Sligo is to stage a spectacular opening ceremony to kick off its year as European Volunteering Capital 2017, with acclaimed musicians and volunteers taking centre-stage at a Friday, January 27, 2017 civic and gala event.
The designation of European Volunteering Capital 2017 was formally bestowed on Sligo at an event held in London’s City Hall on Dec 5.
The EVC 2017 designation is a coup for Sligo in that it follows the major European cities of Barcelona, Lisbon and London in being chosen to showcase volunteering and the positive impacts that it has on lives across Europe.
The gala celebration at the IT Sligo Knocknarea Arena will feature VIP guests and specially composed pieces by acclaimed musician Michael Rooney.
The ‘Spirit of Sligo’ celebration event will also feature a selection of inspiring volunteer stories and performances by other artists including Niamh Crowley, Kieran Quinn, Sligo Gospel Choir and the Sligo Academy of Sinfonietta Orchestra.
Highlights from Michael Rooney’s rousing compositions Famine, Battle of the Books, De Cuellar and Macalla suites will be performed alongside a new arrangement of his seminal Prince Charles Suite by traditional and classical musicians.
Ciara Herity of Sligo Volunteer Centre said: “The designation is a real honour and a chance to tell the many stories of volunteerism which happen every day in Sligo and beyond.
“London showed in 2016 what was possible in connecting people to volunteering and next year we hope to emulate that work by showcasing Sligo at its very best.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Ciaran Hayes, CEO of Sligo County Council, who attended the launch of the January 27 ‘Spirit of Sligo’ gala event.
He said: “The ‘Spirit of Sligo’ gala event is a wonderful not to be missed show. It’s also a recognition and celebration of all of those who give back to their community, the silent majority who contribute so much to Sligo and who make us what we are.
“The range and extent of volunteering and generosity of volunteers in this county is breathtaking. It’s a special and remarkable place to live and I’m delighted that we can now bring those stories to life and bring the real Sligo to the fore with such a spectacular and entertaining opening.”
**For further information on events and plans for the year ahead see www.evcsligo.eu
Pictured at City Hall, London on Dec 5: Ciaran Hayes, CEO Sligo County Council, Ciara Herity, Sligo Volunteer Centre, Hubert Keaney, Cathaoirleach, Sligo County Council, Andy Rogers, Sligo Business Network, London, Marian Harkin MEP.