European Year of Cultural Heritage Initiatives

The following are initiatives taking place in Ireland throughout European Year of Cultural Heritage. 


Work it Out on May 1st

Celebrate a day of industrial culture together with a simultaneous dance performance throughout Europe, organised by the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH), this event will be about young people bringing former industrial sites to life through dance while at the same time, sparking their interest in their industrial roots. At each location at 3 pm on May 1st, up to 100 students/pupils and volunteers of any age will perform a vibrant, co-ordinated „work-out dance“. They will wear workers caps bearing the event logo (provided by ERIH) Visitors and bystanders will join in with the easy-to-follow choreography. These coordinated, simultaneous performances will also symbolise and demonstrate the cohesion of Europe today.

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Meet in the Garden- Rendez-Vous Aux Jardins

We're asking gardens and parks nationwide historic, contemporary, urban or rural to arrange cultural heritage events and activities for the public this June Bank holiday weekend -tours, performances and educational events addressing issues related to biodiversity, sustainable development and plant genetic resources . It is planned that the events will take place from Friday 1st June-Monday 4th June. With specialist activities for schools on 1st June. Full details will be published soon


Ode to Joy

A challenge to all citizens in Europe and beyond, and especially to professional and amateur musicians, dancers and other artists (young and old to perform and make a video or audio recording of Beethoven’s & Schiller’s Ode 2 Joy in a wide range of styles and at a heritage site of their choice on 9 May 2018 / Europe Day.  Performances to be live-streamed and/or recordings to be posted on social media.
Organised by Europa Nostra.

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Get ready for the European Day of Parks 2018! #EDoP2018 This year, as a celebration of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, we challenge you to organise activities in your Parks that connect people to their land, bridging natural heritage and cultural identity.

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Torch of Culture and Heritage

The history of Europe had a profound effect on our communities for centuries, and continues to play an integral part in community life today. In the run-up to the EYCH 2018, Future for Religious Heritage (FRH) has the pleasure, inspired by the Olympic Torch in Athens, to launch the “Torch Initiative”, to raise awareness and safeguard the importance of Europe’s rich religious heritage and culture.

The Torch will offer visibility and carry the messages of famous artists, musicians, politicians and European citizens who will help rediscover the value of our shared heritage as a symbol of unity on which Europe was built.

All are invited to take part Ministers of Culture from each EU member state, civilians, artists, academics,  refugees/immigrants to share their memory, story or experience. 

The movement of the Torch across Europe will be traced on a LIVE interactive map that will provide a record of all countries and cities through which it has travelled. The initiative will kick off on the 8th of January in Leeuwarden/The Netherlands and travel through Europe during the year, it will end at FRH’s Conference in Paris in October 2018 where it will be handed to the European Commissioner of Culture.

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European Wide Bell Ringing

Let us all ring our bells together everywhere in Europe on International Day of Peace on 21 September 2018, from 5:00pm- 6:00pm (Irish Time). 

In Europe, for more than a thousand years the ringing of bells has marked the time for work, for rest and for prayer. 

This sound has existed for five millennia, going back well before the founding of Christianity. It is intercultural: Whether cathedral bells, Buddhist temple bells, Shinto shrine bells – all convey a sense of ceremony, the passage of time and transcendence beyond the bounds of language. This is culture in the broadest sense, bringing together daily life (a clock chiming the hours), a call for peace (peace bells in Hiroshima and Berlin), politics (bell of state in Notre Dame de Paris), custom (tolling of bells on All Souls’ Day), art (carillon music), collective cultural memory (bells tolling for the 50th anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall), and religion (invitation to church services and marking of important moments in the liturgy).

The sound of bells, wherever it is heard, aptly expresses what we want to call to mind during the European Year of Culture 2018 and pass on to our children: the values of solidarity and peace, and our cultural heritage in Europe and for the world.

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Discover EUrOPE BY Book

A reading initiative to explore Europe's history, heritage and culture through reading different genres-literature, popular fiction and history. Promoting books in Irish or English, either by authors writing in these languages or translated from other European languages, which explore European history, heritage and culture. 

Further details will be published soon.



Donegal County Museum and Ulster University will be working with Killybegs History and Heritage Committee on a unique collaborative digital heritage project along with partners from Norway, Iceland and Scotland. Connected Culture and Natural Heritage in a Northern Environment (CINE) aims to transform people’s experiences of outdoor heritage sites through technology, building on the idea of “museums without walls”. New digital interfaces such as augmented reality, virtual world technology, and easy to use apps will bring the past alive, will allow us to visualise the effects of the changing environment on heritage sites, and help us to imagine possible futures.

Behind the scenes CINE will develop content management toolkits - enabling curators, archivists, historians, individuals and communities to make innovative heritage projects to create unique on-site and off-site customer experiences in specific locations.

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The Irish Community Archive Network (iCAN) is an ongoing project which supports community groups with professional advice, training and guidance as they collect and share their local history and heritage online. 

iCAN is delivered by the National Museum of Ireland in partnership with County Galway Heritage Office, heritage professionals and community volunteers.

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The European Federation Associations of Industrial and Technical HeritageEFAITH is preparing a specific campaign to highlight the industrial heritage during this Year - and the major role played by volunteers and voluntary associations to save, interpret and promote it. The aim is to establish links and cooperation between industrial heritage associations from different countries through twinning, to exchange ideas and experiences, to support each other?s activities and campaigns

The main project concerns a series of thematic months. These have to put the focus on and to engage citizens for the industrial heritage in each country
During each of these months specific topics will be highlighted throughout Europe,
please see :

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Le Cheile San Eoraip

An initiative with Local Authority Heritage Officers and Community Groups nationwide. This programme will encourage local communities to rediscover connections (geographic and thematic) to other places in Europe through their local heritage, led through their Local Authority Heritage Officer and Culture Team. 

Full details will be published soon.