City Of Culture 2013 Programme Launched

Leading art event the Turner Prize will leave London for the first time next year to come to Northern Ireland in the first UK City of Culture celebrations.

The prize will be hosted at the new cultural space at Ebrington Barracks, Londonderry.

It is perhaps the most internationally-renowned event announced yesterday as part of a 140-event cultural programme, which also includes the All-Ireland Fleadh and scores of community projects.

Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín launched the programme at St Columb’s Hall.

Stressing that a "cultural renaissance" was afoot, she said: "Today people can start marking dates in their diary to visit the city. Music, dance, theatre, photography and literature will feature. Community events throughout the year will see partnerships with schools and the realisation of community cultural strategies, culminating in exhibitions and festivals of local art and culture. The next 18 months provide an opportunity for us all to be part of something which will reach an international stage and resonate for years to come. I urge everyone to make a date with Derry."

City of Culture mascot Oaky Dokes was also unveiled yesterday.

Deriving from the area's title of the Oak Leaf county, the squirrel will preside over performances during the year.

The Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) is pumping £12.6m into the City of Culture celebrations.

Ms Ní Chuilín said this would help "cement Derry's place as a world class cultural hub".

Further announcements are expected to come in September.


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