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All the Latest In The New

do I enjoy producing my artwork?  do I need to sell it?  do I need to increase my income?
If you answer "YES" to all three then you'll find forthcoming seminars most beneficial.  A Two Day course in Wick.  Seminars supported by CASE to help artists build your confidence,  set fees, cost and price work, market and promote, design your brochure, form workable agreements, understand copyright and help you to maintain a professional profile.
 More details......


"Horizon" Art And Craft Work Exhibition Now Running At St Fergus Gallery Wick - Until 26 March 2005

All the art and craft work in the exhibition currently running in the St Fergus gallery is by people based in or connected with Caithness.  Much of it is for sale and several works have already been purchased.  The work is of an extremely high standard and the sheer variety will leave you in no doubt about the quality being produced in Caithness these days.  The organisers had a very difficult set of choices to make as much had to be left out of this exhibition due to lack of space.  Take a look while it lasts until 26 March.


Caithness Cultural Trust Ceilidh
Mackays Hotel 4 February


St Fergus Creative Group
A new group for arts and crafts people - discussion, ideas, promotion.

17 November 04
The Emperor's New Kilt - 4,6,7,8 December 2004
Based on Hans Christian Anderson's wonderful story of The Emperor's New Clothes.  Wee Stories present the Emperor's New Kilt, a festive musical comedy for all the family.  The story takes place on the extraordinary island of Kiltie, an island that lies far out on the horizon in the North of Scotland, an island that only clever people can see.  Kiltie is ruled by a very powerful man, and the entire island and everything on it is his empire (even the sheep and the wool on their backs): so he is the emperor, but because this is Scotland, everyone calls him the Laird!

22 October 04
Cultural Commission
Voluntary Sector Input Study

Here's a chance for you to make a real difference to Caithness. The Cultural Commission is looking for information from voluntary sector groups about the challenges they face and their developmental needs. Please take a few minutes to fill in the form to tell them about
your group. It doesn't matter if there's more than one submission per group, so please do it today. Don't forget to mention the real challenges we face in Caithness because The Highland Council channels funding into Inverness.
Lack of venue provision in Caithness is directly caused by this. Geographical disadvantage on a national level is worth mentioning, too. Caithness Arts will be making a separate submission and your entry will support this. This is your opportunity to tell the Scottish Executive if you are unhappy with the service the cultural community of Caithness is receiving from The Highland Council. You might not get another chance, so act today! Thanks for supporting the Arts in Caithness,
The Cultural Commission is very keen that groups from throughout the cultural sector are included in this study, from all aspects of culture, of all sizes and from all geographic areas. We would be grateful if you could complete the enclosed survey, it asks for information about your group and also about challenges and development needs.

11 October 04

'AB Alec Broon' - Caithness Artist Shelagh Swanson At St Fergus Gallery Until 30 October
Shelagh Swanson takes the visitor to the gallery on a trip down memory lane recreating friendship in the artefacts from a shed full of joiners tools and other material where she used to visit as a child. With glimpses of activities passed down from her childhood she fondly remembers the brother and sister who used to play cards with her.  An exhibition full of bold colour and energy.

2 October 04
Grants For Arts Events & Festivals
But You Better Be Quick To Apply Deadline 1 November 2004
The Highland Council has, last Thursday, agreed a new scheme to put additional funding towards local promotions, arts events and festivals for the period March 2005 to February 2006


27 September 04
Calling All Budding Playwrights

EVOLVE could help you develop your playwriting skills. If you are an aspiring writer or have just started building your career as a playwright, EVOLVE would help you to hone your skills and cultivate your voice. Over several months the Playwrights’ Studio would provide you with focused script development with support from a director. You would receive advice and training to help you write a new play.  You need to be over 18 to enter the competition to gain a place on the FREE course

7 - 28 August 2004
Keeping The Faith Exhibition At St Fergus Gallery, Wick
Two divergent paths in the development of Scottish Art in the 19th and 20th centuries which reflect different attitudes towards national identity and belief.  Works by John Duncan, James Drummond, Wiliam Gear, will MacLean and Ian Howard.  Pictures from the City Arts Centre, Edinburgh

16 July 04
Three One Act Comedies Monday 26 July 2004 7.00pm
Wick Players Ready For Laughs At Assembly Rooms, Wick
"Best Warm Beer in Brooklyn" was runner up in the Scottish final Festival recently. It has not been staged in Wick before and the cast have postponed their holidays to perform it for their Wick supporters. It will also give our visitors a flavour of the standards of the club.  The other two plays are comedies set in Caithness with some local dialect. "Blackmail" is an old favourite but has not been seen for about 20 years.  "That Old Black Magic" is a black comedy about the dire doings of a money lender from Miller Avenue and two 'ladies' who get the better of him.
Tickets £6 concs £5 from

