WELLAND: A Festival of Joy

Welland takes place in Elland with the aim of helping people to live well for longer by providing creative, inspirational, and inclusive activities
that celebrate and bring together our community.
We’ve enjoyed two years of Welland so far, with all sorts of amazing practitioners, artists, support services, and local people coming together to provide new opportunities. Welland 2019 took place on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th June.

2019’s festival explored the theme of ‘Move Well, Live Well’ – ways people can live happier, more connected lives by getting moving, meeting others, and trying out new activities. It also had a uniquely global flavour, as Welland happened during an international celebration of wellness – Global Wellness Day, which is celebrated around the world every year!

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I’m Sam McCormick, Festival Director, and I’m a professional dance and movement practitioner. I also live and work in Elland. I run a small non-profit, Curel CIC, alongside my friend and colleague Alice Grayson. Curel hosts Welland and our aim through all of our work is to help people live well for longer through inclusive and accessible movement-based activities.

Alongside my work for Curel, I also work on a freelance basis with other organisations – I’m Head of Dance for Flamingo Chicks, an inclusive organisation that provides opportunities for disabled children to enjoy dance alongside their friends, and I am part of the Learning and Participation team at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

I started Welland in response to conversations I’d had with local residents, both through my work and as a resident myself. Many people commented on a lack of opportunities in Elland and people were keen to get involved in new ideas. My hope is that Welland will become a recognised event on the Calderdale calendar, enhancing community spirit in Elland, bringing in visitors, and overall helping people live happy and healthy lives.

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