Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot day event will take place this year but not as you know it. For the first time a full programme of online events and activities will take place to celebrate this historical date in the town’s calendar.
This year’s online event will take place on Saturday 4th July – the time when the weavers and their families would traditionally always take their holidays.
The move to take the event online for 2020 is in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure celebrations can still take place in adherence with social distancing rules and national guidance.
The traditional Sma’ Shot holiday in Paisley takes its name from a famous dispute between the local shawl weavers and manufacturers in the 19th century. In 1856, following a long dispute, the manufacturers backed down and an agreement was reached to pay for the Sma’ Shot, the invisible stitch which bound the Paisley shawls, with a new table of prices published on 1st July 1856.
This year’s event will not only mark this important date in the town’s history but will also celebrate our fantastic key workers.
The day will commence with a mass drum-off on Saturday 4th July where the community will be invited to come together and make noise to mark the start of the day’s celebrations which will include a range of activities from film, dance and music, to spoken word performances by members of the local community and online tutorials and workshops.
Aerial dance theatre company, All or Nothing, will be delivering a dance and music project called Connecting Threads, inspired by the background and history of Sma Shot. The group will be inviting local groups and individuals to get involved by setting creative tasks and asking people to submit videos for inclusion in a short film that will be published online on Sma Shot Day.
Local upcycled fashion innovators ReMode will be showing the public how they can take inspiration from workers of the past, present and future to design and create a costume to wear on the day to get fully immersed in the day’s events. The group will also be encouraging people to get crafty with pattern to create some fantastic displays to decorate their windows.
Local theatre company PACE will also be developing some exciting new work for Sma’ Shot Day as well delivering online drama workshops for young people.
Young people involved with CREATE will be collaborating with local musician Michael Cassidy to produce a piece of music to be included as part of a film showcasing music by young people from Paisley on the day.
In addition Renfrewshire Leisure and The Bungalow are partnering up for the Sma’sh Hits Sma’ Shot Special music event, showcasing a selection of local musicians.
There are still more events and activities taking place on Sma’ Shot Day still to be announced and there will be plenty of opportunities for people to get involved in the lead up to the event.
The change to this year’s event does unfortunately mean that the planned Colours of the Cart performance, supported by the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 events fund, managed by EventScotland, is no longer able to take place.
Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron, said: “Sma’ Shot Day is always one of the highlights of the annual events calendar, representing an important part of Paisley’s heritage. It’s excellent that we can still celebrate it this year albeit it in a different way.
“There is always a wonderful family atmosphere at the event and a real sense of community coming together – I’m sure this will continue this year when it has undoubtedly never been more important.
“The online programme will offer great opportunities for everyone to get creative and involved in celebrating this great day in a new way. I for one will be looking forward to logging on and getting involved in the fun.”