north west for 2012

Lakes Alive - Reach for the Sky Penrith

The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is designed to give everyone a chance to be part of London 2012.

The four year Cultural Olympiad started in 2008 at the end of the Beijing Games. It will culminate in a UK-wide Festival in 2012, bringing together leading artists from around the world.

The Cultural Olympiad is a series of programmes and events to showcase the UK’s arts and culture in every region and nation of the UK. Inspiring creativity across all forms of culture and especially among young people, the aim is to make a real impact. Its legacy will last well beyond 2012.

Since its beginnings in 2008, more than 16 million people across the UK have taken part and 2,500 projects have been awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark, recognising excellence and inspiration in local communities across the UK.

Since 2008, the Cultural Olympiad in the North West has reached an audience of 1.7 million people in the region. Success stories from our region include Abandon Normal Devices Festival, Blaze and Lakes Alive. These programmes form part of WE PLAY - the North West’s cultural legacy programme centred on outdoor arts, digital culture and young producers, funded by Legacy Trust UK. They reflect local interests and respond to the context of London 2012, engaging with contemporary ideas of spectacle, technological invention and youth.

The Cultural Olympiad in the North West features a region-wide events programme, placing world-class international and local artists alongside innovative community projects, reflecting a distinctive regional response to the 2012 Games. The programme also includes UK-wide and national programmes as well as the London 2012 Festival – the UK’s Cultural Olympiad finale opening on 21 June 2012 and ending on 9 September 2012.

The whole region forms the arena for the Cultural Olympiad in the North West. There is Cultural Olympiad activity within our region’s cities; throughout our rural and costal destinations; and in our online and social spaces. Kicking off with Global Rainbow, hundreds of exciting events and activities are taking place across the North West from March until September 2012. Find an event near you and to sign up to the WE PLAY Challenge for the expanded Olympic experience.