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Doric Board distribute New Year Awards to north-east projects

By Kirsty Brown

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The Doric Board has distributed its second series of financial awards, which supports 15 projects across the north-east of Scotland.

In spite of a turbulent 2020 for many projects, the Doric Board was delighted at the number and diversity of applications which were put forward for funding boosts of up to £1000 in the latest round of assistance.

The Doric Board (North-East Tradition and Language - NETAL) was created to energise public appreciation of the region’s exceptional heritage.

This is the Board’s second annual set of awards which draw from a budget of around £10,000.

The scheme was created with the support of the Scottish Government to develop and support a sustainable, dynamic future for Doric as a vibrant language.

Doric Board chair Frieda Morrison announced the awards recipients.
Doric Board chair Frieda Morrison announced the awards recipients.

Among those receiving funding boosts from The Doric Board was Buchanhaven Heritage Society And Centre to promote the heritage and conservation of the area, plus the planned creation of a video featuring a play by Mike Gibb Doorways in Drumorty to include actors from the National Theatre.

Music was well represented too, with projects such as the proposed creation of a North East Ballad School and Iona Fyfe’s plans to showcase the collected works of the James Madison Carpenter Collection among those assisted.

Inspiring the next generation of Doric speakers was also to the fore thanks to The Doric Board’s support for the expansion of the Bailies of Bennachie’s Jock O’ Bennachie Tales storytelling project for primary school children and the publication of an illustrated children’s book based on Old MacDonald’s Farm by taxi driver Aaron Gale.

Commenting on the awards Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “The Scottish Government is pleased to support the second Doric Board New Year Awards.

"It is heartening to see the increasing interest in these Awards and the quality and breadth of projects that these support.

"These projects will have lasting benefits for the community and the language, particularly during these challenging times from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.”

Doric Board chairwoman Frieda Morrison said: “The volume, richness and diversity of applications, show that Doric is very much alive and well in the 21st century.

"The process of selecting successful applications is always very hard due to the high calibre of projects we hear from, but The Doric Board is delighted to support this terrific range of projects from all across the north east.”

Board member Professor Peter Reid said: "These awards recognise a broad spectrum of groups and projects, and demonstrate the deep affection there is for Doric as well as the passion for its survival.

"These projects all exist to take Doric to as wide an audience as possible and our support of this range provides a valuable snapshot of the tremendous work being done by so many people in the area.”

The full list of recipients of Doric Board New Year Awards is as follows:

  • Mintlaw Academy – Doric Week creative writing course.
  • Buchanhaven Heritage Society And Centre – to promote local heritage, particularly traditional skills, through The Peterheid Ganjey exhibition.
  • Auld MacDonald’s Farm – publishing by Aaron Gale of an illustrated book based on the children’s rhyme.
  • Bailies of Bennachie – expansion of the Jock O’Bennachie Tales storytelling project for primary school-aged children and their families.
  • Janice Clark – creation of the North East Ballad School to share the musical and linguistic tradition of the area with young people who live and study in the area.
  • Iona Fyfe – to showcase the collected works of the James Madison Carpenter Collection.
  • Aberdeen Arts Centre (Castlegate Arts) – to create a socially distanced and online festival entitled Stories From The North East.
  • Open Road – The Last People on Earth, theatre/storytelling projects to tell the story of the battle of Mons Graupius between the Caledonians and the Roman Empire.
  • North East Arts Touring (NEAT) – He’s Done Northing Wrong, an audio comedy play by George Milne.
  • Duncan Harley – publication of a collection of articles entitled Long Shadows.
  • Elphinstone Institute – to publish a book based on the best of the David Toulman prize entries.
  • Gordon Hay – book of Doric nursery rhymes.
  • Dr Ian Spring – to publish a book by Jim Black and Ian Spring entitled Scottish Ploughmen: Customs, Songs, Tradition and to hold two illustrated talks, accompanied by songs, in the north-east about Scottish ploughmen.
  • Mike Gibb – to produce a video of an abridged version of his play Doorways In Drumorty to allow wider audience access.
  • Dr Shane Strachan – to create an audio recording/podcast of new Scots stories.
  • Tracy Walker – to create an exhibition celebrating the legendary song and heritage centre at Cullerlie Farm near Drumoak.

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