The Royal Shakespeare Company have today announced a new festive ‘Advent Trail’ comprising of twenty-four unique and surprising window displays. Created in partnership with local shops, community groups and independent businesses based in Stratford-upon-Avon town centre.
Sponsored by Bell Court and with thanks to Stratforward BID, the ‘Advent Window Trail’ will run from Tuesday 1 – Thursday 24 December.
A new window display will be revealed each day of Advent, creating an immersive route around the town in the countdown to Christmas. Each window display will respond, in its own way, to the themes of the four seasonal blessings of Joy, Health, Love and Peace. Participating businesses will each be allocated a day in December in which to reveal their festive displays and light their windows.
As well as responding to the themes of Joy, Health, Love and Peace, participating businesses will each be asked to hide a gingerbread figure in their window display, creating an interactive game for families to enjoy.
Participating businesses include Castle Fine Art, Gemini Women, Sea Salt, Bell Court and the Bell Court tenants, Roly’s Fudge Pantry, Yorks Café, Vin Neuf Wine Merchants, Shakespeare’s Birthplace Gift Shop, Vinegar Hill, For Something Different, The Flower Shop, Stratford Antiques Centre, CG Optical, Escape Arts, Stratford College, Stratford Town Trust, Greys Opticians, Daisy Chain Gift Company, Sniff & Bark, Royal Shakespeare Company (Waterside), RSC Nursery at the Clore Learning Centre (Waterside), Cosy Chic Pet Boutique, All That Glitters, The Fourteas and Nashwhite.
Geraldine Collinge, RSC Director of Events and Exhibitions said:“As businesses across Stratford continue to adapt and respond to the challenges of COVID-19, we wanted to provide business owners, residents and visitors with the opportunity to celebrate all that is great about our town, and to feel connected to one another during this difficult time. Each window display featured in the Advent Trail will be uniquely curated by local business owners and community groups with support from the RSC’s Events and Exhibitions team.
“Visitors will have the chance to explore the town and engage with host premises as they make their way around the trail. We hope that this collaboration with Bell Court will bring some much-needed festive joy into the lives of Stratford residents whilst, at the same time, shining a light on the Stratford business community in this time of limited public movement.”
Holly Woodhead, Asset Manager on behalf Bell Court said: “We are delighted to collaborate with the RSC on this Advent Trail and hope that it will bring Stratford residents and businesses together this Christmas. The walking trail will showcase the different businesses in Stratford and will be a celebration of this historic market town, as well as a celebration of the festive period. There will be a number of window displays throughout Bell Court, designed by Stratford College, Seasalt, and Escape Arts. We hope this artwork will provide festive cheer to the Advent Trail participants.”
Joseph Baconnet, Stratforward BID Director, said; “The Christmas Advent window trail will create something positive for the town to enjoy. The RSC is helping to put the spotlight on some of our local businesses and charities who all need our support. With the RSC’s national and international reach, this gives the businesses taking part a boost to their profile at a key time of the year.
The ongoing impact of the pandemic on business is challenging to say the least and this trail will give people another positive reason to come into Stratford and to enjoy the window displays, stunning Christmas lights and all that businesses have to offer. We hope the gingerbread trail will attract families into town and provide a family activity.
Christmas is a time for sharing and we love that the RSC is reaching out to the town and sharing their influence and profile. We are committed to working together and keen to support the RSCs fantastic initiative. Long may it continue.”
Participants and members of the public are invited to share their photographs of the Advent Trail using the hashtag #StratfordAdventTrail
A full schedule for the Advent Trail featuring a list of participating businesses and locations can be found at www.rsc.org.uk/advent
For further information, please contact:
Kate Evans firstname.lastname@example.org 01789 412622 or 07920 244434
For press images, please register free of charge at https://images.rsc.org.uk/
BOOKING INFORMATION: 01789 331111 or www.rsc.org.uk
WITH THANKS TO OUR SUPPORTERS
Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk
The RSC is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.
Winter Wonderland and the Advent Window Trail is sponsored by Bell Court
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world. We produce an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers.
We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and we continue to nurture the talent of the future. We encourage everyone to enjoy a lifelong relationship with Shakespeare and live theatre. We reach 530,000 children and young people annually through our education work, transforming their experiences in the classroom, in performance and online.
Everyone at the RSC - from actors to armourers, musicians to technicians - plays a part in creating the world you see on stage.
We recognise the climate emergency and work hard to embed environmental sustainability into our operations, creative work and business practice and have made a commitment to reduce continually our Carbon Footprint. We have measures already in place from green electricity to replace energy consuming equipment with high efficiency, using low carbon equipment, and delivering programmes to raise environmental awareness across the RSC. We acknowledge that sharing our work with audiences across the world will involve travel and that we need to mitigate the impact of that on our carbon footprint.
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