Capercaillie and friends at the opening ceremony of the 20th Celtic Connections.
Capercaillie and friends at the opening ceremony of the 20th Celtic Connections. ©

Visit Scotland/Paul Tomkins

Every year we’re lucky enough to work on a host of exciting international programmes, exchanges, festivals and conferences. Here are some of the things we’re most excited about in 2019.

What’s happening in Arts?

Celtic Connections 

Happening every January at venues across Glasgow, Celtic Connections is the UK’s most established celebration of world, traditional and folk music. Each year, the British Council and Creative Scotland introduce international delegates to the Scottish music sector through a six-day programme under the Showcase Scotland banner.

In 2019, the Showcase will shine a light on this year’s international partner, Galicia, and delegates from China, Canada and Vietnam will make the most of networking receptions, trade fairs and musical performances.

The 58th Venice Biennale

The Scotland + Venice partnership, made up of the British Council, Creative Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland, is the main funder and commissioning body for one of the world’s most prestigious arts festivals - the Venice Biennale.

This year, artist and Turner Prize winner, Charlotte Prodger, has been selected to represent Scotland. Commissioned and curated by Linsey Young with Cove Park, Prodger’s exhibition will run from May until November, before returning to Scotland to tour the Highlands and Islands. The British Council is also responsible for the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, which this year will be represented by Glasgow-based artist Cathy Wilkes. 

Momentum and The Edinburgh Showcase

Every August, Edinburgh welcomes over 30,000 of the world’s leading arts professionals. The Momentum International Delegate Programme, delivered by British Council, Creative Scotland and Festivals Edinburgh, makes the most of this opportunity by bringing together curators, funders and media professionals from across the globe with the aim of fostering new international partnerships and investment in the arts sector in Scotland. Also returning in 2019 is the Edinburgh Showcase, a biennial platform run by British Council to promote the best of contemporary UK theatre, dance and live art at the Edinburgh Festivals. 

Our partnership with Creative Scotland

Our Creative Scotland partnership aims to place Scottish arts and culture on a world stage by developing international collaborations and exchanges. Initially focusing on Brazil, India and South America, the partnership now includes Japan and Europe. In 2019, we will continue our journeys with Japan and India – watch this space for news as it happens..

What’s happening in Education? 

Going Global

The 2019 Going Global conference in Berlin this May will see leaders in international education come together around the theme of opportunities and risks posed by the digital world. We are delighted to be leading a Scottish delegation to this year’s conference, consisting of universities and organisations from across Scotland. Early bird registration is now open:

Scottish Education Awards

The annual Scottish Education Awards celebrate innovation and success in Scottish education. This year, we are delighted to be sponsoring the 1+2 Languages and Internationalism Award which recognises schools with a vibrant, progressive and innovative approach to language learning. Even better, our very own Language Assistant Consultant, Gerry McIntosh, will be on the judging panel! Nominations close on 14 February.

British Council Alumni Awards

The winners of the annual British Council Alumni Awards will be announced in April. Finalists and winners are leaders in their fields who have used their experience at UK universities to make a positive contribution to their communities, professions and countries. Winners will be invited to the UK for a networking opportunity and will be invited to join the judging panel for future awards.

Continued international funding opportunities…

High on the Education team’s radar are the looming deadlines for Erasmus+ funding - 5 February (for mobility funding) and 21 March (for strategic partnership funding). Last year, almost €2m was awarded to 87 Scottish schools for international pupil exchanges, staff training and school partnerships. We are keen to see this trend continue in 2019 and we encourage schools and organisations across Scotland to apply. 

There are also funding opportunities with the new Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning programme, which provides free classroom resources, professional development opportunities for teachers, and the opportunity to partner with schools across the world. Grant funding is available for individual schools and clusters to work face-to-face with partner schools.

And finally …

We are excited to be involved in the launch of the British Council’s 100 years – Women Power Politics Report, commissioned to commemorate 100 years since the first women could vote. The launch is currently planned for the first quarter of 2019, watch this space for details! In the meantime, you can read a Scotland-focused summary here.