Festival expands its offering in 31st year

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This year’s Peebles Arts Festival programme was launched last week, with lots of exhibitions, events and workshops set to entertain the public.

The festival, which runs from August 23 to September 1, will again highlight the best of the local arts community, and this year also includes literary and photography events.

“We’re celebrating 30 years of arts festivals this year and we’d like to acknowledge the support of local arts organisations, funders and supporters for making the festival happen” said Douglas Roberts, festival chairman.

He added: “We’d like as many locals and visitors alike to get involved in this year’s event and help us celebrate the arts in Peeblesshire and the Borders.”

Highlights this year include ‘The Border Boys’, a major show of paintings and sculpture celebrating the careers of artists from the Borders, or claimed as one of our own.

Another top pick from this year’s programme is a showing of Hitchcock’s classic adaptation of the 1915 spy novel, The 39 Steps, which will be preceded by a short talk from Lady Deborah Stewartby on her grandfather, John Buchan, the book’s author.

Acclaimed local photographers Jason Baxter, Liz Hanson and Graham Riddell will also be exhibiting their works, while there are lots of hands-on workshops where festival-goers can get directly involved in all kinds of activities.

The new literary programme will see top children’s author-illustrator John Fardell giving tips and answering questions in a fun family session.

Crime writer Lin Anderson, creator of forensic expert Dr Rhona MacLeod, will also take people on a journey into Scottish crime fiction at her event.

Other new features this year inlcude Film Sundays at the Eastgate Theatre and the Courthouse Restaurant outdoor music stage.

At the launch, a new festival logo and website was also revealed.

Visit www.peeblesartsfestival.org for full details.