ceremony Burning Snow marked the official start of the European Capital of
Culture year in Umeå. Now an entire year lies ahead, packed with activitites.
The opening show Burning Snow managed to shine light on a snow-covered Umeå. It also signalled the official start of the European Capital of Culture year in Umeå, along with the already inaugurated Capital of Culture year in Riga.
The mayor of Umeå, Marie-Louise Rönnmark has been involved throughout the long journey and she was noticeably touched during his inaugural speech.
– My heart-felt thanks to the thousands and thousands of committed citizens co-creating the Capital of Culture Year!
The Sami perspective permeates the year thanks to the programme year being divided into eight seasons, as well as a large presence with many planned activities.
– I would like to thank various Saami artists, musicians and handicraftspersons who have made this opening to be diverse and different compared with the dominating culture, said Stefan Mikaelsson, President of Sámi Parliament Plenary Assembly.
Lena Adelsohn - Liljenroth took the opportunity in her speech to announce that the government was fully aware of the importance of Umeå's cultural capital, as well as emphasizing the wide involvement from all around.
– But let us not forget that what brings us here today is the result of four years of hard work. Four years where several artists and cultural institutions in Umeå and other parts of Sweden have been and still are hard at work.
Jan Truszczynski, the European Commission’s Director General for Culture wanted to pay attention to the doors a European Culture Capital are able to open.
– Thus the Year will provide an opportunity for Europeans to meet and discover heretofore hidden dimensions of the great cultural diversity of our continent, but also to look freshly at our common history and values.
After the impressive opening show, arranged by phase7 and stage director Sven Sören Beyer in collaboration with Ars Electronica Futurelab, the Crown Princess Victoria spoke to the audience, urging all spectators to turn on their lights and finally inaugurate European Capital of Culture year. Together.
Umeå has been appointed European Capital of Culture 2014. Each year EU appoints two cultural capitals of Europe, with the aim of highlighting our shared cultural heritage and stimulate interest in the cultural riches of the countries in the EU. In Umeå this award is an important part of the municipality's long-term growth strategy. This will create a greater interest in the city and its stakeholders, and contribute to culture-driven growth.