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Inverness theatre Eden Court's Under Canvas outdoor festival is going on tour; with Highland Council the festival will visit Tain, Wick, Ullapool, Kyleakin, Fort William and Strontian

By Gregor White

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Under Canvas has been a big hit for Eden Court. Picture: Gary Anthony
Under Canvas has been a big hit for Eden Court. Picture: Gary Anthony

Under Canvas, Eden Court’s flagship outdoor festival of music, is hitting the road as part of what is being billed the Summer of Hope.

The festival, which takes up residence at Eden Court across three months this summer, is also branching out from July 13-31 to reach more music lovers than ever before.

Under Canvas Across The Highlands, delivered in partnership with The Highland Council, will visit Tain, Wick, Ullapool, Kyleakin, Fort William and Strontian.

Eden Court’s engagement team will be working with local schools and other agencies to identify children and young people who would most benefit from the initiative's creative sessions during the day, from filmmaking to crafting, while in the evening the event tent will play host to a range of music, food and drink.

Among musicians taking part are Ruairidh Gollan, Megan MacDonald and Calum McIlroy.

Local guest artists will perform alongside the House Band at every stop along the way, including Malin Lewis, Anna Massie, Ali Levack, Ingrid Henderson and Iain Macfarlane, with more guests and surprises still to be revealed.

There will be two sessions per evening, one at 6pm and one at 8pm, lasting for 90 minutes each.

Table service will be in place to ensure the comfort and safety of audiences and there will be delicious wood-fired pizzas, made fresh on site.

Audiences can secure tickets to sessions from 6-7.30pm and from 8-9.30 pm.

The event is free with a £5 reservation fee per person that will secure a table and be redeemable against food or drinks bills at the end of every session.

Tickets go on sale at midday today (Thursday).

Full Tour Dates:

Tain: Tain Academy (Tuesday and Wednesday, July 13 and 14)

Wick: Rosebank Playing Fields in partnership with Lyth Arts Centre (Friday and Saturday, July 16 and 17)

Ullapool: Ullapool Primary School (Tuesday and Wednesday, July 20 and 21)

Kyleakin: the green outside the Village Hall, (Friday and Saturday, July 23 and 24)

Ballachulish: Tuesday and Wednesday, July 27 and 28)

Strontian: Show Ground (Friday and Saturday, July 30 and 31)

Eden Court chief executive James Mackenzie-Blackman said: “Eden Court was founded as the arts venue for all the people of the Highlands.

Touring Under Canvas to every corner of the region is testament that we take these founding principles very seriously.

"I can’t wait to set up our tent, deliver fantastic opportunities for children and young people to enjoy a summer of play and to host the very best Scottish musicians for audiences.

"Please book early to avoid disappointment and we’ll see you on the road!”

Chairman of Highland Council's education committee, Councillor John Finlayson, said: “Covid-19 has impacted on important milestones for socialisation and wellbeing for many of our children and young people.

"Therefore, this work by council officers in conjunction with our many partners to plan for activities for pupils over the summer will go a long way to help build and sustain improved wellbeing during this time and in preparation for the new school session.”

Eden Court’s head of Engagement, Lucy McGlennon, said: “We’re genuinely so excited to be hitting the road this summer.

"It feels like it’s been a long time coming, and we can’t wait to be out and about meeting children and young people from across the Highlands.

"We really believe that creative experiences are exactly what’s needed this summer, and on top of that, I can’t wait to stop by my mum’s for a cup of tea on our way to Kyleakin!!"

Related article: Stage set for Under Canvas at Eden Court

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