Harrogate Festivals' chief on 'challenges' of lockdown on the arts

The boss of Harrogate's leading arts charity has been talking about the challenges of presenting world class performances during lockdown.

Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 10:37 am
Harrogate International Festivals chief executive Sharon Canavar said culture was needed more than ever and now was the time to get creative.
Harrogate International Festivals chief executive Sharon Canavar said culture was needed more than ever and now was the time to get creative.

On the day which sees Harrogate International Festivals announcing an exciting range of new and archive events in its HIF player, its chief executive said culture was needed more than ever and now was the time to get creative.

Sharon Canavar said: "While there is no denying that this is a hugely challenging time for the arts and for artists, festivals play a vital part in the creative industries ecology and defining our cultural landscape.

“Out of crisis comes creativity, and Harrogate International Festivals is delighted to present a world-class line-up for our first virtual HIF Weekender.

"Bucking the trend, we have opened our digital doors and wallets to fund artists and commission new work, knowing the transformative value that the arts bring in supporting communities – both locally and for our international audience.

"We are extremely proud to be presenting this rich selection to our audiences world-wide for free, ensuring the arts remain accessible to all at a time when we need it the most.”

Today, Thursday 2 July, Harrogate International Festivals unveiling the line-up for its world-class virtual HIF Weekender line-up featuring performances and interviews with internationally acclaimed musicians, best-selling authors, and innovative thinkers.

Running from 26 July 23-26, this cultural celebration coincides with what would have been the legendary long weekend of Harrogate’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, part of the Festival’s cancelled summer season.

Highlights including the world premiere of the Festival’s brass band commission from David Lancaster – Eclipse – inspired by the pandemic and featuring virtuoso trumpeter Mike Lovatt as part of a collaborative performance bringing together musicians from all over the world.

Classical music from distinguished cellist Steven Isserlis, the winner of the MIDEM Classique Young Artist Award.


The Navarra String Quartet

Multi-award-winning concerto violinist Tasmin Little.

Tehran-born harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, as well as a raft of emerging artists including George Harliono, who was recently shortlisted for Classical BRIT Award, and Argentinian composer and pianist Silas Bassa.

Guest curator Mischa Mullov-Abbado with his pick of the most exciting young jazz musicians Sean Payne and Noah Stoneman.

Folk from Granny’s Attic.

A rave DJ set from Graeme Park.

Crime writing royalty Lee Child, Ian Rankin, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid.

Crime writings ‘New Blood’ rising stars Deepa Anappara, Jessica Moor, Elizabeth Kay and Trevor Wood, alongside the virtual crowning of the coveted Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2020.

Berwins Salon North talks from Adam Rutherford, Claudia Hammond and Lewis Dartnell.

A series of interviews across the cultural mix including composer Ben Palmer, theatre maker Stella Duffy, newsreader and presenter John Suchet and author Anthony Horowitz.

The HIF Weekender will be introducing children to brass music with Back Chat Kids, share singalongs with Family Singing Sessions and History’s Maid Kate Vigurs will be revealing the horribly entertaining parts of history that children love.

For those unable to connect, HIF has created a CD version of the HIF Weekender available to the public and the Festival is also hosting a colourful window campaign to spread joy on the streets of Harrogate and brighten up the #ViewFromMyWindow, as well as live performances from the Band on a Bus, and etchings of 10 Word Crime Stories as a nod to Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.

Keep in touch with Harrogate International Festivals

Website: www.harrogateinternationalfestivals.com

Facebook: @HarrogateInternationalFestivals

Twitter: @HarrogateFest

Instagram: @harrogatefestivals

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.