Please send me SCA's fortnightly briefing:

June 23, 2010

Heritage at its heart

One of the earliest harbours to be built on the Moray Coast was at Portsoy.  When the community held an event to mark the harbour’s 300th anniversary, it generated huge enthusiasm and interest in the local maritime and cultural history of the area.  What was originally planned as a one-off event has developed into a major maritime and cultural festival for the coastal communities in the north east.  The Scottish Boat Festival sets sail this weekend

In 1993 Portsoy celebrated the 300th anniversary of the creation of its harbour, which was one of the first on the Moray Firth. However, the celebration was so successful that it was decided to make it an annual event and thus was born the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival.

The Festival is now a limited company and registered charity. It owns Portsoy’s restored Salmon Bothy and will shortly own the Maritime Heritage building by the Old Harbour and some eleven boats.

The Festival’s vision is that – “Through the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, the Salmon Bothy and the Maritime Heritage, every member of the family can discover, enjoy, learn about and participate in the maritime and cultural heritage of the North East. This includes sailing, boat building, fishing, history, crafts, theatre, literature and language, music, dance and dancing and food and drink.”

The Festival’s aims are (1) to promote our maritime and cultural traditions, (2) to provide enjoyment for all the family by offering a wide range of activities at the Festival, and (3) to effectively manage the Salmon Bothy and Maritime Heritage. At a more strategic level the Festival aims to provide a key element of Scotland’s tourist programme; create economic benefits for the community; and develop an understanding and enthusiasm for our culture and heritage amongst all age groups and the young in particular.

We see opportunities for long-term growth in terms of quality, quantity, diversity and time span. This involves an expanded view of the Festival’s nature and outreach. It has become an umbrella organisation, creating an enabling environment for other activities to flourish.

The Festival is managed and run by a team of volunteers whose membership has changed considerably over the years. The Salmon Bothy is run by a separate team of volunteers whose work is coordinated by a full-time, paid Manager.

The Festival and the Salmon Bothy are funded through income from services rendered, volunteer labour, and through sponsorship and grants. This has proved a successful and so far sustainable mix.

Find out more about previous year’s festivals by clicking here: