'Richest ever' cultural year launched

Published Thursday, 25 October 2012
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The much anticipated programme for the Derry~Londonderry 2013 UK first ever City of Culture has finally been unveiled.

'Richest ever' cultural year launched
Shona McCarthy launches the Londonderry UK City of Culture in 2013 programme (© PA)

The year will play host to a wide range of theatre, art, music and film events including the Turner Prize presented outside England for the first time; a new commission by the London Symphony Orchestra and the first visit of the Royal Ballet to the region for over 20 years.

Derry will also be home to Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, which will bring Irish traditional music, language and culture to the city for 10 days in August 2013.

Shona McCarthy, CEO of Culture Company and Martin Bradley, chair of the Culture Company, revealed the programme at the former Ebrington Barracks site on Thursday.

The year will open with Sons & Daughters, a spectacular free concert celebrating Derry's rich musical heritage on Sunday 20 January.

It will be staged in a new purpose-built pavilion on the banks of the River Foyle.

Ms McCarthy said: "We hope that Derry~Londonderry's City of Culture year brings a sense of joy, a sense of ambition, a sense of pride in our community, a sense of being part of a global community, and in the end a sense of achievement - that we all did this together and it meant something."

A huge success for a small city.

Shona McCarthy, Chief executive of the Culture Company

Mayor of Derry Kevin Campbell said that the year "will transform our city and region."

"The range of contemporary music, dance, theatre, arts and performance events will link our diverse communities in programmes of celebration.

"The exciting programme of events scheduled for 2013 will encourage, develop and showcase our amazing cultural talent to the world and lay the foundations for economic prosperity for years to come," he said.

Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: "2013 promises to be a momentous year for Derry and for this part of Ireland.

"With such an exciting programme of events to suit everyone's tastes, the endorsement this week from the Lonely Planet and the sheer dedication to make this happen, Derry City of Culture is not to be missed."

She continued: "Derry is ready to embrace this opportunity and to showcase Ireland's rich culture and heritage on the local and international stage."

SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan said he wanted "to join everyone in celebrating what is a fantastic programme of events and a truly great day for Derry.

"There is a palpable sense of goodwill and positive ambition for next year's City of Culture."

He continued: "This has refreshed our city's tourist appeal but more importantly has emancipated a lot of ambition and a lot of hopes for what Derry can be in the future.

"I therefore have no doubts City of Culture will be a huge success - not only showcasing Derry's cultural pedigree but also providing a platform for future growth and long-lasting economic benefit to the city."

A red cartoon squirrel called 'Oaky Dokes' has already been revealed as the official mascot for the year. The character was designed by a native of the city Domnall Starkey.
© UTV News
Comments Comments
Ryan in Belfast wrote (820 days ago):
@Podge, Letterkenny: Podge, why dont you go and ask the residents of Derry if their Irish or British? Because i assure you the vast majority of the residents of Derry are Irish citizens and see Derry as part of a 32 county Ireland and not part of the UK and its the residents opinion that matters most, not what a map says. I see what Seamus is saying but hes completey missing the point here, a point which i find funny myself. Derry has LONG been an Irish Nationalist majority city and yet its named UK city of culture? lol Of all the places in NI that title couldve went to and it went to DERRY. The residents, whom the vast majority are Irish, not british, will benefit from thousands of tourists visiting and to the great economic benefits. But no matter title Derry has, its still an Irish Nationalist majority city.
Danny in Ulster wrote (823 days ago):
Have to say I was really surprised Derry/L'derry was chosen, and I was sceptical about the whole "City of Culture" thing, but I hope the people there can come together, both Unionist and Nationalist and make the most of what is on offer. Maybe some bridges can be built and if both sides work together new friendships forged? Some of the comments from what I assume are nationalist residents who still want it all to work are encouraging, and I am sure there is only a very small minority like Seamus in Belfast who can't see beyond their extremist views. Good luck to all involved!
Declan in Claudy wrote (823 days ago):
I wonder how they will explain where the 15,000 Protestants who used to live on the west bank of the city have gone? I guess that respresents Sein Fein's view of the shared future ahead of us?
Podge in Letterkenny wrote (823 days ago):
Hey Seamus the last time I looked Derry was part of Northern Ireland, not the Republic of Ireland. Since Northern Ireland is part of the UK then there is no quibble about it having the title. As for all these citizens who think it is a disgrace - where are they? Where are the protests, where are the marches, where are the publications expressing their revolt at the City of Culture? Quite simply, that myth exists in YOUR head. A very, very small minority don't want this - hard line Republicans who made some pathetic attempts to revolt by planting a few bombs and who were soon put in their place by local people who spoke out and told them what they thought of them. This is a chance for Derry to shine and it will benefit all the citizens. If that doesn't suit a few hard line Republicans who can't drag themselves into the present and live for today, well too bad. The same hard liners have no problem taking dole and DLA money from the UK so they are not really in a position to take any sort of moral stance.
tom in ni wrote (823 days ago):
total farce...mcguiness could not even say the words ,uk city of culture,neither him or chuilin can say northern ireland.Londonderry is a bitterly divided city ,the only city in the uk that is not addressed by its proper title and will always be remembered for violence.Londonderrys future will be no different than what it is now a nationlist run city with unionists on the sidelines.
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