Cornish language festival confirmed for 2017
A nine-day Cornish language festival – the first of its kind – will take place in Penzance beginning in February.
Festival Kernewek - Penzance Cornish Language Festival will be held in The Acorn Theatre and is being organised by the educational charity Cornish Quest.
The festival programme is varied and full of activities relating to the Cornish language. Some events will be for people who are fluent in Cornish while many activities will be for people wanting to find out about this unique aspect of Cornwall, and for people interested in the history of Cornish.
Festival organiser Jane Howells said: “The festival will bring people together for an inspirational nine days connecting residents with the Cornish language, celebrating Cornish culture and exploring the heritage of Penzance through the medium of the Cornish language.”
A highlight of the festival will be a conference on Saturday, February 25. The keynote speaker will be the Council of Europe’s Dr Tove Malloy.
Dr Malloy is a member of the Advisory Committee on the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and chaired the panel of experts when they visited Truro earlier this year. The theme of the conference will be The Framework Convention, the European Charter and the Cornish Language.
Talks by leading cultural specialists, guided bilingual walks through Penzance and several evening suppers - including an event for people with Cornish surnames and one for the peoples of the smaller nations of Britain, will take place throughout the festival.
There will be plenty of music, workshops for businesses and heritage projects, and Cornish language courses.
Former Grand Bard Mick Paynter, from St Ives, will be re-running his very popular course on the History of the Cornish Language while author and performer Pol Hodge will give innovative sessions based on Cornwall's traditional folklore.
People are also urged to look out for the posters that have been specially commissioned from Jersey-based graphic designer Phil Regan who has worked on similar projects with the native languages of the Channel Islands.
The festival starts on February 25, and will culminate on St Piran’s Day, March 5, with a recreation of a medieval St Piran procession, accompanied by the choir Keur Heb Hanow carried on a horse drawn dray, from the ancient core of the town of Penzance to the original mother church at Madron where there will be a St Piran service at 11am.
The festival programme will be online at www.cornishquest.org from early 2017. Tickets are available from The Acorn, Penzance, on 01736 363545 and online at theacornpenzance.com