FIRST BRIGADOON - 26 - 27th of June - Mary Seacole Gardens - Scrubs Lane Bridge!
Our first manifestation of Brigadoon - will be a series of yoga, unplugged gigs from bluegrass to bossa nova and speakers including Cleo Sylvestre (currently performing at the National Theatre), presenting her monologue The Marvellous Adventures of Mary Seacole on Sunday 3pm, with a Q&A. You can get your tickets for all events here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/bards-on-boats-17862011929
Please note: These are on a deposit basis as we have a limit of 12 seats on the deck of the Molly Anna - We are happy to refund your deposit when you arrive. Bring your picnic and join us on board. You are also welcome to sit in the park - we have a limited capacity of 30 in Mary Seacole Gardens - Scrubs Lane Bridge NW10.
"Everyone needs a little more canal in their life," is Your Canal Boat's slogan. Call us zealots. Cite the Law of the Hammer ("When your only tool is a hammer, the whole world looks like nails"), but we honestly believe that London's canals and its peculiarly elongate boats are the magic ingredient to address all problems: from incentivising physical activity, to teaching history to learning how to live a less carbon-intense lifestyle, in the middle of the world's most interesting city .... just add some canal. It's fun. And since the pandemic, of dire importance.
Because with live venues shuttered for over a year now, the world's greatest entertainers need performance spaces, and the canals offer them, in abundance, outdoors, in Covid-19 secure surroundings. Places like Mary Seacole Park in Harlesden, where last September -- the same week that pubs were being forced to close an hour early -- we debuted "the world's smallest canal boat festival," in a place that hadn't seen performance in 220 years.
We know dozens of places like that. Many are scattered along 13 miles of the Paddington Arm connecting Central London to Southall and Hays. Add a boat for musicians and each one becomes a venue. We want to add up to 20. Three kitted out as stages, to support music and talks; and a village's worth of "roving traders," boaters who full-time occupation is selling selling goods and services on the water.
Moving as one, in accordance with Canal and River Trust requirements for continuous cruising, our Brigadoon-like village will appear in a new spot every two weeks, like its mythical namesake, (on caffeine) as we traverse the whole of West London, gradually morphing into an Indian-flavoured gal.
Indeed, each weekend program is intended to reflect the surrounding community, with outreach to local schools, and support from local business. And each two-week residency concludes with residents meeting CRT and municipal officials to discuss maintenance of the site, and begin planning next year's event.
Brigadoon will pull back the curtain on the event planning process as well, giving residents access to our library of site-specific risk assessments and Covid-19 protocols to facilitate replicating the event, and helping the procession become an annual affair.
We've got great rewards for those who contribute: £5 gets you a pint with the Captain, for £50 you can join the crew when we move. Need a venue for your wedding reception? We can provide that too, with a singer-songwriter singing indie tunes. Whatever your need, we know how to fix it. Just add some canal.
WEEKEND FESTIVALS (free to everyone!)
- a flotilla including 3 stages, and roving traders offering everything from food and drink to books and bicycle repair. All the goods and services you'd hope to find at any self-respecting festival!
- well-being (yoga, cycling and running)
- live music
- open stage
- nautical skills (knot-tying, mooring, canal history, rescue)
- talking panels / community discussions: environment, writing, canal life
- writer's Q&A and book signing including Cleo Sylvestre (pictured below with HER backup singers in 1964)
- workshops for kids and youths: nautical skills, vlogging, history, sea shanties
- well-being: running, cycling, yoga and fitness
- competitions: Canal's Got Talent
- Historical poster competitions (schools / community group)
HOW WILL WE USE THE MONEY?
Assembling all of this, planning it, permitting it and managing it occupies several people and lots of volunteers. These are the costs we need to cover:
1 FTE staff over 7 months to plan events, book artists and engage with community groups - £9,107
Boat rental for 14 days - £7,000
Music acts - £2,100
Performers: Circus, puppeteers, actors 14 days - £2,100
Workshop facilitator leading children's activities - £1,750
Event Marshall/Cleaning staff to maintain Covid-safe practice - £1,500
Business Skills for Boaters trainer - £1,400
Event promotion- £1,000
Materials to create additional stage boats for event and future use - £850
Portaloo for 7 weekends - £700
Other - £4,63