As well as being about friends and family coming together and enjoying each other’s company, the festive season always feels to me like a cultural high point. Summer may be festival season, but in the run up to the close of the calendar so much is celebrated in Ealing.
I’m writing this just at the end of an incredible programme of cultural events and discussions for 2023’s Black History Month, looking forward towards Diwali, Bandi Chor and Christmas.
The traditions many families have at this time of year, whether it’s (safe and sensible) fireworks or maybe re-watching a well-loved Christmas film, are an important part of our collective cultural life. And Ealing has culture in its DNA.
Our cultural heritage
We are the ‘home of loud’, where the Marshall family built the first of the amps which would become an enduring symbol of rock and roll. We are the birthplace of British Bhangra and institutions like DesiHits, the first ‘Asian iTunes’.
The iconic Bogle l’Ouverture bookshop, which published black writers and radical thinkers, was in West Ealing.
We host the oldest film studios in the world, which are still in operation at Ealing Studios (yes, older than the very first film studios opened in Los Angeles). And, just recently, we added a string to our bow by opening a new, 8-screen Picturehouse cinema in Ealing, which joins ActOne in Acton, the Ealing Project in Ealing and the Odeon Acton.
And there is so much more. Cultural life in the borough is vibrant, thriving, and we are so incredibly proud of it. But we’re always hungry for more, so…
Borough of culture
Culture, arts and creativity can mean different things to different people. It might be singing in a choir, knitting, cooking for friends and family, learning to play a new instrument, or even doodling
in the margins of a notebook.
We’re all creative and, in order to build on our collective cultural heritage and bolster Ealing’s cultural life for the future, we are applying to be London’s Borough of Culture in 2025.
We’re competing against other London boroughs, so we need as many people as possible to get involved to support our bid and help us secure the additional financial support that comes with it. To galvanise, energise and support our cultural grassroots.
So, please, be part of it. Visit ealing2025.org for more.
Christmas card competition winners
And please take a look at this video where I announce this year’s Christmas card competition winners. You can see which amazing artwork we’ve chosen, they’re bound to bring a smile to those that receive them.
With all best wishes,