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1. How are things going in preparation for 2017?
The preparation is very challenging and of course intensive and stressful. We are just a few weeks before the Opening on the 28th January 2017 and this means a lot to us. The programme is ready, but do not forget that it will be mostly implemented outdoors and/or in spaces that will soon be finished. It is challenging as now we are in the implementation phase. There is a heavy workload regarding programming, rehearsing, inviting guests from Cyprus and abroad, planning, as well as overseeing the infrastructure works, streets, venues. Everything has to be ready by end of December.
2. Is everything running to schedule?
Our programme yes; the vast majority of the projects don’t face any problems. Contracts have been signed, roadmaps and budgets have been agreed. Apart from some venue and timetable changes that we might have to make because 1 or 2 venues will not be 100% ready by the agreed time, everything is according to schedule. When you are planning an artistic programme months in advance of course you must be aware of the fact that some changes might occur.
3. We were recently treated to a presentation about the events that will take place in 2017 – please tell us a little about the main ones
There are 152 projects. Many of them are complex projects with multiple actions. If I have to mention just a few, then I would of course mention first the Opening Ceremony on the 28th January 2017 in the city’s central new square, which is a spectacle inspired by the first thematic line of our programme, Myth and Religion, designed and implemented by an international team. Then we will have the Summer highlight on the 1st July 2017 in the harbour area, inspired by our second thematic line, World Travellers, as well as the Berlin Philharmonic concert, one of the best orchestras worldwide with the famous Concert for Europe on the 1st of May in front of Pafos Castle which is a concert that will be transmitted worldwide. Also, the Moon and Stars platform that includes a series of concerts with famous stars such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Charlotte Rampling, Goran Bregovic, Eleftheria Arvanitaki, George Kimoulis, in the ancient Odeon and the Rock of Aphrodite (Petra tou Romiou). Not to forget the many visual artists taking part in a number of exhibitions as Rosa Barba (Germany), Chiharu Shiota(Japan), Socratis Socratous (Cyprus) Costas Tsoclis (Greece) and many others. Last but not least, I consider the ancient drama Trojan Women by Euripides to be also one of our highlights, directed and staged by two world known personalities, Theodoros Terzopoulos (director) and Jannis Kounellis (stage installation).
4. Where can people find more information about the events?
Shortly, will be able to find all the relevant information you need in our website: www.pafos2017.eu
. Very soon we will also have a new and dynamic site, as well as relevant printed material, and of course our info points will be ready to provide you with relevant information both in Greek and English before the end of this year. I have to mention also, that the Pafos2017 Organisation has its own Application which can be downloaded for free on all Smart Phones.
5. What has been the reaction from the community in Pafos, as well as Cyprus as a whole to the events of next year?
The Pafos people were amazed, I believe, by the volume, the extension and the diversity of the projects. In Pafos we could communicate our programme and our events easily through our presentation, our volunteers, and our daily contacts. People are here anyway, they are close to Pafos2017, they call us, we meet with them, and we talk to them every day. In the other cities of Cyprus we see that people are aware of our activities and they are interested in attending the majority of the events. The Berlin Philharmonic concert or the Moon and Stars concerts have already been booked in their calendars for next year I believe. Due to our financial limitations, we could not promote our events nationally or internationally well in advance, but we will now start to do so more intensively.
6. Are there any activities that will help bring tourism to Pafos after 2017?
The title of the European Capital of Culture itself brings tourism to Pafos. There are certain tourists that follow the activities of all European Capitals of Culture. We do look forward to welcome a different kind of tourism to Pafos, a more interested audience in contemporary culture, visitors more interested to discover the history, the beauty and the modern face of Pafos.
7. Finally, what has been the most challenging aspect of your work these past few months
I can only say that challenges never end if you are seated in this position. The European dimension, the size of this project, together with the change of the city’s face thanks to the many infrastructure works are some of the most challenging issues we face every day. What keeps me moving is the fact that I strongly believe we will make it until the end, and that we will also be very successful!
A little about Georgia ...Georgia Doetzer
was born in Cyprus in 1959. In 1982, she graduated from the University of GeorgAugusta in Germany, from where she obtained her Degree in Social Sciences. During her studies in Germany, she also followed various courses in business and cultural management, the adults further education and the German Language. After she worked for almost a decade as teacher, she joined in 1993 the Limassol Theatre Development Company (ETHAL), where she was involved in the artistic, technical and financial management of the company as its Chief Operations Officer. There, she collaborated with professionals from the field of the Arts in several theatre productions and became actively involved in the cultural life of Limassol and Cyprus. In 1999, she joined the Rialto Theatre, a major arts venue based in Limassol, where she worked as its Artistic Director till December 2014, undertaking therefore the artistic management of the theatre’s annual programme.Together with the development of the theatre’s programme, she has been in charge of various projects as a project manager: the design, organisation and implementation of the International Short Film Festival of Cyprus, the International Film Festival .Cyprus Film Days., the Contemporary Dance Platform, the European Dance Festival, the World Music Festival. Her other contributions include Member of several selection Committees of the Ministry of Education & Culture (1998-20014), the Limassol Dance House, the National Theatre Prizes and many more. Her contribution in the cultural life of the island is enhanced with her participation in the administrative board of various associations and institutions: she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Cyprus Theatre Organisation 2012- today), the Coordinating Council of Limassol Cultural Organisations (2012-15) and the Representative of the Rialto Theatre in the European Forum of Worldwide Music Festival (2012-14). Furthermore, her 20-year experience and know-how in the organisation, management and implementation of programmes offered her an active role in the European Capital of Culture – Pafos2017 where she works since January 2015 as director for the artistic programme.