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The Edinburgh International Festival has been awarded a Fair Saturday Award at the opening gala of Fair Saturday 2017 which took place at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao on Monday 30 October.

The award acknowledges the International Festival’s ‘vision, commitment to virtuosity and originality’ since it was founded in 1947 and recognises its ‘capacity to turn the city of Edinburgh into an annual meeting point for peoples of all nations’.

The Board of Trustees of the Fair Saturday Foundation said the International Festival is a ‘source of inspiration for other festivals’ which offers ‘affordable international culture to audiences from Scotland, the rest of the UK and the world while offering an international showcase for Scotland’s rich culture’.

Founded in 2014, Fair Saturday is a global cultural movement which aims to generate social change through art and culture. Thousands of artists and cultural organisations of different artistic disciplines gather on the last Saturday of November in cities around the world, participating in cultural events that support different social causes. This year’s Fair Saturday takes place on Saturday 25 November and will see artists participating in events across Spain, Peru, Italy and Colombia.

In recognition of cultural institutions that have made a social impact through international culture, other recipients of the 2017 Fair Saturday Award include the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, Fundación Nacional Batuta and La Tarumba.

Joanna Baker Managing Director of the International Festival accepting the awardReceiving the award on behalf of the Edinburgh International Festival at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao last night, Managing Director of the International Festival, Joanna Baker, commented: “It is a pleasure and privilege to receive this Fair Saturday Award, not only on behalf of the Edinburgh International Festival but also the many brilliant and inspirational people in the city of Edinburgh and in Scotland who have helped shape it over the past 70 years. They have also believed passionately in the transformative power of culture in our society and in the importance of making it accessible and affordable to all, values which we share in solidarity with the Fair Saturday movement.”

As part of a day of talks and events launching Fair Saturday 2017, Managing Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, Joanna Baker, was also invited to take part in a forum on the subject of ‘Culture for a better world’ with President of Honour of the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, Enrique Barón Crespo; President of Fundación Nacional Batuta, María Claudia Parias Durán; and Founder and President of La Tarumba, Estela Vargas.

Photos © Fair Saturday