2019 National Events Conference

The flagship industry conference for the Events & Festivals sector in Scotland


Monday 9 September

The Gleneagles Hotel



We are delighted to introduce the speakers below, with many more to follow:

Helen Marriage MBE

Helen Marriage MBE

Director, Artichoke

Helen Marriage is the Director of Artichoke, an arts production charity, which she founded with Nicky Webb in 2005. Artichoke works with artists to reimagine public spaces, aiming to appeal to the widest possible audience.  Artichoke works with artists to create extraordinary and ambitious public art in cities, the countryside and on coastlines around the UK. They have created some of the most celebrated outdoor art in recent times, including the Lumiere light festivals, The Sultan’s Elephant, Antony Gormley’s One & Other Fourth Plinth commission and PROCESSIONS, a mass participation artwork celebrating 100 years since some women won the right to vote. Before founding Artichoke, Helen’s previous work included a seven-year period as Director of the Salisbury Festival, which she transformed from a local affair to what The Times described as a ‘miracle of modern British culture’.

In 2012, Helen was awarded a Loeb Fellowship from Harvard Graduate School of Design, a prestigious fellowship awarded to individuals working in urban design and planning. Her appointment acknowledged the impact Artichoke has made on the way public art events are negotiated and staged. She also holds an honorary fellowship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and was awarded an MBE for services to the arts in 2016’s New Year’s Honours list.

Dr Beatriz Garcia

Dr Beatriz Garcia

Director, Impacts 18 | European Capital of Culture Research Programme

Dr Beatriz Garcia has been at the forefront of debates about culture-led urban regeneration since 1999. Her pioneering work on the cultural impact and legacy of mega-events has informed city strategists around the world, from Sydney to Liverpool and from Taipei to London. Dr Garcia grew up and was educated in Barcelona, specialising in international communication policy, city marketing and the then emerging field of cultural policy research. During her studies, she lived in France, Australia, the USA, and the UK, where she now resides.

Dr Garcia has led and delivered some of the most high profile projects in culture-led regeneration, first working on the Sydney 2000 Olympic cultural programme; then studying the legacy of the Glasgow 1990 European City of Culture; directing the pioneering Impacts 08 research framework on the multiple impacts of Liverpool as 2008 European Capital of Culture (ECoC), and reviewing the first three decades of ECoC legacies throughout Europe. Beatriz has conducted primary research across the ECoC programme and at every Olympic Games – Winter and Summer – since 2000, funded by such organizations as the British Council, British Academy, the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, the UK Social and Economic Research Council, the Universities China Committee in London, the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Her work was widely utilized to inform the culture bid for the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games and resulted in the first full evaluation of a national Cultural Olympiad for London. Since 2016, she is a member of the IOC Culture and Olympic Heritage Commission and, in 2017, she has joined the European Capital of Culture Selection panel, appointed by the European Commission.

Dr Garcia is a highly sought after public speaker and has given more than 150 invited keynotes in over 32 countries. Considered a leader in her field, she is committed to advancing academically sound and policy relevant methodologies to capture the intrinsic value of cultural interventions as well as their role as catalysts for social, political and economic change.

Bruce Dewar

Bruce Dewar

President & CEO of Vancouver based LIFT Philanthropy Partners and Legacy Advisor to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Bruce holds a master of science in management of technology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has chaired numerous boards, lectures on international business, entrepreneurship and tourism and has presented to international delegates at conferences worldwide on social innovation and the importance of delivering social legacies around major sport events. 

LIFT is a leader in advancing positive and transformational change by strengthening organisations to make them sustainable and effective in delivering social impact in health, education and skills development leading to employment. LIFT (formerly 2010 Legacies Now) builds on a decade of leveraging hosting the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and its international reputation in social innovation.

As CEO of 2010 Legacies Now, Bruce developed and supported projects to help British Columbia leverage the Games into lasting legacies for the entire province.

Fiona Hyslop MSP

Fiona Hyslop MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs

Fiona Hyslop was born in Ayrshire and with her family spent her early years in England before returning to Ayrshire. She graduated from Glasgow University with an MA (Hons) in Economic History and Sociology.

She completed a post graduate Diploma in Industrial Administration at the Scottish College of Textiles, before moving to Edinburgh to join the financial services company Standard Life where she held various positions in sales and marketing, latterly as Brand Development Manager.

Elected in the first session of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 she has been returned as the Constituency MSP for Linlithgow since 2011. She was Cabinet Secretary of Education and Life Long Learning in the  first SNP Cabinet in 2007 and was the Minister responsible for abolishing backend university tuition fees. She has been a Minister continually since 2007 with responsibility for Culture and External Affairs since 2009 and is currently the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs.

In this role she has responsibility for Themed Years and Major Events in Scotland. She successfully oversaw delivery of the inaugural multi-sport European Championships in Glasgow in 2018 and the strong pipeline of major events continues with Scotland hosting the 2019 Solheim Cup, the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship and the first ever thirteen-discipline UCI Cycling World Championships in 2023.

Paul Bush OBE

Paul Bush OBE

Director of Events, VisitScotland

Paul Bush OBE is VisitScotland’s Director of Events, leading the EventScotland Team, Business Events and Industry Development.  EventScotland takes a strategic lead in the Scottish events industry and is responsible for working with partners to attract, bid for and secure major sporting, cultural and business events.  

Over the past decade this has brought some of the world’s biggest event properties to the country, including The Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games in 2014, World Gymnastics Championships 2015, World Orienteering Championships 2015 the MTV Music Awards on two occasions, European Championships 2018 and future events such as Solheim Cup 2019, Euro 2020 Football and the Cycling World Championships in 2023.

Having been on the Commonwealth Games Scotland Board for four years as an independent non-executive Director, he was appointed Chairman in May 2015.

Paul was Chef De Mission for The 2006 Scottish Commonwealth Games team of 245 athletes and officials who secured a total of 29 medals. He was awarded an OBE in the 2007 Queen’s New Year Honours List for Services to Commonwealth Sport.


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