In an exclusive to the Galway Advertiser, two projects which will form part of Galway's 2020 bid for European Capital of Culture will feature in the top secret bid book.
With the official announcement of the ECoC to be made next week, Galway will once more welcome two members of its committee, an EU commissioner, and a member of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, as they tour the city and county one last time before making their decision on which Irish city wins their vote.
During their stay, the panel will be presented with the 2020 bid book which will outline in detail the county's programmes and event preparation if it is to win the ECoC crown.
Until now, all contents of the bid book have remained top secret, but the Galway Advertiser can reveal that 'Project Baa Baa' and 'Hy Brasil' will be listed as key projects of Galway's 2020 bid.
Both initiatives will look to inspire locals through innovation and imagination.
"We need to place much more emphasis on craft," said Seamus Sheridan, Project Baa Baa event coordinator, "and this project has huge potential."
Sheep farming is an important industry across Galway, and feeds into the local heritage through spinning, weaving, and the popularity of Aran jumpers.
"I think we really deserve it, and the cultural rejuvenation of the hinterland, in Athenry, Oranmore, Ballinasloe, is a huge challenge, but Galway can do it."
The proposed festival will build on a shared cultural heritage, by focusing on sheep food products which are found all around Europe and North Africa, and will draw on the culturally unique interpretation of food, fabric, and knitting.
The visiting panel will receive a real life view of Galway city and county, and experience all that the bid book has to offer.
"Ultimately, this is a joint bid by Galway city and county, and they have acted on recommendations from the judges," said Noreen D'Arcy, Galway 2020 PR officer.
“Fundamentally, we want to drive the message home that Galway wants to be the ECoC in 2020.
“Galway wants it more than anything, and culture has been looked at in the broadest context across city and county.”
Following the final Galway visit, the panel will continue on to Limerick and the Three Sisters, ahead of their final decision next Friday.
This is, therefore, the last chance for the people of Galway, the towns, the villages, and rural spaces to do their county proud, before the ECoC decision in the National Concert Hall, Dublin, on July 15.
“On Thursday, there will be a 45 minute presentation on the 2020 bid book, followed by 25 minutes of questions and answers,” said Ms D’Arcy, “It is a rigorous process.”
“If we lose, it will be hugely disappointing because Galway wants this more than we have ever wanted anything before.”
Social media and visible support have been highlighted as key components of a successful visit for the panellists on Monday, with local business encouraged to don the 2020 bunting, and locals asked to wear the bright blue wristbands on offer throughout the city centre.
“Social media activity needs to remain high,” said Mark O’Donnell, a Galway 2020 director. “Everything needs to be on show, and that is enormously important.”
“It will certainly be a downer if we lose, but it is a positive process that we have undertaken, that’s what we’ve been hearing from all involved.
“It is the start of a journey that will most definitely continue.”
Even though projects are already listed in the book, and it is the eleventh hour, locals can still support the bid by contacting the Galway 2020 offices, engaging with the team to decorate local towns and villages, and visually back the bid, by wearing the Galway colours with pride.
“It is also important to download the branding to your social media,” added Ms D’Arcy, as judges will monitor all social media activity including downloads, discussion forums, and other online content, in order to definitively select a winner.
Join us at the Galway Advertiser, in connecting and collaborating with Galway 2020, and as a community build on the unique events that have captured and highlighted distinctive personality, and cultural heritage of our great city.
Granted, Galway may be a strong favourite, but let’s leave nothing to chance.
For more information, visit www.galway2020.ie, and hashtag #Galway2020, and #IBackGalway, to join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.