2017 will be an amazing year for Denmark, who will be the host country of European Capital of Culture. On the 24th of August this year an international jury will decide which city will have the honor.

All Danish cities were invited to participate. Aarhus and Sønderborg (including the Southern Jutland-Schleswig region) were advanced to the deciding round by an international jury.

- But, Sønderborg is a small town. It doesn’t stand a chance against a big city like Aarhus with all its culture... is perhaps the first thought for many.
Actually Sønderborg has a good chance. The Capital of Culture competition is not about how many existing cultural institutions there are in the city.

The purpose of European Capital of Culture is, through culture, to create a sense of community. It’s not about a single year with special events. It’s about a vision stretching 20 years in to the future. The work involved will strengthen the role of culture in development strategies and bring new inspiration to the cultural life in the whole region.



The work with the application has been ongoing for a couple of years. Thousands of citizens and cultural operators from both sides of the border have attended workshops and focus groups that have created the ideas for the Capital of Culture candidacy. 

For the artistic part of the application, S2017 use capacities from the entire region – plus cities such as Kiel, Hamburg and Copenhagen. The candidacy also enters into cultural networks from Europe and beyond.

Sue McCauley from Australia is in charge of the artistic development of the program in collaboration with local and international experts. Cultural coordinators in the entire region – south and north of the border- are simultaneously involved in an inter-regional project.