This is when season of culture for Chichester district is planned and what it will involve

Anniversaries galore will give Chichester reason to celebrate in 2022 – and the district council has released £50,000 to help the festivities along.
Festival of Chichester launch in 2019Festival of Chichester launch in 2019
Festival of Chichester launch in 2019

The multiple milestones will see Chichester Festival Theatre mark its 60th anniversary, Pallant House Gallery’s 40th, and the Novium Museum’s 10th.

It will be the 30th anniversary of the Chichester International Film Festival and the 10th anniversary of the Festival of Chichester.

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And the granddaddy of them all is the Chichester Canal, which will be 200 years old.

During a meeting of the cabinet on Tuesday (July 6), Roy Briscoe, cabinet member for community services and culture, brought councillors up-to-date on the planned Season of Culture.

He said: “2022 offers an opportunity to us, not only to celebrate and support the cultural organisations within the district – especially important now following the impact Covid has had – but for local businesses and all our communities, north to south and east to west, that can engage and benefit from the varied activities being put on offer.”

So far, the Chichester Festival Theatre and Pallant House Gallery have match-funded £5,000 taken from the Chichester Vision budget to pay for a project manager and co-ordinator until the end of July.

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With the plans gathering momentum, that role remains essential.

So cabinet members agreed to release money to pay for a project co-ordinator for three days per week and a creative director for a couple of days per month.

Both roles will last from this August until September 2022.

The £50,000 will also cover the operational budget of the Season of Culture.

Mr Briscoe said the enthusiasm for the project received from cultural partners had been ‘exceptional’.

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He stressed that the idea was to celebrate district-wide, not just through the large organisations such as the theatre and museum.

The plan is to hold at least one event or activity in every ward of the district.

All of this costs money and the council will be making an application for funding to the Arts Council and others.

There was good news for youngsters as Mr Briscoe told the meeting that the intention was to give every child in the district the opportunity to take part in at least one activity during the celebrations.

He added: “Next year we have an opportunity to celebrate our culture, heritage and art. I hope this will increase tourism to our fabulous district.”