Celtic nations and regions come together in Brittany
The First Minister will represent Wales at the Celtic Forum and the Interceltique Festival in Brittany this week.
The inaugural Celtic Forum will take place in Rennes on Thursday 3 August, ahead of the start of annual Interceltique Festival in Lorient, which begins on Friday (4 August).
The Celtic Forum will bring together leaders from the Celtic nations and regions – it will be an opportunity to strengthen relationships and discuss areas for potential collaboration. The First Minister will hold bilateral meetings with other Celtic leaders during the Forum.
Festival Interceltique de Lorient is the largest annual celebration of Celtic culture of its kind. The festival is a celebration of the traditions of the Celtic nations and regions, with music, dance and visual arts, sports and gastronomy. In 2022, the festival attracted around 900,000 people over 10 days.
As a key part of the Wales in France year, there will be a strong Welsh presence at the festival this year, including musical performances by folk trios VRï and The Trials of Cato, as well as Only Boys Aloud and harpist Meinir Olwen. There is also an exhibition of photographs by Scott Taylor and a dance production, Qwerin, to be performed in the Théâtre de Lorient.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“The Celtic Forum is an excellent opportunity to come together as Celtic nations and regions, to build on our cultural and historical links and seek out areas for future collaboration, such as marine energy.
“Ahead of the Rugby World Cup later this year, it’s also an opportunity to celebrate the Wales-France relationship, revitalising existing partnerships and planting the seeds for future collaborations in culture, sport, the economy and innovation.”
Antwn Owen-Hicks, delegation leader for Wales at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, said: "We’re presenting a strong programme of artists in Lorient, which reflects the ongoing development and confidence in our arts and culture.
“There’s always a lot of interest in the Welsh artists amongst the festival goers. From Only Boys Aloud’s songs to Cerys Hafana’s sublime triple harp playing or the joy of Qwerin queer street folk-dance, our programme this year will provide an opportunity to discover Wales’ talents and culture and entice the audience to visit Wales.“
Backed by the Arts Council of Wales, and led by its agency Wales Arts International, the Wales in France culture programme is a celebration of the arts, languages, sports and song.
Notes to editors
For further information or interviews bids for the First Minister, please contact Simon Jenkins – email@example.com - 07792 618138.
Thursday 3 August – The First Minister will attend the Celtic Forum in Rennes. The event will include a press conference. The First Minister will also hold bilateral meetings with other representatives.
Friday 4 August – The First Minister will attend the Interceltique Business Forum and the official opening of Festival Interceltique in Lorient.
Saturday 5 August – First Minister to visit Festival Interceltique and attend live performances, including Welsh artists. Additional time will be included for press interviews.
Wales in France Culture Programme
As part of Welsh Government’s Year of Wales in France, the Wales in France culture programme includes activities across France in 2023-24, coinciding with the Rugby World Cup and bridges with the UK-France Spotlight led by British Council in the lead up and during the Paris Olympics.
Featuring a range of artists at Lorient, the programme this year includes a delegation from Wales lead by ArtiCulture at Fresh, the showcase of street arts in Paris in September as well as a delegation by the Visual Arts and Galleries of Wales network to Brittany in October. The programme also features performances at the rugby villages in Lyon, Nantes and Paris. Led by Wales Arts International the international agency of Arts Council of Wales on behalf of Welsh Government and in partnership with British Council, the programme will feature artists supported through the Wales in France fund. More information will be released in early September www.wai.org.uk/CymruFrance
QWERIN by Osian Meilir
A key feature of the Wales in France culture programme, QWERIN is inspired by the weaving and flowing patterns of traditional Welsh folk-dancing, combined with the pulsating energy of Queer nightlife. Osian Meilir is a performer, dance-maker and movement artist from Wales. He is a keynote speaker at Fresh, an international showcase of contemporary circus and outdoor arts in Paris, which marks the 20th anniversary of the Circostrada Network.
For further information about the Wales in France culture programme please contact Siwan Dafydd - firstname.lastname@example.org