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Islay Book Festival 2017 with a Great Programme

This autumn, from 29 September to 1 October, Islay Book Festival is aiming to kick-start its second decade in a big way. Its enthusiastic team of volunteers is planning a lively programme of events aimed at increased variety, engagement, and especially fun!

Islay Book Festival first grew out of a book club based in the village of Port Ellen, hosting its first festival in 2006. Islay has since held ten successful festivals in Port Ellen and has hosted a range of famous authors including Val McDermid, Ruth Rendell, Ali Smith, Julia Donaldson, Iain Banks, Chris Brookmyre and Mairi Hedderwick.

In those first ten years, Islay Book Festival firmly established its presence on Islay’s busy events calendar and has also become a feature of the UK’s annual book festival circuit, and it has become a particularly popular festival for authors. Who wouldn’t want a trip to Islay, after all? Continue reading....

The Queen’s Baton Relay on Islay

The Queen's Baton Relay is in Scotland from 22-26 August 2017! Various events are planned as the Baton tours the country on its journey around the Commonwealth to the Gold Coast Games in April 2018 in Australia.

The baton, with a team of twelve accompanying it, arrived yesterday on the morning plane and made its way to Bowmore Primary School to meet pupils from all the primary schools. It then made its way, via Bowmore Distillery, to the Square, in glorious weather conditions, allowing an opportunity for the public to see and photograph the baton. After a trip to ICCI, the baton made its way back to the plane in the early afternoon to continue its journey through Scotland and other parts of the world.

Below a very nice video which was shot during the festivities yesterday.

Tag: queens baton relay qbr common wealth bowmore

Ann Vastano Exhibition in Gaelic Centre

Ann Vastano is a Scottish Highland Artist living and working in the Highlands, based in Aviemore, probably best known for her artworks which hang in the Scottish Parliament.

Originally born in Bowmore, her family have enjoyed regular return trips to Islay. Last year Ann decided she would really like to hold an exhibition of art works reflecting a re-engagement with the land and seascapes of the isle, and is delighted that the exhibition has now come to fruition.

It opened earlier this month at the Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle. Ann has created an island portfolio of her trademark colourful paintings with the key theme being incorporation of Islay Gaelic. She has also created an exclusive Islay Gaelic calendar – Mìosachan ìle 2108 which showcases the work of the exhibition – and is available to purchase at the Gaelic Centre. A percentage of the sales of this calendar will be donated to the Islay and Jura Sick Children’s Fund.

Ann is very grateful to have received some sponsorship from Caledonian MacBrayne and also New Concept who recently completed work on Bowmore’s brand new eatery, “Peatzeria”. The exhibition runs until the end of September.

Tag: exhibition icci

New Autumn Whisky Festival on Islay

Islay has a new whisky festival in the autumn, 23-27 October 2017, and it's called Theatre of Drams. It has an entirely different concept from the spring festival as Theatre of Drams has a more educational focus. Theatre of Drams is an expansion and development of the hugely successful Whisky Course Islay hosted by Whisky for Girls (& Guys!) and participating Islay distilleries in 2015 and 2016.

Theatre of Drams Whisky Symposium/Festival offers educational and fun benefits for beginners, experts and enthusiasts alike. You can participate in a barley seminar with Islay farmers and Dr Steve Hoad of the Scottish Rural Colleges Agronomy Institute or learn secrets of Copper and stills from Speyside Copperworks. Explore the mysteries of peat, peated whisky and phenols, with Rachel MacNeill and enjoy an educational Masterclass led by Whisky Maestro Jim McEwan, formerly Bruichladdich, now building new Islay Distillery, Ardnahoe, with Hunter Laing. Learn why there is no such thing as an illicit still and there is the possibility to share a dram with distillery managers, excise men and Islay locals whilst listening to stories of old. Continue reading....

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