Mike Gibb
Mike Gibb

Projects which received a financial shot in the arm to bring their ideas to fruition are encouraging other applications to a scheme which celebrates the richness and diversity of the North East’s Doric culture.

The Doric Board has opened the 2024 New Year awards to applications from projects which celebrate the region’s exceptional heritage of Doric language, music, ballad, song, story, history, lore – and the creativity of those who live and work in the area.

Grants of up to £1000 will be made available to applicants who reside in the North East to assist in the funding of projects which comply with the Board’s objectives – the promotion of the language, traditions, and culture of the North-east of Scotland. 

The scheme is part of the founding aim of the Doric Board and was created with the support of the Scottish Government to develop and support a sustainable, dynamic future for Doric as a vibrant language.  The Doric Board (North-East Tradition and Language – NETAL) aims to be a powerful voice for social and economic regeneration, and a driver towards a national Scots language board. 

One previous recipient is Aaron Gale who commented: “During lockdown, I wrote and illustrated ‘Aul McDonald hid a Fairm,’ a children’s picture book in Doric. Despite great feedback, I found it difficult to find a publisher willing to take a risk on a story in Doric. 

“However, in 2021 I received a grant from the Doric Board towards printing costs.  This directly led to the creation of Doric Books CIC, a not-for-profit publisher specialising solely in Doric work.  Since our first publication, Doric Books has published eight books as well as held a variety of Doric storytelling events, workshops and community engagements all over the Northeast.  We’re still very grateful for that initial grant that kicked us off.”

Author and playwright Mike Gibb added: “It has a been a privilege to work with the Doric Board over the course of the last few years.  Their generous support has allowed me to self-publish two local books, ‘Forgotten Heroines of the North East’, which has just enjoyed its fourth print run, and ‘I Had Never Heard A City Cry Before’, a novel commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster.

“The Doric Board have also made it possible for me to produce during Covid lockdown an abridged version of my stage play ‘Doorways in Drumorty’ featuring the original cast of 2019 Scottish tour.  A DVD of that film has been made available to care homes and similar audiences all around Scotland.  A Doric Board grant also made it possible to produce a film version of my short play about opera diva Mary Garden.

“In recent times I have given numerous talks to Probus clubs, Church Guilds, SWI Group and the likes all around the North East publicising the work, and the invaluable support, of the Doric Board in the process.

Commenting on the 2024 Doric Board New Year Awards, Doric Board chair Frieda Morrison said: “We hope that the stories of Aaron, Mike and many other previous recipients will inspire other people to bring their ideas to the table.  We look forward to assisting some of the wealth of great work which takes place to promote the language, culture, and heritage of the North East.”

Applications should be emailed to The Doric Board by December 12th, 2023.  Funds will be made available to successful applicants in mid-January 2024.  To find out more, visit the website at www.doricboard.com or email info@doricboard.com