Umea as European Capital of Culture programme opening this week
Umea is a rather new and small city in North Sweden with a population of over 75 000, mainly known for its university that is the largest in Sweden. The programme “Umea 2014” focuses on social projects that involve local residents and artists, as well as the promotion of Sami culture. The Sami people also take the central stage in the “Umea 2014” programme, as well as in the programme opening.
On 1 February, the main event will be the special opening ceremony “Burning Snow” – burning snow that through the resources of modern technologies also features the usage of different natural materials.
The Latvian band “Framest” will perform in the three day jazz mini festival.
Riga as the European Capital of Culture in the “Umea 2014” opening events will be represented by the Minister for Culture Dace Melbārde, Head of foundation “Riga 2014” Diāna Čivle and Head of the programme Aiva Rozenberga.
The whole year-long programme is divided in eight parts like the eight Sami seasons – each of the parts will be opened with a special season opening ceremony. In addition to the culture programme, Umea is taking advantage of its status as the European Capital of Culture to improve the city environment.
Riga and Umea have established successful cooperation through many projects.
European Capital of Culture stamps have been created in Latvia and Sweden and in September, the satellite festival of Latvia’s festival “Survival Kit” will take place in Umea. Poets from Latvia have already participated in poetry days in Umea, as well as exhibitions from Latvian museums have been featured in Sweden and vice versa. The “Riga 2014” programme has been presented both – in Stockholm and Umea.
The European Capital of Culture program is created by foundation “Rīga 2014” in cooperation with state, local municipality and non-governmental organizations, as well as creative unions and societies. The program is financed by the Riga City Council, the Ministry of Culture and the European Commission. “Lattelecom” is the partner of the “Rīga 2014” programme, also providing technical support.