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Creativity, the Mòd and the economy in Caithness and Sutherland

20 September 2010

On the eve of the Royal National Mòd's launch in Caithness, international figures from the world of design are to meet business people from the North to explore the economic and cultural value of creativity.

Highlands and Islands fashion designer Sandra Murray MBE and international Art director and designer Simon Costin, are part of a day of events at Caithness Horizons in Thurso on October 7 which has been organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

As well as meeting the designers, businesses are being invited to a range of presentations from bodies including Arts in Business; Cultural Enterprise Office; Hi-Arts; Creative Highland and Mackay Country. Topics covered will include the development of festivals and events, how to raise funding from the private sector, current developments in the arts in Highland, the role of heritage and provenance in creative product and how to go about turning creative ideas - music, art, design, events and festivals of all sorts into real products.

The event will provide an opportunity for networking as well as access to specialist advice and the chance to learn more about resources which may be available to support development. Attendance is free but places are limited and should be booked in advance.

"Caithness is delighted to welcome the Royal National Mòd. As well as directly supporting the fringe programme HIE, as the region's economic and community development agency, also wants to showcase the wonderful products and produce from the area to the many visitors the event will attract. Exploring the positive impact of events and festivals with businesses, and the role of the cultural and creative activity within this, helps us all recognise the valuable contribution they offer to economic development and the tourism sector," said Rachel Skene, HIE's Head of Tourism in Caithness and North Sutherland.

"We are thrilled that Simon, who has worked with so many of the top names in the fashion world including the late Alexander McQueen, has taken inspiration from the people, activities and history of the area and is capturing some of this as a unique display for the Mòd."

John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gaidhealach, said: "The Royal National Mòd is delighted to be associated with this prestigious event. We regard Sandra as a perfect Ambassador for our Language and Culture. In addition to being a world-renowned designer, Sandra is a fluent Gaelic speaker and a strong supporter of the Royal National Mòd. Her reputation and her connections in the world of design have allowed the Mòd to attract Simon Costin to Caithness. An Comunn Gaidhealach is indebted to Sandra, and to HIE, for bringing this innovative event to Caithness."

The day's events will culminate in a reception, which is open to all and starts at 5.30pm, to unveil the HIE commissioned installation. Simon, who gave his own time for free, has worked extensively with world wide designers creating highly creative and imaginative art sets for photo shoots and catwalk shows. He has a personal interest in British heritage and folklore; his personal ambition is to create a Museum of British Folklore.

To guarantee your place at the event please contact Joan at Caithness Horizons by email or phone by Sept 30th 01847 896508.

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