Belfast Telegraph

How stories can open a new chapter for Derry

By Brendan McDaid

Londonderry's bid to become UK City of Culture 2013 entered a new phase today with a major push to involve local people and artists from across the North West.







The next stage in the bid process sees the launch this week of a new initiative to encourage people in Derry to share their chapter of the city’s unique story.

The Share Your Story campaign is supported by a new, stylised, Gaelic-inspired symbol — the arwen — which represents poetic inspiration, harmony, balance and equality.

It will be visible across the city and is a reminder to local people of the importance of telling their story for the bid.

Meanwhile artists from the city last night gathered at a meeting staged at Sandino’s cafe/bar on Water Street for a meeting with the bid leaders to discuss how they can get involved.

Speaking about the new initiative, Oonagh McGillion, a member of the bid team, said: “The city’s story is what makes us distinct. We want to encourage as many people as possible to call into the bid office in Waterloo Place, register their story on-line at www.cityofculture2013.com, or pick-up a postcard at one of our many cultural venues and be part of the campaign.

“We are looking for many personal or organisational stories showcasing creative success along with champion ideas that can help us profile the city’s ambition to win this prestigious accolade.”

Derry is one of four cities from across the UK shortlisted in the race to become the City of Culture in 2013, along with Birmingham, Norwich and Sheffield.



Background

Since it was announced in February that Londonderry had been shortlisted for the UK City of Culture 2013 the bid leaders have wasted no time swinging into action.

To date a number of leading bodies have been brought together including urban regeneration company Ilex, Derry City Council and the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, to develop the bid. The North West Telegraph has been working closely with the team on the ground to develop our own Back the Bid campaign.



Our Manifesto

THIS is how we will be backing the bid:

?We will be driving the city’s bid forward from now until judgment day

?We will be providing readers with the latest information and developments on the campaign

?We will constantly be gathering support from across the region for the campaign

?We will lobby celebrities, sportsmen and civic dignitaries to do their utmost for the cause

?We will take our campaign to the judges in London

?We will be present at the judging day to give readers a feel for the grand occasion

?We will provide all the latest pictures and timelines for what will hopefully be a momentous day in history for Londonderry

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