The Cultural Capital arts festival to be presented in Saint Petersburg



From October 31 through November 7, 2014, a large-scale art project, the Cultural Capital arts festival, will be presented in Saint Petersburg. The festival has been organized by the Baikal XL festival center in Irkutsk and the Nevsky 24 art gallery in Saint Petersburg with support from the administration of Irkutsk and EuroSibEnergo, the largest private power company. Presentation of the Cultural Capital arts festival will coincide with the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the Irkutsk community in Saint Petersburg and will become not only a present but also a demonstration of strong cultural and business ties between the two cities and will promote knowledge exchange and the development of new artistic ideas and projects.

In June this year, the program of the Cultural Capital festival, whose participants included art groups, artists and musicians from Saint Petersburg, was presented to the people of Irkutsk for the first time. The festival became one of the major cultural events of the year and evoked a positive response from the citizens of Irkutsk.

In October, the project will be presented in Saint Petersburg. A return visit to the northern capital will be paid by the best art groups from Irkutsk and the Irkutsk Region. Presentation of the project at venues in Saint Petersburg will include performances by the Governor’s Orchestra of the Irkutsk Regional Philharmonic Society conducted by Ilmar Lapinsh, a distinguished conductor of Russia; the Stepnye Napevy (Tunes of the Steppe) song and dance ensemble; and musical bands from Irkutsk: Dekadans-Kvartet i Anna Klimashevskaya and Hippy-party. In addition, a photographic exhibition “Lomoportatsiya. Novaya Magistral” (“Lomoportation. A New Route”) will be presented to the citizens of Saint Petersburg; it is a joint project of photographers from Irkutsk and Saint Petersburg working in the lomographic genre. The exhibition was first shown in June in Irkutsk as part of the Cultural Capital festival.

The presentation of the Cultural Capital festival in Saint Petersburg is aimed at telling the public about a unique art project launched in Irkutsk which has helped establish strong cultural ties between the two cities; demonstrating a high level of the culture of Irkutsk and its variety; drawing the attention of the general public to the festival and searching for new interesting projects to be included in the program of the second Cultural Capital festival in 2015.


Viktor Kondrashov, Mayor of Irkutsk:

“Irkutsk has always been famous for its authors, musicians and artists. Today, the city is the cultural center of both the Angara Region and Siberia as a whole. I am pleased that, in addition to annual cultural events which have already become a tradition, new art projects, such as the Cultural Capital festival, are launched in the city, projects that are unique and popular and whose aim is not only to further enrich the spiritual life of our citizens, but also to provide opportunities for creative development and self-fulfillment.”

Vyacheslav Solomin, CEO of OJSC EuroSibEnergo:

“The Cultural Capital festival is unique in many respects. On the one hand, it creates an environment for artistic communication and knowledge exchange and facilitates the development of new and interesting ideas and joint cultural projects connecting two great Russian cities: Irkutsk and Saint Petersburg. On the other hand, it is an example of a completely new model of cooperation between Culture, Business and the Government, whose efficiency was proved during the festival held in June in Irkutsk. I am glad to see that due to joint support of this kind, the project is developing, attracting a growing number of interesting and talented people. It is equally important that the festival has a great potential for developing into a bigger and more significant event, a cultural forum that will help create a common cultural and business space across the country, which is consistent with EuroSibEnergo’s development strategy.

“I am convinced that, thanks to the Cultural Capital project, the people of Saint Petersburg will be pleasantly surprised by the variety of Siberian culture and impressed by remarkable artistic skills of performers from Irkutsk.”

Ilmar Lapinsh, artistic director and principal conductor of the Governor’s Symphony Orchestra:

“I look forward to the forthcoming event for two reasons. As a person working in Irkutsk, I think it is very important to demonstrate the musical achievements of the Angara Region in our northern capital. There is also another aspect: I studied in Saint Petersburg (called Leningrad at the time), at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory, and later I worked there. It is in a concert hall of this conservatory that the ensemble of soloists from the Governor’s Symphony Orchestra will give a major concert, which is very important to me and which I find symbolically significant. Of course, I think that the Cultural Capital is a unique event which raises great hopes. I am glad that there are people in Irkutsk who are concerned about the reputation and culture of the Angara Region. People from other cities now have a better understanding and are more willing to accept the image of our city as a cultural capital of Eastern Siberia.”

Anatoly Boroznenko, head of the Baikal XL festival center in Irkutsk:

“When we were drawing up the program of the first Cultural Capital festival in Irkutsk, we aimed first and foremost to include the most striking art projects from the northern capital, which have not yet been thoroughly developed in Siberia. We have received a lot of positive feedback from all sorts of people ranging from ordinary citizens to representatives of the business community and the government. Most of them commented that this had been an unusual and interesting experience. And this is precisely what we were aiming for. As we were preparing for a return visit to Saint Petersburg, our priority was to give a brief presentation showing the cultural life of our region in all its diversity: from original Buryat throat singing to classical music performed by our world-renowned orchestra. At the same time, this is just a small part of cultural legacy existing in Irkutsk, which we will be able to show in its entirety to the citizens of Saint Petersburg as early as next year, when the Cultural Capital festival will be held on a full-scale basis.”

For information

The Cultural Capital festival is a unique and atmospheric celebration of modern urban art showcasing the most impressive achievements of cities such as Irkutsk and Saint Petersburg in the social and cultural sphere.

The Cultural Capital festival has been organized by the Baikal XL festival center in Irkutsk and the Nevsky 24 art gallery in Saint Petersburg with support from the administration of Irkutsk and EuroSibEnergo, the largest private power company. Key objectives of the festival include enabling ongoing cultural exchange, promoting Saint Petersburg’s sophisticated culture in eastern regions of the country, maintaining the status of Irkutsk as a unique historic center of Russian culture in Siberia and the Far East. The festival is also aimed at creating a favorable environment for developing creative initiatives of all generations, facilitating professional communication, establishing partnerships and launching joint art projects.

The program of the first Cultural Capital festival held in Irkutsk on June 5-7, 2014 included unique projects which had never before been presented in Irkutsk, such as such as an exhibition of paintings by a famous art group Mitki; retrospective screenings of the best works entered for competition in Erarta Motion Pictures, an international festival of short films about painting; exhibitions, installations and workshops by the most prominent representatives of the Saint Petersburg school of lomography and video art; street performances of the Cardboardia community. The musical part of the festival included a performance by the Horn Orchestra of Russia and a concert featuring Surganova i Orkestr and Torba-na-Kruche, rock groups from Saint Petersburg.

October 24, 2014
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