Interested in coming to Orkney on our Rural Track and Grampian 4 Year Programs? Enjoy your music and culture? Fionn McArthur, one of Radio Orkney's presenters, has kindly written this article on some of the cultural opportunities on Orkney.
‘Orkney’s culture…. is perhaps most important….. in opening up imaginations, building shared memories, raising aspirations, giving hope and delight –simply making Orkney a place where people want to live.’
The above quote comes from cultural commentator Francois Matarasso. He was commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in 2011 to come up with a report looking at why Orkney’s cultural life is so vibrant, and what lessons other parts of the country might want to learn.
It came as no surprise to any Orcadian – either native or ‘adopted’ – that the islands were chosen to be the basis for such a study. Arts and culture are an integral part of life here, ranging from informal music-making in homes and village halls, to performances by some of the world’s finest classical musicians. The islands are a haven for artists, with the Pier Arts Centre playing host to some of the most gifted contemporary practitioners. Community drama is a mainstay of the winter months here, with highly polished productions from across the islands competing in an annual festival each February. The craft sector is a major local employer, with jewellery designers drawing inspiration from Orkney’s artists of the past who - thousands of years ago - left their mark in our native stone.