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Visit Scotland | Alba

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 – our next Themed Year. 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 marketing toolkit, featuring an industry guide, FAQs and the Year of Stories 2022 logo, will be made available in late summer 2021 to help businesses and organisations maximise the Themed Years opportunity.


An Open Events Fund, designed to support eligible events being developed to celebrate the Themed Year, is currently open for applications, with a deadline of Thursday 12 August 2021.

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.

Previous Themed Years

  • 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.