Wrexham Year of Culture took place from January through to December 2011. The Year was a great success bringing in an estimated £2 million into the local economy. A target of 300 events was set for the year, but by the end of the year the target had been exceeded by 91% with the Year of Culture delivering a total of 572 events! In total, the events attracted over 500,000 visitors to the County Borough.
The events were extremely varied and included such things as the Welsh National Opera, Wrexham’s First Street Entertainment Festival, the National Eisteddfod, Wrexham Fashion Week and an outdoor concert at Chirk Castle.
The year kicked off in January with a spectacular Lantern Parade through Wrexham Town Centre followed by a performance by the Fron Male Voice Choir and a firework display watched by thousands of spectators. The next day, a flash dance was held at Eagles Meadow shopping centre which attracted a lot of press and media coverage when hundreds of people took part in the impromptu performance. These events alone raised the profile of Wrexham County Borough and set the tone for a fantastic programme through 2011.
Since then, the town has hosted opera singers, musicians, craft exhibitions and street performers. The year has also held events in aid of charity. Wrexham Fashion Week was held in September featuring a special pamper evening in aid of Hope House Hospice at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, in total £1260 was raised. The Etape Cymru also raised a significant amount of money in total over £12,000 was raised for Nightingale House Hospice.
Wrexham Year of Culture attracted high profile celebrities and key events during the year. Famous faces included Max Boyce, Charlie Boorman, Russell Howard, Dave Spikey, Gervase Phinn, The Drifters, Russell Kane, The Three Tenors and Al Murray. 250,000 programmes were distributed each quarter in an online and printed format, the distribution covered Wrexham County Borough, pan Wales and into England.
Wrexham Year of Culture also included the annual Wrexham Arts Festival held in May and other initiatives including the Empty Space Project, which brings art to buildings currently not in use, as well as many exhibitions at Oriel Wrecsam.
The Year of Culture also worked with local primary and secondary schools. Initiatives were designed to encourage the involvement of young people and students in the programme of events. School competitions like the ‘Design a Comedy/Tragedy mask’, ‘Wrexham Year of Culture Pizza’, and the ‘Pancake Competition’ were all popular. Culture Kid appeared at many of the events and awarded children with their prizes.
Wrexham Year of Culture has been a huge success, boosting attendance at over 500 events and helping to showcase Wrexham to the outside world by attracting visitors and media coverage. The year would not have been possible without the help of our sponsors (particularly Eagles Meadow our primary sponsor), our patrons, the event organisers, stewards and volunteers and everyone who turned out to support the events.
If you would like any further information about Wrexham Year of Culture 2011 or events in Wrexham County Borough please contact the Marketing and Promotions team on 01978 292545.