Welcome to www.islandofculture.im

2014 is the year in which we celebrate our Island of Culture through dance, music, theatre, the visual arts and literature, cultural festivals, film and digital innovation, and leave a lasting legacy for creativity and the arts in the Isle of Man.

island of culture 2014

Our Aims

The Isle of Man is rich in culture and our goal is to celebrate that culture and provide opportunities for everyone to engage, participate and enjoy.

Specifically, the aims of Island of Culture are:

  1. To celebrate the vibrant artistic community in the Isle of Man
  2. To engage the local community in culture and the arts
  3. To include a specific cultural programme for young people
  4. To promote national identity and raise the profile of the Isle of Man in a positive manner both locally and internationally
  5. To provide a beneficial economic impact through arts and culture
  6. To recognise significant anniversaries in 2014, such as the 150th anniversary of the birth of Archibald Knox and the centenary of World War I

The Empress Hotel: Island of Culture ‘HQ’

If there is one place that Island of Culture 2014 can rightly describe as ‘home’ throughout the year of celebrations, it’s the Empress Hotel. An Island of Culture financial partner, the Empress has played a central role throughout 2014, serving as ‘Island of Culture HQ’, green room, impromptu office and also ‘home’ for many visiting artists and directors, not least those involved in the epic Manx Passion production. isle of man The hotel’s general manager Brian Keenan (pictured below right) has been a constant throughout the year, welcoming cast and crew members, musicians, directors and VIP guests and overseeing the high standard of hospitality for which the Empress has long been recognised. He said: ‘As a Manxman and keen theatre-goer it’s been a delight to have been so closely involved with Island of Culture from day one. For the Empress to have been part of what’s been a runaway success has been a genuine privilege. ‘Island of Culture has done much to promote the Island in a positive light beyond these shores; it’s an approach that mirrors what we do at the Empress and it was for that reason we have been pleased to contribute to the celebrations as financial partner.’ Island of Culture events director Michael Lees (pictured) said: ‘This year has been a triumph, but it’s not been without its challenges and trials. On the good days, and even on the not-so-good days, all of us - cast members especially - valued the opportunity to be able to retreat to the Empress and discuss the day’s events in calm and comfortable surroundings. And of course the hotel’s also been the setting for much celebration. ‘As with Island of Culture, the Empress is all about creating a memorable experience. Brian and his team have been unfailingly supportive throughout the year and the Empress has fulfilled its role as financial partner magnificently.’

Island of Culture to hold concert of thanksgiving December 16th

The gift of artistic talent, the richness of the Island’s cultural life and Island of Culture 2014 are all to be celebrated in a concert of thanksgiving and Christmas music and song at the Church of St Mary of the Isle, Hill Street, Douglas on Tuesday December 16th. The concert, which is free, will start at 7.30pm and is expected to last about one hour, after which hot drinks and mince pies will be served. Island of Culture 2014 events director Michael Lees said: ‘The concert and service, which will be led by Bishop Robert Paterson and Canon Philip Gillespie, will be a very relaxed occasion with Christmas carols and performances by a number of artists, some of whom have contributed to our year of celebrations, together with the choir of St Mary of the Isle. ‘After what has been a truly spectacular year it seems only fitting that it be marked by a special evening when we not only give thanks for the wealth of cultural entertainment 2014 has brought us but also share in the joy of Christmas with others.'

More about the events we orginize can be found in our events page.

An Image a Day – the final hours.

