Penicuik arts festival kicks off

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Penicuik’s annual festival of the music and arts, Penfest, gets underway on Saturday. Over the next nine days, there will be concerts, exhibitions and talks.

The artistic showcase kicks off with the festival ceilidh in Penicuik Arts Centre, West Street, on Saturday from 7.30pm. After a few words of welcome from Sir Geoff Palmer, musician Graham McDonald will be on hand to keep things going. This is a free event.

The annual Penicuik Turner Prize art exhibition opens on Saturday at 2pm. Throughout the week members of the public will be invited to vote for their favourite work.

At the end of the week the winner will be awarded the People’s Choice Trophy, designed and made by Jan Miller and donated by Penicuik Community Arts Association.

The work will also be judged by Roslin artist Aine Divine and the best piece will receive the Penicuik Turner Prize. This trophy was designed and donated by local blacksmith, Andrew Turner.

St James the Less Church, Broomhill Road, will be hosting a Peace Games in its grounds from 2pm. There will be games and crafts for all. The games are free and all are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Penicuik Community Development Trust’s cinema will be screening a film about Hamish Henderson, war hero, song writer and political activist. This will take place in Penicuik Town Hall on Sunday from 7.30pm. Doors open at 7pm.

On Saturday and Sunday, from 11am-4pm, there will be free entry to four studios all within walking distance of each other in Penicuik town centre. These include the Weaving Studio, 5b West Street; the Glass Studio, 15 the Square; the Painting Studio, 20A John Street; and Valleyfield House,17 High Street.

Bright and Beautiful is an exhibition of paintings and crafts by members and friends of St James the Less Church. The exhibition is housed in the church. The opening of the exhibition is on Monday, September 5 at 7pm when there will be wine, nibbles and musical entertainment by the viol group and other St James musicians. All are welcome to the opening event.

The exhibition is then open from Tuesday, September 6, to Saturday, September 10, from 10am-4pm and on Sunday, September 11 from 2pm-4pm.

Join members of Penicuik Folk Club for a singalong session in Shottstown Miners’ Club, John Street, on Tuesday, September 6, from 8.30pm. This is a free event. Expect a broad range of musical genres from folk, to self-penned to current hits.

Tickets are on sale for ‘Crossing Continents– a Musical Journey’ which will be held in the Arts Centre on Wednesday, September 6, at 7.30pm. Alison Cole , David Cole , Ross Cole and John Longley will present a varied programme of songs for voice, piano and instruments from Europe to the Americas, celebrating folk themes and a sense of place. Throughout the festival there will be an exhibition in Penicuik Library of artwork by local primary school pupils who have been considering the topic of migration.