In the run up to this year’s Braemar Gathering, a new exhibition is opening at St. Margaret’s celebrating the traditions and culture of the Highland games.
Opening on 27 August and created by Aboyne-based artist Stéphanie Vandem, ‘LIFTING’ is a series of large scale oil paintings that visually represent the heavy weight events. Within the paintings there is a sense of struggle, personal endurance, showmanship and cultural identity that Vandem feels is reflected in today’s society.
“The hunched men and the repetition of roundness in the paintings shows the concept of struggle and lifting a heavy burden. We live in an interesting political time with the ongoing debate over independence and issues in Europe raising questions of identity in us all.”
The paintings will sit alongside historical exhibits on loan from the Braemar Royal Highland Society, to give a local and historical background, and an original film by Rogue Fitness will be shown exploring the stories, rituals and myths of heavy stone lifting and celebrating some of Scotland’s most notable lifters.
Brian Wood, Chair of St. Margaret’s Trust said, “We wanted to celebrate the Braemar Gathering by hosting an exceptional and thought provoking art exhibition that was inspired by the Highland Games alongside information about the history and tradition of the games”
Preview 26 August, 7 – 9 PM
LIFTING is on show until 3 September
Situated just an hour’s drive from The Fife Arms is The Barn, a fantastic not-for-profit multi-arts centre in Banchory who have recently won ‘Best Performing Arts Venue’ award in the Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards 2017. They host an array of events from live music and theatre performances to film screenings and creative workshops all year round and here is some of what they have going on this summer:
WMS: Aboyne Cello Festival
July 26, 7.30 PM
A sparkling evening’s entertainment from three fabulous cellists, Philip Higham , Rebecca Gilliver and James Halsey. The programme will include music from Bach to Brahms and a selection of fabulous trios from opera arranged for three cellos and piano by the late Gwyn Seymour.
Aberdeen International Youth Festival
August 1, 7 PM
An international theatre double bill Black & White by DAAC, Morocco & Jamaican Drum by the Jamaican Youth Theatre. The Dramatic Troop for Artistic Creation from Tiznit, Morocco brings a new play, exploring the different types of conflict in the world represented by a fiercely competitive fight for the love of a mysterious woman by the two suitors Black & White.
Glyndebourne: La Clemenza di Tito (live screening)
August 3, 6 PM
Spurned by Tito, Vitellia seeks revenge. Besotted Sesto agrees to avenge her as a token of his love, but all does not go to plan. A brand new production of one of Mozart’s final works.
RSC: Titus Andronicus (12A) (live screening)
August 9, 7 PM
The decay of Rome reaches violent depths in Shakespeare’s most bloody play. Titus is a ruler exhausted by war and loss, who relinquishes power but leaves Rome in disorder. Rape, cannibalism and severed body parts fill the moral void at the heart of this corrupt society. Shakespeare’s gory revenge tragedy presents us with murder as entertainment, and, as the body count piles up, poses questions about the nature of sexuality, family, class and society. Blanche McIntyre returns to the RSC to direct Shakespeare’s brutal revenge tragedy after her debut directing The Two Noble Kinsmen (2016)
FLOURISH: Meet the Writer
August 15, 1 PM
Flourish is the Barn’s community project in Banchory offering a wide range of opportunities for people of all ages to engage in creative activities aimed at enhancing their sense of wellbeing. From writing workshops to mindfulness activities, there are lots of great events to take part in. On the 15th of August writer-in-residence Elaine Reid will invite you to the Wild Garden to discuss her writing inspired by spending time in the natural surroundings. You can even try your hand at writing something of your own. Free, drop in anytime between 1 and 4pm.
Kathryn Joseph + support
August 19, 8 PM
Kathryn Joseph’s debut album – Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I’ve Spilled – carried her from being one of Scotland’s best-kept secrets to winner of Scottish Album of the Year Award. An ethereal experience, her music is lyrically compelling, sonically vivid and constantly moving.
Kathryn is supported by Aberdeen-based soulful singer-songwriter MILLICENT.
Lewis Dunsmore (classical guitar)
September 17, 3pm
RCS graduate Lewis Dunsmore has performed in venues and festivals throughout Britain including Glasgow Minimal, where he played Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint in the presence of the composer. He has also performed with the Red Note Ensemble and the BBC SSO.Braemar’s new world-class classical music festival
We are excited to announce a new world-class classical music festival launching in Braemar this summer, “One Fine Day”. On 27th July, The St. Margaret’s Trust will bring a brand new cultural event dedicated to bringing live music to the heart of the Scottish Cairngorms and our beautiful village of Braemar proudly supported by the owners of The Fife Arms, Iwan and Manuela Wirth.
Curated by Scottish harpist Ruth Wall and Cornish composer Graham Fitkin, the evening programme is full of inspiring and world-class musicians including the solo saxophonist, Simon Haram, “the most distinctive violinist of her generation” Ruth Palmer and The Marian Consort, a young and internationally-renowned early music vocal ensemble.
The festival will take place in St. Margaret’s which offers outstanding acoustics and magnificent architecture. All proceeds will be donated to the ongoing development work at St. Margaret’s.
