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Visit Scotland | Alba

What you need to know

Background to Scotland’s Themed Years

Scotland’s Themed Years have been running since 2009 as a way to celebrate a particular side to Scotland that deserves recognition. Some past examples of our celebratory years include the Year of Young People 2018, the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology 2017 and the Year of Innovation Architecture and Design 2016. Following an industry consultation in 2016, Themed Years now take place biennially.

Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 (YCW20/21)

In 2020 we began celebrating the Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters, and in light of the impact of COVID-19, this Themed Year has been extended across 2021. The funded events programme for YCW20/21 was announced in November 2019 and our funded partners continue to develop reshaped event plans to be presented across the 2021. Our YCW20/21 toolkit includes free to use logos, imagery and ideas on how to align with the current Themed Year across 2021. Events that align with the theme can also sign up to our Partner Events Programme.

Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022 (YS22)

2022 has been designated Scotland’s Year of Stories. This will be a year in which stories inspired by, created, or written in Scotland will be showcased and celebrated.

The love of stories is hardwired into us all; it is one of the strongest ways we connect with one another and share our experiences. Great stories, well told, can evoke indelible images in our minds and bring contemporary and traditional cultures to life. Every culture has its stories to tell, and Scotland has a particularly rich heritage of stories and storytelling to spotlight and celebrate. These include our local tales, oral traditions, great stories told in books or on screen – all inspired by our country, our culture and reflected back by many diverse voices and across the widest range of forms. Stories are vital to every part of Scotland. Every community has its own tales to tell, places to highlight as inspiration for well-known books and films, visitor attractions that showcase our literary and storytelling heritage and all kinds of places and spaces where stories, old and new, can be enjoyed.

Scotland’s 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 thereby inspire locals and visitors to discover, celebrate and share their own stories of Scotland.

A programme of activity will be designed and delivered in celebration of the Themed Year to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors. The Year of Stories funded events programme will be central to the overall programme of activity delivered as part of the Themed Year.

Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund

The YS22 Community Stories Fund has been designed to support 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 fund is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players.

A total fund value of £300,000 is available for eligible events planned to take place across 2022. Organisers may apply for individual grants of between £500 - £5,000. The deadline for applications for the first round of funding is 5pm on 1 October 2021. A second funding round will open for applications from 24 January 2022 with a deadline for applications to be submitted by 5pm on 18 March 2022.

This fund is being administered by Museums Galleries Scotland. Guidance & Criteria for the fund and full details on how to apply can be found on the Museums Galleries Scotland website.

The Year of Stories 2022 Open Events Fund

A total fund value of £600,000 has been made available for eligible events planned to take place across 2022 with individual grants of between £15,000 - £60,000 being offered. The deadline for all applications was 5pm on Thursday 12 August 2021.

The YS22 Open Events Fund has been designed to support new, creative event proposals and programming that will provide high profile content created especially in response to the 2022 Themed Year opportunity. We are developing a programme that will capture the imagination and help us to tell and to celebrate Scotland’s wealth of unique stories. Successful proposals must provide strong engagement opportunities that create key moments across the year capable of driving high levels of media coverage, audience awareness and attendance. Both brand new and one-off events as well as high profile new programme strands created to provide additionality within existing events or festivals specifically for the Themed Year are considered.

A full programme launch of the funded events programme for Year of Stories 2022 is planned before the end of 2021.

Year of Stories 2022 Partner Events Programme

The Year of Stories 2022 Partner Events Programme, a non-funded opportunity to be part of the national campaign, will open in Autumn 2021. Find out more about the current Year of Coasts and Waters Partner Event Programme.

Deadline for application

Not currently accepting applications

The Year of Stories Open Events Fund closed to applications on 12 August 2021.

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