They are not a prominent choir nor a meritorious instrumental ensemble, but still dance-group Imago Tijl from Neerpelt can call themselves "Ambassador of the Festival" since 2007. They are allowed to do so after their enthusiastic participation in EMY for many years' standing and after their numerous successful performances all over the world, resulting into various cultural exchanges.
Wout Swinnen, chairman of Imago Tijl, says: "Dance-group Imago Tijl is an inherent part of WICO, campus St.-Hubertus, Neerpelt. It was founded in 1957 as "Keurgroep Tijl" but meanwhile it has developed its own unique style. Our dance-group, with 170 dancers, travels the world, from most European countries to America, Asia and Africa."
"In 2007 we became an "Ambassador of the Festival". We owe this title to our participation in EMY, i.c. the proclamations, the happenings and the parades for many years' standing and of course to the numerous cultural exchanges that we realized with groups participating in EMY. We fulfil our function as "Ambassador of the Festival" by promoting EMY during our tours abroad. We mention Keckskemét (Hungary) in 2009, Gulbene (Latvia) in 2012, Tarnalelesz (Hungary) in 2013 and Bejing (China) to come in 2014. Groups from those countries, and from many more have already come or are still to come to Neerpelt to take part in EMY."
"On a regular basis we co-operate with other Festivalambassadors. In 2009 we toured with EVACO, Xenophon Kelsey's Orchestra (Ambassador since 2007). With Kelsey's Orchestra we even did other tours abroad. In Melk (Austria) we worked together with Wolfgang Ziegler (also an Ambassador since 2007) for an Imago Tijl performance. In the future we will fulfil our task as an "Ambassador of the Festival" to the best of our abilities by realizing exchanges and co-operations and by entertaining EMY-visitors with our performances," Wout Swinnen concludes.