Ah, May! One of the best months of the year in the Swiss Romandy to get out and celebrate everything that is creative: arts and crafts, gardening, music, dance, museums and more. Here is the best of it, short and sweet, to help you squeeze every ounce of pleasure out of the month ahead.
UniCréa, Salon de la Création, Yverdon les Bains: 7 – 10 May
Celebrating ten years and with 18 previous editions under its belt, UniCréa opens it’s 19th Salon de la Création celebrating art, fashion and decor at the beautiful Castle of Yverdon-les-Bains starting today and continuing through Sunday.
More than 100 artisans present their imaginative and largely handmade creations celebrating the seven “Universes”: Wood, Metal, Earth, Glass, Textiles, Stone and Paint. If you want to enjoy creativity at its most, well, creative, then take yourself to this inspiring and inspired festival.
For information on the where, when and how, click here; for a programme overview click here; to register your child(ren) for workshops click here and to see photos of the participants’ creations, click here.
Fête de la Danse, Geneva: 7 – 10 May
An annual event, La Fête de la Danse sets even the most leaden toes to tapping, jiving, hip-hopping, tango-ing, and pointing. Starting today, a multitude of venues, including theatres, cultural centers and open, public spaces are handed over to shows, classes, special events, parties and even a kids’ disco. Dance in every form is available to explore by young and old, beginners and passionistas. Come and join in the fun.
Mapping Festival, Geneva: 7 – 17 May
The 2015 Mapping Festival, dedicated to audio-visual art and digital culture, celebrates its eleventh edition this year and is a major event in the fields of image generation, technological creation and exploration. Attracting both a professional and general audience, the Festival proposes workshops, events and exhibitions exploring audiovisual performances in all their forms. A festival that’s sure to make a lasting impression on you.
Jardins en Fête at the Château de Coppet: 8 – 10 May
The 10th anniversary edition of this much-anticipated ‘garden party’ takes place again this year on the beautiful grounds of the Château de Coppet.
Fête des Jardins inspires professional and amateur gardeners alike as well as those simply with a love of fresh air and perfect vistas.
There’s a leisurely pace, with visitors of all ages strolling among the sculptures and latest garden furniture, picking up seeds, flowers and plants for their garden, and humming and hawing over an enticing choice of garden ornaments and decorative items.
Take afternoon tea outdoors next to the 18th-century greenhouse. Mull over paintings, pottery, books, straw hats, and handicrafts. Workshops, conferences and events for children encourage learning and creativity for those with or without a green thumb.
A beautiful floral art competition takes place in the Château’s former wine cellar (where jazz concerts take place throughout the year). Its theme this year is “Floral Colors and their Symbolic Meaning”, in keeping with the Festival’s general theme “10 Years of Every Color”.
Discover the programme, the access plan, hours and everything else you need to know here.
The Night of Exquisite Museums, Geneva: 16 – 17 May
Beginning in the late afternoon of 16 May and continuing into the early hours of the morning, 29 of Geneva’s renowned cultural and artistic institutions will open their doors for the Night of Exquisite Museums. Young and old alike will be treated to a huge programme of special events, tours, workshops, and screenings.
On 17 May, International Museum Day, visitors are welcome to take part in a rich array of activities offered during normal opening hours of the participating institutions.
Three shuttle buses–nicknamed Apfelstrudel, Bricelet and Carac (does someone have food on their mind?)–will be available to transport participants between venues.
A “spatula” costing CHF10, will gain you entry to the entire “menu” of events and can be purchased at various venues. Young adults under 18 and holders of the Carte 20 ans/20 francs enter for free. On International Museum Day all entries are free of charge.
Weekend en Fanfare, Geneva: 16 – 17 May
If being indoors on the weekend of 16-17 May is not your cup of tea, then perhaps you’ll enjoy a series of ‘popular music’ concerts scheduled for Saturday, 16 May from 13h – 18h at Place du Molard and from 21h30 – 23h00 at the Parc des Bastions, and (indoors) on Sunday, 17 May from 13h – 18h at Victoria Hall. (If bad weather intervenes, the daytime concerts on the 16th will be cancelled, and the evening concerts will move to Victoria Hall.)
This event allows small local bands, orchestras and choral groups to perform for an appreciative public. For a complete listing of participants and their showtimes, please click here.
Festival de Mai, Colombier, Canton Neuchâtel: 27 – 29 May
The picturesque village of Colombier in Canton Neuchâtel is the setting for the 3rd Festival de Mai, which boasts three evenings of concerts, merging chamber music with the visual arts at three different venues on May 27, 28 and 29.
The historical heart of the festival is the renowned Manoir du Pontet, once home to the salon de musique of Isabelle de Charrière, which served as an important cultural center in the Swiss Romandy from 1771 until 1805.
The highlights of this year’s festival include the works of Polish artist Bartosz Sikorski, who explores links between music, color, form and light; a recital by the internationally-acclaimed Szymanowski Quartet; a recital of songs by various composers set to poems by Heinrich Heine; and a piano trio recital of Haydn and Schubert by Festival Artistic Director Alison Cullen.
You don’t have to know anything about classical music to enjoy and appreciate the concerts at the Festival de Mai, which makes high-quality chamber music accessible to everyone in unique Swiss spaces surrounded by art and history.
For information on ticket prices, reservations, the programme, and contact details please visit the Festival’s website.