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Gŵyl yr Enfys: a celebration of Ceredigion’s creativity

OVER four Saturdays in September, Theatr Felinfach hosted Gŵyl yr Enfys (The Rainbow Festival).

This was a virtual festival to celebrate the creativity and energy of Ceredigion and its people despite the historical lockdown. It was a creative, cultural, a digital festival for Ceredigion and the world and an opportunity to boost the feeling of summer fun and engagement and show that life, society and creativity continue to thrive despite the past few months.

Gŵyl yr Enfys was opened by the Leader of Ceredigion County Council, Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, on Saturday 4 September 2020, and although Theatr Felinfach only scratched the surface, it is hoped that the festival provided a picture of the wide range and diversity of businesses, opportunities, produce and live culture that we have within the county, giving our partners a platform and a voice, including; Llaethliw Vineyard, Canolfan Seren, Bar Cwtsh, Caru Gwin, Hathren Brownies and Bakes, Lampeter Beer and Cider Festival, Cered – Menter Iaith Ceredigion, Catrin Amhun – Wellness Coach, Bwca Band, Cwmni Theatr Arad Goch, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Ceredigion Museum, Cwmni Theatr Troedyrhiw, Richard Vaughan, National Library of Wales, Pontsian Young Farmers Club, Ceredigion Music Service, Bro 360, National Eisteddfod of Wales, Theatr Mwldan and Catrin Finch, Alaw Mair Jones, Catrin Davies and Barbara Roberts, Gwilym Bowen Rhys and Ryland Teifi.

The first three Saturdays of the festival were designed around a series of themes, which include food and drink, health, community and creativity within the county and on the last Saturday the festival highlights were showcased along with some surprises.

With the help of our partners we were able to compile examples of work and activities through films, talks and musical events that celebrated our culture, language, way of life and the land beneath our feet. From cookery workshops to mindfulness sessions, from wine and beer tastings to archive items such as the recollections of Cassie Davies, Tregaron. The festival was held on a digital platform, gwlyrenfys.cymru, and although the event has already been held, all the items can be viewed on-demand on Gŵyl yr Enfys YouTube channel.

Dwynwen Lloyd Llywelyn, Head of Theatr Felinfach, said: “Although organising the festival was a creative response to the lockdown, I am delighted with the way so many partners contributed to the festival, and I am confident that there is a basis for more collaboration and co-creation beyond 2020. Culture and the arts are key to building the confidence of our participants, and our audiences and there is no denying the far-reaching impact of our industry on the health and wellbeing of communities, on or beyond the stage.”

Rhian Dafydd, Business and Marketing Manager at Theatr Felinfach, added:

“The past few months have been and continue to be challenging times for everyone in all fields and industries. We now need to pave the way to get back into our work with staging performances and developing the participatory programme safely so that we can generate momentum and income to rebuild the work into the future.”

Councillor Catherine Hughes, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member for Porth Ceredigion, Early Intervention, Wellbeing Hubs and Culture, said:

“I would like to congratulate Theatr Felinfach on holding a first-class cultural, digital festival. Theatr Felinfach’s work and the success of Gŵyl yr Enfys is a testament to the importance of creativity to our society and a means of providing a boost to the people of Ceredigion.”

The festival ended on Saturday, 26 September 2020, and was officially closed by Ben Lake, MP for Ceredigion, who thanked Theatr Felinfach for reminding him and others that culture is the revolution.

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