Wales' Moment To Shine
Wales is set to benefit culturally from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as Power of the Flame is officially launched today by BBC Radio Wales presenter, Nicola Heywood Thomas at the Wales Millennium Centre.
Led by Arts Council of Wales, Power of the Flame is a distinctive and unique contribution from Wales to the Cultural Olympiad.
The Wales-wide project is funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity dedicated to creating a cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games across the UK. Power of the Flame embraces Wales’s unique heritage sites, the history of our sportsmen and women, our disabled young artists, our Eisteddfodic traditions and it also forges exciting links with South Africa.
Wales will have five major unique projects under the banner of Power of the Flame:
Cauldrons and Furnaces – Bringing history to life at 8 of Cadw’s extraordinary heritage sites, inspiring out younger generation to re-interpret our ancient monuments;
Following the Flame – A new history of the Olympic and Paralymic Games and the Welsh athletes since 1896 who have shared Wales’ success; this is a major exhibition accompanied by a specially produced film and a written appreciation and history of our athletes;
Mzansi Cymru – Bringing Wales and South Africa together in a major piece of musical theatre which is based upon two unique events of 1964 the filming of Zulu and the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela;
Whose flame is it anyway? - Increasing the voice of disabled young people in Wales, including a performance by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales of a symphonic work specially composed by Lloyd Coleman, an 18 year old composer from Bridgend;
Kindling Talent – will be developed with Urdd Gobaith Cymru, the largest youth organisation in Europe and in 2012 focuses on a brand new Urdd National Youth Theatre, the Message of Peace and Goodwill from the the children of Wales to the world and the Urdd National Eisteddfod’s arts and crafts exhibition which will be based upon Olympic themes.
Dai Smith, Chair, Arts Council of Wales said:
"These cultural events will be bringing unlikely groups together to work for a common goal. The aim of this ambitious programme of events and activities is to inspire and engage with the children and young people of Wales to deliver a lasting legacy of creativity beyond the next four years and beyond the Olympics themselves. Ultimately it is up to the people of Wales to make the most of the situation, and to leave a legacy with a uniquely Welsh flavour."
The programme focuses on the creation of art centred on participation and excellence, getting young people involved in telling stories about Wales’ heritage and using music as a way of getting people involved.
Dai Smith continued:
"We are immensely proud to be playing our part in the biggest celebration on the planet next year and we are delighted to be contributing to the projects that will be showcased during the Cultural Olympiad."
Moira Swinbank, Chief Executive, Legacy Trust UK added:
"Legacy Trust UK is delighted to be funding five key projects in Wales, which are bringing a diverse range of cultural activity to communities and building a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Power of the Flame programme brings these cultural and heritage projects together as part of the Cultural Olympiad, and will showcase their activities across Wales. Our mission is to leave a lasting legacy from London 2012 across the UK and with these fantastic individual projects now part of the pan-Wales Power of the Flame programme, we are confident that the legacy of our funding will continue in the country long after the Games have ended."
Arts Council of Wales is proud to be a key partner in the delivery of the Cultural Olympiad in Wales. The diverse range of activities happening in Wales promises to excite the whole of Wales and to bring the values of the Olympics to our diverse linguistic and cultural communities. The aspiration is that it will leave an enormous legacy in the landscapes of Wales and in the minds of our children.