Tag Archives: European Capital of Culture

Sonderborg2017: My experience

Ever since we moved to Sonderborg in November last year, the city breathed Sonderborg 2017 and the hope of getting the European Capital of Culture title. Yesterday was decision day and, unfortunately, the decision did not go Sonderborg’s way. It was a disappointing result after all the hard work put into this bid by so many people.

In the last few weeks I had become actively involved in this bid. I was asked if I would be interested in being part of the team presenting to the jury and answering questions from them yesterday, giving the perspective of a newcomer. I felt honoured and said yes.

Regardless of the result, I do not regret the time I spent preparing my speech, in rehearsals, and researching all that I could to be prepared. I could see the enthusiasm and belief of the people involved, and it couldn’t fail to be infectious to all around.

I first met some of the jury on Thursday during their lunch with young representatives of the city. I thought they got the point then of what we have been doing here, and left satisfied. On Friday, following our presentation, we got some tough questions, but nothing we couldn’t tackle I thought. All that was left was the final decision, and it went to Aarhus.

Undoubtedly Aarhus can deliver a European Capital of Culture, but will this have as big an impact on many people as it would have in Sonderborg? I think not. I look forward to see what comes out of this for our region. The ball has started to roll, and it cannot be stopped!

Culture Capital Jury Visiting Sønderborg

The jury deciding who will be Denmark’s European Capital of Culture 2017 is making the decision tomorrow, Friday at around 4pm.

Before that 4 members of the jury visited the two contestants; Aarhus and Sønderborg. Yesterday it was Aarhus, today it was Sønderborg.

The jury had spent the night at Dyvig Badehotel and they started their tour by visiting Danfoss, the biggest employer of the area, where they met with Jørgen Mads Clausen, and some of the local Danish politicians as well as Torsten Albig the Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein. Read more about that in Der Nordschleswiger (in German).

After that they took the bus with museums director Peter Dragsbo who told them about the area’s history, architecture and culture.

The bus took them to the art centre Augustiana where they met with 40 German and Danish artists and discussed the local art scene.

Lunch was had on the good ship of Shalimar where they talked to local people, including Ann, so I’m sure they were well entertained 🙂

And when they returned to port the BMX guys from Flensburg were practicing their jumps for Sonderborg Culture Night tomorrow:

They moved on to the former shelter now known as X-Bunker to hear about the projects that take place there. By now they had to be coffee thirsty so at Rønhave Plads they were offered a real Sønderjysk Kaffebord with too many cakes to try.

From here they moved on to Dybbøl Banke and on to Alsion where they met and heard the symphony orchestra practice.

And that was it for the visit for the jury to Sonderborg. Tomorrow it’s on to the big finale in the Ministry of Culture in Copenhagen where both cities will have a last attempt at swaying the jury to honour their home town with the title of European Capital of Culture.

Sonderborg is sending a small team to Copenhagen to present and amongst the mayor, artistic director and cultural director is Ann, to tell her story of how she moved to Sonderborg! How cool is that?


I went to see this small delegation off at Sonderborg Airport where the new local airline DAT had been kind enough to sponsor the flights for all the delegation.

Cross your fingers for them doing well and go see the declaration of the winner Friday at 4pm at Town Hall Square.

Picture of boat by Chistian Have. The first two pictures in this post are used without permission from the photographers – I’m in the process of asking the rights holders.

Sonderborg Culture Night Programme 2012

This is one of the biggest events in Sonderborg and will draw loads of people out into the streets. It is the 15th time there is a Sports and Culture Night in Sonderborg. It has gotten progressively bigger over the years and this year more than 100 sports clubs and other associations are taking part in one way or another.

The activities during the night take place across the centre of Sonderborg, where the different organisations have been allocated a spot and time slot for their presentation. A few organisations are doing the events in their own facilities so you have to go to their building (club house, church etc.).

Highlights are:

  • Announcement of European Capital of Culture 2017 at 4pm at Town Hall Square
  • Parade from three places starting at 5pm ending at Town Hall Square at 5.30pm
  • Fireworks over the water at 10.35pm
  • Sending 1700 runners off at 10.55pm

Here are most of the locations:

The full Danish programme is found as PDF here. The text, times and locations mentioned below are our translations/interpretations from the Danish programme.