7 July 04

John Corbett Memorial Bird Hide & Art Gallery
At St John's Loch


Unique visitors' attraction opens in Caithness
For people who enjoy art and bird-watching, Caithness now has a unique venue which manages to combine both interests in one beautiful setting.  Visitors can now see a range of original works and high quality prints by local wildlife and landscape artist Julian Smith at his exhibition on the north shores of St. John's Loch.  Following the highly successful 'Artsmith' show in May 2004 the gallery space is now open at selected times from July to September

31 May 04
Revealing the Vision of Caithness
An Arts Development Study of Caithness
Highland Council commissioned this Arts Development Study for Caithness through a steering committee in September 2002.  This is the most comprehensive and up to date look at the arts in Caithness showing what is already on the ground and looking at what might be possible.  A report was presented to the Caithness Area Committee of Highland Council in Wick on Monday 31 May. The printed version is 91 pages and all of it is reproduced here.   A summary is included if you want a quick overview.  Take a look and you might be surprised at the range of activities already in the county.

Progamme ForJune 2004 At Lyth Arts Centre
Three dramatic productions in June featuring the work of both local drama students at North highland College in "From A Flagstone Floor" and two touring companies.  The touring companies bring different styles and perspectives in "The Memory Of Water" and "Bedazzled".  Later in June Lyth welcomes a another distinctive Jazz night with Daryl Johnson and Friends.  Lyth Arts Centre got back into performances with the re-opening of the refurbished and extended premises in May.  Head out for a relaxing evening with a glass of wine or cup of coffee before the show.  Only 90 seats so don't leave it too late to book at the theater tucked away in the Caithness countryside.

26 May 04
Grey Coast – North Highland College co-production on tour in Caithness and Sutherland
Four young Caithnessians, coming to the end of their first year as drama students at North Highland College in Thurso, will take to the road this weekend as their new play, From A Flagstone Floor, begins a week-long tour of theatre, hotels and village halls around Caithness and Sutherland.  Helen Mackay, Jacqueline Barclay, Iain MacDonald and Calum Greig wrote the play and will be performing it for communities across the north under the banner of the Thurso-based Grey Coast Theatre.  The unique co-production between college and theatre company opens this Saturday night, 29 May 2004, at Britannia Hall in Dunnet, where the action is set.  See page for other performance dates and venues. dates

19 May 04
Joanne B Kaar - Artist At Dunnet

Joanne B Kaar is a renowned artist based at Dunnet Head, on the north coast of Caithness.  This ever-changing coastal landscape provides a constant source of inspiration for her papermaking, bookbinding and collages which are highly acclaimed.   As well as frequent exhibitions across Scotland and beyond, Joanne runs regular workshops for all age groups and abilities across the country and is often commissioned by schools and community groups to help them create inspirational environments. Always eager to share her expertise and skills, Joanne’s books on papermaking and bookbinding have been published by the Guild of Master Craftsman.
Check her web site at

27 April 04
Lyth Arts Centre Is Reopening
After two years of building work there are now loads of new features.  there's an extended car park, a new entrance, reception and cloakrooms.  The much-loved studio theatre/gallery is unchanged except that the new one enters via a wide doorway leading from the spacious new foyer complete with a veranda.

Things are much improved for performers as well, with a new backstage and changing rooms and a separate luxurious accommodation annex.  New stage lighting, a sound system and a stage piano will arrive over the next few months in time for the official relaunch in July for which details will be announced shortly.

25 March 04
Scenes From "Camster

On Friday 26th March 2004 at 7.30 pm in The Drama Studio in the Ormlie Industrial Estate, Thurso, the students from the Higher National Certificate Drama Course at North Highland College will present scenes from the play “Camster” by Caithness writer George Gunn.
The evenings performance is to mark the students’ completion of their work with George Gunn, who is the Artistic Director of Thurso based Grey Coast Theatre Company, and also one of the Drama Course tutors.
Over the past six months the students have studied how to write for the theatre and presented the results of their work at “Playfest”, a highly successful evening in January when the students own plays were given a moved reading before an enthusiastic audience.
The performance of scenes from “Camster” is to highlight the students work on preparing a play for the stage.
“It’s all very well writing or reading a play,” says George Gunn, “but it is vital to the students development as actors that they learn how to go about translating the words on the page to the actions on the stage. They have worked extremely hard over a short period, only since February, and I would urge anyone interested in the health of theatre in the north to come and see some of the potential stars of the future.”
“Camster” was toured around Scotland, to great critical acclaim, by Grey Coast in 1997 and featured the Wick actress Meg Fraser, who is now with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Admission to the event is free.

