“Better than ever!” was the verdict on the week-long Daniel Owen Festival, celebrating the life and work of the prominent author – often described as Wales’ answer to Charles Dickens. A highlight in Mold’s festival calendar, the event ended on October 22 after close to a thousand visitors enjoyed a week of activities based on key places associated with Daniel Owen.
For 2011, the festival included wider literature and arts subjects, as part of the long-term vision to establish an arts and literature festival around the figurehead of Daniel Owen and his work. Event highlights included:
• Clwyd Theatr Cymru Daniel Owen competition prize-giving, where professional actors read out the young writers’ enthralling tales. Carys Jones won the competition with her intense tale of the Chilean miners trapped under ground. The same event saw the the book launch of Fireside Tales by Daniel Owen (translation of Straeon y Pentan by Adam Pearce, edited by Derec Llwyd Morgan), and readings by Les Barker.
• the Festival Gig, organised by Tegeingl; a bilingual Cymanfa Ganu led by Gron Ellis, with Glenys Lightfoot at the organ; and a concert by Ensemble Cymru.
• family enjoyment creating Daniel Owen’s pig, followed by a parade through Mold, led by Band Cambria.
• The Reverend Roger Edwards’ great-great-grandson, Christopher Edwards’ moving talk about the family’s connections with Daniel Owen (The Reverend Edwards was both minister and mentor to him), and the Town of Mold.
Additional events included numerous guided walks, bus tours, discussions, lectures and social evenings in Mold, centered around Daniel Owen – including the industrial history of Nercwys and Halkyn mountains, an archives visit, story hunting with Fiona Collins, and masterful analysis by Judge Niclas Parry of the English translation of Enoc Huws by Les Barker.
For continuing information (and plans for 2012 Festival):
Facebook: Gŵyl Daniel Owen Festival
Gwyl Daniel Owen received £3,500 of financial support from Cadwyn Clwyd through Innovation Flintshire, which is financed as part of the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.