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Pioneered in 2004, the festival committee is placing increasing emphasis on its

initiatives for the young

These provide a growing range of opportunities for children to learn about and participate in the culture and heritage of the region.

The committee would like to note its appreciation and thanks to Aberdeenshire Council and the Head Teachers of local primary schools for their enthusiastic support for this programme.

The original project involved music. Dave Francis with a team of tutors visited local primary schools and, working with the children, produced a set of 'ballads fae the bairns'. 2006 will see the third year of this project with the 'Ballads n' Beats' project.

In 2005 sailing and boat building were introduced with enormous success. Plans are well advanced for the development of both sailing and boat building.

New in 2006 will be an exciting visual arts project, to be carried out in conjunction with Norwegian schools.

Also new in 2006, and working in cooperation with NHS Grampian, there will be a cookery project for children and parents (Fun with Food).