Local MSP for the Linlithgow Constituency, Fiona Hyslop, highlights the designation of 2022 as Scotland’s Year of Stories.
Scotland’s Themed Years have been in effect since 2009 as a way to recognise and celebrate a particular aspect of the country and have been taking place biennially since 2016. Previous examples of themed years are the Year of Food and Drink 2015, the Year of Young People 2018, and the Year of Coasts and Waters 2021.
This year, Scotland’s Year of Stories, will celebrate stories written in or inspired by Scotland. To showcase this part of Scotland’s culture, a programme of activities centred around the theme of storytelling will be designed and delivered, which will also support the nation’s tourism and events sectors. Events will be run by community groups, museums, heritage sites and other visitor attractions, and will include a range of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events. Scottish people will also have the opportunity to visit the real-life locations from well-known books, films and songs.
“Stories are a huge part of Scotland’s culture, whether spoken, written, sung, or filmed, and this year’s theme is particularly relevant to my constituency, home to so many writers, musicians, filmmakers, and creatives.
“West Lothian is rich in stories of the Stewarts and Wallace, the Knights of St Johns and Torphichen Kirk, and the witches who gave name to many places in the county, the story of Bangour hospital and so much more. West Lothian author, Leanne Marshall, of Bathgate, became a best-seller only 18 months after releasing her first novel, and garnered rave reviews for her Carerro Series of books. The Scottish Film Foundation originated in West Lothian, as well, while Lewis Capaldi and The Snuts both hail from Whitburn. The winner of the first ever Progressive Playwright Award, Ellie Stewart, is a native of Bathgate, as is Scottish Music Award Breakthrough 2020 winner, Luke La Volpe. Hannah Rarity, from Dechmont, won the Young Traditional Musician of the Year Award in 2018 – an award I was honoured to present to her.
“I have said in the past that I want Scotland to be recognised as a nation that nurtures and is nourished by wonderful songs, poems, stories, drama, dance, paintings, and sculpture. Stories, in particular, give us a sense of place, people, history and belonging, and they bring us all together and unite us in difficult times.
“Every community has a tale to tell, whether through writing, song, film, or spoken word, and I would encourage all of my constituents to check out the Themed Year events in West Lothian in 2022 when they are announced later in the year.”
You can find out more about Scotland’s Themed Years at the following link: https://www.visitscotland.org/about-us/what-we-do/themed-years