Londonderry should brace itself for a starring role on the world stage over the next two years, the chief executive of the city’s Culture Company has said.
Shona McCarthy said that becoming UK City of Culture in 2013 will “permanently change” national and international perceptions of Derry.
She was speaking as she delivered her New Year address.
Prior to the city becoming UK City of Culture, 2012 will see Derry host
the Peace One Day concert hosted by Jude Law, which will open the London Cultural Olympiad in June.
The city will also showcase a major coastal installation as part of the Olympiad and host the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention.
A major programme of events is also being developed to set a high bench mark for the city becoming the first in the UK to take the Culture accolade the following year.
Ms McCarthy said: “The year 2013 will be a unique and historic time in the life of Derry-Londonderry and Northern Ireland; it will be a game-changer.
“Our City of Culture year will be transformational, leaving a legacy of
a new story, new jobs, volunteers, infrastructure, businesses, re-energised communities and a vibrant, international city.
“Already, 2013 is establishing its place among the major, iconic peace-building moments between Ireland and Britain.
“With 12 months to go until Derry-Londonderry's year in the global spotlight, it's very much a case ‘plenty done, but plenty more still to do'.
“As we head into 2012, it's worth taking stock of what has already been achieved.”
Speaking about the programme of events planned for this year, Ms McCarthy said: “2012 will only be a taster of what is to come in 2013.
“Our programming team have been putting in Herculean time and effort to ensure that 2013 is extra special.”