The special award recognises the International Festival’s continued reinvention and inspiration to the arts and festivals world, as it celebrates its 70th anniversary. The EFFE International Jury said the International Festival is ‘one of the festivals proving strongly the enriching impact of arts activities on our society and their powerful message towards European integration.’
The award was presented to International Festival Chairman Professor Niall Lothian at the Arts Festivals Salon 2017 in Brussels, a two day symposium organised by the European Festivals Association which celebrates the role of festivals in society. ‘The Edinburgh International Festival is a gathering of people and a celebration of international accord,’ he said, ‘The International Festival is proud to contribute to this rich exchange with colleagues from across Europe and around the world. It is a great honour to receive this award, and our grateful thanks goes to the jury and the EFFE'.
The European Festivals Association was established in 1951 to bring together festivals in an effort to create dialogue, trust, friendship and collaborations across borders. Its founding mission to foster intercultural understanding and international cooperation through exchange of art, ideas and experience, echoes the founding principles of the International Festival, established 70 years ago to ‘provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit’ through a shared celebration of artistic excellence and cultural exchange.