17.00-17.25 Gymnastics Show by Midtals Idrætsforening
17.25-17.50 Gymnastics Show by Idræts SFO Sønderskov Skolen
17.50-18.00 Aerobic Show by Sønderborg Aerobic Klub
18.00-18.20 Jumping Gymnastics by Vidar Gymnastik og Kampsport
18.20-18.35 Rhönrad (Rolling wheel) by TS Sønderborg
18.35-18.55 Karate show by Ashihara Karate
18.55-19.05 Winner is announced from the ”ZeroCup” boat race
19.05-19.25 Get in Line Linedance
19.25-19.35 Aerobic Show by Sønderborg Aerobic Klub
19.35-20.05 Gymnastics Show by DGI Sønderborg Egnen
20.05-20.25 Taekwondo Show by Taekwondo Chung Un
20.25-20.35 Aerobic Show by Sønderborg Aerobic Klub
20.35-20.50 Rhönrad (Rolling wheel) by TS Sønderborg
20.50-21.10 Line Dance Show by Sønderborg Line Dancers
21.10-21.30 Contradance Show by Sønderborg Contradance
21.30-22.00 Music and Song by Randi & Bjarne
22.00-22.20 Dance School Youths Show – Randis danseskole
ca. 22.25 The runners assemble on Søndertorv
After the race start: Tattoo by Sønderborg Garden

Fireworks over the Sound

22.35 big fireworks show over the water. Launched from Sundgade on the Dybbøl side so you will probably get the best view from the castle.

Sønderborg Castle – The Knight Ballroom

17.00-17.30 Classic music by skilled students at MGK
17.30-18.15 Matrix Quartet playing performing Schubert, Shostakovitch and Dvorak
18.15-18.45 The Choir of North Als (Nordalskoret)
18.45-19.30 South Danish girls and boys choir (Sønderjysk pige– og drengekor)
19.30-20.00 Choir by Ældresagen
20.00-20.15 Violin and cello duo performing Bach and R. Gliere
20.15-21.00 Quartet performing Haydn, Carl Nielsen, Edvard Grieg and more
21.00-22.00 Swinging jazz by Opus 2.

Town Hall Square/Rådhustorvet

14.30-15.00 Michael Vogensen playing
15.00-16.00 Music School pupils
16.00-17.00 Direct connection to the mayor for results from the jury verdict and Jeppe Rapp entertaining
17.15-17.30 Nordals Choir
17.00-17.30 Parade with Gråsten Garden and Sønderborg Garden
17.30-18.00 Fashion Show part 1
18.00-19.30 Ray Darwin – Jamaican reggea music
19.30-19.45 Award ceremony from integration council
19.45-20.30 Fashion Show part 2
21.00-22.15 Rock concert with Hardinger, Thorup and B-Joe
22.45-00.00 Pink Floyd Lovers

Rønhave Plads

17.00-?? Jazz Festival/Concerts

Steps in front of castle

Sønderborg Yacht Club
17.00-22.00: Demonstrating boats

Sebbe Als
17.00-22.00: The oldest viking ship replica sailing in Denmark is based in Augustenborg. They would love to have more members to join on their sailing trips.

Swimming Club Sønderborg
19.00-20.30: Playing water polo in the harbour.

15.00-18.00: Some sort of sail boat competition between the marina and harbour of Sonderborg.

Other places in town

“Ice Rink”
15.00—20.30 Street handball competition

Night Race
22.35-23.30 6km run with 1700 participants. Starting in front of castle.

Sct. Marie Church
21.00—22.30 Come-and-go concert with song, guitar and sax

Art School/Sønderjyllands Kunstskole
16.00—21.00 Exhibit of an artist

German library/Deutsches Museum Nordschleswig
19.00—22.00 Open for visits. Tour of the permanent collection at 20.00

Tilting at the ring museum/Ringridermuseet
17.00-22.00 Open House

VUC Sønderjylland
17.00-21.00 Open House

Free Masons/Den Danske Frimurerorden
17.00-21.00 Open House

The Little Gallery/Det lille Galleri
17.00-22.00 Enjoy paintings and live jazz

Odd Fellow Logen
17.00-21.00 Open House

Radiomuseum/Sønderjyllands Radiomuseum

Lutheran missionary/Bethania
17.00-21.00 Music and evning song

And more…

You can also go visit the stalls of all these organisations:

