Canal Festival Time Machine

Canal Festival Time Machine

Falkirk Community Trust and Scottish Canals are looking for submissions for creative work to feature in the one day outdoor event Canal Festival Time Machine.

This is a one off event celebrating the history and heritage of our waterways. The event takes place on the 24th May from 11am – 5pm across three main sites: The Kelpies, Falkirk Wheel and Lock 16 and the 4-mile stretch of the Forth & Clyde Canal that runs between.

Between the majestic Kelpies and Falkirk Wheel the tales of the Forth & Clyde Canal will be brought to life through art, music, and performance.  There will be a flurry of jaw-dropping spectacles, aerial performances and activities, magical theatre, live music -a fun filled celebration.

We are looking to commission three pieces of work, one for each of the significant periods of history. We are open to one organisation representing all three, or commissioning three different pieces by three different organisations. The work should be interactive, combining visual arts with performance.

Periods of History

Opening of the Canal

In 1790 the Forth & Clyde Canal opened. It moved heavy industry, coal, Iron and clay, the canal banks hosted 60 different foundries including an explosive factory and a vinegar Factory. It was a crucial lifeline to the central belt of Scotland.

A time of change

In 1867 the canal was bought by the Caledonian Railway company. The progresses of steam locomotives and the investment in the railway meant that they could provide a quicker movement of good, and therefore the canal became obsolete and silent. The canal closed in 1963.

Twenty-first century canal

In 2001 the canal reopened as part of the Millennium link which was part of the largest canal restoration in the UK. The canal has transformed from an industrial area to a green space with wildlife. A space for leisure activities.

For more information on the history of the canal please visit


  • The pieces need to be interactive.
  • We welcome applications with visual art and performance elements
  • Installations on water are welcome, but not necessary and will need to be self-contained and include environmental impact study.
  • All pieces must be self-contained for installation and de-rig, there will be limited technical support.
  • The event takes place outside so power is limited, if you need power, please include this in your proposal
  • The event is free family fun day out and needs to be suitable for all ages
  • Installations/performances must be suitable for outdoor weather.
  • Successful contractors will be required to provide images for marketing
  • Successful contractors to be willing to participate in press calls if required.
  • Installations/performances will be placed at any of the three sites or along the Forth & Clyde canal. Proposals should ideally not be specific to a single site.


  • We are looking for proposals between £1000 and £6000. The final fee will be negotiated and the proposal should include an accurate budget including fees, materials, install and de-rig and management on the day. All expenses will be covered by the fee.

In your proposal please:

  • Clearly explain what the piece entails and which part of history it represents. Pictures and diagrams are welcome
  • Include a clear budget
  • Include a plan to build and deliver and de-rig on the 24th May 2020.
  • Include a risk assessment and a copy of your public liability insurance for a minimum of £5 million


  • Please submit your proposal by 17:00 2nd March 2020
  • Shortlisting will take place the same week and successful proposals will be contacted by the 9th March 2020

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