Galway’s time as European Capital of Culture formally concluded at the end of April 2021 and the focus has now shifted to legacy and identifying the legacy opportunities that exist for Galway having held this prestigious title.

The legacies from hosting the European Capital of Culture can be hugely beneficial to a city and wider region as has been demonstrated in numerous previous Capitals over the past 30 years. The European Capital of Culture can act as a catalyst for positive cultural, social and economic development that can last for years and decades after the title year.   

Galway’s special year was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Whilst many amazing events were held in 2019 and early 2020, unfortunately, we were not able to host all of the cultural events that we had planned for the year. However, despite the challenges of the pandemic Galway’s artists, cultural organisations and local communities still delivered a large, diverse and truly innovative programme of both in-person and online events. This is an important body of work that Galway can continue to build on.

Taking the 6-year period from when Galway’s European Capital of Culture journey began through to where we are now we can see that huge strides have been made in many areas. Hundreds of artists and organisations have created new collaborative projects. Hundreds of people have become part of the vibrant Wave Makers Volunteer Programme. Thousands of people have attended brilliant cultural events. And strong new connections have been forged with cultural organisations across Europe and beyond.  

The current legacy planning process will take place from September to December 2021. This work will take place alongside the completion of the independent evaluation of the Galway 2020 programme, the report from which will be published in December 2021.  


We will conduct research based on the evaluations and surveys conducted to date, these include but are not limited to:

  1. Feedback from our evaluations of the projects delivered by Cultural Partners
  2. Feedback from the public surveys undertaken in the summer of 2021
  3. Feedback from Small Towns Big Ideas surveys
  4. Feedback from the Monitoring and Evaluation of Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture project.
  5. Feedback from the Wavemaker programme
  6. Feedback from legacy survey


We are currently conducting a number of meetings, these include but are not limited to the following;

  1. Key stakeholder interviews-including our partners, artists and communities.
  2. Stakeholder group meetings
  3. Online meetings with our European Partners including other European Capitals of Culture
  4. Meetings with stakeholders and volunteers on the Wave Makers programme


In the drafting of the legacy framework we will take into account cultural policy at local, national and EU level in particular we will take account of the following;

Local Policy:

  1. New Directions- Galway City Council’s strategic Arts plan 2021-2026
  2. Galway County Council’s Arts Plan 2020-2024
  3. Everybody Matters A Cultural Sustainability Strategy Framework For Galway 2016-2025

National Policy:

  1. Culture 2025: A National Cultural Policy Framework (2020)
  2. Making Great Art Work 2015-2025, Arts Council
  3. Survive, Adapt, Renew; Arts Council response to the Covid-19 crisis for the Arts in Ireland