December 21, 2012



Holiday Greetings from the mayor:
We continue development through culture

Happy Holidays wishes the mayor of Sonderborg, Aase Nyegaard, on behalf of the City Council, looking back at a year with very many activities.

- One of the highlights was, of course, that we had written a really good application in the attempt to become European Capital of Culture 2017. Unfortunately the title went to Aarhus, and we congratulate. But our challenges in Sønderborg remain the same. Therefore, we continue our work to create what we in the application named a Countryside Metropolis: A rural metropolis that combines the best of big cities - creativity and innovation - with the best of the country: the quiet pulse, the strong identity and care for others, she says, and continues:

- Volunteers, organizations, politicians and authorities have created a fantastic network of partners north and south of the border, and in the future we will use this network in our efforts to put culture in front as a driver of the development in our region. We do believe that there is a need. Our focus remains to create growth, development and jobs.

This autumn Sonderborg has been the host of several cultural highlight: The Royal couple, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, awarded its culture awards at a televised show in the cultural centre Alsion, which also was the setting for a two day CSR conference including an awards show and visit of Prince Joachim, three ministers and the 42nd president of the USA, Bill Clinton.
2012 was also the year when Sønderborg strengthened cooperation with China and received recognition for its climate efforts in collaboration with ProjectZero.

Strategy to be discussed in 2013

The final of the European Capital of Culture-contest was the culmination of three to four years with increasing activity in the S2017 Secretariat and amoung partners throughout the region. The decision hit as a punch in the stomach, but the effort still has provided a good basis for a strategy strongly based in culture.  The City Council of Sonderborg will in the new year discuss a strategy and its implementation.

Unique culture region across the border

This New Year the culture cooperation between the municipalities of Sonderborg, Aabenraa, Haderslev and Tonder will be replaced by a new and expanded agreement with partners on the other side of the border: Kreis Nordfriesland Kreis Schleswig-Flensburg and the City of Flensburg. The Cultural Region Southern Jutland-Schleswig is nothing less than Europe's first international culture agreement. It is expected to be confirmed at a signing ceremony in April.

The secretariat establiched for the candidature European Capital of Culture 2017 in Sonderborg close down by New Year. You will still be able to follow the development of the strategy at this website, the corresponding Facebook page, etc., although these will undergo parallel changes.
As a final act the secretariat withes to thank its many partners and supporting citizens who have helped to create a wave of positive cultural energy in the region - a wave that still leaves a wealth of options.

Please adress comments and questions on the candidature and the further work on the strategy to:
Communications Manager Henriette Pilegaard
Center for Culture,
Alsion 2,
DK-6400 Sonderborg
M: +45 2790 5377