Bridgeklubben ”Enigheden”
Dybbøl Efterskole
VUC Sønderjylland
Sønderborg Bibliotek
Sønderborg Skyttekreds
Metal Sønderborg
Catena Logen
Sdbg. Hjerneskadeforening
Dansk Handicap Forbund
Brand og Redning Sønderborg & Pionertjenesten
Sundhedscentrets Rehabiliteringsteam
Dansk Røde Kors
Dansk Vandrelaug
Hjernesagen Aabenraa-Sønderborg
Business College Syd
Sønderborg Modelflyveklub
Sønderborg Sportsdykker Klub
Sønderborg Linedancere
Børns Voksenvenner
Eckersberg Børneuniversitet
Sønderborg Bloddonorkorps
Venstre i Sønderborg kommune
Venstres Ungdom
Kirkens Korshær
Sdbg. Sports og Helsecenter
Sdbg Teakwondoklub
Amnestys Lokalforening for Sønderborg og Sundeved
Konservative vælgerforening
Mølleparkens Plecenter
Taekwondo Klubben ”Chung Un”
Kræftens Bekæmpelse
Dansk Folkeparti
Kegnæs Friskole
Sønderborg International School
Ligeværd Sønderborg
Alsalsa Dans
Alssund Golfklub
Apoaf: Apopleksi/Afasiramte
De Tyske Foreninger
FOA Sønderborg
Folk og Forsvar
Gigtforeningen Sønderborg
Socialistisk Folkeparti
Ung til Ung i Sønderborg Kommune
Tangoforeningen La Cunita
Colclear Implant Forening
FDF Sønderborg

We support Sonderborg2017

This Friday (24th) is the big day when the decision on whether Sonderborg or Aarhus will be 2017 European Capital of Culture is taken. All the work of the last 3 years to bring this title to Sonderborg comes down to these days: the jury visit to Sonderborg on the 23rd of August and a presentation and question round on the 24th in Copenhagen.

The S2017 team has been working very hard to make what was at first a very far-fetched dream into reality. It has become more tangible through the active contribution of the citizens in the community. Getting the title and the large scale event that it is will further reconnect the community and make people proud to be a part of it: look at what the Olympics has done for the UK!

Sonderborg acutely needs this title to put itself on the European map. However, even more importantly, Sonderborg needs this title to ensure its future. At the moment 8 out of 10 young people who leave the area do not return and are not replaced as the dichotomy between city and countryside is seen an unbridgeable. But Sonderborg has the facilities, energy and drive to show the third alternative: a countryside metropolis with the benefits of both worlds. To achieve this goal the time to act is now; in 10 to 15 years it will be too late!

Show your support

Actively show your support by liking the S2017 facebook page and encourage your friends to do the same. To make it easier, we have added a ‘like’ link to the S2017 facebook page here, so no excuses:

If you feel that you need to inform yourself further about this process you can go to the S2017 website or visit the S2017 shop on Perlegade in Sonderborg.

You can also participate in the events organised in the week leading up to the decision. During this week, events will be going on every evening in front of the town hall. This will all lead up to a live transmission of the press conference stating the jury’s decision on Friday at 4pm, as part of the Culture Night Celebrations.

And of course, some luck never hurt anyone, so don’t forget to keep your fingers crossed!

Multiplicity of Culture (Video)

A group that calls itself Anonyme Sønderborggensere (Anonymous Sonderborgians) has created a stunning video that shows some cultures in Sønderborg that are a bit underground or in the dark for one reason or another.

I haven’t figured out who they are, or whether they are connected to Sonderborg2017 but they make some amazing shots. My favorite shot is the BMX rider speeding along the road shot from a tall building (or crane).

What’s your favorite bit? And do you recognize the different locations?

Sonderborg 2017: The Final Countdown

For the last years Sonderborg has been working hard with the aim of becoming the 2017 European Capital of Culture. after completing the qualifying round earlier this year (together with Aarhus), the competition is now at the final stage: all that’s left is to figure out which city gets the honor!

Sonderborg2017 submitted the final application and programme last week. This final stage in the application was sent to Copenhagen via Tamim, a Sonderborg2017 team member who ran all the way to Copenhagen from Southern Jutland, recreating part of a previous run across Denmark he had done a few years ago to thank the Danish people for their friendliness when he moved here.

But what are they planning? You can find out by reading Sonderborg’s final application, as well as a draft programme should Sonderborg receive the honour of being the 2017 European Capital of Culture. I am excited to see the variety of activities that are planned: from maritime-related events, to science-themed events, to the more traditional ‘culture-related’ events in the artistic (art, music, film etc) fields.

Sonderborg is at a very exciting position at the moment. All that is left is that we keep our fingers crossed and wish Sonderborg good luck with its application. The final winner will be announced on Friday the 24th of August this year when Sonderborg is celebrating Culture Night.