On December 22nd 2014 artist Juan Moore looked back - and forwards - over a year in images captured for Island of Culture. ‘Looking back at the start of the project I think I was incredibly naive about how big it would be. The project has been extremely demanding but also really rewarding. I've had the opportunity to work across many mediums and explore a number of themes, which is always good fun. In terms of thinking of an image to create every day I've only really stumbled a couple of times. At the end of January I had a couple of days where I really found it hard to come up with anything, though I did in the end, and then there was a brief spate around TT week when I wanted to do images that were bike themed without actually doing images of bikes. ‘The long duration of the project, a whole year, has made the process of creating an artwork every day into sort of a habit; it's become something I just do every day now. And it's been nice that I can explore whatever medium I'm in the mood for, be it acrylic paint, print making, digital or drawing. People ask me how far ahead I work. To be honest, not very, usually only a day ahead. So as of now I still have no idea what the final image will be. ‘Part of the project meant travelling round all the island's high schools and producing an artwork in front of the students. ‘The thing I've enjoyed the most about the project is the amount of exposure it has gotten; it's not just the Manx public that have viewed the daily artwork, but people from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Malta, Bulgaria - all over the world, really. I've even had views from far-flung islands in the South Pacific and Mongolia. The blog averages around 100 to 200 views per day with a current total of around 40k views. ‘I think I'm too close to the project to decide how I feel about it and I have no idea what I might do when the project ends on December 31st, except sleep in the following day. I don't know what the Arts Council plans to do with artwork after the project is over. I've heard plans ranging from an exhibition to a book; I guess we'll see in 2015. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Island of Culture team, the Arts Council for funding the project and to everyone who has viewed the blog throughout the year. It's been a full-on year for the island in terms of creativity and I hope 2015 will be equally as amazing.’

Chapter one of Island of Culture ‘story to the world’ concludes

Island of Culture events director Michael Lees has said the Isle of Man is a ‘true cultural powerhouse’. Mr Lees was speaking at a reception to mark the conclusion of a year of Island-wide cultural celebrations. More than 80 guests, including His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor Mr Adam Wood, the President of Tynwald and Island of Culture co-patron the Hon Clare Christian, the Isle of Man Arts Council chairman Geoff Corkish MBE MLC, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Douglas, Councillor Stan Cain and Mrs Sheila Cain, gathered in the Empress Hotel on January 6, a year to the day since Island of Culture was launched, to hear Mr Lees, (pictured left) declare ‘What a year and what a story it [Island of Culture] has been.’ Our Youth Arts Centre. 2014 had been, he said ‘a wonderful year for the arts in the Isle of Man’, a sentiment echoed by Madam President who spoke of how Island of Culture had provided ‘varied and exciting’ offerings, encouraged creativity and opened people’s eyes ‘to the richness of the Island’s cultural canvas.’ isle of man 2 For Mr Corkish, (pictured right) 2014 had been ‘a vibrant year of celebrations’ that had ‘gained new converts’ to the arts, ‘spawned’ new cultural events, left a lasting legacy and would contribute to shaping the Arts Council’s future strategy. Mr Lees also observed how communities across the Island had come together ‘to celebrate and interpret in their own creative ways, elements of our cultural life’ and how schools had embraced Island of Culture with enthusiasm and imagination. Youth cultural ambassadors Jason Evans, Davy Knowles and Lloyd Mayor were praised by all three speakers for taking time out of their busy schedules to return home during the year and share their talent and skills in concerts and workshops. Their contribution, said Mr Lees, would leave ‘a legacy of incalculable worth’. The ‘epic’ scale of the celebrations would never have been possible without the support of the Island of Culture financial partners - the Isle of Man Arts Council; Culture Vannin, the Empress Hotel, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Mannin Printing, Manx Radio, Manx Telecom, SES and Zurich - agreed Madam President, Mr Corkish and Mr Lees, and in recognition of their contribution a representative from each organisation was presented with a specially commissioned etched trophy crafted from Pooil Vaaish stone. Island of Culture had 'opened people’s eyes to the richness of the Island’s cultural canvas.’ President of Tynwald, the Hon Clare Christian Concluding Mr Lees said that Island of Culture had left ‘a tangible legacy’ – a substantial bursary fund that would ‘help set young Manx artists on new and exciting career pathways so that they, too, in years to come, might add new chapters to the story we tell to the world.’

