Culture Vannin is the new name given to the re-branded and re-launched Manx Heritage Foundation.
At a launch party held at the Villa Marina Arcade, Douglas, chairman of Culture Vannin, Phil Gawne MHK, outlined the new approach to the organisation, which both promotes and supports Manx culture in many different ways.
The organisation took the opportunity to announce the name change during this year’s Island of Culture, and feels that the name Culture Vannin, along with the new motto ‘Taking Culture Forward’, better reflects the work that is done by the organisation, while the former title held connotations more towards the cultural history of the island.
‘The Manx Heritage Foundation has been a really important organisation it has had a fantastic role,’ said Mr Gawne after the launch, ‘and we’ve seen this evening some of the wonderful work that that organisation does. But the title Manx Heritage Foundation doesn’t really tell people what we’re about. We’re much more to do with contemporary culture as we are to do with the past these days.
‘We’ve got an awful of work going on in encouraging people to find out about the culture of the Isle of Man and to engage with it, and to create a new identity for the people living on the Isle of Man.’
The Manx Foundation was founded in 1982 by Act of Tynwald, and played a very prominent role in the world of Manx Culture through development, grant-giving and educational support. It played a crucial part in the creation of the role of a Manx language officer within the Department of Education, which paved the way for Manx to be taught in the island’s schools, and, ultimately, to the creation of the Bunscooil Gaelgagh in St John’s.
It has also been a pioneering force in the publication of books, DVDs, CDs and language apps, providing a body of educational resources and creating a platform to record the island’s changing cultural landscape through documenting oral histories and photographic records.
The re-brand will allow that work to continue, but Culture Vannin hope the new identity will provide a fresh impetus to the Manx cultural landscape, and already have a list of events and new releases planned for 2014. There is the ongoing ‘1,000 words in Manx in a year’ challenge, the launch of a new website featuring Culture Vannin’s archive, the publication of music books, and ongoing support for Manx musicians, some of who are gaining international acclaim.
Mr Gawne said: ‘There is a range of really good things we are doing; wonderful work in relation to educational support for the schools, videos, fantastic books on loads of really interesting topics that people wouldn’t get to find about if we weren’t publishing these books.’
• At the re-launch of Cultural Vannin, talented performer Clare Kilgallon was award the prestigious Reih Bleeaney Vanannan trophy.
The award is presented annually to a person or group that’s made an outstanding contribution to Manx culture.