London

Events mark Waltham Forest becoming Borough of Culture

Town hall lit up Image copyright Matt Alexander
Image caption Various cultural events will take place in the north-east London borough throughout the year

A three-day celebration is to mark the beginning of Waltham Forest becoming London's first Borough of Culture.

The Welcome to the Forest event will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening and will see giant light installations and a winter carnival.

The Borough of Culture programme was launched by Sadiq Khan "to put culture at the heart of local communities."

The borough's council said it would be "the biggest party that Waltham Forest has ever seen."

Twenty-two boroughs submitted bids to be named Borough of Culture, with Waltham Forest and Brent chosen for 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Acclaimed choreographer Matthew Bourne grew up in the borough and his theatre company is taking part in the year's events

They were awarded £1.35m of funding to deliver a programme of cultural activities, while six other boroughs were also given finance for individual projects.

Welcome to the Forest will run from 18:00 to 21:30 GMT on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and will feature:

  • An audio and visual projection on the Town Hall created by artists Greenaway & Greenaway in collaboration with Mercury Music Prize-winning musician Talvin Singh
  • An immersive sound and light installation called the Nest in Lloyd Park created by artists Marshmallow Laser Feast
  • A neon-lit winter carnival along Forest Road featuring people from the borough
Image caption Damon Albarn was among those who backed Waltham Forest's bid to become Borough of Culture

Other events to take place over the year will include:

  • Shows by Africa Express, who were founded by Damon Albarn
  • Artist residences led by Sir Matthew Bourne's dance-theatre company New Adventures
  • A 21st Century re-imagining of Chingford's traditional May Day Fayre
  • A light installation by visual artist Zarah Hussain which sill see the borough's marshes illuminated by 50,000 solar powered lights

Council leader Clare Coghill said the programme would "shine a light on the stories and cultural heritage of our borough".

Image copyright Matt Alexander
Image caption An immersive sound and light installation called the Nest will be in Lloyd Park

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