Events News

The Tinderbox Orchestra Heads to Dumfries for The Big Jam

The Big Jam 2
The Big Jam

A ‘punk orchestra’ will come to Dumfries over April and May to collaborate, compose and improvise with young musicians during five Saturday workshops, as well as offering an opportunity to perform at the Theatre Royal. The Big Jam workshops, presented in collaboration with Dumfries Music Conference, and supported by The Stove Network and D&G Arts Festival, will provide musicians with the opportunity to work with the Tinderbox Orchestra. The Orchestra, which features a fusion of instruments, styles and people, write and perform original compositions. The group will host a series of free workshops in Dumfries town centre that are suitable for musicians aged 12 and over.
Founded in 2010 as a small community youth orchestra with a difference, Tinderbox has grown to become a ground-breaking youth arts organisation, charity and social enterprise. Tinderbox aims to ignite a spark in young people; one which fills them with confidence, imagination and a sense of possibility, and which enables people to achieve things they never thought possible. Tinderbox Orchestra will collaborate with Dumfries Music Conference to undertake a five-week project in Dumfries during April and May, which will culminate with the group’s performance at the town’s Theatre Royal on 27th May. During these five-weeks, free workshops will be held for five consecutive Saturdays, starting on 22nd April at Lovers Lane Studios from 12-4pm. Musicians will have the opportunity to play with a real-life orchestra and learn the craft of scoring an orchestral composition to go along with their own performances and song-writing endeavours.

Participants are invited to attend all or some of the sessions and to bring along their instrument, so that they can play with the group. The sessions will focus on a different piece each week, which will interweave around writing a group composition. Experiment with ideas, collaborate with other musicians and become part of the country’s loudest, most innovative orchestra.

For more information, visit DMC on Facebook @DumfriesMusicConference

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The Future is Bright for Lincluden and Lochside

Creative Futures image 2

Over the Easter weekend, Lincluden was treated to two days of family activities and events, when Creative Futures Lincluden and Lochside hosted a variety of creative workshops in Lincluden Abbey and Lincluden Community Centre.


Easter Sunday saw the return of Abbey Antics at Lincluden Abbey.  Throughout the day, Medieval Monks led a series of workshops, which gave children and families the chance to learn how to weave, make pens from goose feathers, learn metal work techniques and take part in walking through a labyrinth. Dragon Egg making workshops were also held, as well as Fairy Walks and a Unicorn Quest. The day was part of ouir initiative led by Creative Futures, which focuses on bringing the Abbey back into community life, as well as giving young people the opportunity to learn about the significant heritage of their local area in an exciting and engaging way.


On Monday, the fun continued with a ‘Hoosewarming’ to celebrate the launch of our Creative Futures project at Lincluden Community Centre. This event was a chance for the community to meet the Creative Futures team and get hands-on experience of creative techniques, as well as discuss projects and opportunities for local people in the future.


Creative Futures Lincluden and Lochside is our new four-year project in North West Dumfries. It is an exciting and innovative project which uses creativity and local history to provide opportunities for young people within the Lochside and Lincluden areas of North West Dumfries. We aim to help local people develop their skills, develop their local area, increase their opportunities, improve their quality of life, connect with one another, try out new experiences and thrive as a community.

If you missed out on the fun last weekend then not to worry – we will be hosting another Housewarming event at Lochside Community Centre on Saturday 29th April. This will be another opportunity for local people to meet everyone and get involved with our open day of arts activities, information, food and music. For further information and drop-in sessions through the week contact

Creative Futures Housewarming

My Dumfries Story

From Jimmy Russell

Jimmy Russell has been working as part of the Our Norwegian Story (ONS) project since the beginning of this year, researching and compiling stories and histories of Dumfries’ Norwegian Connection. Following a recent call out, Jimmy is also closing the ONS Trail Launch this weekend, with his performance, My Dumfries Story at 6pm this Saturday, 15th April.

‘The research I have been doing for Our Norwegian Story has been surprisingly broad, bringing together stories of Norwegian soldiers’ military, sporting or romantic exploits and the legacy of each. Between scanning photographs from Dumfries Museum’s collection and scouring the Ewart Library archives, I have interviewed Doonhamers with memories or memorabilia from the 1940s. These folk have lent some personality to what could otherwise have been an interesting yet passionless exercise.

King Haakon reviews forces, troqueer Holm Field march past 1940

One of my favourite discoveries was tracing, through use of old photos and digital maps, the route that Norwegian arm recruits marched from their training ground at Troqueer Holm field to their base at the old mills in 1940 during King Haakon’s visit. At the intersection of Rosefield Road and Pleasance Avenue the king was photographed standing by a tree as his troops went by, and that spot hasn’t changed much in the past 77 years! Another special moment for me was finding images of a football match between Norwegian and Polish soldiers, probably during 1941-42 Inter-Allied tournament, which took place on the playing field of St Joseph’s College – my old secondary school!

While writing the website content for ONS I have been inspired by personal stories I have heard as much as learning about the broader situation of Norwegians fleeing to Britain. With My Dumfries Story I want to create an accessible and emotive link between those fading individual memories and the official history. By sharing the journal entries of an imaginary Norwegian living in wartime Dumfries I want to draw a composite sketch of the exile experience. Part of this process has been retracing the steps of Norwegians between various points on the trail and wider map, trying to walk in the boots of those welcome foreigners and capture what might have been felt in writing and drawing.

My background includes a degree in Scottish history and philosophy, museum and art gallery work, as well as creative writing and performance. I am also well travelled and interested in issues of migration. Hence the experience of working on Our Norwegian Story and My Dumfries Story in parallel has been both professionally and personally rewarding. I hope the results generate a greater interest in the rich, surprising history of Dumfries, but also in oor toon’s place within international contexts.’

Find our more about the Our Norwegian Story project here, and for details of the Trail Launch this weekend please find out more here, or join our Facebook Event. All events are free to attend, and no booking is required!