’s heritage buildings go well with Bharatanatyam and are delighted to highlight the diverse cultural influence of Paisley.”
Abhinaya’s classes are open to all will resume after the summer break starting next Monday, in the town’s Wynd Centre, from 6 until 8pm.

They feature two disciplines – Bharatanatyam – one of the most popular classical Indian dance forms, noted for its fixed upper torso, spectacular footwork and sophisticated vocabulary of hand and facial gestures, and Dancercise, which blends aerobics and dance moves with upbeat Bollywood music.

For more information on the bid, visit www.paisley2021.co.uk and for the classes, see www.abhinayaglasgow.org/paisley-2021

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Johnstone hots up as Fire Engine Rally returns to the town

Johnstone was alive to the sound of sirens at the weekend as the annual Fire Engine Rally returned to the town once again.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron joins in the fun

Thousands of people turned out across the day to see fire engines, past and present, showcased in the town centre.

Fire engines from throughout the years parade through Johnstone

15 emergency vehicles paraded from Johnstone Fire Station into Houston Square, where they remained for the afternoon, giving everyone the chance to climb on board and learn how they’ve advanced through the years.

A fireman of the future enjoys the falconry

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service undertook a variety of demonstrations throughout the day including cutting a trapped person out of a car and how to deal with a chip pan fire.

Scottish Fire and Rescue tackle a chip pan fire

The crowds were kept further entertained with music, face painting and falconry taking place all afternoon.

Youngster get to grips with the fire bell

The event was hosted by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Heritage Trust.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron was on hand to welcome everyone to the event on the day.

Provost Cameron said: “What a fantastic day in Johnstone town centre.

“It was great to see so many people visit to take in the parade of fire engines and then stay for an afternoon full of family activities.

“The Fire Service provided a terrific day of education and it’s an event that the whole community now looks forward to each year.

“Renfrewshire has a packed events schedule which continues for the rest of the year including the upcoming Spree Festival in October, so make sure you check out what’s on and come along if you can make it!”

For upcoming events in Renfrewshire visit www.paisley2021.co.uk/events or www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events.

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Paisley First Summer Festival of Fun continues this weekend at Johnston Street!

Paisley’s First’s Summer Festival of Fun brought a Frozen Singalong to the town centre last Saturday.

 

Kids of all ages were treated to an appearance by “Elsa” singing kids favourites such as Let it Go and For the First Time in Forever as well as a few other classic Disney hits.

Buddie the Paisley Lion led the dancing and both Buddie and Elsa posed for photographs with some young fans afterwards.

There was also an arts and craft session where kids of all ages were able to make their own musical inspired crafts..

Then it was time for a band showcase by indie pop outfit Twenty Four and then Chesko Gonzalezc, a Latin acoustic band.

The fun continues this Saturday, 12th August, when the Summer Festival moves to the town’s Johnston Street, off Causeyside Street.

Heat 3 of Paisley’s Got Talent will be taking place at Johnston Street starting at 1 pm. Who will be the last contestants to book their place in the Grand Final, and be in with a chance to win the £1,000.00 star prize?
Judges this week will include up-and-coming Paisley singer-songwriter Lisa Kowalski.

But before our Paisley’s Got Talent contest gets underway, Pirate Pete will kick off the fun at Johnston Street at 11.30am!

Plus there will be face painting, balloon modelling and goodies for the children!

It’s an event not to be missed so get along to Johnston Street this Saturday!

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Big run on entries to Paisley 10k race

A RECORD number of entrants will take part in this year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run.

last year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run

With just over a week to go until the popular event is held on Sunday, August 20, organisers Renfrewshire Leisure report that 2,944 people have already signed up to take part. There are 1869 racing in the 10k and 1075 taking part in the Fun Run.

At the same point last year, 2373 had signed up for the event, with 1596 for the 10k and 777 for the Fun Run.
And organisers are confident by the time race day comes along, there will well over 3000 people pounding the streets of Paisley town centre as there is still time to enter.

The Paisley 10k and Fun Run, which sets off shortly afterwards, is sponsored by sports and outdoors retailer, Decathlon and for the third year the official charity partner is Macmillan Cancer Support.

Many of the fun runners are being sponsored to raise much-needed funds for local charities, clubs and good causes with several entire football teams of youngsters taking part.

This year’s Paisley 10k race has £1200 of prize money and trophies up for grabs and for the fun runners, there are prizes for the first three boys and girls from primary and secondary schools over the finishing line.

You can register for the race by logging on to renfrewshireleisure.com or by telephoning 0300 300 1362 or picking up an entry form from any Renfrewshire Leisure venue.

The deadline for signing up is noon on Friday, August 18.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “If you’ll pardon the pun, we’ve had a fantastic run of entries to this year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run!

“The 10k has grown to become a popular race in the calendar of events for the more serious runners and more and more people are staying fit and healthy by training for the Fun Run.

“Even if people aren’t taking part – and there’s still time to enter – I’d encourage everyone to come down and support their families and friends who are running.

“It’s an exciting day out for everyone and as well as the races, there will be lots going on in the town for people of all ages to enjoy.”

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Short Courses at West College Scotland

We have some tasty short courses starting this September/October at our Paisley campus for just £35.

Visit www.westcollegescotland.ac.uk for further information and to apply. #goforit

 

Classic Cakes – £35

Starts: 10 Oct

 

Pasta & Risotto – £35

Starts: 3 Oct

 

Petits Fours – £35

Starts: 19 September

 

Sugar Work – £35

Starts: 26 September

 

*Every Tuesday, 5.30-8.30pm (3 weeks)

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Welcome to Paisley – Completed mural heralds new arrival at Gilmour Street

Paisley’s vibrant art scene has welcomed a new arrival to the town with the completion of a Paisley First mural inside the town’s main train station.

L-R – Artist Sandy Guy with Heather Collins, ScotRail Alliance’s Station Manager for Paisley, Paisley First Chairman Ian Henderson and artist Caroline Gormley

Paisley First, with the support of the Scotrail Alliance, commissioned local artist Caroline Gormley to produce an artwork for a wall on the corridor to Platforms 1 to 4 in Paisley Gilmour Street Railway Station.

Commuters and visitors to the town have been amazed as they watched the transformation during the summer as Caroline and co-artist Sandy Guy worked tirelessly on the wall.

The talented duo have painted iconic people, places and historic moments from the town’s past – everything from a mill girl, a burning witch and Gerry Rafferty to Fulton Mackay, the Russell Institute and the Hillman Imp car.

Braveheart William Wallace and Caroline’s previous Buddie artwork are also highlighted.

Paisley First Chairman Ian Henderson said: “More than four million passengers pass through Gilmour Street, the town’s largest railway station, every year.”

“Caroline and Sandy’s hard work has had visitors to the town captivated as they watched it develop day by day.”

“The finished work is amazing and it’s a great way to tell Paisley’s story while providing a warm Paisley welcome for people using the station from near and far.”

The project came to fruition thanks to the support of station managers, the ScotRail Alliance.

Heather Collins, the ScotRail Alliance’s Station Manager for Paisley, said: “The station team at Paisley, along with myself and all the train crews who pass through, love this mural.

“It brings Paisley’s heritage and famous residents to life and tells the town’s story to the many rail travellers who use the station every year. Well done to Caroline and Sandy.”

Artist Caroline Gormley, who completed the work with co-artist Sandy Guy, said: “First port of call is getting on the train that brings you to Gilmour Street station, the gateway to Paisley and its vibrant culture, which will definitely give you something to write home about.”

“It’s a celebration of Paisley people, their vision, enthusiasm, positivity, determination, humour and hard work.”

“Paisley wouldn’t have heritage if it wasn’t for the people of the town, this has been the case throughout our history and it continues today.”

“The use of the postcard was to add an element of humour, also the postcard may be seen as a thing of the past when it comes to communication but people have to look to their past in order to create a better, brighter future.”

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Lisa Kowalski to film first pop music video on the streets of Paisley

Local Buddies and organisations are being encouraged to take part in the filming of a music video in the town for an up and coming 17-year-old musician.

Lisa Kowalski has been awarded funding from Renfrewshire’s Culture Heritage and Events Fund to film a music video for the Paisley themed song “Hearts of Gold” which is about Lisa’s experience of busking on Paisley High Street since the age of 14. The catchy chorus describes how much she cherishes the support she has received from local people:

“And the streets are paved with hearts of gold,

As the people stop to listen and appreciate the stories that I’ve told

Through the lyrics and the melodies that have run through my head

As I take in this moment and think,

I don’t wanna be anywhere else”

Lisa said: “I love Hearts of Gold because it tells such a personal story and reflects how much I love Paisley. I wasn’t the happiest of 14 year olds and it gave me such a confidence boost to know people appreciated my music and that it could cheer up their Saturday morning for a while.

“As I have progressed on my musical journey, the support I have received from local people, businesses and the Paisley 2021 Campaign has been amazing. I want the video to show how grateful I am and what a great place Paisley is.”

The video will be filmed on the High Street and around some of Paisley’s landmarks, referencing the song’s mention of the town’s impressive architecture.  Lisa has also lined up St Mirren FC, not least their mascot the Paisley Panda, to get involved as the song also mentions football fans on their way to the game.

Steven Thomson, Creative Producer for Paisley 2021, said: “Paisley has always punched above its weight in terms of musical talent and it’s great to see this tradition continue with Lisa.

“She is a gifted musician and we are very happy to be in the position to work with her to achieve her dream through helping fund the creation of her first music video.”

Hearts of Gold is a track on Lisa’s recently released debut EP Free Spirits, which also received funding from Paisley 2021 and has enabled Lisa to represent the Paisley music scene on many radio stations, Live at Five on STV2, the Scottish Sun Live Sessions, music review sites and webzines and even in the magazine of the Scottish American foundation.  The title track Free Spirits has also been included in a UK-wide folk compilation album and the EP is available on Spotify, Itunes and Google Play.

Lisa is working on the video production with Create Paisley, the local youth arts organisation which has helped her in many ways since she started out. Filming will commence in the second half of September with a view to releasing the video at the end of October, allowing it to be used to promote the town and its music before the final decision is made about the City of Culture winner.

Alan Clark from Create Paisley said: ‘We’re thrilled to have been asked to work on this film with Lisa and in partnership with Paisley 2021. It’s been so great to work with Lisa over the last couple of years in our songwriting programmes, recording and events. At Create, we love creativity and are dedicated to empowering young people in Paisley to reach their potential. We’re excited that this project will both highlight the great talent that Lisa has but also showcase Paisley, our bid for city of culture and the thriving youth arts scene in the town.’

 

To express an interest in taking part in the video when filming commences on the High Street and to be part of a celebration of Paisley’s Hearts of Gold, please contact Lisa via her music page https://www.facebook.com/lisakowalskimusic/ or e mail lkowalskimusic@gmail.com.

 

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Exhibition of prisoner artwork helps weave new side to Paisley 2021 bid

Prisoners at one of Scotland’s jails have created an exhibition of creative artwork inspired by Paisley – now on display in the town’s museum.

artwork depicting Paolo Nutini and John Byrne, while

The exhibition – called Weave – opened this week and features paintings, creative writing, sculpture, textiles and song produced by inmates at HMP Low Moss.

Paisley Museum’s Georgia Edmondson poses in the gallery

The programme was run by the Learning Centre at the prison, who each year work with Glasgow School of Art on a residency aimed at helping the prisoners turn their lives around by using creativity to express themselves.

As many of HMP Low Moss’s inmates are from the Paisley area, this year’s event was themed around the town – with input from the team behind Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

It saw a series of workshops inspired by Paisley’s story, including a demonstration of traditional weaving skills, and a songwriting masterclass run by the University of the West of Scotland.

End products include striking paintings of famous Buddies Paolo Nutini and John Byrne, and artwork depicting local features such as Paisley Town Hall, the Paisley Pattern…and even the logo of the Paisley Pirates ice hockey team.

The free-to-visit exhibition was curated by staff at Paisley Museum – who also worked with the prisoners – and runs from this week until October.

The programme was run by Ruth Facchini, learning manager at HMP Low Moss, who said: “To make our society safer, it pays to channel offenders’ energies to positive ends, build their self-worth and help them learn new skills.

“The arts are an especially effective way of engaging with offenders who feel alienated from mainstream education and employment, and there is growing evidence they are effective in turning around offenders’ lives.

“I have already had amazing feedback from people who have viewed the exhibition and our guys who produced it could not be more thrilled to have their work recognised and appreciated.

“They feel valued and that they have contributed something really positive to their community.

“We in HMP Low Moss are firmly behind Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021. The town needs regeneration and an economic boost, and our learners – who know more than most about deprivation and lack of opportunity – recognise what a winning bid might bring to Paisley.”

Margaret Scott, Development Manager in the Paisley 2021 bid team, said: “We were delighted to be able to work with the staff and prisoners at HMP Low Moss on this hugely worthwhile project.

“We know involvement in culture makes people’s lives better – one of the key themes of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 is in making those benefits available to every segment of our community.

“This exhibition shows us putting that into practice – by reaching members of society most in need of a change of direction and, through the power of culture, helping equip them to do that.

“It’s also a great example of partnership in action – with staff from the Scottish Prison Service, the 2021 bid team, Renfrewshire Leisure and the prison charity the Koestler Trust – all playing a part.

“The quality of the artwork is fantastic and really tells the town’s story – I would encourage the public to get along and check out the exhibition for themselves.”

Paisley is bidding for the prestigious title as part of a wider push to transform the town’s future using the power of its internationally-significant heritage and cultural story.

Earlier this month, Paisley was confirmed by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as the only Scottish place on the final shortlist – which also features Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.

For more information, visit www.paisley2021.co.uk

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Excitement is hotting up in Johnstone ahead of Fire Engine Rally

The ever-popular Johnstone Fire Engine Rally is set to attract another huge crowd in the town centre when it returns on Saturday 12 August.

2016 rally

Fire engines from across the decades are set to parade from Johnstone Fire Station at 11:30am into the town centre, ending in Houston Square.

2016 rally

A day of family fun then commences which will give people the opportunity to discover a variety of emergency vehicles from throughout the years.

Falconry, a bouncy castle and face painting will ensure kids are entertained all afternoon with a music stage hosted by the Fire Service keeping up the excitement until 5pm.

The event is being hosted by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Heritage Trust.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will undertake a variety of dramatic demonstrations to give an insight to how they respond to emergencies.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron will be in attendance and will welcome all to the event.

Provost Cameron said: “The Fire Engine Rally has become an extremely popular event with the local community in Johnstone and I can’t wait to be a part of it.

“The chance to see the evolution of the vehicles and equipment which the fire service have used over the years is fascinating.

“The event provides just the right balance of providing an exciting day of fun for all the family as well as informing the public of important safety messages.

“It’s always fantastic to see the many hundreds of people who descend on Johnstone to be a part of the day and I’d encourage everyone to bring their friends, families, children and even their pets along to join me.”

For further information visit www.paisley2021.co.uk/events