Showing posts with label City of Culture 2013. Show all posts
Showing posts with label City of Culture 2013. Show all posts

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Culturlann Ui Chanain in Derry ~ Londonderry shortlisted for Stirling Prize

Well done to Culturlann Ui Chanain in Derry, which has been nominated for the Stirling Prize - a first for a Northern Ireland building. Culturlann Ui Chanain is an Irish language centre teaching traditional music, dance and language. The building is located on a landlocked site on Great James Street in the city. At a cost of £4m, the cultural space opened in September 2010 and was designed by O'Donnell and Tuomey Architects.

Culturlann. Photo by Gary Potter.

The building has already been recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects in May and last year won an Architectural Association of Ireland award. It is now in the shortlist for the Stirling Prize with six other UK buildings: see images of all six at the Guardian. The winning finalist will be announced in October this year - PLACE will keep you updated on how Culturlann Ui Chanain gets on.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

PLACE Study Trip to Derry-Londonderry, 5th April 2011

Oonagh Baxter, one of our volunteers at PLACE, talks about our recent visit to Derry...

PLACE Study Trip to Derry-Londonderry, 5th April 2011

A recent visit to Derry-Londonderry offered insight into the exciting opportunities presented by cultural regeneration. A walking expedition, guided by PLACE director Michael Hegarty, provided a whistle-stop tour of some of the cultural enterprises established within the city.

The walk weaved its way through the streets and walls of Derry and took in symbols of its divided past, from the churches to cathedrals, murals to graffiti and structures of protection and defence. However, clearly evident was the emergence of a new cultural identity and a recognition that city’s future should be shaped but not determined by its past. Social and economic investment in the city’s cultural capital has culminated in Derry receiving the eminent status of City of Culture 2013; an opportunity to celebrate the distinctiveness rather than the division of Derry’s culture. The tour quickly uncovered a scattering of cultural gems, from Culturlann, Void and the Museum of Free Derry, the walk led us around the walls past the first Derry Presbyterian Church, Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall and St Columb's Cathedral as well as offering views of new additions to the cultural mix including the Craft Village, Playhouse and Verbal Arts Centre. These initiatives have injected new life into historic buildings and opened alternative channels for creating connections between past and present.

Walking Tour Route: Anti-clockwise from top left
The day began with breakfast in the buzzing Irish language centre, Culturlann. Manager Donncha MacNiallais provided a tour of the building and its facilities which provides a centre for the celebration of Irish language and its cultural links to music, dance and education.

Next stop was Void, an artist-led contemporary art space in the basement of the old city factory. Excavation of the original floorspace has created a unique usable space that houses two galleries, six studios, conference room and education area. This has enabled Derry to attract and display contemporary art of international repute.

The tour was then led towards the infamous Bogside to the Museum of Free Derry, a social economy initiative which shares the area’s difficult and troubled past focussing on the civil rights era of the 1960s and the Free Derry/early troubles era of the 1970s.

We were treated to a tour of the impressive Playhouse & Context Gallery by Niall McCaughan. The building houses an array of arts and activities including gallery space, workshops, dance hall, theatre as well as the Lilliput Theatre Company, Ireland’s foremost theatre company of people with learning disabilities. The context gallery offers a vital platform for the promotion of emerging Northern Irish and Irish artists and we were fortunate to meet and chat to exhibiting artist Locky Morris.

The tension between Derry’s divided past and a shared future was strongly depicted in Antony Gormley’s contemporary sculpture which consists of two identical figures standing back to back facing opposite directions yet inextricably connected.

Lunch was provided in the Blooms café of the Verbal Arts Centre, a centre for the promotion of the written and spoken word. The centre is housed in the beautifully refurbished First Derry School located in a prime position along the city’s walls. The centre’s many initiatives seek to offer discourse for the celebration of commonality and diversity.

The tour concluded at the former Ebrington Barracks, a major development opportunity offering potential for culture-led regeneration. Caoimhin Corrigan, Cultural Broker for ILEX, outlined the opportunities and challenges facing the city as it approaches City of Culture 2013.

These developments clearly demonstrate the optimism within the city and the desire for Derry to establish its reputation as a vital space for the celebration, promotion and sharing of arts, history and culture. The forthcoming City of Culture 2013 offers a great platform for the city to transform its divided political history into a shared cultural future.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Derry~Londonderry City of Culture 2013: Architecture Programme

Congratulations to Derry on its successful bid to become UK City of Culture 2013!

PLACE is looking forward to working with the City of Culture team and many more partners to deliver the Architecture programme for the year! Check out some of the planned events and themes for the Architecture programme: click here.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Support the Derry~Londonderry City of Culture Bid 2013

Above: The Diamond by Ronto on Flickr

Support Derry ~ Londonderry in its bid for the 2013 City of Culture!

Register on the City of Culture website.

PLACE is working in partnership with Derry City Council and Ilex and is harnessing energy and support to achieve a winning bid for UK City of Culture 2013. The bid is bringing together the creative energy of public and private sector agencies to build upon the outstanding physical, social, and cultural achievements in the city with a focus on celebrating and debating the uniqueness of Northern Ireland.

How you can help!
How to Register Your Support online & by Email

Register your support using the form on the website: and pass this on to colleagues and friends! Include a sign-off in your email signature, as part of your own e-zine campaign and forthcoming literature asking your audiences and customers to support the campaign it would be really helpful. A suggested sign off is “register your support now for Derry~Londonderry’s bid for City of Culture 2013 at

Facebook Call to Action for Businesses

Become a fan of City of Culture 2013 facebook site and make sure the world knows that Derry has the best supported bid of all the candidates. City of Culture 2013 Facebook Page: become a fan, ask all your Facebook friends to become a fan, ask them to ask all their facebook friends to become a fan. For ALL employers out there - just this once, why not encourage your staff to do the same? The ripple effect could be the thing that gets us over the line.

Information Points

Actively display leaflets, posters or provide a web link to the site. Please forward your details through to [email protected] or by telephone 02871 363558 or call into the Northern Counties Building, Waterloo Place for further info. We aim to have literature ready before Easter for distribution.


We are also keen to get endorsements from any organisations/individuals/artists. These are endorsements for the city to win the title so any suggestions please drop a quick email outlining a name and relevant contact details to [email protected]

Case studies

We really want to showcase creativity during April to the end of July and would be interested in speaking with individuals (of all abilities and ages) who you feel have really added something unique to the culture and creative achievement of the city. The core of this is answering the statement “We’re legenderry because...” If you have any suggestions again just drop a short email detailing name, contact details, a short description of what you feel the achievement/contribution is to [email protected]

Up and coming events

We are also working up ideas regarding online competitions, a showcase weekend of culture in May and the opening of the city centre culture information point which is now open in Unit 1 & 2 Northern Counties Building, Waterloo Place (t) 02871 363558. We have made a commitment to issue a weekly e-zine with updates so please feel free to circulate freely.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

PLACE involvement in shortlisted Derry City of Culture bid

Image via S,A&T on Flickr

From BBC News NI:
Londonderry has beat off competition to make it onto the shortlist to become the UK's first City of Culture in 2013.

Derry will join Sheffield, Norwich and Birmingham in bidding for the title.

PLACE has been involved in the architectural aspect of the bid so we're delighted!

BBC News:
City shortlisted for culture bid