Page last updated at 20:23 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 21:23 UK

Welsh culture leads Breton event

Lorient Festival
A previous festival in Lorient

Music, art and culture from Wales will take centre stage at a Celtic festival this summer.

Nearly 200 Welsh performers are to take part in the Lorient Interceltic Festival in Brittany, France, between 1 and 10 August.

The festival, which is being held for the 38th time, provides a showcase for eight Celtic nations' cultures.

The event, which features harpist Catrin Finch, is being officially launched in Paris on Tuesday night.

Featured Welsh artists
Catrin Finch
Sibrydion
Aneirin Karadog
Clerorfa
Dawnswyr Mon
Sidan
Bethan Nia
Dowlais Male Voice Choir
Helina Rees
Richard James
Iwan Bala
James Uzzel-Edwards

A Year of Wales Gala celebration marks the official opening of the festival on Saturday, 2 August with Wales as this year's featured nation.

Catrin Finch performs two days later alongside the Dowlais Male Voice Choir, and folk groups Crasdant and Clerorfa.

An art exhibition by Iwan Bala and John Uzzel-Edwards will run for the duration of the festival.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan said: "The city of Lorient will be awash with Welsh music, art and culture for ten days this August - from the traditional to the more contemporary.

"More than half a million visitors to the festival in southern Brittany will have the opportunity to learn more about Wales as an ideal tourism, business and educational destination, which should reap big benefits for Wales."

Heritage Minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas added: "This festival will show Wales as the confident, forward-looking, multi-lingual nation that it is."


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