Embargoed until Thursday 18 September 2014

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A group of artists known as the Geo-Collective and three young people from the Bay visit the bi-annual UNESCO Global Geoparks Conference in Stonehammer, Canada this week, thanks to a successful bid by Torbay Council for Arts Council funding.

Whilst in Canada, the group will share their music and ideas - inspired by the English Riviera Geopark - with young people in schools and delegates at the conference from all around the world. They will  begin to collect ideas to inform a new geological-inspired piece of music to compose when they return.

The contacts made and information gathered will be used to create a large-scale piece of work for September 2016 when Torbay hopes to be hosting the next International UNESCO conference on Global Geoparks.

All the delegates and young people will be given a newly designed English Riviera Geopark temporary tattoo. The aim is to send everyone back to the four corners of the world to tell their friends, families and colleagues about the  GeoCollective and the English Riviera Global Geopark.

Torbay Council’s Executive Lead for Culture and the Arts, Councillor Dave Butt said: ‘This is an incredible opportunity for our young people to visit Canada  showcasing their talent, make contacts with the Geopark Community.

“Torbay is optimistic about winning the bid to host the next international Geopark conference in 2016, and I hope that this trip further adds to our campaign in demonstrating the enthusiasm and passion for the English Riviera Geopark held by our local young people.”

The trip is the next stage of the council’s Geo-Opera project, following the success of this year’s Opera Mash-Up project, which saw 20 young local people performing a newly composed piece ‘Falling’ at the Princess Theatre alongside Welsh National Opera in July .

Anyone interested in being involved in the next stage of the Geo-Opera project please should visit www.doorsteparts.co.uk and the English Riviera Global Geopark website at: www.englishrivierageopark.org.uk

Notes for editors:

  • The conference takes place in Stonehammer Geopark, St John Canada


  • The group will run workshops in two schools in Canada
  • As well as running workshops etc the team will be presenting the project as part of the conferences formal programme
  • The English Riviera Global Geopark is bidding to host the 7th International UNESCO Conference on Global Geoparks in 2016– the result of this bidding process will be announced during the Canada Conference
  • Supported by UNESCO, Global Geopark status is awarded to special places with internationally important geology and outstanding natural and cultural value. 
  • The significance of the English Riviera’s 400 million years of history was recognised when it joined the prestigious Global Geoparks Network in 2007, making it far more than just a popular seaside resort
  • To date, there are 100 Global Geoparks spread across 30 countries and the last few years have seen the initiative spread worldwide so that there are now existing Global Geoparks, or active applications on all continents

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