Umeå (Sweden): 'City of Winter' promises a warm welcome as it launches year as European Capital of Culture
Guests from across Europe and beyond will join the people of Umeå in Sweden as the city launches its year as 2014 European Capital of Culture this weekend, with festivities taking place day and night. The opening 'Burning Snow' ceremony on Saturday will be a high point and the 'City of Winter' will be transformed with artworks using snow, ice, fire and video.
The Umeälven River will be the focus of a festival of light and music, while the heart of the city will be turned into a Sami village with reindeer and cauldrons. The full programme is available on the Umeå 2014 website . The European Commission will be represented at the launch by Jan Truszczynski, Director General for Education and Culture, who will be welcomed by Marie-Louise Rönnmark, the Mayor of Umeå, Stefan Mikaelsson, Chair of the Sami Parliament, and Lena Elisabeth Adelsohn Liljeroth, the Swedish Minister for Culture and Sports. Jan Truszczynski and Marie-Louise Rönnmark will hold a press conference on 1 February (09:00) at the Scandic Plaza hotel. Umeå shares the title of 2014 European Capital of Culture with Riga (Latvia). To find out more: European Capitals of Culture. Follow Androulla Vassiliou on Twitter @VassiliouEU.