Scotland's creative ageing festival Luminate is five and going strong!

Luminate was created to address the issue of improving the quality of life of our ageing population. Over the years Luminate has brought a bold and diverse festival programme to communities and organisations from Shetland to Dumfries and Galloway and this year is no exception. This year’s programme features an increasing number of dementia friendly events, aimed at people living with dementia in care homes and day centres as well as those supported by family carers.

Luminate Director, Anne Gallacher, said, “Once again in 2017 Luminate will reach communities up and down the country. In our fifth birthday year the programme features something for everyone whatever your age – you’ll find lots of opportunities to take part in new creative activities, or to visit exhibitions, performances or screenings that explore what ageing means to all of us. And I am delighted that the growth of activities in care settings as well as dementia friendly events means that Luminate is becoming increasingly accessible each year. Creativity has no age, and Luminate proves that again this October!”

Highlights in Edinburgh will include Art in the City – Behind the Scenes that offers the chance to discover a hidden treasure trove of museum collections at the Museums Collection Centre, Edinburgh.

Dance and music have always played a major role and this year the iconic Lindsay Kemp leads free contemporary dance and performance art classes at Dance Base, Edinburgh that is part of a series of free classes, Freedom of Movement also features classes led by Chris Stuart Wilson, Morag Deyes and Matthew Hawkins. Illuminations showcase features new work by Lindsay Kemp, as well as new solos created by Scottish choreographers for members of older dance company, PRIME. Keen participants can also have a go with Appalachian Autumn, Scotland’s only Appalachian dance group Kick the Cat and learn some percussive ‘clogging’ steps at the Dean Bowling Club, Edinburgh.

The recently restored St Cecilia’s Hall hosts the Scottish premiere of John McHugh’s multi-media composition Hidden Voice, giving voice to people living with dementia and featuring musicians from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh, there’s an opportunity to meet and sing with The Vintage Chorus, led by Wendy Weatherby.

This year the spoken word features across the festival including Reading Muriel Spark at the National Library of Scotland focusing on selections of work from Scotland’s archive and at the Scottish Poetry Library, a workshop will focus on Edwin Morgan’s poetry in the format of a traditional book club.

Theatrical events include Blanche & Butch from Birds of Paradise about a couple of disabled drag queens discussing life presented by a group of intergenerational performers whose final show of their tour is at Edinburgh’s Summerhall that will be followed by a cabaret. Lung Ha Theatre Company will be in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and St Andrews with Linda McLean’s highly acclaimed play Thingummy Bob while Hearts & Minds’ production, Curious Shoes, designed for people living with dementia, goes on its first tour as part of Luminate. And with an international cast aged 30-75 Dammed Rebel Bitches celebrates the independent risk-taking women of the war years generation and will show at the Traverse. Also at the Traverse is a return by Thrawn Craws with a series of new short plays entitled A Brief Archaeology of Love and at the Living Memory Association, Ocean Terminal join the Citadel Arts Group’s Dancing with Mrs Murphy by Vincent Maguire.

Luminate also continues to support a nationwide outreach programme taking the arts to older people in care homes, day centres and social clubs. From our launch year the young musicians of Live Music Now Scotland have brought their talent and skills to older people across Scotland, and once again they will be performing in community venues across Scotland during Luminate.

Luminate’s principal supporters are Creative Scotland, The Baring Foundation and Age Scotland as well as Baillie Gifford.

Sunday 1 – Tuesday 31 October 2017

For full programme listings or to download a copy of the brochure visit where there are opportunities for people to engage creatively online or simply watch and enjoy Luminate performances and exhibitions at home.