News: Founder of Children's Festival Duncan Low dies

30 November 2023


We were sad to hear of the passing earlier this week, of the original founder of the Children's Festival, Duncan Low, at his home in Oak Bay, British Columbia (Canada).

The Scottish International Children’s Festival, as it was originally known, was founded as an organisation by Duncan in January 1989, with the first Festival edition occurring in May of 1990 in Inverleith Park. His vision was "to provide a venue, a festival, where children and young people could access some extraordinary theatre, music, dance, mime, art, designed specifically for children and young people and teenagers, and delivered by professional performing artists. That was the dream!"

Duncan ran the Festival until 1995 when Tony Reekie took on the role of Festival Director. Duncan emigrated to Canada and became the executive director of the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, The Cultch, which he ran from 1996 to 2006. He curated a vibrant programme at the performing-arts hub and later helped oversee the capital campaign for a multimillion-dollar renovation for the then-aging facility.

The Imaginate team wanted to acknowledge the vision and dedication that led to the establishment and growth of the Edinburgh International  Children's Festival as we know it today. You can see Duncan talk about the inspiration for the establishment of the Festival in this 2019 video celebrating 30 years of the Children's Festival.

Our thoughts and wishes go out to his family and friends.