Culture countdown is on!

To mark the formal countdown to Derry's City of Culture celebrations, Mayor Maurice Devenney and Cultural Champion Gerry Anderson launch a landmark Countdown Calendar on the Live Site at Waterloo Place. Included are Culture Company 2013 Chief Executive, Shona McCarthy, and Culture Company 2013 Chairman, Martin Bradley.'Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
To mark the formal countdown to Derry's City of Culture celebrations, Mayor Maurice Devenney and Cultural Champion Gerry Anderson launch a landmark Countdown Calendar on the Live Site at Waterloo Place. Included are Culture Company 2013 Chief Executive, Shona McCarthy, and Culture Company 2013 Chairman, Martin Bradley.'Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
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The opening event of Derry’s City of Culture year will be a massive ‘Sons and Daughters’ opening concert on January 12, 2013.

The event, which will feature all the city’s top names from stage and screen, will be hosted at a new purpose-built demountable pavilion at Ebrington.

To mark the occasion - and the formal countdown to the City of Culture year - the Mayor Maurice Devenney and Cultural Champion Gerry Anderson yesterday launched a landmark Countdown Calendar on the Live Site on Waterloo Place.

They also used the opportunity to invite the world to come and join in on the city’s year-long celebrations in 2013.

The team at Culture Company 2013 have confirmed that preparations for the year of culture are on track and the city’s vision to provide cultural access for all and creatively connect with the wider world leaving a lasting legacy is set to become a reality.

They have also promised that 2012 will be a fantastic lead-in year with a packed calendar of events that includes the opening of the Cultural Olympiad in the form of the Peace One Day concert in June with headline act Massive Attack.

The world’s sailing fraternity will then congregate in the city in July for the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race Festival where we will welcome back the City of Culture boat which has been flying the flag for the city across the globe.

Early in 2012 will see the launch of three huge community engagement projects including a letter writing competition open to all school children in the Derry City Council area, details of which will be released in the next week.

In addition to this, Culture Company 2013 will be working with the Public Health Agency to deliver the ‘Extraordinary People Project’, that will see more than 500 people from across the Derry City Council neighbourhood renewal areas benefit from participating in more than 30 courses across 12 art forms.

Portrait of a City is the third community-led project that will launch in 2012 as part of the City of Culture programme and will explore the history and shared heritage of Derry and “tell our new story to the world” via an online platform.

In March, a call for 3,000 volunteers will be issued to assist in the delivery of the 2013 programme.

This recruitment drive will be managed by the North West Volunteer Agency and Culture Company 2013 to make sure that the city is ready for the “hundreds of thousands of people set to arrive upon our shores throughout the year.”