28/01/2011

'Giant Strides' For Northern Ireland in 2012

Northern Ireland will host one of the largest outdoor arts celebrations as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Legacy Trust UK today announced its final selection of four community celebrations to be held outside of London with an award of £750,000 to each event.

Stormont Sports and Arts Minister, Nelson McCausland, today welcomed the announcement that Land of Giants, a programme of events over the summer months of 2012, will take its inspiration from a number of 'Giants' that are present in Northern Ireland's history both ancient and modern.

Special focus will be given to four giants - Finn McCool, the giant who 'built' the iconic Giant's Causeway, Gulliver, Jonathan Swift's fictional giant - whose features that are outlined in Cave Hill above north Belfast - and Samson and Goliath, the two cranes which have dominated the east Belfast skyline for the past 40 years and the Titanic together with her less famous sister - but equally huge - ship, the Olympic.

The cultural inspiration of these giants will fuse together in a Giant Party linking to the Olympic values, and the aspiration of Northern Ireland for a 'shared and better future'. The party will be the largest outdoor arts celebration ever staged in Northern Ireland.
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A consortia, which includes Belfast City Council, BEAT Initiative, Belfast Community Circus School and Young at Art was selected to deliver Land of Giants.

Welcoming the announcement, Minister McCausland said: "This celebration will recognize the creative talent we have in Northern Ireland for outdoor arts.

"I congratulate the consortium for their excellent concept which champions Northern Ireland's cultural giants," he said.

"Through Land of Giants, Northern Ireland will realise a significant benefit that the London 2012 Games are bringing to Northern Ireland, one which will allow communities across the UK to come together to be part of the celebrations.

"The Olympics are about more that just sport and there is no doubt that 2012 will see a spectacular programme of artistic work on a scale unseen before.

"It will offer a unique opportunity to platform Northern Ireland's cultural tourism offer and allow all of us to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime global event."

The news came just 24 hours after the start of large-scale construction work on the new Giant's Causeway World Heritage Site Visitors' Centre in Co Antrim.

See: Latest Steps In Causeway Centre Taken

(BMcC/GK)

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