THIS weekend a festival in our nation's capital will be putting Scottish diversity in the spotlight. 

Scotland in Colour will set the stage for musicians, artists and creatives to celebrate our country’s multicultural society. Hitting the slopes of Edinburgh's Calton Hill on Saturday, the fiesta will bring people from different backgrounds into one big community.

The festival is organised by Intercultural Youth Scotland (IYS), a group that looks to edify Scotland’s young people on race-related issues by showcasing talent from different ethnic backgrounds - which underpins the festival’s entire raison d’etre.

For IYS and Scotland in Colour, inclusion isn’t just a buzzword to be bandied about, it’s something fundamental thing that must be put into practice.

Community artist Ursula Cheng personifies all the best of IYS’s work. Northern Irish-born, Scottish based and with Asian roots, she has a history of helping kids appreciate their community through IYS.

Ursula Cheng (left) and Grace & The Flat Boys will be main features of Scotland in ColourUrsula Cheng employs community and shared spaces as a canvas in her art

And on Saturday she will be curating a live art installation that allows partygoers to participate in making the piece in their own impromptu way, making them feel involved.

Speaking with The National, she spoke of how events like Scotland in Colour can help bring communities together and aid people's understanding of their background.

She says: “It’s all about being inclusive and it’s not just for young people either. It’s for people across generations, getting them to be aware of the heritage in their own area. And it’s been great having them share that with me, as an outsider, going into that area, and learn interesting facts about these places.”

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Cheng says her background is a "secret weapon" that gives her a unique perspective on community and the feeling of being on the outside looking in: “I’ve grown up in quite divided, segregated communities, especially being mixed race. You often feel the outsider and very much the otherness of things. That’s something I can appreciate going into adulthood that has given me a unique perspective.

“Community is something that I’ve always been intrigued by and the positive outcomes of feeling like you’re a part of something and included.

“I think that being other and different, if you can have some sense of camaraderie and that your identity is being acknowledged, it can be so important for confidence and self-esteem. You can be different but have a collective you can pull strength from and understand that you’re not alone.”

While the line-up is set to feature a host of star-studded talent, including award-winning rapper BEMZ, there will be one act that knows all about feeling like an outsider.

Ursula Cheng (left) and Grace & The Flat Boys will be main features of Scotland in ColourGrace & The Flat Boys

Grace & The Flat Boys is a band forged from people of different backgrounds and musical traditions in the halls of Edinburgh University.

They played at last year’s festival and since then the band’s drummer, Mustaphis Koleoso, says he has seen just how active IYS is in offering help.

He says: “One thing I’ve noticed is that while IYS is focussed on the intercultural make-up of Scotland, they will look to help develop young people no matter what their background is. Obviously, there is a focus on BPOC backgrounds but no matter where you come from, they will give you a helping hand."

This was something he witnessed at the festival's last outing: "There were lots of young people and many were Scottish white people being put on because they are young. IYS focuses on both intercultural makeup and developing young people, side by side. That message and getting it out there is so important.”

For the group’s eponymous lead singer, Grace Dempsey, Scotland in Colour, and events like it, are invaluable for celebrating different cultural perspectives.

Ursula Cheng (left) and Grace & The Flat Boys will be main features of Scotland in ColourGuitarist Robin Frazer (left) and singer Grace Dempsey in action

She says: “I feel like we always need to celebrate diversity and education so coordinating these platforms in any way that’s possible is so important. It’s not just traditional education, it’s displaying it for everyone to see.

“There isn’t just one way of educating or celebrating success. Even though festivals are fun and about having a good time, it’s about bringing people together and displaying people from different backgrounds and cultures."

She adds: “It ticks all the boxes, which is a horrible thing to say about diversity, but it does.”

You can grab your ticket for Saturday’s event here.