‘Best year yet’ for Swaffham Visual Arts Festival

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Organisers of Swaffham’s annual Visual Arts Festival have hailed 2017 as its best year yet.

More than £6,000 was raised for good causes during the month-long showcase, which is organised by the town’s Rotary club.

And nearly half of that came from the club’s share of proceeds from the sales of pieces displayed at the festival’s closing exhibition.

Festival patron Tony Abel said: “On all measures the Swaffham Rotary’s 2017 Visual Arts Festival has achieved the best results in its 22 year history.

“The quality of events and speakers, the size of audience, the number and value of exhibition sales, and the total sum of money raised for good causes all exceed the previous best figures. 2017 has been a great year.”

Club president Bill Muir paid tribute to Mr Abel’s contribution as festival patron this year, a role in which he succeeded the town’s former MP, Baroness Shephard.

He added: “Many people have helped make this festival a success. We particularly acknowledge the West Acre Theatre, partners in our launch event with an outstanding performance of the award-winning play Art.

“We thank the presenters of our other Festival events. Above all we appreciate the loyalty, enthusiasm and cooperation of our exhibiting artists and craftspeople whose consistent quality demonstrates the strength of artistic activity in North West Norfolk.”

As part of the festival, the club also organised an arts competition for pupils of local schools to display their talents.

And Mr Muir visited the town’s Nicholas Hamond Academy last Tuesday to present the prize to the competition winner, Beatrice Bowen.

He said: “We were delighted to work with local schools to run the competition. We congratulate Beatrice on her win and thank the other entrants who competed.

“I should also thank everyone who supported the festival in any way.”