Saltaire Living Advent Calendar

Saltaire Living Advent Calendar (c) Phil Lickley

Residents, community groups and businesses in Saltaire are hard at work preparing to reveal a total of 57 windows throughout December in the much-loved Saltaire Living Advent Calendar, organised by visual arts Charity Saltaire Inspired. This magical community event has become a seasonal favourite in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Village, as the festive window trail is revealed in the run-up to Christmas.

Running since 2006, the Saltaire Living Advent Calendar attracts visitors from across the region and followers online from all over the world. With the windows of Saltaire’s Grade II listed cottages, schools, shops, businesses and churches creating an illuminated trail, and new windows lighting up daily throughout the month, visitors can expect to see festive scenes, quirky characters and creations influenced by Saltaire, culture, and personal stories, spreading seasonal cheer and a healthy dose of festive humour!

This year, 15 windows will be illuminated on 1st December, with further windows lighting up each evening until Christmas Eve. Window designs remain a surprise until 4pm on their light-up date, and all windows light up daily between Christmas and new year (until 1st January) for all to enjoy.

For the fifth year, Rydals Museum in Sweden (formerly a Mill) are participating in the event, creating two windows which will appear at Salts Works (202 Saltaire Rd) on 1st December. In return, Saltaire Inspired have commissioned Nicky Brunger - a textile Practice student at Bradford School of Art – to create a display for Rydal’s event. Nicky’s Caroline Street quilt is made entirely from upcycled materials and shows encoded data from the 1871 census, about the people who lived in Caroline Street at that time.

Members of Saltaire Primary School Eco Club will create – for the second year - a display for the Grade II Listed red telephone box at Wash House Gardens, which is a community asset owned by Saltaire Inspired, and will light up from 1st December (location 1f on the map). Saltaire Inspired’s Community Engagement Manager Maria Thelwell said: “The phone box is one of the more unique window locations on the trail, and we can’t wait to see what the Eco Club have created for it this year! One of the lovely things about the Living Advent Calendar is anyone can take part, and having the involvement of local schools and community groups as well as residents and businesses, really adds to the community spirit of the event”.

A map showing the locations of the windows can be found at saltaireinspired.org.uk and trail leaflets can be picked up at locations throughout Saltaire. Windows are illuminated from 4pm - 10.30pm each evening, until the 1st of January. For those unable to visit in person, window designs are revealed each evening at saltaireinspired.org.uk and on Facebook (@saltaireadventcalendar and @saltaireinspired), X (formerly Twitter, @saltaireart) and Instagram (@saltaireinspired).

The 2023 Saltaire Living Advent Calendar event is generously supported by regular sponsor The Bingley Gallery, as well as first-time sponsor Bradford Woodworkers Ltd. Further funding is raised by the sale of packs of Christmas cards, featuring a selection of the previous year’s windows, which are available to buy from saltaireinspired.org.uk and at outlets in the village including Salts Mill.

The Saltaire Living Advent Calendar is organised under the umbrella of Saltaire Inspired, an ambitious arts charity, creating quality contemporary arts events in unique settings in Saltaire and Shipley. Delivering three annual arts events in the World Heritage Village (Saltaire Arts Trail in May, Saltaire Makers Fairs in May and September, and the Saltaire Living Advent Calendar in December), Saltaire Inspired work towards a vision to help Bradford become an internationally recognised centre for the visual arts.

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Saltaire Living Advent Calendar
Christmas Event
Saltaire Living Advent Calendar.

Windows are lit up throughout December, creating a festive trail throughout Saltaire village.

Saltaire Arts Trail
Art Exhibition
Saltaire Arts Trail 2023:© Karol Wyszynski

Experience the Saltaire Arts Trail! Discover the work of top Yorkshire artists, makers, and designers in Saltaire and Shipley. Don't miss the Saltaire Makers Fair and MAKE IT Bradford creative market.

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