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Moves to reconnect Dumfries with Norway

By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Moves to reconnect Dumfries with Norway

A DELEGATION from Norway is to explore moves to re-establish formal links with Dumfries.

The visit by the director and chair of the board of regional arts centre Vestfold Kunstsenter has stemmed from the Stove Network’s ongoing project ‘Our Norwegian Story’ that explored Dumfries’ connections with Norway — specifically as the headquarters for Norwegian exiles during WWII.

‘Our Norwegian Story’ established new cultural connections, and lead artist Katharine Wheeler said: “We are excited to be hosting a visit from the director and chair of Vestfold Kunstsenter in Tonsberg next week.

“We visited Tonsberg at the end of last year and made some really interesting connections with the Vestfold Kunstsenter.

“They are particularly interested in rekindling a cultural relationship with Dumfries and we can’t wait to open that opportunity up to everyone else in the town.”

Tonsberg is the hometown of many of the first wave of Norwegian exiles to Dumfries.

And for many years the Norwegian town donated a large Christmas tree to Dumfries, and the two communities were once formally twinned.

The Stove note this arrangement has lapsed, and say next week’s visit aims to explore the re-establishment of a civic connection.

Amy Marletta, from arts organisation Upland, said: “We are very keen to explore ideas which would connect young people from both regions through these artistic collaborations.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council are hosting an event next Thursday to give an opportunity to share ideas for partnership working.

Short presentations by The Stove Network and Vestfold Kunstsenter will be followed by discussion and informal networking.

And later that day, cultural and arts organisations from the area will meet with the Norwegian delegation.

Council leader Elaine Murray said: “We’ve had great success in working with Norway in the past, and have linked in with various strands of sports, arts and culture to create strong relationships over a number of years.

“I look forward to the event and hope this relationship continues to prosper.”


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