An annual programme of events that celebrates and promotes all things Welsh kicks off today
Wales Week London has 60 different activities and events taking place on-line from today through to March 7.
Held over the period of St David’s Day each year, 2021 is the fifth successive annual programme, and includes events covering business and tech, the arts, music and concerts, film and the media, politics, sport, design, food and drink, quizzes, entertainment and more.
The 2021 Wales Week London programme is seeking to build on the success of recent years, where a number of Welsh stars, businesses, sports, food and arts organisations contributed to showcasing Wales to a collective audience last year alone of nearly 14,000, covering 135 different events and more than 60 different venues across London.
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This year all the Wales Week events are taking place on-line of course, which, as co-founder and chair of the Wales Week initiative, Dan Langford explains, has reduced the number of activities taking place, but not, he says, the variety, quality or opportunity.
“Admittedly, it was only a few months ago that we started to wonder whether or not we would ultimately be able to run a Wales Week this year – the circumstances around dealing with the pandemic and the knock-on effect for our event organisers, hosts and partners did concern us.
“But after the launch event that was broadcast live from Orchard Media studios in Cardiff back in December, and from chatting with a number of our partners we quickly became reassured that there remained amazing support for Wales Week and a shared will to keep the momentum of the last four years going strong.
“And so here we are; working again with both the Welsh and UK Governments, and the simply amazing support we get from all our partners, sponsors and event organisers, there are some 60 events taking place, commemorating our national day, celebrating our culture and promoting a modern Wales to the rest of the world.”
The companies and business organisations that have been announced to be participating in the 2021 programme include S4C, Penderyn Welsh Whisky, and Fintech Wales, as well as the Welsh Government, the IoD, CBI and British Chambers of Commerce.
Mr Langford continued: “By going digital means that we can also aim to attract wider audiences for all the activities and events, and we’re working hard to promote everything that is going on to international audiences via our Wales Week Worldwide programme and respective communication channels.
“Over the last couple of years there has been a number of Wales Weeks taking place simultaneously at other locations around the world, including in New York, Pittsburgh, Paris, Berkshire, Newcastle, New England, Essex, Melbourne, Dublin, Kansas, British Columbia, Tokyo and elsewhere, and whilst it is proving very difficult for obvious reasons, for many of our overseas hosts to run a Wales Week this year, we have still attracted interest from new locations such as Osaka and Hungary.
“The vision is to build on this and eventually have many more Wales Weeks all making a huge noise about Wales around the time of St David’s Day every year, right across the world.
“Credit must be given to the incredible individuals that work with us in delivering these international events each year – they do so in their own time, for their love of Wales and for their desire to support the promotion and profile-raising of Wales wherever they are located around the world.
“Together we are taking the best of Wales to the world, and making the most incredible noise as we do so.”
Wales Week London was first held in 2017, and was founded by marketing and communications consultant, Dan Langford, and Mike Jordan, owner and director of branding agency Bluegg.
Mr Jordan said: “We are delighted this year, that we not only thank those sponsors who continue to support us once again even through these challenging times, but that we also welcome new sponsors such as Menzies, Orchard, First of March and the North Wales Economic Ambition Board.
“And it’s great that Velindre Cancer Centre continues to be our official charity; over the last couple of years Wales Week has helped to raise some £100,000 for Velindre and their contribution in helping deliver a number of really impressive events has just been fantastic.
“From those developing and organising the many activities and events, to those attending these events and engaging through social media, and to our numerous partners and sponsors, including both governments working closely together, and a huge number of Welsh diaspora societies around the world, Wales Week London and the growing number of Wales Week initiatives world-wide, are a culmination of all their positive energy, imagination and immense goodwill.”