The theme for this year’s Grimsay week, which takes place from November 1st to 5th is ‘Fearann ‘s Cànan / Land and Language’, which will celebrate the skills, history and potential of Uist crofting communities.
Matthew Topsfield, of Grimsay Community Association (GCA) described: “There are so many exciting projects coming together on Grimsay and this seemed to be the right time for us to join together to celebrate them and the place we’re in.
“Whilst our activities focus on delivering benefits to our communities today and into the future, they are deeply rooted in the history and culture of these islands.
“It is important that we recognise and preserve those traditions, but we must also revive and reinvent them to ensure they are sustained in the modern world.
“These events are not just a celebration of our heritage, but will give people an opportunity to learn or develop a skill that could open up new opportunities for them.”
The high point of the Grimsay week programme will be the official opening of the Wool Centre on Friday 4 November where people will get an opportunity to view the new exhibition/retail space along with tours of the Mill site.
New work using Uist Wool yarns has been commissioned from several designer-makers from the Outer Hebrides and this collection of garments, interior textiles and sculptural pieces will be premiered as part of the official opening event.
Uist Wool are also offering two special creative workshops with Berneray-based designer maker Flora Kennedy of Inner Wild and Catherine Sclater of Travelling Yarns, a regular visitor to the Outer Hebrides from her home-base near Drumnadrochit.
Anyone with an inventive mind is welcome to attend and even if you class yourself as a novice knitter there will be plenty of expert support to guide you through these informal and fun workshops. Men are particularly welcome and all materials will be supplied.
Grimsay Community Association will launch its heritage and local food programmes, as well as future plans for the former manse site.
Featured speakers will be Dr. Margaret Bennett on Eric Cregeen: Living Accounts of Island Life, Donald Cameron presenting a programme of recordings from the BBC and Dr. Ken Davies asking What is Sustainability in Crofting?
Grimsay Boatshed Trust has preserved traditional boatbuilding skills on Grimsay through its training programmes for young people and by maintaining the fishing fleet at Kallin Harbour.
The Blackland Centre / CEIA will hold an open house on the croft at 5 Scotvein, inviting visitors to learn about progress in reclaiming blackland on the east side of the Uists.
Other local organisations and businesses are also throwing their doors open to visitors include Uist Coastal Rowing Club and Kallin Shellfish and the week ends with ‘Grimsay Sparkles’, a ceilidh and bonfire on 5 November.
An events listing for Grimsay Week can be found on local noticeboards, the GCA Facebook page and at Ceann na h-Àirigh. All events are free to attend, but some will require prior booking (see listing for details).