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Flagship final month of outdoor arts events in Cumbria

August 3, 2012

An exciting four-year programme of outdoor events in the Lake District and other parts of Cumbria reaches its exciting conclusion over the next month. Lakes Alive has been the county’s unique contribution to the Legacy Trust UK programme, which was set up to help build a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

The flagship final month of events includes eight different events and festivals featuring more than 100 shows, which will be popping up in Cumbria. Streets, parks, pavements - and even a lake across Keswick - Brampton, Cleator Moor, Appleby, Cartmel, Whitehaven, Millom and Kendal, will become performance stages.

It will be the culmination of the critically acclaimed and publicly- loved four-year-long Lakes Alive programme, which is coming to an end after wowing tens of thousands since 2008 with its mainly free events Cumbria-wide. However, the organisers say the programme will leave a lasting legacy and are already planning more outdoor events in the county next year to build on the success of Lakes Alive.

Starting the summer events on August 10th-11th will be an extraordinary and surreal on-the-water performance called Water Fools by French company Ilotopie on Derwentwater, with spectator points at the Crow Park area.

It’ll be followed by a touring evening street party The Banquet commencing the week beginning August 13th in Cleator Moor, followed by Millom on August 14th, Talkin Tarn, Brampton on August 15th and Appleby on August 16th. The Banquets were a big hit with audiences last year and give people the chance to enjoy a picnic while watching a series of street arts performances.

Next up is two days of street art performances called Masquepony at Cartmel Racecourse over Friday and Saturday August 17-18th

The action then moves out west to Whitehaven Harbour on Monday August 27th with two street shows to warm up the crowds before the thrilling main show, an aerial performance by an Argentinian company called Voala at 8.30pm.

The curtain comes down with the flagship Lakes Alive event – the Mintfest International Street Arts Festival in Kendal on August 31st to Sunday September 2nd. International performers take over the entire town to thrill, amuse, puzzle and entertain. It is professionally regarded as one of Europe’s best street arts festivals and attracts street arts organisers from across the world as well as visitors from all over the country.

Julie Tait, Director of Kendal Arts International, which has overseen the four-year-long Lakes Alive programme together with Manchester International Arts, said: “This is going to be a landmark month for streets arts in Cumbria and a real treat for visitors and residents.”

She added: “The funding from Legacy Trust UK over the last four years, as well as the tremendous support we’ve had from other organisations, has enabled us to stage a large scale programme in Cumbria. While this may be the last month of Lakes Alive events under their current guise and programme, as part of the celebrations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we are already working hard on securing funding for events in 2013.

“Our aim is to ensure a lasting legacy for the county and to build on the reputation we have started to establish for Cumbria as a place that is at the forefront in staging and creating high quality and innovative outdoor arts. We look forward to continuing to bring enjoyment and surprises to many people, as well as the economic and social benefits that events like these can generate.”

Over the four year programme Lakes Alive will have included over 55 events and festivals with more than 1900 performers from across the world

Lakes Alive has also funded the creation of new work including On The Night Shift by French performers Commandos Percu working with British artists, which was one of four shows on the opening day of the London 2012 Festival. A number of other shows funded by Lakes Alive and created in the county have successfully been taken on tour of venues across the country and even overseas after performances in Cumbria.

Moira Swinbank, CEO of Legacy Trust UK, says “We are delighted that the Lakes Alive programme has been such a success. Over the past four years Lakes Alive events have ensured that the spirit of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was felt across Cumbria, and on an impressive scale. As a principal funder of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival we are proud to have supported such magnificent events as On The Night Shift and Mintfest, taking world class arts and culture to every corner of the UK. Lakes Alive has brought an explosion of creativity and talent to communities across the North West that will last well beyond London 2012”.