British All Winners play festival (Jul20-Jul20)

The news page for additional articles.

41st British All Winners Festival of Plays National Drama Festivals Association hosted by Manx Amateur Drama Federation. Sunday 20th July – Saturday 26th July Youth section, 1 Act adult and Full length plays. 7.30pm every night Except Sunday @ 7.00pm Adjudication each evening by Jan Palmer Sayer GoDA Sunday 20th July YOUTH ENTRIES... 1st. Isle of Man 1 Act Festival Youth: Stage One Drama “Chat Room” by Enda Walsh.....NB.Strong Language 2nd. Woking Festival: Brooklands College, Surrey “Footfalls”by Samuel Beckett 3rd. Guernsey Festival: SWATS “Its Not You, Its Me” by Don Zolidis Monday 21st July FULL LENGTH PLAYS... Wakefield Full Length Festival: Wakefield Little Theatre “An Inspector Calls” by J.B Priestley Tuesday 22nd July ADULT ONE ACT PLAYS... 1st. Anglesey Festival: Offshoots North Wales “After the Flags and Bands” by Allan Williams 2nd. Waltham Forest Festival: Woodhouse Players ,Chingford, Essex “Hamlet Part 11” by Perry Pontac 3rd. Lighthorne Festival 2013 Caramba Theatre Co.Warwickshire “Chinamen” by Michael Frayn Wednesday 23rd July... 1st. Lighthorne Festival 2014 Lighthorne Drama Group Warwickshire; Tell Me Another Story, Sing Me a Song; by Jean Lenox Toddie... 2nd. Elmbridge Festival: Mole Valley Scriptwriters Group,Surrey. “Satin Doll” by Tony Earnshaw... 3rd. FEATS Semi-Circle Basel, Switzerland “The Extraordinary Revelations of Orca the Goldfish” by David Tristram (Runners Up)... Thursday 24th July... 1st. Isle of Man 1 Act Festival : Legion Players “Playing with Daisy” by Eleanor Fossey 2nd. Cambridge Festival: Clavering Players “Goldfish Girl” by Peter Souter 3rd. Woking Festival : Runnymede Drama Group ,Surrey “Riverside Drive” by Woody Allen Friday 25th July... Friday 25th July2014 Isle of Man Easter Festival: White Cobra Productions, Northampton “Days of Wine & Roses” by JP Miller, adapted by Owen McCafferty Saturday 26th July Saturday 26 July 2014 Members of the Manx Amateur Drama Federation present a rehearsed reading of the George Taylor Memorial Award “Delivered” by Jane Fookes (An original unpublished play ) Followed by Awards Presentation

Liverpool Cathedral Choir concert (Jul25-Jul25)

The Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral choir is to give a 1pm lunchtime concert at St Mary’s on the Harbour, Castletown, sung by the boy choristers under the direction of the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral’s musical director Dr Christopher McElroy and accompanied by organ scholar Charlotte Rowan. The programme will include Frank’s Panis Angelicus, Bach’s, Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring and several pieces by Benjamin Britten. Tickets free and a retiring collection will be held.

The Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral choir will give a concert in Peel Cathedral starting at 7pm, sung by the boy choristers and lay clerks, directed by Dr McElroy and accompanied on the organ by Richard Lea. The programme will include works by Bach, Frank, Grieg, Handel and Tallis. Tickets free and a retiring collection will be made.

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral choir will sing William Byrd’s Mass for four voices alongside motets by Vaughan Williams and Tallis on Sunday July 27th at 11am at St Mary of the Isle, Douglas. The choir's musical director Dr Christopher McElroy is pictured. A retiring collection will be made.

A Floral Art Exhibition by FLOREAT DESIGN GROUP Held at St John’s Methodist Church Hall and Church.

Organ Recital Saturday 13th September at 3pm Roger Fisher at St Paul’s Church, Ramsey

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