Cultural Olympiad to reveal details in the autumn

But full programme is still 18 months away
Gary Noakes
Details of some of the Cultural Olympiad’s content will be unveiled in October, following the appointment of a director in February.

The full programme will not be confirmed until autumn next year, although a dedicated website will be launched in July 2011.

Delays in announcing the programme follow difficulties in filling the Cultural Olympiad director’s role.

The post was vacant for more than a year until Ruth Mackenzie’s appointment in February.

The Cultural Olympiad will open with a series of unspecified events at the start  of 2012. Its finale will be a 12-week nationwide festival that will open on 21 June and conclude on 9 September, the last day of the Paralympics.

One project that has been revealed is a competition for short movies by young film-makers. Some of these will be shown on giant screens around the country during the Olympics.

At a briefing early in her tenure, Mackenzie, a former director of Manchester International Festival, said the event would also have “a commitment to Shakespeare”, but did not give details.

“You would not expect us to tell you what they are two-and-a-half-years out,” said a London 2012 spokesman.

“We have been criticised for not keeping people informed, but we have now said this is our plan and how we are going to deliver it.”

He added that some of the Cultural Olympiad events would be ticketed, while others would be free.