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Come and Join the Fantasy Bus! And Find Out About Birmingham’s Big Ideas

Subscribe to RSS RSSThursday, 25th March, 2010

Wednesday 17th March, 10am
Victoria Square, Birmingham B1 1BB

Some of the suggestions Birmingham residents have put forward as part of the city’s bid to be the first UK City of Culture in 2013 are being revealed in a new brochure called Birmingham’s Big Ideas.

The brochure forms the centrepiece of an imaginary festival for the year long celebrations. Click here to download a PDF.

The city recently reached the shortlist for the much coveted title and is competing with Sheffield, Derry and Norwich. The winning city will be announced in June. Birmingham’s bid involves seeking the ideas of everyone in the city through the Big Blank Canvas website, at, where residents can post their suggestions of what they want to see happen should Birmingham be crowned the UK City of Culture.

The Big Blank Canvas has had a huge response with hundreds of ideas already put forward. Those chosen to form part of the fantasy festival – which gives a glimpse of what Birmingham might host in 2013 – include a Headbanger’s Ballet, mixing heavy rock with ballet, and seeing high-wire artists walking over Edgbaston Reservoir. A city-wide Culture Bash further brings together all cultures for a day of eating, drinking and dancing, with a host of street parties taking place all over the city. A Jewellery Quarter Treasure Hunt, inspired by the Staffordshire Hoard of gold, further adds to the exciting mix of ideas.

A tour to some of the city’s locations inspired by the ideas will take place on Wednesday morning, with those who made the suggestions on board to talk about how they would like their idea bought to life.

The bus will leave Victoria Square at 10 am and travel to key locations, including Birmingham Reservoir and Spaghetti Junction. Also on board will be Cllr Martin Mullaney, Chair of the Birmingham Cultural Partnership and Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, as well as Cllr Ayoub Khan, Cabinet Member for Local Services and Community Safety.

Cllr Mullaney said, “The bus tour is a great opportunity to get a taste of the ideas being dreamed up whilst also highlighting how local people would like to see culture taking place in their neighbourhoods.

“We want to be the UK City of Culture and we want everyone in Birmingham to get involved. The Big Blank Canvas has proven to be extremely popular because people know that their ideas can make a real difference to the city’s final bid. The Birmingham’s Big Ideas brochure is a terrific chance to see how those dreams were thought up.”

Cllr Khan added: “We have had a great response from the public so far about what they want to see in their neighbourhoods but now we are on the shortlist we want to see even more ideas coming forward.

“We hope that this brochure and its ideas inspires everyone to look at Birmingham and see the huge amount it has to offer as a vibrant and creative city.”

Members of the media are invited to attend the launch of Birmingham’s Big Ideas and join the bus for the hour-long journey. Councillor Mullaney, Councillor Khan and Val Birchall, Head of Arts will also be on board for the tour which will return to Victoria Square at approximately 11am.

Members of the public will be able to pick up their own copy of Birmingham’s Big Ideas from Leisure Centres, Neighbourhood and Housing Offices and libraries from this Friday.

Members of the public can submit their own ideas for the UK City of Culture 2013 by logging onto