The spirit of Torchlight is that it is a community run and made celebration of the Districts’s life and work. It is about community creativity, empowerment and local pride, accountable to and produced by the people of the town and district itself. This great asset should be strengthened and built upon. As well as attracting large crowds of visitors, it is owned and loved by the people of the area because it is of and for the people of the area.
The focus now is to bring on and develop the Carnival aspects of Torchlight. This will be through the Creative Leaders Programme for local people to learn and develop the crafts and skills of carnival; be it in dance, music, visual arts, performance, technical support, digital sharing and marketing and carnival production.
We are running practical workshops every Saturday and Sunday in the Westmorland Shopping Centre through July and August to develop the creative content of Kendal Torchlight Carnival. At the core of the workshops will be professional master classes. Torchlight has invite some of the professional carnival producers locally and from across the region, to share skills and inspire local makers and shakers to develop their own imagination, craft and skills around carnival.
The Master Class and Workshop Programme will include: making carnival costumes and sculptures, choreographing movement and dance, making Fire as part of Carnival and learning technical and production skills.
Through inviting other Carnival Producers from across the region, we are hoping to strengthen and extend the network of Carnivals and Free Outdoor Festivals that exist across the region. We in due course would like to bring the performances, costumes and moving objects that have been developed in Kendal, to other towns and cities across the region and maybe beyond, as well as continue to invite other Carnival and Festival acts to be part of Torchlight.
We will be linking with the excellent facilities and teaching staff in the schools and colleges of the Kendal area to integrate the programmes that we develop with what students are already learning in their academic courses. We envisage that those with skills as electricians, joiners, artists, metal workers, actors,panel makers, fabric producers, musicians and other technical and engineering roles will enhance their skills as designers, problem solvers and producers as they confront the practical challenges of Carnival. We hope that young people’s involvement in Torchlight will be a bridge into practical careers in making stuff and the entertainment, hospitality, festival and creative arts theatre and music industries.
It is hoped that a Creative Leaders Programme will be developed as the beating heart of Torchlight, pumping the oxygen to give energy to the many manufacturing, tourist and other service industries that are the life blood of the district. This Programme could also have channels through into our festivals and creative producers in the District and Region.