Dumfries and Galloway’s Arts Community Flock to Theatre Royal, Dumfries for CONNECTIONS



Creative practitioners from across Scotland will gather at the Theatre Royal in Dumfries on Wednesday 31 August for CONNECTIONS DG Unlimited’s annual arts conference – the must-attend event for anyone with an interest in community and cultural activities in Dumfries and Galloway.

Hosted by radio presenter Lee Medd this year’s conference promises to be the best yet with a packed programme of talks, workshops and activities covering a host of topics; from marketing and fundraising, to licensing and professional development.

The one-day event includes a keynote speech by Julia Amour, Director of Festivals Edinburgh and an address by the Council’sDirector of Communities Derek Crichton.

The day will start with a ‘marketplace’ of stands and information from the region’s leading cultural providers and a funders breakfast where delegates can have informal conversations with representatives of funding bodies such as The Big LotteryCreative Scotland,The Robertson Trust, Hollywood Trust and many more

There will be pop-up performances throughout the day by fiddle player Nick Jenkins and Ayrshire poet Rab Wilson and a special screening of the Helston and Jackets film Trolley; the site specific dance piece that was created for the Cuckoo Bridge Tesco Store as part of this year’s D&G Arts Festival.

The inclusion of a fun and informative ‘Shout Out’ session will give delegates a chance to share their ‘one minute elevator pitch’about their role or interest in the arts and create new connections with other delegates.


Open to both members and non-members of DG Unlimited, the conference is targeted at a range of audiences, including event producers, community companies, venues, artists, makers, photographers, community council representatives and local media.

The event is free, however spaces are limited and those interested in attending should register at: http://www.dgunlimited.com/connections/

David McDonald, newly appointed Regional Arts Development Director for DG Unlimited said: 

“We have a packed programme of activity planned for this year’s conference, featuring a range of guest speakers from a host of cultural organisations who will offer insight into the latest trends, good practice and inspirational ideas that are sure to benefit those working in the cultural sector in Dumfries and Galloway.  I would urge anyone with an interest in the community and cultural sector to sign up and be part of what promises to be one of the most culturally insightful calendar events in Dumfries and Galloway this year.”

Councillor Tom McAughtrie, Chair of the Communities Committee said:

“Arts and Culture bring so much to our communities right across Dumfries and Galloway – not only do they create wealth helping us build the local economy, but they also engage young people and those who, are at times, not included in mainstream activity. This conference will be an excellent networking opportunity for those in the sector“.

Councillor Ted Thomson, Provost of DumfriesDumfries and Galloway Council added:


“Dumfries and Galloway Council recognises that our creative, cultural and artistic communities bring much to our region. We invest in that infrastructure as much as we can to promote not only the economic benefits but the pleasure it gives to audiences and participants alike. The DGU conference is a shining example of us helping this sector to establish itself as a community which is at the heart of regeneration and public benefit in our region.”


Confirmed speakers and panellists for the breakout sessions include:


Matt Baker (The Stove Network), Rachel Blanche, Cultural Policy Consultant; David Stevenson, MA Arts Programme leader at Queen Margaret University; Peter Renwick (DG Arts Festival), Jo McLean CEO of The Touring Network; Derek Crichton, Director of Communities, Dumfries and Galloway Council; Peter McCaughey (Wave Particle); Debz McDowall (Sleeping Giants); ts Beall (artist and Riverside Museum/Glasgow University); Graham Hogg (Lateral North); Paul Chisholm (Youth Beatz Festival); Sid Ambrose (DG Unlimited), Mandy Green (RNLI Park Fest), Amanda Scott (Wickerman Festival)

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