The Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF) are delighted to announce a new partnership with Caledonian MacBrayne Hebridean and Clyde Ferries. The strategic three year support of the festival starts for the Year of Scotland’s Coasts and Waters and continues until the 2022 Festival taking place in the Year of Scotland’s Stories.

Aligned with the 2020 Festival theme In the Flow, the partnership will see both funded and in kind support across an eclectic mix of online events spanning the globe and small-scale face-to-face events, celebrating Scotland ‘a nation shaped by water’, taking audiences on voyages at home and away.

Performers Christopher Craig and Andy Cannon have the wind in their sails during an outdoor rehearsal for Tour to the Hebrides

SISF’s ‘In the Flow’ will present Voyage, a series of new work developed by storytellers and musicians for Scotland’s ‘Year of Coasts and Waters’, supported by the Scottish Government Festival Expo Fund and CalMac Ferries.

Premiered as a pre-recorded studio broadcast, Voyage, includes interpretations of the slave passage across the Atlantic and Scotland’s part in it, the colonisation of Iceland, James VI’s ‘Hamlet’ voyage to Elsinore, Johnson and Boswell’s Tour to the Hebrides and the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, illustrating ‘a nation shaped by the sea’.

Speaking at the announcement of the partnership, Storytelling Festival Director Donald Smith said: “We are delighted to partner with CalMac and their three year commitment to the festival has allowed us to explore new ways of reaching audiences in these uncertain times for live events.

“Scotland’s island communities have always played a huge part of the festival since its inception in 2006 and many of the best stories shared at the festival have travelled over on CalMac Ferries. Taking the exchange further we’re excited to explore new possibilities with CalMac and we look forward to developing the partnership in the coming years.

Christopher Craig and Andy Cannon during an outdoor rehearsal for Tour to the Hebrides, a reimagining of the classic travel guide written by James Boswell of his and Dr Johnson’s Tour to the Hebrides in 1773.

Diane Burke, Commercial Director at CalMac, said “People love traveling to the Scottish islands to hear stories of the past and to create their own tales for the future. Working with the Scottish International Storytelling Festival allows us to share the stories of our part in those journeys with new audiences far and wide.”

The 2020 Scottish International Storytelling Festival Programme will be revealed in full on Wednesday 16th September and the festival will run from the 17-31 October 2020.

All images Neil Hanna Photography