Cultural Armada to launch 2022 Games
A 'Cultural Armada' of 71 boats could sail down the River
Mersey, if Liverpool is successful in its bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth
Plans are being explored around staging an unforgettable opening ceremony which
would see the River become the focal point for welcoming competing nations from
across the globe.
Each vessel would represent a Commonwealth country, flying the flag of that
nation as is sails into the City.
Liverpool's Director of Culture, Claire McColgan MBE, said:- "The Cultural
Armada would be the 1st thing a global audience would see of Liverpool 2022. And
what an image it would be; a river filled with ships, each with the flag of a
different nation sailing into one of the world's most iconic waterfronts at
sunset. The cultural programme is at the heart of our bid; it will tell the
story of Liverpool and the Commonwealth, what binds it together and what makes
each nation so unique, and will in turn create a programme of extraordinary
moments in unexpected places."
The opening ceremony itself would take place at Anfield Stadium, giving more
than 50,000 people the chance to be part of a key moment in Liverpool, and the
The ceremony would be a spectacle of light, pyrotechnics and sound; mixing
small intimate moments with experiences on an epic scale.
It is also proposed that each competing nation would have its own
'Cultural Embassy' in the City; a building which would be taken over for the duration
of the event as hubs dedicated to showcasing art, culture, music and food from
each nation. Each night, these buildings will be lit up to create a fortnight
long festival of light, the likes of which has never been seen before in the UK.
Artists from each country will design a light show for the venues which could
include the likes of the Philharmonic Hall, The Black-E, St Vincents School or
St George's Hall.
Throughout the duration of the Games, the embassies will become hubs dedicated
to showcasing art, culture, music and food from each nation. Each night, they
will remain lit up, providing a spectacle for both residents and visitors.
Claire continues:- "Liverpool is recognised internationally as a cultural
leader, so the scale and ambition of our plans won't come as a surprise to
anyone. This is a City which pushes boundaries with major events and culture,
and we don't want to leave anyone with any doubt that by staging the Games in
Liverpool, we'll be positioning Britain as a creative, outward looking and
progressive nation. And we know Liverpool can deliver; staging events became 2nd
nature for this City following our European Capital of Culture tenure and now we
know just what amazing, unforgettable experiences can be achieved when this City
unites for a common goal. This is an exciting time for Liverpool and we
hope we're given the opportunity to tell the compelling Commonwealth story with
the humour, passion and integrity the world has come to expect and love from
Chairman of the Liverpool 2022 bid, Brian Barwick, said:- "The team behind
the plans for the City's 2022 cultural programme are the powerhouses who
delivered what is widely regarded as the best ever European Capital of Culture
year in 2008. Combine that with what is easily one of the most photogenic
waterfronts in the world and it's a winning combination. This is a
team which is used to delivering major events year after year, from the Three
Queens to Giants and Sgt Pepper at 50, Liverpool delivers unforgettable
experiences, and what we are talking about today is just a taster of what is
being proposed. With the 2022 Games as inspiration, they have created a
bold, exciting and unrivalled vision that would engage and enthral millions of
people around the world."
Liverpool is going head to head with Birmingham, to become the UK's nomination to
host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. A decision on the UK's preferred City is due
to be announced next month.