The centenary of pioneering animator, artist, and musician Norman McLaren has been marked by the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI) in conjunction with the National Film Board of Canada with a ground-breaking, nationwide celebration of McLaren’s life and work.
More than 62,000 people took part in over 80 events, ranging from exhibitions, screenings, workshops and performances at 41 venues in Stirling, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and across the rest of the UK. Meanwhile, in a popular programme of sessions in over 130 schools, specially trained teachers delivered the McLaren Digital Animation Workshops to 3,450 7 to 9 year old children. As a result more than 4,000 short, animated films were created, with most now available for viewing at www.vimeo.com/McLaren2014.
As part of the legacy of the McLaren 2014 project, Historic Scotland erected a permanent plaque outside McLaren’s childhood home in Stirling. The plaque was unveiled on the actual centenary of his birth (11th April), marking the start of six months of celebrations. At the same time, McLaren appeared on stamps both in the UK (as part of a series highlighting the work of UK film directors), and in Canada (as part of a series to mark the 75th Birthday of the National Film Board of Canada where McLaren spent much of his working life).
The CMI partnered with the National Film Board of Canada in organising the McLaren 2014 Programme activity as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, and the Year of Homecoming Scotland celebrations. The programme ran from April to September 2014.
Iain Gardner, McLaren 2014 Artistic Director, says: “It’s been an absolute delight to celebrate Norman McLaren’s centenary this year with the collaboration of the NFB and all of our venue and workshop partners around the UK. I hope that this programme gave people an insight into why Norman McLaren was such an influential figure in the world of animation and film.”