A NEW initiative tying into Limerick’s future designation as national City of Culture will offer support to those intending to stage events for the year long programme in 2014.
The Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau, in conjunction with Shannon Development, has launched a new ambassador programme, aimed at promoting Limerick’s cultural designation in 2014.
The ‘I Am A Limerick Cultural Ambassador’ programme will see professional support and advice being offered to individuals or organisations planning to bring arts and cultural events to Limerick in 2014.
The programme was unveiled at the Shannon Region conference last week, which was attended by more than 70 people from local arts circles.
The new programme is designed to provide a targeted approach to attracting conferences and events to Limerick and complements the existing Conference & Sports Ambassadors Programme, which helped bring an estimated €7 million euro into the Shannon region during 2011.
Tony Brazil, chair of the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau, said “now is the time” people need to start thinking about events for 2014.
“The lead in for events is often a minimum of 12-18 months and as we saw with the bid for World Gay Games can be anything up to seven or eight years,” he explained.
“This event was designed to inspire people to become cultural ambassadors for Limerick and to show people the free supports the bureau offers to assist people in bidding for and organising events.”
There has been some disquiet in local arts circles as to the planning for the City of Culture programme for 2014 since it was formally announced in July, but new city and county manager Conn Murray is currently formalising a committee structure to head up the endeavour before organisations are to be invited to tender proposals for events as part of the programme.
Minister Jimmy Deenihan confirmed to this newspaper recently that some funding would be allocated to the initiative.