Cornwall Council Leader John Pollard writes about the high profile of Cornish Culture & Heritage at The Lorient Festival
Cornwall Council Leader's blog
06 August 2014
From Cllr John Pollard
"I have just returned from a weekend at the Lorient Festival in Southern Brittany. This Interceltic celebration has been running for 44 years and grown to a massive 10 day culture fest. The Celtic regions, Brittany, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Galicia and of course Cornwall all send dancers, choirs and organise promotional stands.
What you may not know is that a series of dedicated volunteers have been ensuring that Cornwall is fully represented for many many years, and Cornwall Council’s Culture Team and our chief organiser and delegate to the festival, Jenefer Lowe, Cornish Language Development Manager work throughout the year and bring their drive and energy and hours and hours of endeavour to make sure Cornwall’s Culture and Heritage as well as its brand and image has a high profile. Councillor Andrew Long has been ensuring that the stand vending Cornish products and promotional material operates efficiently with a number of French Speaking volunteers personing the stand daily. Richard Musgrave from ‘Downright Delicious’ has organised the food and drink offer selling Skinners beers, Cream Teas and of course hundreds of pasties.
Our weekend involved helping to support our volunteer effort promotes Cornish identity and Julian German, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Culture is now there doing the same.
I suspect that readers have never heard of it and in reality I cannot describe the intensity of the buzz, shared experience or the sound of all the pipe bands marching through the streets of the town. On Sunday there was a huge parade of all participants which took nearly three hours to pass through the Stadium where we watched and out along the streets. It was a very proud moment when the Cornish Flag of St Piran was paraded along the route.
This year the focus was on Ireland, next year it is Cornwall and I believe it is an opportunity to have a huge impact. Over the 10 days this Festival gets 700,000 visitors - if only a quarter of them recognised Cornwall in some way it is still massive, an opportunity that must not be missed and although sleep deprived and travel weary, great fun."
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