NOW in its sixth year, part of this year’s free Canal Festival will take place in Manchester’s Piccadilly Basin for the first time.
The Manchester city centre leg of the nine day festival offers festival goers “a below-stairs break from the hustle and bustle of the city”.
Celebrating the best of canal culture, the whole festival stretches 32 miles from Sowerby Bridge in West Yorkshire all the way to Manchester city centre. With over 50 free events on offer, the Manchester city centre leg of the nine day festival offers festival goers “a below-stairs break from the hustle and bustle of the city” according to Piccadilly Partnership Director, Alexandra King.
She added: “Piccadilly Basin is a really attractive part of the city centre and by animating the space with an eclectic mix of innovative cultural activity we hope to spotlight the area this summer and encourage more people to discover it, take home some enjoyable memories and consider it as a place to work, live and play.”
Up to three hours free parking is available for anyone visiting the canal festival at the Urban Exchange retail development off Great Ancoats Street. See key events below:
What: Canal-side pop-up cinema,
Where: Ducie Street car park
When: Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 August, gates open at 6pm
Details: In association with the Printworks, it’s the traditional American drive-in with a Mancunian twist. The big screen will feature films over two nights; Captain America on Wednesday 22 August and The Life Aquatic on Thursday 23 August. Capacity is 450 people each night one a first come, first serve basis. Access to the site is on Ducie Street for cars, via the Brewer Street Bridge for those walking and any barges should moor at Lock 83 of the Rochdale Canal. Gates will open at 6pm and shows will start at 8.30pm. Bring a portable FM radio along to tune in to the film, or set your car radio, drive-in movie style. A limited number of radios and speakers will be available on the night from the organisers. Hot noodles cooked up by the Northern Quarter’s Ning, and bottles of beer will be on sale.
What: Floating Garden
Where: The Wharf, Jackson’s Warehouse, Tariff Street
When: From August 18
Details: The landscape artist, Serena Finzel unveils a beautiful, permanent floating garden in the wharf at Jackson’s Warehouse, a mini-oasis that both brightens up the wharf and boosts local wildlife.
Where: Tariff Street
When: Open now
Details: The world’s first permanent outdoor Lomography exhibition features 14,000 analogue photographs of Manchester displayed along a 30-metre wall – an outdoor artwork that reflects both the history of the city and the canal it is located close to.
What: Kid’s Play Day
Where: Atelier [zero] in Piccadilly Basin
When: Saturday 18 August
Details: The children’s chalet that already contains a ball pool will be transformed into one big play area by Studio Gil Architects. There will be a snakes and ladders game on the floor and the chance to learn the ancient Japanese craft of origami. Life-sized animals will be painted on the wall for children to measure themselves against and a designer toy box will be installed. Adults can also have fun and relax in a hammock, bash a ball around, row around the boating lake, borrow a book or play in the ball pool.
What: Kid’s Kayaking
Where: Piccadilly Basin
When: Wednesday 22 August
Details: Children eight years and over can try their hand at kayaking and angling. Free taster sessions with fully qualified staff will take place from 12pm - 4pm in the Piccadilly Basin for children accompanied by an adult.
What: Manchester Photographic Exhibition
Where: Dale Street
When: 18 – 26 August and open from Mon – Sat from 10am – 6pm.
Details: The wildlife and urban life of Manchester’s waterways is captured in a new photography exhibition, courtesy of gallery, school and studio, Manchester Photographic. The images, taken by amateur photographers who’ve been on an urban canal photography course this summer, have been selected by a panel of industry judges.
What: Ancoats Festival
Where: New Islington Marina (off Great Ancoats Street/Old Mill Street)
When: Sunday 26 August, Midday-4pm
Details: Celebrate the opening of New Islington Marina and its adjacent park with the Ancoats Canal Project, live folk music with Spare Ribs, canoeing taster sessions with qualified staff from The Water Adventure Centre, a BBQ and circus fun with The Circus House.
What: Canal Craft
Where: Brewer Street Bridge
When: 18-26 August
Details: Brewer Street Bridge is turned into a temporary work of art via traditional yarn and knot-work, and 5,000 tassels created by knitting groups from across Manchester. The design is the work of artist, Kerry Howarth and reflects the heritage of the canals via a pattern that incorporates traditional waterways lace and bright, canal-boat colours.
For more information on the rest of the 2012 Canal Festival programme visit www.myrochdalecanal.org.uk
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