Gŵyl Cymru festival of creativity and culture in Wales to unite The Red Wall
A 10-day-minimum creative event to bring communities together as part of the nation’s support for The Red Wall during their FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign in Qatar, has been announced by The Football Association of Wales (FAW).
Gŵyl Cymru Festival, starting November 19, aims to unify and amplify the wealth of arts, music and events being created for Cymru’s historic World Cup journey – in locations across Wales and beyond.
By creating spaces and opportunities for people to come together to celebrate the national team’s sporting success, Gŵyl Cymru Festival will also introduce new audiences to Welsh arts, culture and language – ensuring a cultural legacy to the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Key to the festival is supporting independent grassroots venues – and community organisations, football clubs, and venues are now invited to curate their own programme of events, workshops and performances to become part of the ambitious creative festival.
“The FAW are proud to be utilising our incredible World Cup campaign to work with grassroots independent venues through Gŵyl Cymru Festival,” Football Association of Wales CEO, Noel Mooney said.
“In collaboration with our fantastic partners, we are calling on arts centres, music venues, football clubs and community enterprises across Wales to join us in the support of our Cymru Men’s national team.
“The Gŵyl Cymru Festival events can range from live music events in front of 100s to art workshops or Q&As and comedy sets with 20 attendees. We can’t wait to see those across Wales join together in support of the Cymru team.”
Gŵyl Cymru Festival is supported by the Welsh Government’s World Cup Partner Support Fund.
Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething MS said: “The FIFA World Cup offers a historic opportunity to promote Wales.
“The Gŵyl Cymru Festival will build excitement for the tournament in Qatar and unite Cymru behind the team with a celebration of our wonderful culture and heritage. I am delighted the Welsh Government is supporting what promises to be a truly unique event.”
The open call is for any venue or organisation, in Wales and around the world, who are showing the Wales fixtures to submit their event details to join Gŵyl Cymru, and any activity within the arts world is applicable – from music gigs, comedy nights or film screenings to children’s activities, literary sessions and art workshops.
Elan Evans, Promoter at Clwb Ifor Bach said: “Music venues across the country have suffered since Covid-19, and are still in a period of uncertainty with the cost of living crisis, so we’re extremely grateful to the FAW for supporting grassroots venues and independent businesses with this festival.
“It’s amazing to see the national men’s team going to the World Cup, and I hope we all get a chance to come together to celebrate their success and to enjoy a modern and inclusive range of Welsh arts and culture across Cymru.”
The event is co-produced by the FAW and The Arts Council of Wales, with Nick Davies appointed as World Cup Arts Producer.
Nick Davies said: “This is a special moment for football in Wales – and also for Welsh culture.
“The world is watching so we want to create and promote events that best represent what Cymru is about – events that are inclusive, celebratory and fun, that people from all our communities can engage in.”
Lleucu Siencyn, Director Arts Development, Arts Council of Wales said: “The Arts Council of Wales is delighted to be working in partnership with the FAW on this unique nationwide festival of the arts.
“Nothing quite like this has taken place in Wales before! This is a fantastic opportunity for the arts sector to be part of the celebrations across our communities, creating long-lasting links between culture and sport in a fun and accessible way. We are grateful to the Welsh Government and the good causes fund of the National Lottery for supporting this programme.”
Y Wal Goch
Y Wal Goch or The Red Wall, is how the Cymru football fans have become known, a name first vocalised by Gareth Bale when describing that sea of red, who sing, dance, and cheer the team on; win, lose or draw.
But there’s so much more to being part of Y Wal Goch than supporting during 90 minutes of football. It’s about Welsh culture, music, fan fashion, history, geography, language. This is what makes us Welsh. This is what makes Y Wal Goch so unique.
The events will run from 19-29 November, but will continue past the first three games… hopefully.
The Arts Council of Wales’s fund, Create, is offering grants of up to £10,000 for artists, arts organisations and others to celebrate Wales’ footballing success, and engage with their communities. Applications to coincide thematically with Gŵyl Cymru and Wales in the World Cup 2022 will be open to October 10.
By signing up on the website – gwyl.cymru – activities and events will be listed in a directory and promoted as part of the festival online.
Organisers will also gain access to a digital toolkit, marketing material, videos, playlists, social media assets and art activities. The closing date for submissions is 19 October.
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