Weekend Stuff: Festival Kernewek

The Acorn, Parade Street, Penzance Cornwall. Saturday, February 25 to Sunday, March 5.


These are exciting times for the arts and culture scene in Penzance as it prepares to host the first ever Cornish language festival of its kind, Festival Kernewek – Penzance Cornish Language Festival, from Saturday, February 25 to Sunday, March 5. The Festival has been created to celebrate the uniqueness of the Cornish language, culture and heritage and will be held at The Acorn Theatre in Penzance, Cornwall, the arts and entertainment heart of the town.

Throughout the Festival, the Cornish language and Cornish culture will be showcased with a wide range of activities and events for one and all.

Festival organiser Jane Howells says “The Festival will bring people together for an inspirational nine days celebrating Cornish culture, connecting residents with the Cornish language and exploring the heritage of Penzance. There are lots of entertaining events for people who have never heard the Cornish language spoken as well as activities for the Cornish language community.”

The Festival has a creative programme that has something for everyone who enjoys Cornish culture.

There will be plenty of live music, workshops for businesses and heritage projects, and Cornish language courses as well as talks by cultural specialists and performances by some of Cornwall’s leading performers including Kernow King and The Changing Room. The Festival programme also includes guided bi-lingual walks through Penzance and several evening suppers – including an event for people with Cornish surnames and one for the peoples of the smaller nations of Britain, will take place throughout the festival. Former Grand Bard Mick Paynter will be re-running his very popular course on the History of the Cornish Language while author and performer Pol Hodge will give innovative sessions based on Cornwall’s traditional folklore.

One highlight of the festival will be the conference on Saturday 25th February. The keynote speaker will be Dr Tove Malloy who is a member of the Council of Europe’s Advisory Committee on the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Professor Malloy chaired the panel of experts when they visited the UK last year. The theme of the conference will be ‘The Framework Convention, the European Charter and the Cornish Language’.

The festival will culminate on St Piran’s Day, 5th March, with a recreation of a medieval St Piran procession with a specially commissioned statue of St Piran from the ancient core of the town of Penzance to the original mother church at Madron where there will be a St Piran service at 11am.

Festival Kernewek – Penzance Cornish Language Festival is organised by the educational charity Cornish Quest which encourages the education of Cornish history and culture.

The programme is online at http://www.cornishquest.org/festival-programme.html

Tickets available from The Acorn, Parade Street, Penzance, telephone 01736 363545 and


For more information, contact admin@cornishquest.org