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Mayoral Delegation to Two Sister Cities

Mayoral Delegation to Two Sister Cities

Dunedin (Thursday, 24 July 2014) – A Dunedin mayoral delegation will visit two of Dunedin’s sister cities, Edinburgh, Scotland and Otaru, Japan, in late July and early August.

Mayor Dave Cull, Dunedin City Councillor Neville Peat and DCC staff support, Community Advisor – Arts Cara Paterson, leave for Edinburgh on 29 July. They depart Edinburgh on 6 August, with Cr Peat returning to Dunedin.

Mr Cull and Ms Paterson will carry on to Otaru, being joined there by Cr Andrew Noone. The group will depart on 12 August for their return to Dunedin.

Mr Cull received two invitations to journey to Edinburgh - one from Momentum, the Edinburgh Festivals International Delegates Programme partnership of British Council Scotland, Edinburgh’s Festivals, and Creative Scotland. The other invitation came from the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, the Rt. Hon. Donald Wilson.

The Lord Provost’s invitation celebrates this month’s 40th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Edinburgh and Dunedin.

In conjunction with Creative New Zealand, the Momentum programme will host a large group of New Zealanders during Edinburgh’s Festival Month. Dunedin Public Art Gallery (DPAG) Public Programmes Manager Robyn Notman is one of Momentum’s guests.

Momentum is arranging much of the delegation’s Edinburgh itinerary, including a bespoke series of events and meetings within Edinburgh’s arts community. The group will visit “Where do I end and you begin?”, an international exhibition curated by five selected Commonwealth representatives including DPAG curator Aaron Kreisler. They will also attend a VIP Edinburgh Tattoo function, the Tattoo itself and engage in talks with the City of Edinburgh regarding possible future sister city activities.

Mr Cull says, “This visit to Edinburgh is a timely opportunity for many reasons - Dunedin’s bid to join Edinburgh in becoming a UNESCO City of Literature, the genuine will of both cities to breathe new life into our sister city relationship, the keen local interest in revitalising Dunedin’s brand as a Scottish city, the sizeable Kiwi content of the Edinburgh festival month, the international interest shown in Scotland at the moment and, not least, marking the 40th anniversary of our sister city relationship.

“The meetings arranged by Momentum allow us to explore how we might be able to stimulate activity via some of our arts links, to benefit the existing sister city relationship between Edinburgh and Dunedin.”

Mr Cull describes the visit to Otaru as a reaffirmation of an old sister city friendship. An Otaru delegation is expected to visit Dunedin in 2015 to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the relationship.

“The relationship began as a way of encouraging meat exports from Dunedin’s port to Otaru’s. Today the Dunedin-Otaru Sister City Society has become a focus for any Japanese in Dunedin and we have regular educational exchanges. In fact, while we are in Otaru, 10 students and two escorts from there will be visiting Dunedin.”

This is Cr Noone’s second delegation visit to Otaru. With the assistance of Silver Fern Farms, he is arranging a barbecue event featuring Otago meats and wines. The Otaru delegation gifts will include Dunedin honey products.

Mayoral delegation travel and accommodation costs of about $18,000 are being met by the DCC civic budget.

For details on Momentum visit http://scotland.britishcouncil.org/programmes/arts/

momentum.

For information on the City of Edinburgh visit

http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/.

ends

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