Re­booted youth fes­ti­val re­turns

Young tal­ent on show as Gran­ite City’ s cul­tural ex­trav­a­ganza gets un­der way

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS - BY KIRSTEN ROBERTSON

Vis­i­tors from around the world were wel­comed to the in­au­gu­ral Aberdeen In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val of Youth Arts yes­ter­day as or­gan­is­ers hailed the tal­ent show­case.

The per­form­ers gath­ered in Aberdeen Univer­sity’s El­phin­stone Hall for an open­ing event at­tended by fam­ily mem­bers, coun­cil­lors and AIFYA spon­sors.

The cer­e­mony pro­vided teasers for many of the fes­ti­val’s shows, in­clud­ing an en­er­getic dance by Aus­tralian dance troupe Ulysses.

And to cel­e­brate the fes­ti­val’s in­ter­na­tional scope, the Madi­son Boy Choir from Wis­con­sin sang the an­thems of all na­tion­al­i­ties present, in­clud­ing Rus­sia, Ukraine, the USA and Italy.

The cer­e­mony proved to be emo­tional for fes­ti­val man­ager Amanda Macleod, who was in­volved with the AIFYA’s highly suc­cess­ful pre­de­ces­sor.

Fund­ing was with­drawn by city coun­cil­lors for the Aberdeen In­ter­na­tional Youth Fes­ti­val (AIYF) in Novem­ber, who in­stead backed a new £100,000 Year of Young Peo­ple Cul­tural Award pro­gramme.

The fes­ti­val was re­born as AIFYA with sup­port from the Aberdeen Mul­ti­cul­tural Cen­tre.

Ms Macleod told the cer­e­mony au­di­ence: “The heart of the world to­day is you young peo­ple. You have brought a bright and vi­brant en­ergy to the city of Aberdeen.

“The team faced a huge set­back when the de­ci­sion to close the beloved AIYF was made but we are here to­day to pre­serve its legacy.

“I am so ex­cited about the fu­ture of AIFYA and I thank you all for com­ing.”

The fes­ti­val has al­ready over­come hur­dles, in­clud­ing a flooded Le­mon Tree that saw sev­eral week­end shows can­celled.

The Aberdeen Mela, due to be held at West­burn Park, on Satur­day was also can­celled.

All shows will be resched­uled with de­tails re­leased soon on the AIFYA web­site.

The 10 day gath­er­ing will cel­e­brate the tal­ent of young peo­ple, with shows not only in Aberdeen, but Port­soy in the north and Brechin to the south.

Pro­fes­sor Mar­garet Ross, vice prin­ci­pal for peo­ple strat­egy at Aberdeen Univer­sity, wel­comed per­form­ers, say­ing: “This new fes­ti­val brings peo­ple to­gether to cel­e­brate their cre­ativ­ity and am­bi­tion.

“Please make your­self at home in Aberdeen and en­joy your time in our city.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on the fes­ti­val, visit www. ab­erdeen­in­ter­na­tion­alfes­ti­val­o­fy­outharts.co.uk

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