The First Four Years
Jan 30, 2018
Many of you will have received an on-line questionnaire as part of a review of activities and events being undertaken by ‘Stills of Cardiff’ on our behalf (if you have not received the questionnaire you can still do so by e-mailing ‘email@example.com’). We have also taken this opportunity to review events within the Pavilion in the four years since it re-opened to the public and to assess their impact on the local community and our visitors from further afield. There have been many different types of events but most of them can be classified under the following headings:
• Musical events, both choral and instrumental;
• Community activities, including dance and other recreational activities;
• Holiday activities for children and families;
• Private hire events, such as weddings and family parties.
We have been delighted with the large number of music groups wanting to take advantage of the excellent acoustics within the Main Hall and have played host to more than 20 choral groups, many of which regularly return to the Pavilion. Singing is, of course, a most important part of life in Wales and, locally, we are fortunate to have such a large number of choirs, each with their own loyal band of supporters. The Pavilion has provided these groups with a splendid venue in which to perform and most of these choral concerts attract large audiences.
For the past four years we have hosted the Penarth Chamber Music Festival, with four days od concerts in July. With Musical Direction by David Adams, leader of the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera and Alice Neary, Principal cellist with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and a member of a number of many chamber music groups, including the Gould Piano Trio, these concerts have featured many of the world’s leading musicians, including a number who are residents of Penarth.
Other groups offering a wide range of musical entertainment include Sinfonia Cymru, the Stuttgart Youth Wind Band, the Keith Little Jazz Combo and Cardiff Palm Court Orchestra.
During our first four years we have put on more than 40 exhibitions in the Main Hall. Of particular importance have been those which have featured local artists and those which have highlighted some of the big issues facing our society, such as disability, dementia, depression and anxiety. Each year we have held the Pavilion Open Art Exhibition, providing a showcase for local artists, many of whom will never before have had an opportunity to display their art work in public. In 2009 PACL hosted the South Wales “Shelter Cymru Art Auction” in the Washington Gallery and did so until the Gallery closed in March 2013. Continuing with this tradition, the very first public event to be held in the restored Pavilion was the 2013 Art Auction for Shelter Cymru. In the past four years this event, held in the Pavilion, has raised almost £60,000 for this important Welsh Charity.
Community activities have developed significantly in the past two years. Some of the most popular events have been those which involve dance of one form or another, including Tea Dances, Lindy Hop sessions and Swing Nights. More recently we have been delighted to be able to offer twice weekly session of ‘Tai Chi for Health’. Last November we began a trial period of dance sessions with Rubicon Dance. These were so successful that just after Christmas we exchanged letters of cooperation with Rubicon. The two sessions on Tuesday morning will now continue and more activities involving Rubicon are being planned.
During most school holiday period we have put on a wide variety of activities for children and families. In addition to the ever-popular arts and crafts-based activities we have hosted the following speciality events:
• Magical Half Term with Simon Sparkles
• Young Artist Gallery Takeover
• Half Term Cinema Kids Club
• Dark Sky Wales’ fantastic pop up planetarium.
• Bouncy Castle
• Treasure Hunt
Turning finally to private hire events during our first four years we have hosted more than 25 weddings and numerous other family events. The income from these events has been a vital factor in maintaining the Pavilion as an important community facility and will continue to be so in the future.