Published Thursday, 25 October 2012
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