Londonderry’s year as the UK city of culture 2013 came to a close, fittingly on a high note, on Friday evening with the last major event, a symphony.
From BBC Radio One’s Big Weekend to the Lumière festival that lit up buildings across the city, it’s been a year full of fantastic events and headline performances.
One of the biggest highlights was the Turner art prize as the award ceremony was for the first time staged outside England. The Relief of Derry symphony on Friday was the climax of the year’s proceedings.
Now the task is to maintain momentum to continue to showcase Derry to the outside world in the hope of pulling in more overseas visitors. A £900,000 Legacy Fund and an exciting range of programmes for music, fashion, storytelling and visual arts were announced today at the Guildhall.
All in all, as we head into 2014, the city certainly seems to offer a hugely appealing mix of arts, culture and entertainment.
The city’s mayor, councillor Martin Reilly, comments: “Derry City Council’s legacy promises are about providing cultural sustainability and encouraging communities and visitors to continue their connections with culture and the city.
“We are a proud and ambitious city with many talented and creative people. The city has made amazing progress during 2013 in how we look and feel and we want to continue with this transformation.”
He stressed that the money would help the city build upon this strong foundation to capture “the opportunity for cultural, economic and community growth”.
Bob Collins, chair of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, agreed, stating that “the arts have transformed this city”.
The city will see out its reign as the UK city of culture on New Year’s Eve in fine fashion with a reflection ceremony at St Eugene’s Cathedral.
Foreign visitors looking to enjoy the varied delights of Derry by buying in Northern Ireland can save up to four per cent of the purchase price of the property by using a currency exchange service.