Small Halls 2019 -108

Highlands and Islands creative projects share in over £820K of National Lottery and Scottish Government funds

A photography exhibition, a new collection of poetry and a music festival bringing the atmosphere of live events into audiences’ homes, are among the creative projects across the Highlands and Islands sharing in over £820K of National Lottery and Scottish Government funding through Creative Scotland in the latest round of Open Fund awards. 

The Isle of Skye’s popular winter festival, SEALL Festival of Small Halls, has been reimagined to bring the atmosphere of intimate live music events into audiences homes. From today, Thursday 26 until Saturday 28 November, the Festival will live-stream the music of some of Scotland’s best traditional musicians from three locations on the island.  

A spokesperson for the Festival said: “This funding has allowed us to hire the talent and technology to deliver the feel of a live audience experience to online audiences. It has also allowed us to continue to support Scotland’s creative practitioners while still showcasing our wonderful wee communities and the Isle of Skye in general as a beautiful, feature-rich and interesting cultural destination.” 

Highlands-based Irish writer Aoife Lyall will research and develop a second collection of poetry Natural, Selection will examine contemporary attitudes to, and the pressures of, motherhood; musical trio Salt House (Lauren MacColl, Jenny Sturgeon and Ewan MacPherson) will create Riversong, 60 minutes of new folk music inspired by the Highland landscape, and the ecological challenges it faces; and Highlands based war and documentary photographer Nick Sidle will present a photographic exhibition Faces of Kabul+20 at Eden Court, Inverness in June 2021.   

Other individuals, organisations and projects in the Highlands area to receive funding in this round of the Open Fund are singer songwriter Rachel Walker, visual artist Pamela Tait and Dogstar Theatre to develop a new play about friendship and intercultural connection. 

Iain MunroChief ExecutiveCreative Scotland said: “The Open Fund is enabling creative people and organisations to explore ways of working that is helping them to adapt and respond to the current changing circumstances brought about as a result of Covid-19.   

“From researching and developing new work and practices, to exploring safe ways to reach and engage audiences, these projects reflect the resilience, innovation and determination of Scotland’s creative community in the face of extremely challenging circumstances. 

“Made possible by the generosity of National Lottery players, who raise £30 million for good causes across the UK every week, and the Scottish Government, these awards are helping to sustain the immense value that creativity adds to our lives.” 

A full list of recipients of Open Fund awards is available on the Creative Scotland website.  

Image: SEALL Small Halls Festival 2019 - 

Contact Information

Claire Thomson

Media Relations & PR Officer

Creative Scotland

+44 141 302 1708


Notes to editors

  • In October 2020, Creative Scotland’s Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development made 51 funding awards, totalling £821,755.  Add info here about the fact that the fund is open and rolling pincluding a live link to the fund itself 
  • More information about Covid-19 funding and resources can be accessed via, and through Creative Scotland’s Resource Directory for COVID-19.  
  • Regular updates on all emergency funding in response to COVID-19 are provided on Creative Scotland’s website:  

The National Lottery has raised more than £41 billion for more than 565,000 good causes across the UK since 1994. Thanks to National Lottery players, up to £600 million has been made available to support people, projects and communities throughout the UK during the Coronavirus crisis.  

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery.  

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