As the gala season draws to a close, Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray will use a Scottish Government on festivals debate this afternoon to highlight the diversity of festivals on offer in Dumfriesshire and to pay tribute to the volunteers who keep this events happening year on year.
In her speech Dr Murray will say:
" It is not just on the international stage where festivals make a valuable contribution. In my contribution I would like to highlight the contribution regional festivals make to their local communities . Not surprisingly this will be with reference to my own constituency, as Dumfries and Galloway boasts a wide range of popular festivals throughout the year, many of which have been in existence for quite a bit longer than the Edinburgh Festival.
"There are festivals to suit all ages and interests. But importantly one of the aspects they all have in common is that they wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for volunteers – often the same volunteers year after year – putting in a huge amount of time and effort. These regional and local events do generate income to allow them to employ people to apply for grants, to fill in the necessary notifications or to engage participants and performers. Often, organisation for the next years’ events starts as soon as this year’s event has taken place.
These festivals do more than provide activity, enjoyment or celebration, they do more than attract visitors and contribute to the local economy. They promote a sense of the community and its identity and contribute to its wellbeing and cohesion. This is a good opportunity to pay tribute to and thank all those people who work so hard to make them happen"