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Issue 79 - Building Bridges

Scotland Magazine Issue 79
February 2015

 

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Building Bridges

Roddy Martine takes a look at The Building Bridges Conference

While the ski resorts of the Cairngorms, Glen Coe, Nevis Range, Glenshee and the Lecht have been enjoying the extremes of a belated winter climate, the days are noticeably becoming longer and touches of spring can be sensed on the horizon. Scotland makes the most of its seasons and connections, and on 17 – 18 March, the Building Bridges Conference: Connecting Scotland to its International Communities is scheduled to take place at the Royal Bank of Scotland Conference Centre at Gogaburn in Edinburgh.

An initiative of the Asia Scotland Institute in partnership with a raft of Scottish public and private bodies, this mutually profitable networking forum provides a not-to-be ignored opportunity for Scotland to re-generate its worldwide cultural, educational and business links. In the third millennium, it has become increasingly important for countries and continents to tap in to the global exchange of people, ideas and trade. And the Scots, with their historic network of migration are, if anything, ahead of the game, if they would only take steps to fully grasp the opportunities.

These are exciting times. “What we are trying to do is deliver a conference that is about far more than just increasing inward investment or levels of trade,” says the organiser Roddy Gow OBE. “It's about raising the ambition of what Scots and Scottish organisations can achieve by working together.”

And this is a sentiment that
Scotland Magazine, with its trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific reach of readership, sincerely and most wholeheartedly endorses; a sentiment that has underpinned the character of its content since it first began publication in March 2002.

Now as for this, the 79th edition of
Scotland Magazine, with the exception of Macbeth, superstitiously known as ‘The Scottish Play,’ the great English playwright William Shakespeare is not usually associated with Scotland. However, his astonishing attention to detail, place names, history and Celtic folklore implies extensive research allegedly acquired during a visit to Perth, Birnam and Aberdeen in 1599 as one of a troupe of comedians. That visit is said to have been arranged following a request for entertainers sent by James VI of Scotland to his cousin Elizabeth I, whom he succeeded as King of England on 24 March 1603 thus creating the Union of the Crowns. That a Highland Shakespeare Company should emerge four hundred years later is therefore all the more appropriate in that it performs out-of-doors at a series of Scotland's great historic houses -– and in all weathers!