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Scotland's Themed Years

Our Themed Years celebrate the very best of Scotland and its people.

You’ll find a packed programme of events and activity taking place throughout each celebratory year, as well as lots of opportunities to get involved whether you're a visitor, a business or an organisation.

Year of Stories 2022

In 2022, Scotland will celebrate the Year of Stories. It will spotlight, celebrate and promote the wealth of stories inspired by, written, or created in Scotland. From icons of literature to local tales, the year aims to encourage locals and visitors to experience a diversity of voices, take part in events and explore the places, people and cultures connected to all forms of our stories, past and present.

Stories reflect who we are and shape how others see us. 2022 gives us the opportunity to work in partnership to further harness this powerful means to engage and inspire locals and visitors to discover, celebrate and share their own stories of Scotland. A Year of Stories 2022 marketing toolkit, featuring an industry guide, FAQs and the Year of Stories 2022 logo is now available to help businesses and organisations maximise the Themed Years opportunity.

A special programme of events will showcase the Year of Stories and the events supported by the Open Events Fund and Round 1 of the Community Stories Fund were announced in December 2021.

The Community Stories Fund is supporting organisations and community groups to take part in and celebrate Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, spotlighting the unique stories that matter to them with new, creative events, activities and programming. The new fund, which is worth £300,000, is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players. The window for applications to this fund have now closed.

In support of Year of Stories and The Open, EventScotland have created a story about Chip the golfing coo. Her journey through Scotland will feature on boards at each hole of a miniature putting at The Open. Check out Chip's trip.

Join the conversation using #YS2022 and #TalesOfScotland.

Programme strands

Five themes will be woven through the Year of Stories. The programme strands we’ll be celebrating are:

  1. 1

    Iconic stories and storytellers

    Across literature, screen and entertainment, YS22 will celebrate and showcase Scotland’s wealth of treasured and iconic stories and storytellers from classics to contemporary.

  2. 2

    New stories

    We want to shout about Scotland’s new and untold stories. YS22 will shine a light on emerging, fresh and forward-looking talent and highlight the innovators that break boundaries across all forms of storytelling.

  3. 3

    Scotland's people and places

    Our people and places have inspired the widest range of stories and storytellers across the world. YS22 will promote how Scotland’s diverse culture, languages, landscapes and ways of life, urban and rural, provide a source for all types and forms of stories, encouraging visitors and audiences to find out more.

  4. 4

    Local tales and legends

    Every community has its distinct tales to tell, stories of now and those passed through the generations. These are the stories we tell ourselves and share with others to make sense of time and place. YS22 will provide the opportunity for every part of Scotland to tell its story.

  5. 5

    Inspired by nature

    Our encounters with nature are an unfailing source of stories, old and new. Whether by the sea or land, along rivers or through woods, in city and country, we discover stories of birds, insects, animals and plants. These stories define our place in the natural world and help create a more sustainable future for Scotland, and a greener planet.

Chip’s trip

With their fabulous children's tale of golf loving coo on her awesome trip through Scotland, EventScotland tied The 150th Open to Scotland's Year of Stories.

Previous Themed Years

  • Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21

In 2020 and 2021, the Year of Coasts and Waters spotlighted, celebrated and promoted opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled coasts and waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation. 

 

  • Year of Young People 2018

2018 was designated the Year of Young People (YoYP2018), a year that aimed to inspire Scotland through its young people by celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and on the international stage.

Highlights video

 

  • Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017

2017 celebrated Scotland’s people, traditions, distinct culture, landscapes, attractions and icons, as well as its hidden gems.  Throughout the year there was a wealth of opportunities to explore Scotland’s past through a range of cultural and creative events and activities.

Highlights video 

 

  • Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

2016 showcased awe-inspiring innovation, breathtaking architecture and brave, bold designs through new and exciting experiences and events ranging from pop-up design exhibitions to a Tiny Homes village, Renaissance fashion shows to architecture and design festivals.

Highlights video - A look back at Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 

Highlights video - Finger on Scotland's Creative Pulse

 

  • Year of Food and Drink 2015

2015 spotlighted, celebrated and promoted Scotland’s natural larder and quality produce to both locals and visitors.  The year aimed to increase and promote Scottish produce across the tourism sector and enhance Scotland’s global reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.

Highlights video

 

  • Homecoming Scotland 2014

2014 was the Year of Homecoming, an unforgettable year in which Scotland welcomed the world to take part in a unique celebration of all that the country has to offer. With more than 1,000 fantastic events across the country, 2014 showcased the very best of Scottish arts, culture, food & drink, nature, activities, history, ancestry and much more.

Highlights video

 

New delivery model 

Following an industry consultation, the Themed Years are planned to take place every second year to enable more time for planning and collaboration. Given the impact of COVID-19 an exception will be made in 2021 with the 2020 year rolling forward. 2022 will celebrate Scotland’s Year of Stories. The next Themed Year after Year of Stories 2022 is scheduled to take place in 2024, with details to be confirmed in due course. To enquire about future Themed Years funding and opportunities, please email [email protected].