Galway 2020 Announces Personnel Changes

> Sorcha Nic Aodha

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Galway 2020 has today announced a number of personnel changes to the leadership team. Hannah Kiely is stepping down from her role as Chief Executive.

Aideen McGinley, Chairperson of Galway 2020 said;

“On behalf of the Galway 2020 Board, I want to thank Hannah for her significant contribution, energy, passion and dedication to the vision of the bid for Galway 2020. She has worked tirelessly since taking up post as Chief Executive last year to put in place an excellent team and the necessary building blocks for Galway 2020’s success. We wish her every success going forward”.

Hannah Kiely outgoing Chief Executive said;

“At this point, we have an excellent team in place, money secured, the core programme identified and more to be revealed in October. I am very proud of the work undertaken by the team and I in the past year and I wish every success to Galway 2020 in the delivery and production of the European Capital Of Culture.”

Mark O’Donnell is joining as Chief Operations Officer and Pearse Doherty as Head of Production. Commenting on the new appointments Ms McGinley said;

“I want to welcome Pearse Doherty to the team as Head of Production and Mark O’Donnell as Chief Operations Officer. They bring with them a wealth of experience and are vital appointments as we move into the delivery phase of Galway 2020.”

Galway 2020 is now entering a very significant stage in its development, as it announces the first phase of funding of €12.7 million for the cultural programme. Galway 2020 will use the €12.7m to fund 27 projects across the city and county. This funding, which will be spent directly on programme activities, is a significant boost to the artistic community in Galway city and county. In addition to funding 27 organisations, Galway 2020 has allocated funding to commission digital-based work, a cross county artists in residence programme and phase two of the very successful Small Towns Big Ideas programme.

This confirmation of funding provides programme partners with clarity and certainty that will enable them to begin developing their programme content, allow them to start recruiting and engage with their wider communities. Supporting and promoting the arts and culture community is what Galway 2020 is all about. Over the coming months, Galway 2020 will be working closely with the programme partners to help finalise the various activity programmes, which will enable Galway 2020 to finalise their key sponsorship opportunities.

Further details on these projects will be published in October this year and the full Galway 2020 cultural programme will be announced in September 2019. Galway 2020 also announced details of an upcoming showcase, which will take place in early October. The showcase will provide further details on the projects receiving funding, give details of Galway 2020’s volunteer programme, along with details of the learning and community engagement programmes.


About Galway 2020, Pearse Doherty and Mark O’Donnell

Mark O’Donnell is joining Galway 2020 as Chief Operations Officer. Mark joins Galway 2020 from Galway City Council where he is a Senior Executive Officer. Mark previously worked with Galway 2020 during the bid phase up until September 2017. Pearse Doherty is joining Galway 2020 as Head of Production and will lead the production aspects of the cultural programme. Pearse is well known to Ireland’s cultural and artistic community, having produced many large-scale events, festivals and concerts including Electric Picnic and the recent Ed Sheeran gigs.

A European Capital of Culture (ECOC) is a region chosen by the EU to host a yearlong programme of events that reflect the richness and diversity of culture in Europe. In July 2016, Galway won the bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2020. The last ECOC to be awarded in Ireland was hosted by Cork in 2005, and before that, by Dublin in 1991. Ireland will not have the opportunity to host a European Capital of Culture again for many years. Above all, it’s going to be a year of fun, exhilarating experiences and making life transforming connections. In 2020, Galway City and County will host hundreds of events throughout the year, with the aim of empowering communities to unite through culture, to create something amazing.

The Galway 2020 team is currently putting together the vast programme of events, which will culminate in a large-scale opening ceremony in January 2020. From that day on a series of fun and inspiring events will take place in every corner of the city and county. The Galway 2020 programme encompasses all aspects of culture from art, sport, large scale spectacle, food, digital, dance, theatre, circus, film, architecture and literature, to name but a few. In short, there’ll be something for everyone.

The 27 projects being supported by today’s announcement cover all areas of art and culture and are spread across Galway city and county. Galway 2020 is in the process of meeting the groups involved to confirm their funding and sign contracts. Further details of the groups and their projects will be announced at our Showcase in October.

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