Organisers and sponsors of the first Ellesmere Port Arts Festival are calling for local people to get involved.
Volunteers will have the opportunity to take part in the festival running from March 5 until April 27, and spread across four venues in the town centre – Trinity Church, West Cheshire College, the University Church of England Academy and the Paperboat Gallery.
It will feature the internationally recognised Methodist modern art collection, a unique collection of Christian art by renowned artists.
Fifty-five paintings will be on public display as part of the six-week festival in the town and it is hoped as many local people as possible will be involved in the project.
The Rev Christine Jones, minister at Trinity Methodist Church, said: “This festival offers the people of Ellesmere Port the chance to welcome visitors to our town, to work with one another and share conversations.
“Whether you know about art or not, are a person of faith or not, the contribution of local people has the potential to strengthen our community through this unique creative opportunity.”
The festival is intended to showcase a range of arts in the town, from music events and community arts activities to theatre productions and poetry.
Chairman of the Arts Festival Association and mayor of Ellesmere Port, Cllr Bob Crompton, said: “We are looking for volunteers to help with what we hope will become a long-term visitor attraction.
“Anyone can volunteer from students to pensioners, able or less able-bodied, Christian or not.
“I would urge anyone interested in getting involved to come along to the special recruitment session and find out how you can be part of the teams based at each venue to welcome and chat, help care for paintings, assist visitors, sell products, and much more.”
The volunteer recruitment session will take place on January 22 from 4pm to 7pm at Trinity Church, Whitby Road.
To register interest, call EPNAVCO on 0151 356 7358 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project assistant for EPNAVCO, Jocelyn Horton, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for local people to not only support an artistic event and be a welcoming face for this tourist attraction in the heart of Ellesmere Port, but also as volunteers, local people will get free training and opportunities to hone those all important communication skills ideal for retail and customer services employment.”
The festival is sponsored by Plus Dane in collaboration with their suppliers Kier, Lovell, A+J Aquajet, Brabners and Novus.
Local regeneration director for Plus Dane, Hayley Hulme, added: “Cultural events and opportunities to volunteer bring people together and are an important part of building strong communities and supporting people in challenging economic times.
“We are very excited to be a part of the team.”