Wales takes centre stage at Europe’s largest Celtic Festival

1 Aug 2008 04:02 PM
The culture and traditions of Wales will be celebrated for the next 10 days at the International Celtic Festival.

It is officially the “Year of Wales” at the Lorient Interceltic Festival 2008 in Brittany, with Welsh art, music and dance set to gain international recognition. The event runs from 1st to 10th August.

Finance Minister Andrew Davies will represent Wales at the official opening Gala event.
Mr Davies said:

This is our moment to demonstrate how our rich cultural heritage continues to inspire and draw the attention of the world to Wales. It is also a valuable opportunity to showcase Wales’s rich tourism offer and to promote some of the wonderful and unique products that are helping to take this nation’s name and reputation across the globe. But it’s not just about promotion.

At Lorient we stand alongside the other Celtic nations, share experience, learning and insight into how best to help our cultures and nations to continue to flourish in this increasingly cosmopolitan world.

The Welsh pavilion will be the focus of Welsh activity during the celebrations. Visitors will be able to find out about Wales, try Welsh food and drink. They will also have the opportunity to experience live music from Wales, with highlights from the National Eisteddfod broadcast on screen.

Wales Arts International, which is partly funded by the Welsh Assembly Government via the Wales Arts Council, is leading the event.

Director Eluned Haf said:

Wales is making a strong cultural and artistic statement across the world at this time. We are being recognised for the exciting ways that our artists and performers across all genres are interpreting our rich cultural and artistic heritage in a contemporary and vibrant way. Blending the familiar and the new, the traditional and contemporary is the foundation of Wales’s programme in Lorient this year, and I think we can all be proud and confident in the quality and diversity of the performers many making their debut at the festival.

In total 200 Welsh artists will be performing at venues across the city during the festival, ranging from the traditional to the very contemporary. These include Catrin Finch, Crasdant, Meinir Heulyn and Dowlais Male Choir.