Coming Soon – Three Blas Festival events

SEALL is delighted to have been offerred three events in this year’s Highland-wide Blas Festival. Two new Short Gaelic Plays will be presented at lunhtime on Wednesday 6 September; Duncan Chisholm are joined by the Mischa MacPherson Trio on Friday 8 September and finally Mànran are joined by Hecla and the Cèilidh trialers on Saturday 9 September.

Charity Cafe raises £1000 for Young People’s theatre

The SEALL Charity Café during the Skye Festival raised around £1000 for our Theatre for Young People fund. We want to expand the amount of good quality children’s events we promote and this was a good start. A good time was had by all at the Café. Thanks to the 12 helpers and all the supporters who provided food, raffle prizes and then came and ate it!

Duncan shortlisted for NRTF Special Award

Duncan MacInnes, the artistic director of SEALL and the Skye Festival, was recently shortlisted for the new ‘Speical Award’at the recent gathering in Nottingham of the National Rural Touring Forum. He was one of three, and the only one from Scotland, to get this accolade for an outstanding contribution to Rural Touring in the UK.

Bilingual website

We are in the process of bilingualising this website. The tabs on each event saying ‘click here for Gaelic’ will soon be operational – but not quite yet!

Spotlight on SEALL in Volunteer Arts

Voluntary arts recently asked SEALL and the Skye Festival about their work with volunteers. We featured volunteer director Jacqui MacKinnon and her raffle-selling daughter Hannah.

Open up this blog and read about it HERE

Skye Festival programme at the printers!

The 32-page colour programme for the 2017 programme has gone to the printers, so expect to see them in the usual places from around 24 June. But you can read it first! Open this blog by clicking on the image above and then clicking HERE.

Unusual request of the year

A visitor at one of our recent concerts heard that we had lots and lots of Basque rain-ponchos that we hand out liberally at raffles. They wondered if we had spares as their budding Brass Band were looking for some in case it rained at the Whit Week Saddleworth Brass Band Festival. We would have been delighted to help, but a review of our stocks found we did not have as many as we thought – only enough for a year’s supply of raffle prizes. But thanks for asking!

Hear a concert and The Red Chair, online.

The Hebrides Ensemble trialled an online concert earlier this year and have asked for audience reaction. Click HERE and comment!

Clod Theatre, who recently brought ‘The Red Chair’to Skye, but unfortunately could not find a date for us in SEALL,  also have their show online on SoundCloud and iTunes.


Duncan shortlisted for national award

Duncan MacInnes is one of three nominees  for a special award at the first ever National Rural Touring Forum Awards. The new awards saw over 700 individuals nominate productions, venues, promoters, schemes, and staff for the award. SEALL is also the only nominee from Scotland.

The NRTF Special Award was open to all nominations with the judges looking for an amazing story from the world of rural touring – and the nominees reflect long-term engagement with specific local communities which have been valued over many years.

The shortlist will now go before an independent judging panel comprising Guardian journalist Lyn Gardner, writer and researcher Francois Matarasso, Ed Collier of independent producing studio China Plate and Beccy Speight, Chief Executive of The Woodland Trust. Judges will be looking for brilliant stories, examples of good, enthusiastic and dedicated practice and forward-looking work.

Based at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic College, on Sleat, SEALL runs a year-round programme of almost 80 events as well as the Fèis an Eilein – the two-month-long Skye Festival in July and August – and the Skye Swing Jazz Festival in October which is co-produced with FOTS Records. Although performances take place mainly at the college, SEALL also uses venues around the south of Skye, including the tiny Tarskavaig Hall and the new community hub, An Crùbh, in Duisdale.

Duncan has been at the helm of SEALL for over 26 years – 25 of those working on a purely voluntary basis – bringing high quality performing arts events in music, theatre, comedy, dance, film and literature to a population of 800 people in the south of Skye as well as to visitors and audiences from the rest of the Island and the Highlands.

He was nominated for the special award by SEALL board chair, Eileen Armstrong.

She said: “After 26 years SEALL is now one of the liveliest rural promoting group in the UK hosting in excess of 70 events each year. In May 2014 we celebrated our 1,000th event and have welcomed over 5,000 artists to the area and sold over 12,000 tickets.

“SEALL was established in 1991 with an ambition at the outset to put Skye firmly on the map as an arts and cultural destination and to celebrate the wealth of home grown talent in the area. Artists such as Brighde Chaimbeul (Radio 2 Young Folk Award Winner 2016) and her sister Mairi (harpist and composer), Angus Nicolson (piper) and many others all had their first performances with SEALL.

“SEALL has come a long way since 1991 and none of it would have been possible without Duncan MacInnes.  In fact, our local community and many a performing artist will confirm to anyone that Duncan is SEALL’.

He has provided the opportunity to bring the local community, tourism visitors and performing artists together and, as his ‘new’ role of Artistic Director unfolds, it seems a fitting time to recognise Duncan’s passion, dedication and community spirit he has so willingly given to SEALL these past 26 years.”

NRTF Director and board member Elizabeth Freestone said, “It is thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteer promoters, of hard-working performers, of committed touring schemes and of loyal audiences that rural touring is vibrant and thriving. The RTAs will allow us to publicly show gratitude to those individuals who have made a real difference to a community over the past year.”

On hearing of his nomination, Duncan said: “I am of course totally delighted with this nomination and given the quality of all those named, it is an honour just to have been short-listed.

“People often ask me if I am a musician or performer, and I say, no, I just help other people to do that. That means I can then sit back and enjoy the fact that a good audience and good performers have been brought together in a small, rural space.”

The presentation of awards will take place on 28 June at Nottingham University at the NRTF annual conference.

The full list of nominations is HERE


SEALL events Please reserve your seat in advance

SEALL events are getting very busy. We have recently had three sold-out events. We strongly advise that you reserve your seat ahead of time – find the event on this website and reserve. You can also phone on 01471 844207, or email us on or send a postcard – but the website reservation is best. Then pay cash at the door.

THEN always check your spam, because the autormatic reply is very likely to land up there!