With just a year to go until the 2012 London Olympics, the Cultural Olympiad Open Weekend is celebrating in style on Saturday 23 July and Sunday 24 July with a series of special events at Cadw sites across Wales.
The events form part of Cadw’s own Power of the Flame Cultural Olympiad initiative, Cauldrons and Furnaces, which is a partnership between Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service and Arts Council of Wales with funding from Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity set up to create a lasting cultural legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games across the UK.
The variety of colourful events on show will include storytelling, community art workshops, dance, music and creative craft activities.
On Saturday 23 July at 3pm Flint Castle will play host to NEWdance and young dancers from Flintshire will be performing a dance piece called INVASION-INTEGRATION.
Meanwhile, Harlech Castle is holding a celebration of Welsh dance and music in a performance that will incorporate styles ranging from traditional twmpath dansio accompanied by harp, from Shirley Bassey through to contemporary Welsh Techno. Twenty local primary and secondary school students, led by choreographer Ceri Rimmer, will present two unannounced Flashmob dance events for Castle visitors at 11am and 2pm on Saturday 23 July.
Also on Saturday 23 July, Caernarfon Castle is holding a kaleidoscope art exhibition between 11am and 3pm. The exhibition has been created by pupils from local schools Ysgol Y Felinheli, Llandwrog, Rhosgadfan, Rhostryfan, Yr Hendre and Santes Helen, who have been working with artists Jonathan Jones-Morris and Tessa Elliott to create a series of colourful kaleidoscopes for display at the Castle. The artists will be on-hand to tell visitors more about the psychedelic display.
On Sunday 24 July, in St David’s Bishop’s Palace between 11am and 2pm, visitors can take a tour to learn about the secrets of the Palace and listen to tales of Saints and their animals by pilgrim walker and storyteller Andrew Dugmore, followed by the opportunity to make the animals featured in the stories with artist Deborah Withey.
Housing, Regeneration and Heritage Minister Huw Lewis, said: “As the excitement around next year’s Olympic Games continues to build, we are delighted to welcome back the Open Weekend Cauldrons and Furnaces programme as part of Wales’ cultural contribution to the Olympiad celebrations.
“The series of events and activities aim to inspire and engage with the children and young people of Wales, not only demonstrating what can be achieved creatively, but also deliver a lasting legacy of inspirational work of the people of Wales beyond the Olympics.
“The free workshops enable people to get involved themselves, allowing them to experience something new in a wide range of cultural activities. The Cauldrons and Furnaces programme promises to excite every community in Wales and bring the values of the Olympics to our diverse linguistic and cultural communities."