RIAS publishes Festival of Architecture ‘Report Card’
Last year’s nation-wide Festival of Architecture generated £8.8 million for Scotland’s economy and was the country’s largest ever festival in terms of its geographic reach, a new report has confirmed.
Figures provided by independent data collection organisation Culture Republic for the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), revealed that the year-long festival welcomed over 1.5 million participants and visitors (from home and abroad) to over 460 events.
In the report’s Foreword, Fiona Hyslop MSP, cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, said: “The celebration of our nation’s architecture is an important part of government’s responsibility for the promotion of Scotland’s culture. We were delighted to support the programme developed by the RIAS, along with a very wide range of partner organisations, which contributed to making the Festival a huge success throughout the RIAS centenary year. The Festival of Architecture 2016 achieved all of its goals and surpassed many.”
David Dunbar PPRIAS, chair, Festival of Architecture 2016, said: “The Festival of Architecture 2016 was Scotland’s largest ever single artform event. Year-long and Scotland-wide, it welcomed over 1.575million visitors, reaching parts no previous Festival has reached. Islands and remote communities held mini-festivals and small towns welcomed visiting exhibitions. 126 partner organisations, including the Children’s Parliament, the National Galleries and National Museums of Scotland, generated over 460 public-facing events.”
RIAS President, Stewart Henderson, added: “All those involved with last year’s festival knew we were onto something special. The public appetite for the art of architecture, communicated well, in lively and engaging performance, shows and exhibitions, is huge. On the back of last year’s success I am thrilled that the Incorporation’s ruling Council has voted to continue with a major architectural festival in September every year from now on. 2017 will be the first of those and the programme is already looking lively - and fun!”
Neil Baxter, the Incorporation’s chief executive (secretary and treasurer), first proposed marking RIAS’ centenary last year with a Festival of Architecture during his job interview in 2007.
He said: “This event was a long time in the making. It involved 126 partner organisations and the enthusiasm and talents of literally hundreds of volunteers and participants. This ‘umbrella’ style of festival has been used many, many times before - but never on the scale of a whole nation. Thank goodness it worked!”
The 2017 Festival will feature a reprise of the exhibition Adventures in Space and a major publication and touring exhibition on housing and house design in Scotland 2000 - 2020. It starts on Friday 1st September 2017.