Folk festival secures grant

Shetland Folk Festival Society has received a grant up to £11,088 towards a trans-Nordic educational project as part of this year’s event.

The money was awarded by the Shetland LEADER (Liaison Entre Actions de Développement Économique Rurale) local action group.

Working in partnership with the Folk Music Association in Denmark (FMS), the festival is bringing together five established tutors and 20 young musicians from Shetland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland for a week-long exchange of folk music, culture and heritage.

After an intensive week of teaching, learning and arranging in workshops and rehearsals, the project will culminate with the Nordic Tone performance as part of the Clickimin concert on Saturday 2nd May.

Together with Helge Arildsø of FMS in Denmark, Davie Henderson from the festival committee has been planning the project since 2007. A total of 150,000 Danish kroner was awarded by the Nordic Culture Fund to meet the travel expenses of the participants but a funding gap remained to meet the Shetland-based costs.

Mr Henderson said: “Basically, this funding enables our society to host this ambitious project in Shetland this year. Not only does it allow our festival to forge links and co-operation with established music institutions throughout the Nordic region, it helps us promote our islands’ native and distinctive folk music traditions to other areas.

“It’s exciting to be offering an opportunity for young Shetland musicians to take part and develop their skills in an active and vibrant educational music project that wouldn’t be available to them otherwise.”

The festival is now looking for four talented and self-motivated young musicians, between the age of 16 and 25, who can teach Shetland folk music to the other participants and are interested in exchanging culture through this innovative way of teaching and learning. Young people are one of the target groups in the Shetland LEADER programme along with women, micro and small businesses, the self employed and social enterprises.

Overseeing the teaching will be tutors Kevin Henderson from Shetland, Henrik Jansberg from Denmark, Ånon Egeland from the Department of Folk Culture at Telemark University College, Jonas Simonson from the World Music Department of Gothenburg University and Ilona Korhonen from Folk Music Deptartment of Sibelius Academy.

As timescales are tight, the deadline for applications is Friday 3rd April. For further information visit the festival website at


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