Launch in Scotland


The European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH) 2018 had its launch for Scotlsand on the 9th of April in Edinburgh.  Held at the French Consulate the launch entertained invited over 100 attendees of various organisations in the charity and cultural sector.

Opening the event was Innis Carson a Trumpeter who played Ode to Joy, the European Commissions anthem and part of the EYCH’s #ode2joy celebration being held across the programmes participants.


Introduced by Madame Vassalo; Mr Graham Bell (national co-ordinator of EYCH) addressed invitees about the significance of the European year of Cultural Heritage and the ground that has already been broken by Scotland through the last few months (being that they have made up about 15% of events in the current EYCH calendar.)

In this sense being the launch was later than others throughout the year it gave the opportunity to have a sense of reflection as well as the excited foretaste of the rest of the year. 

Similar launches have happened throughout the United Kingdom with England’s launch in January in London and Wales in March. While the Republic of Ireland celebrated the Countries launch back in January. 

Commissioner Phil Hogan, (a Kilkenny man himself) and acting EC for Agriculture and Rural Development followed Mr Bell with a talk that not only reflected his own optimism for the relationship between Ireland and Scotland (that beyond a cultural love of whiskey) but also that with Europe. He tweeted later as an Irishman, I am conscious of how much our two countries share, both in terms of history and culture. Our Celtic past binds us together in an unbreakable way.”

Head of the European Commission for Scotland, Mr Graham Blythe would express the value that Scotland has through its intangible and tangible heritage. Scotland has various UNESCO sites which all present reflections of the shared history in the Country.

Fiona Jane Hyslop MSP and the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs also shared her optimism with the cultural programme as the year co-insides with Scotland’s own year of young people. Fueled with ideas and imagination the Cabinet Secretary expressed her belief that Scotland still has so much to give the rest of Europe being that already so much has been shared historically.

The launch was held at the Consulate General of France in Edinburgh, the B-listed Lothian Chambers that was recently made in to the ‘The House of France.’

2018 has been designated European Year of Cultural Heritage. Initiated by the European Commission, 26 countries are developing their own programmes that will encourage, discover and celebrate our common cultural themes. In the UK, the aim is to demonstrate that our cultural heritage spans all aspects of our national heritage and traditions as well as the creative talent of the arts and design, much of which has European influence. 2018 also is an opportunity to explore the influence of social diversity on our culture, especially European communities within and enhancing UK culture. This combination of themes and people makes 2018 a significant opportunity to share beyond our traditional audiences.