Thursday, June 20, 2019
The skye times mobile

The creative director of a performing arts promotion charity has received Royal recognition for 28 years of dedicated service.

Duncan MacInnes, of Skye Events for All (SEALL) in Sleat was honoured with an MBE in the New Year Honours 2019 List for his services to the arts and natural environment on the Isle of Skye. 

Born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, 68-year-old Duncan came to live in Sleat when he was a young adult and took up a post as countryside ranger at the Clan Donald centre at Armadale Castle. It was here he first began promoting performing arts events, after the Old Stables building was turned into a restaurant.

Duncan said: "Because I was involved in the local drama group here, Edinburgh Mime Company approached me and said they wanted to come to Skye. I got them into the village hall. That got me thinking the Stables at Armadale Castle would make an excellent performance space and, by default, I became the centre's arts officer. We put on events with the likes of Capercaillie, Seolas, Archie Fisher and Hamish Imlach."

In 1991, Duncan finished working for the Clan but realised there was still an audience for performing arts on Sleat.

He said: "We had a very good local audience by then and so a group of people set up SEALL with me. I started promoting events in venues around Sleat and, 28 years later, I am still at it."

Duncan added: "Over the winter, I archived 28 years of posters and updated our database. We have held almost 2000 events so far."

 

This is the third time Duncan has been recognised for his services to the community and performing arts. In 2017, he was given a Highly Commended Special Award in the Rural Touring Awards. He was also one of seven individuals to be inducted into the 2018 Hands Up for Trad Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame.

Duncan lives in Sleat with his wife, Polly. Together they have four children, Hector, Mylo, Megan and Simon, and two grandchildren. Duncan added: "I am delighted to receive this honour and am grateful to those in the community that made it happen. It is wonderful to be rewarded for something I thoroughly enjoy doing.

"I am doubly pleased that the citation covers both the arts and natural environment, referring to a previous existence. I am but one of many, so raise a glass to all rural arts promoters and all Countryside Rangers."

 

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