New community arts centre Y Festri in Llanberis was officially opened by Arfon Assembly Member Sian Gwenllian, with more than 300 local people and arts organisation representatives in attendance.
The opening had little tastes of what Y Festri hopes to offer in the future; including interactive poetry by Welsh Youth Poet Laureate Martin Dawes, an empowering speech on arts and identity by historian Rhys Mwyn; Syrcas Cimera did a breathtaking acrobatic balance juggling routine to live music, and there were fine art paintings by local artist Karrina Rosanna Barret and graffiti boards by local artists from Happy Medium on display.
Said Sian Gwenllian, “I was very pleased to be invited to cut the ribbon at the grand opening of this exciting community venture, and it was fantastic to see so much support among the local people and businesses. The arts are so important on so many different levels - they can bring hope and comfort in difficult times, they can help prevent problems or be the source of healing when things go wrong, and they’re great fun for individuals and communities alike.”
Y Festri's charitable mission is to promote and develop arts initiatives and projects by providing a dedicated creative centre in Llanberis. The building on Goodman Street was formerly known as Theatr Fach and run by the charity Cwmni Drama. 3 years ago a new committee and new trustees were elected, the charity updated the constitution and a new name 'Y Festri' was born. According to trustee Merlin Tomkins, the name signifies the charity’s aim to promote a broader spectrum of arts and performance, to include more contemporary arts, circus, visual and digital disciplines with a strong commitment to the Welsh language.
“The building has been renovated with help from a grant from Mantell Gwynedd to replace lightning, heating and fire services, but the majority of the work was achieved by the huge number of volunteers and donations from local businesses and organisations. The commitment and support from the community in Llanberis has been overwhelming”, said Merlin Tomkins.