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Swindog takes to the stage

Swindon’s Wyvern Theatre is going to play its part in the biggest event coming to Swindon this summer. The theatre joins a fantastic pack of local companies and organisations who have put their paws up to sponsor a Swindog and support The Big Dog Art Trail.

A pack of 30 Swindogs – larger than life balloon dog sculptures – are set to be unleashed across Swindon during the summer of 2023. The uniquely decorated sculptures will create the UK’s first-ever balloon dog art trail and will raise essential funds for the local children’s hospice charity, Julia’s House.

The Wyvern Theatre has been a much loved venue in Swindon for over 50 years. The theatre, in the centre of town, was opened on 7 September 1971 by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip and is the largest theatre in Wiltshire. Swindon Theatres also runs the Swindon Arts Centre, based in Old Town. This summer, the Wyvern Theatre will be hosting a variety of performances, including In the Night Garden Live, Horrible Histories – Barmy Britain, Jurassic Earth, The Little Mermaid, The Rocky Horror Show and the annual Summer Youth Project – Wizard of Oz.

Laura James, Director of the Wyvern Theatre, said, “We are very excited to be sponsoring a Swindog here at the Wyvern Theatre. The Big Dog Art Trail promises to be such a fun and engaging activity for everyone to enjoy, and a unique opportunity for us as a local business to support such a vital charity as Julia’s House. We can’t wait to see all the creations the artists come up with and look forward to welcoming trail explorers to our venue this summer.”

Chris Hyde, Project Manager for The Big Dog Art Trail, explains, “We’re delighted the Wyvern Theatre has come on board and decided to sponsor one of our Swindogs. Over the last 50 years or so the Wyvern Theatre has played a big part in bringing the arts to the people of Swindon. If your company hasn’t signed up yet, there’s still a handful of Swindogs that need a sponsor.

“By sponsoring a Swindog and joining The Big Dog Art Trail pack, your company will be part of an event which brings thousands of visitors to Swindon. The trail will improve brand awareness for your business or organisation in a unique and memorable way and it will help you build a feel-good factor among your employees, customers and stakeholders. Crucially, you’ll also be helping to raise funds for Julia’s House children’s hospice and supporting our care for the most seriously ill children and their families in your community.”

The Big Dog Art Trail will run from 15 July to 3 September, 2023, and end with a grand farewell weekend where all of the stunning Swindog sculptures will be brought together under one roof. The giant one-of-a-kind creations will then head off to their forever homes after being adopted at a special auction event to raise money for Julia’s House children’s hospice.

The Big Dog Art Trail is being brought to Swindon by Julia’s House and global public art producer Wild in Art, who has previously hosted trails in cities across the UK and worldwide.

To find out how to become a sponsor or to get the latest Big Dog Art Trail updates, visit  or email Jo Common 

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Sarah Irving

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