Ghent is chasing the “European Capital of Culture” for 2030

The City of Ghent is aiming for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2030, and they are looking forward to wide support.

“Our city has a vibrant cultural sector and a unique range of theaters, cinemas, festivals, museums and concert halls that are internationally renowned. Ghent therefore holds all the trumps to win this title”, said mayor of Ghent, Mathias De Clercq. 

Belgium already had a European Capital of Culture four times with Antwerp (1993), Brussels (2000), Bruges (2002) and Mons (2015). Ghent wants to be next on that list. The preliminary phase has already started: four online sessions are planned in the coming months, in which everyone is free to participate. These sessions will take place on February 9 and 23 and March 9 and 23, 2021.

In the first session, Sylvia Amann will share her experience with international applications. Until recently, she herself was on the jury that assesses the candidate cities. For the sessions on February 23 and March 23, initiators of Aarhus 2017, Leeuwarden 2019, Rijeka 2020 and Lille 2004 will share their experiences. In a separate session on 9 March, trends and developments that are important for Ghent’s candidacy will be assessed.

“It seems a long way off, but we are already ensuring that the cultural sector remains strong and vibrant in the run-up to candidacy in 2024. Through these inspiration sessions, we want to involve everyone from the start and ensure that our candidacy is supported by the citizens of Ghent and all interested parties”, said Sami Souguir, Alderman for Culture.

Exploratory talks have also recently started with politicians, key figures from city services, the cultural sector and other relevant social sectors. Also this spring, a broad survey will follow among the cultural sector and interested organizations and among people from the broad social field.