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Hundreds of people gathered to kick off Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary preparations

With three years to go until Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary, partners from industry, associations, organisations, academia and municipal and regional administrations gathered to discuss and present their anniversary projects, plans and experiences leading up to 2021.

Photo: Johan De Paoli/Göteborg & Co

The atmosphere was both friendly and ceremonious when 200 partners met in Trädgår’n concert hall & restaurant in Gothenburg to launch the final stage of preparations for Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary in 2021. The morning started with inspiring discussions of several anniversary projects, and already by 10 a.m. many new contacts and connections had been made.

The day continued with short presentations of projects and initiatives. Among others, Thomas Pieschl from Elof Hansson presented the Global Business Gate, Annika Knutsson spoke about the GöteborgsVarvet Marathon 2021 and Katja Ahlsell discussed the planned cultural centre in Bergsjön.

In addition, Carin Kurling talked about Let’s Colour Gothenburg, a project with the dual aim of uniting the city and creating jobs for young people in the painting industry. The project has already helped 50 young people into permanent employment.

“The project includes many different aspects, but the basic idea is to get young people into the job market. Right now we’re working on a project where artworks will be painted on building façades along a 21-kilometre art trail from the Blå Stället cultural centre in Angered to the Röda Sten art centre in Klippan,” explains Carin.

Another project presented was Gothenburg Stories, a joint initiative between the Cultural Affairs Administration and the Museum of Gothenburg.

Photo: Marie Ullnert / Göteborg & Co

“We are collecting stories from people from all ten districts of Gothenburg. Ultimately, 100 of these stories will be dramatised and performed in various ways,” explains Marie Nyberg from the Museum of Gothenburg.

It was evident during the kick-off at Trädgår’n concert hall & restaurant that a great many partners are involved in the 2021 anniversary initiatives. Both Carin Kurling and Marie Nyberg were delighted to meet others working on anniversary projects.

“It was wonderful to be here and see how many people are engaged in this huge endeavour and working towards the same goals,” says Carin.

“It’s been really inspiring. It can get lonely working on your own project, but today I really got a sense of things going forward and everyone working together. It’s very exciting,” says Marie.

To conclude the morning, storyteller Katrice Horsley from Narrative4Change led a dynamic and inspiring storytelling session about Gothenburg 2021. Assisted by the participants, who symbolically launched 200 paper boats in the Göta Älv river, she summed up the day and emphasised the power and importance of everyone working in the same direction.