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Celtic Nations Festival in Aviemore to inject £250k into economy

By Gavin Musgrove

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Catriona Logan
Catriona Logan

The Celtic Media Festival will celebrate its 40th birthday in Aviemore this summer and bring an estimated £250,000 boost for the local economy with it.

Around 500 delegates are expected to attend the showcase event at the Macdonald Highland Resort from June 4 to 6.

Aviemore was selected from a shortlist of Scottish venues and the festival could generate many more spin-offs given its media focus.

The gathering aims to promote the languages and cultures of the Celtic nations in film, on telly, radio and new media and will conclude with a gala dinner.

Delegates will be arriving from across Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Cornwall, France’s north-western-most region Brittany and even as far away as Cape Breton in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

In their ranks will be television producers, directors, documentary makers, radio broadcasters and commissioning editors.

Festival director Catriona Logan (pictured) said: “There were four different contenders in Scotland but there were so many reasons why we picked Aviemore, not least the stunning location, the support of the people and Highland Council and the sheer amount of activities that are on offer in the local area.”

The gathering combines a major conference of seminars and master classes with the Torc Awards for Excellence.

They will be awarded for different categories over the three days covering fields including current affairs, animation, sports documentaries and children’s programmes.

They will culminate with the accolades for best documentary, drama series, comedy, radio station of the year, radio presenter of the year and Spirit of the Festival.

Last year’s festival was held in Llanelli in Wales and last hosted in Scotland in Inverness in 2015.

High-profile winners in the past have included Still Game for best comedy and Line of Duty for best drama – both in 2017.

The contest entrants need to be either produced in the Celtic Nations or if from outwith these areas then to have a Celtic Nations theme.

Ms Logan said they were keen to embrace the local community. There will be two major premieres which will be free for locals to attend. She added: “It is going to be a great showcase for Aviemore and the surrounding area. We will be showing delegates what is out there for them.”

Amongst the sponsors are RTE, Screen Scotland, BBC Scotland and TG4 whilst Highland Council is supporting the festival itself.

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