The EC has designated Malta, along with The Netherlands, as the two countries to host a European Capital of Culture in 2018. Usually, a country fields several cities which compete for the accolade in the bid process. In Malta’s case, given our size and for practicalities, we have only one official city as a candidate – our capital, Valletta. Thanks to the collective agreement of all the islands’ local councils, Valletta will be the official bidder, but the initiative aims to draw in all Malta and Gozo in the spirit and activities during the year and in the fruits of its legacy.
Up to now, we’ve seen the bid have its official launch and its public info day. Now, it’s time for the podium speakers to turn the tables and ask us as citizens what our vision for Valletta 2018 is. The vehicle to do this? ‘Imagine 18‘, a public conference and series of workshops on 20 – 21 June.
‘Imagine 18’ is being organised by the Valletta 2018 Foundation, a new entity set up to formulate and implement the Valletta 2018 vision and strategy as an ECoC. Its remit is to see Valletta 2018 as far more than a flash in the pan for one year. The vision has to translate into structures, activities, initiatives that live on beyond 2018 and bring demonstrable benefits to, say, the educational sphere, our quality of life, our cultural calendar, our communities and so on.
Valletta 2018 Project Coordinator Karsten Xuereb says the conference marks a significant “next step” in the European Capital of Culture bid process: “The event is a first opportunity to take on board people’s vision for Valletta 2018, which covers the whole of the Maltese Islands, and to define its legacy. Public participation lies at the core of the European Capital of Culture initiative and I have no doubt we will gain a wealth of valuable insights and material from the discussions.”
How to Participate
The event’s thrust is the morning of themed workshops on the 21 June. These see the public (that means YOU if you want to be involved!) join invited participants from key sectors. More than half the 250 conference places are open to the public and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.
The conference is launched at the Manoel Theatre, Valletta, 4.30pm on 20 June, and continues next day at Verdala Palace, Rabat, with the themed working groups. You give your preferred choice of workshop on registering. For full programme, see contact details below.
For further information on the event and details of the eight workshop themes and to register for the conference, please contact: Sylvana Mercieca on tel: 2291 5036 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo of Valletta: courtesy Leslie Vella.