Support Dundee's bid to be European Capital of Culture 2023

Support Dundee's bid to be European Capital of Culture 2023

Members of the public are being asked to “be brilliant” and contribute to Dundee’s European Capital of Culture 2023 Bid by submitting their ideas for the proposed programme.

The call for lovers of the city to get involved was made to coincide with a launch today that marks 100 days until the bid proposal deadline (27 October).  

Backed by Dundee City Council and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the team behind DUNDEE2023 want to create a programme like no other, packed with celebrations to show the richness of the region to the rest of Europe, and demonstrating the quality of imagination and invention the city is increasingly well known for.

The Bid has a new website where Dundonians, Scots and people from across the world can now submit ideas for the 2023 programme on the website. The programme will look to connect people and inspire new futures for young people, as well as encouraging creativity and re-connection with the environment.

The website will also document Dundonian’s individual connections to European communities through family or social links, but also across arts, music, heritage, sports and business relationships. This will grow over time to map thousands of connections illustrating a new way to see Dundee’s thriving relationship with Europe.

Stewart Murdoch, Chairman of DUNDEE2023 said:

“This is a once in a generation opportunity – the equivalent of the cultural Olympics. It’s a chance for Dundee to host a year of major international events and showcase Scotland’s creative and cultural talent by winning a title that will never be available to the UK again.

This Bid underlines the scale of the Dundee’s ambition which the city has shown in a series of bold projects for over two decades – but this would take us on to a whole new level.

“The Capital of Culture Bid is successful when the city is fully behind it, and we need to convince the competition judges of that. That’s why we’re asking those from the city and further afield to help us create a programme that connects people, inspires new futures, and encourages creativity in us all.

“Becoming European Capital of Culture 2023 would bring an estimated £128 million increase to the economy and create 1,600 new job opportunities – it’s an incredible chance for Dundee.”

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop, said:

“This bid is an exciting opportunity to strengthen Scotland’s cultural ties with Europe and celebrate our diverse cultural heritage. With 100 days to go, I encourage Dundonians, Scots and people from across the world to contribute their ideas for Dundee as European Capital of Culture.

“International engagement makes a crucial contribution to sustainable economic growth, bringing fresh perspectives and new partnerships. As the first UNESCO City of Design in the UK and home to the world-class V&A museum, Dundee is helping to promote Scotland’s culture and design tradition worldwide, strengthening its reputation as an international hub of creative excellence. I wish Dundee every success with their bid.”

Councillor John Alexander, Dundee City Council said:

"Dundee is putting itself on the map with its ambitious and bold cultural strategy. However, our work is not just about putting the city on the map, but in making sure that all maps lead to Dundee.

"This city is and has been going through a cultural renaissance over the last few years and our journey towards 2023 is a hugely exciting opportunity.

"We are a city that is creating our own future, with 100 days to go until the bid is submitted, I would urge you all to play your part in shaping our vision for Dundee to be the European Capital of Culture for 2023.

"Be bold, be ambitious, be Dundee.”

VisitScotland Chief Executive, Malcolm Roughead, said:

“We are delighted to be backing Dundee’s bid for the European City of Culture 2023 through our EventScotland team. This is an exciting opportunity for the city, and with its strong cultural reputation together with its existing programme of exciting events and festivals, it is the ideal candidate for 2023.

“I encourage all of Scotland to get behind Dundee’s bid and submit their ideas to help them create a truly memorable programme that captures the true spirit of Dundee and the country as a whole.”

Bid Director, Bryan Beattie, said:

“I have no doubt at all that the city can produce the type of extraordinary, imaginative programme that can win this competition. It would be brilliant for the city to win, and we want folk to be brilliant when they submit their ideas too. It’s easy to do through the website – or to let us know of their connection to Europe.”

Several local businesses in the city have stepped forward to pledge their support for the campaign. Creative partners to the project, Avian and Blue2 Digital have worked closely with the bid team to design the new brand identity and Dundee2023 website. DC Thomson have researched and published more than 500 vox-pops documenting Dundee’s connections to Europe in a special edition of The Courier out today (20 July).

European cities connected to Dundee through the UNESCO Creative Cities Network have begun to send their messages of support to Dundee including Graz in Austria hosts of European Capital of Culture in 2003.

Eberhard Schrempf, Managing Director, European Capital of Culture 2003, Graz said:

“I know Dundee well through our both being UNESCO Creative Cities.  Being the European Capital of Culture changed Graz in many ways.  Dundee would gain greatly and it would do it beautifully.”

Laura Aalto, Development Director, Helsinki Marketing said:

“Dundee is clearly one of the most forward looking creative cities in Europe. Helsinki and Dundee both share the same vision to use creativity in creating a better and more liveable city."

Josyane Franc, Head of International Affairs for the Cite du Design St Etienne said:

“I love Dundee because of the people and the way they have the DNA of design through the city. I love their view of creativity and how they have found a way to reinvent the city. They are already a capital of culture.”

Further information visit and Facebook Twitter and Instagram @dundee2023 #dundee2023 

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