The evening’s programme is as follows:
6.30 – 7 PM: Arrival for complimentary drinks outside with Simon Haram on saxophone
7.15 – 8.15 PM: Ruth Palmer
8.15 – 9.15 PM: Light supper and drinks
9.15 – 10.15 PM: The Marian Consort with Ruth Wall
Image: Eric RichmondCongratulations to Moxon Architects
Huge congratulations to Moxon Architects whose Culardoch Shieling won them the Chairman’s Award for Architecture at The Scottish Design Awards. We’re very proud and excited for the new Moxon designed courtyard at The Fife Arms, by Ben Addy, that is currently underway.Skinner’s World Cup Retriever Event 2017
All of us here at The Fife Arms would like to wish the Scotland Gundog team luck in the upcoming Skinner’s World Cup Retriever Event on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th May.
Now in its 16th year, this event is regarded as the most prestigious gundog working test in the world and this year it welcomes 15 teams including Ireland, Italy, Holland, Norway, Finland, Wales, Germany, France, Austria, England, Switzerland, Hungary, Belgium and Denmark.
This year’s judges are Alan Rees (Wales), Jennie Hankey (England), Billy Steel Jnr (Scotland), Rony Michiels (Belgium) and Peter Cattleman (England). All the teams will be competing for The Skinner’s Perpetual Challenge Trophy, presented to the winning team and The Believer Perpetual Challenge Trophy which is presented by Rupert Hill and John Burkett to the highest placed dog.St. Margaret’s
St. Margaret’s Church in Braemar aims to establish itself as an internationally renowned performance and arts venue at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. The beautiful Category A listed building is the masterpiece of renowned Scottish architect Sir John Ninian Comper and is a nationally-significant Victorian gem. The church’s regeneration, in tandem with other exciting local projects such as our refurbishment of The Fife Arms, will help enhance Braemar even further as a place for visitors to enjoy and as a place to live and work. Celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Braemar and its surrounding areas, the church has already played host to local choirs from Aboyne, Gordonstoun and Strathallan as well as attracting international singers from Australia, France and the Netherlands. Iwan and Manuela Wirth and The Fife Arms are very pleased to be supporting this exciting project for Braemar.
Image: St. Margaret’s ProjectBraemar TV, Episode 1
Introducing the first episode of Braemar TV, keeping viewers up-to-date on all the happenings and activities within Braemar. The first episode includes an interview with Federica Bertolini, General Manager of The Fife Arms as well updates on the community garden, Braemar Castle’s new manager, Braemar’s Mountain Festival and the Burns Supper hosted by the Braemar Scouts and Explorer Scouts.
Watch Episode 1 hereBraemar Mountain Festival
Braemar sits at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, so what better place to host a Mountain Festival offering locals and visitors an opportunity to learn new skills from Cross-country skiing to mountain photography.
The Fife Arms is pleased to be preparing a welcome buffet for the festival on Friday 3rd March, with Head Chef Ross Stacey preparing a special menu entitled ‘The Alps meet the Cairngorms’. We will also be hosting pop-up suppers on Saturday 4th March and Sunday 5th March at the Braemar Golf Club. The menu for these events will focus on delicious, seasonal and locally sourced food, such as West coast langoustines and Roe deer from the Invercauld Estate. Please contact Federica Bertolini if you would like to join us for any of these events.
Image: Ben AddyPearls in Peril
Pearls in Peril is a conservation initiative to restore the habitat for native salmon and encourage the regrowth of freshwater pearl mussels in the UK. The project to improve habitats along the Allt an t-Slugain burn near Braemar was led locally by the River Dee Trust and Dee Fishery Board and was supported by Iwan and Manuela Wirth.
500m of gravel embankments constructed in the 1980s were removed, allowing the burn to establish a more natural meandering route to the Dee. In-filled connections to old channels were opened to help restore the natural flow of the burn and increase the spawning habitat for salmon, which are the host species for freshwater pearl mussel larvae.
To celebrate the conclusion of the Pearls in Peril initiative, The Fife Arms in partnership with the River Dee Trust organised a community tree planting event followed by lunch on the river bank. Local volunteers were taken down to the Slugain where they received a brief demonstration on how to plant a tree and within 45 minutes an impressive 405 native trees were planted, providing valuable shade to the salmon-spawning habitat. The tree species planted included willow, alder, silver birch, rowan and the old scots pine, all kindly donated by the Woodland Trust.
The Fife Arms team served a seasonal lunch of fish soup, vegetable soup, locally-sourced venison casserole and sausages from the local butcher – all cooked over an outdoor fire pit – finishing up with homemade apple tartlets.
Image: Steven RennieScotland Gundog Team
The Fife Arms is a proud sponsor of the Scotland Gundog Team. The team competed in The Game Fair Home International Competition at Ragley Hall, Wawrickshire in 2016. This competition is famous for the intense rivalry between England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, and in 2016 the event included both retrievers and spaniels for the first time. The team also competed at The Skinner’s World Cup Retriever Event in July 2016, which took place at Englefield Estate, Berkshire. The event is regarded as the most prestigious gundog working test in the world.
Community images: Hannah Devereux, Steven Rennie