“The Best Fed People in Creation”

An Illustrated Talk on the Past and Present of St. Kilda
Through Poetry and Prose (in English)
By Donald S. Murray
Poet, teacher and writer from Benbecula
A fund-raising event open to the public, in support of important local heritage work.
Friday, 2 April 2004, Dunbeath Heritage Centre 7:30 p.m. Admission: £2

Getting Ready For "Wedding Belles" By Wick Players On 1 April
The ladies were trying out the dresses at Wick Old Parish church as they prepared for "Wedding Belles" the latest production by Wick Players.  With many wedding dresses and bridesmaids outfits as well as other clothes for the production the wardrobe department is gearing up for a busy night.  The production will be performed in the church itself lending an appropriate backdrop for this fundraising production aimed at boosting the coffers and raise money for the new premises recently purchased by Wick Players.  Dresses have been loaned for the production and includes the wedding dress of the late Lady Jessamine Harmsworth.

Highlands & Islands Could Be At Forefront Of New Arts Movment Says Rob Gibson MSP
‘The Highlands and Islands could be at the forefront of a new arts movement’ according to Highlands and Islands MSP Rob Gibson.
The SNP MSP comments come in the wake of a system 3 poll carried out by The Herald newspaper that shows that 31% of the people believe that Scottish Traditional Music should receive more funding than any other type of performing art in Scotland excluding the theatre.
Mr Gibson (who ran the Highland Traditional Music Festival in Dingwall for 20 years) said -
"This poll is a real fillip to the Highlands and Islands as it supports what we’ve been doing up here for years, and if the funding agencies heed this poll then the sky’s the limit. The Feisean movement has produced many successful acts and individuals musicians while receiving modest funding, it is exciting to think what could happen if there was real investment in it and other such movements."
He went onto add  -
"t was uplifting to be at the opening concert at Celtic Connection. Donald Shaw’s Harvest used the best of Traditional Musicians from Scotland young and old Many of which came from the Highlands. History has shown that the North has always had a fine art’s tradition stretching from Gaelic Bards to Cliar. This tradition of invention and adaptation is alive and kicking and is ready to lead Scotland into a confident new dawn."


Drama Groups Gearing Up For Festivals
The SCDA Caithness District Festival will be held on 27 and 28 February 2004 at 7.30 pm.  Each evening there will be one play produced by Thurso Players and one by Wick Players.  Tickets are £5 for Adults and £4 for Concessions and can be purchased at Poltney News, 31 Dempster Street, Wick or McBeaths the Jewellers, 6 Traill Street, Thurso.

The Youth Festival will be held on 8 March 2004 at 7 pm. The 2 plays will be produced by 2 Junior members of Thurso Players. Tickets can again be bought from Poltney News and McBeaths the Jewellers, and the cost for Adults is £5 and for concessions (school) £4.

For more information on either festival, please telephone Danny McLean (Chairman) on 01847 892716, or Janette Peddie (Treasurer) on 018478929.

11 January 04
Poetry and Music Afternoon
Scotia Review presented Harvest - debut of new blues/rock band and Fiona MacInnes - Orcadian Poet.  Supporting performers included poetry from George Gunn director of Grey Coast Theatre, Johnny MacLeod, poet,

6 January 04
Neil Gunn Writing Competition 2004
A writing competition with money prizes has been announced by Education Culture and Sport department of Highland Council.
Arts Officer Tom Bryan will co-ordinate the competition and all entries should be sent to him by post or email.   Potential entrants should read the rules carefully.  Primary and Secondary school children from Highland only may enter.  Adults resident anywhere in Scotland of any nationality are eligible to enter and they may be in Scotland residing , studying or working.

Cinderella - Pantomime by Thurso Players
10 - 13 December Thurso High School
Matinee 2.00pm on the Saturday

Exhibition Of Etchings by Kitty Watt
Seaview Hotel, john O'Groats 15 & 16 November 2003

Edinburgh John O'Groat Literary Society 1959
This literary magazine from a few years back has been loaned to us and over the next few weeks we will publish the full contents.  The contents list is in place to let you see what is coming and the first item Dunnet Head is in place.  If you have any other copies of the magazine that could be published here get in touch with bill@caithness.org   Or if you have details about the group or its members send us the details.

Earlier Arts Items

Art Groups, Artists, Poets Etc.
Caithness Artists
Caithness Crafts
Caithness & North Sutherland Children's Choir
Caithness Poets
Children's Arts, Music, Drama, Dance
Colin MacDonald - Playright
Education Culture & Sport
Non Caithness Poets - On Caithness
Jenny Stewart  - Poet
Caithness Writers Group
Clarty Arties
Dance & Keep Fit Classes For Adults Etc
Grey Coast Theatre Company
Lyth Arts Centre
Music Section
Music Contacts List
Neil Gunn Group
North Lands Creative Glass
Reay Dramatic Club
Scotia Review
Scottish Community Drama Association - Caithness
St Fergus Creative Group

Earlier Links  - Organisations Ceased
Northlands Festival

Arts Links
Arts & Culture News At Scottish Parliament

Highland & Islands Arts Journal (Hi-Arts)

Museums,  Exhibitions & Visitor Centres In Caithness

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Festivals Links & Edinburgh Festival News