Niccy Hallifax, former event director and executive producer for the launch of The O2, boasts more than 15 years’ experience in delivering large-scale, cultural and art events, including her high-profile stint on London 2012 creating, leading and delivering the Team Welcome and Victory ceremonies. Hull 2017 reunites Hallifax with Martin Green, former London 2012 head of ceremonies, who has compiled a year-long cultural programme celebrating and documenting Hull’s unique counter-cultural history, as well as planning a bright future, which is set to be encapsulated by the opening Made in Hull event.
As producer of Made in Hull, Hallifax previews the city’s opening ceremony as the UK’s next City of Culture and praises the city’s inhabitants’ support from backing the bid all the way through to next year’s delivery.
"People living in Hull were right behind the city's bid to be UK City of Culture and their support has been unstinting since 2013 when it won. Since then there has been a huge amount of work to nurture that enthusiasm, including community roadshows in parks and shopping centres, a major learning and schools programme, a drive to recruit as many as 4,000 volunteers, liaising with local businesses and so on.
Hull 2017 has also been supporting local cultural activity, such as popular annual events like the Humber Street Sesh and Freedom Festival, as well as ensuring that local artists are involved in events that are taking place throughout the year, including Made in Hull. A key concern for Hull 2017 has been the commitment to ensuring that the city, its heritage and people are at the heart of what is going on throughout the year.
Reuniting a dynamic duo
Hull UK City of Culture 2017 is an incredible opportunity for this remarkable city and CEO and director Martin Green wanted its spirit and voice to shine through the 365-day cultural programme. He also wanted to ensure that everyone living here has an opportunity to participate. And the opening event Made in Hull is designed to do just that. Not only does it tell the story of this city over the last 75 years, it takes place over seven days, kicking off on 1 January, and it's free, meaning that all 260,000 people living in the city can attend.
Made in Hull, to some degree, takes its cue from son et lumière, using the city as a canvas, utilising sound and projection, but in a creatively different, more dynamic and interesting way, which is why Sean McAllister was approached. As a brilliantly insightful documentary filmmaker, who comes from Hull, Sean is renowned for work focused on events in the Middle East and brings a singular vision to the curation of Made in Hull. Event agency Ground Control has also been appointed to deliver on the technical and operational implementation of the event.
The core creative team includes production designer Ala Lloyd, lighting designer Durham Marenghi, sound designer Dan Jones and writer Rupert Creed, plus immensely talented local, national and international artists. The artists are now in the process of creating art pieces involving light, sound, projections, archive material, animation and artistic installations that respond to Hull's history, and its architecture and public spaces. It will be an unmissable experience, with a trail that you can join from any point around the city centre and take at your own pace. There are large scale pieces and intimate pieces, there are thought-provoking elements, some really beautiful uplifting moments and some that just make you smile."
Made in Hull is the opening event for Hull UK City of Culture 2017.
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