Sadly, the Upbeat Beatles concert in October last year was the final event and the Festival wil not be continuing. To the right is a farewell message from the Chair.

Ramsey Arts Festival Finished on a High Note

by Jon Novice, Chair Ramsey Arts Festival

Ramsey Arts Festival was founded by Raphael Terroni and Norman Beedie in 1990 with the aim of highlighting the importance of music and the arts in the cultural life of Ramsey. Over the course of the past 32 years we have promoted classical concerts, pop/rock concerts, theatre, street opera, comedy, poetry recitals, quiz nights and other activities of a cultural nature, with the aim of providing entertainment and enjoyment for the people of Ramsey and surrounding areas. In recent years however, several committee members have retired, and we have had little response to our pleas for new people to help steer and organise Festival events. We therefore very reluctantly decided to bring Ramsey Arts Festival to a close and our last event was the wonderful Upbeat Beatles concert at The Drill Hall at Ramsey Camp in October last year.

The final question for us as a Committee was what to do with the money we had left in our bank account. As the Arts Festival had always enjoyed links with Ramsey Abbey College and presented several events there over the years, it was agreed that setting up and funding an Arts Award would be a fitting legacy for all the work that the Ramsey Arts Festival committee had carried out over the last 32 years and a tribute to the founder, Raphael Terroni.

Consequently, the money has been donated to the Abbey College Performing Arts Department and will fund, for a minimum of 10 years, an award called "The Raphael Terroni: Outstanding Contribution to the Arts". There will be an annual trophy engraved with the winner's name that will be displayed in the school, and a smaller trophy that the winner will keep. Each winner will also choose a prize of their choice up to a certain value.

This award will benefit the school by encouraging students to pursue their passion in the Arts and the prizes will be sourced from local companies to maintain a community feel to the Award. The recipient of the trophy will be decided at the end of each academic year and awarded to the student who has contributed most positively to the Arts within their curriculum and also with their involvement in Abbey College's enrichment programme. Abbey College state that this will become a prestigious award and will also enable them to continue to raise the profile of the school. Particular thanks go to our treasurer John Prestage, and to Jessica Davey, Lead Learner for Performing Arts at Abbey College, for organising all this.

The Ramsey Arts Festival committee marked the end of the Festival with a celebratory meal at The Crown in Broughton in February (see picture). It was an evening of mixed emotions but overall, one of celebration and satisfaction with what we and previous committees, have achieved towards "highlighting the importance of music and the arts in the cultural life of Ramsey".

I'd like to thank our wonderful Ramsey Arts Festival committee members, present and past, for all their hard work over the past 32 years in bringing fantastic performers to Ramsey and to anyone who has supported us over the years, either financially or by attending any of our events.

It's been quite a ride!