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Bristol European Green Capital launch

This Saturday (24 January), Bristol will host an opening ceremony to mark the beginning of its year as the European Green Capital (EGC) for 2015.

Bristol 2015, the overseeing body, has announced plans for a performance-based ‘spectacle’ to be held tomorrow outside the CREATE centre in central Bristol.

‘Bridging the Gap’ 

Bristol European Green Capital launches this weekend
Jade Kindar Martin and partner Karine Mauffrey are set to perform their first Bristol-based high wire stunt tomorrow

The show, entitled ‘Bridging the Gap’ (to reflect that ‘green gap’ that separates ‘our green intentions and our actions’), has been choreographed by Bristol-based artists Cirque Bijou, and will see tight wire artist Jade Kindar-Martin cycle across a 120-metre long, 27-metre high wire suspended between the CREATE centre and a neighbouring warehouse.

Meanwhile, Hollywood stuntwoman Karine Mauffrey will perform an aerial trapeze routine suspended beneath the bicycle.

The ‘spectacle’ will also feature a light projection piece by Bristol-based artist Kathy Hinde, which aims to illustrate ‘the narrative of the ‘green gap’ through a mixture of art forms’.

An original musical score has been composed by Dom Coyote, ‘mixing solo vocals with stunning harmonies and interlocking rhythms, all inspired by the Bristol sound’. The composition, which aims to convey ‘key messages about sustainability’, will be performed on the night by lead vocalists Alyusha and Nuala Honan.

Costumes have been created by designer Sarah Dicks, with the help of students from the Arts University Bournemouth. The bespoke pieces include a ‘green goddess’ dress made entirely of reclaimed materials, which will be worn by Karine Mauffrey during her trapeze act. The dress will have 1,000 LEDs woven into it, so the public watching from further away can track her progress between the buildings.

‘Taking even greater steps towards becoming a greener, happier and healthier city’

Andrew Garrad, Chairman of Bristol 2015, commented: “During 2015, in Bristol’s year as European Green Capital, we are all encouraged to take even greater steps towards becoming a greener, happier and healthier city. This is the official starting point for Bristol’s journey as the UK’s first European Green Capital. ‘Bridging the Gap’ is all about encouraging each of us to turn our green intentions into actions to create positive, long-term change. 

“The opening spectacle promises to be a truly memorable event, marking the beginning of an historic year for Bristol as we enter the spotlight as the UK’s first Green Capital.”

Julian Bracey, Artistic Director of Cirque Bijou, added: “Bridging the Gap is one of our most ambitious performances to date. These world-class performers will help create an unforgettable visual image, at the beginning of a landmark year for Bristol. We are delighted to be involved.”

Speaking of the Green Capital programme, Tony Juniper, environmentalist, campaigner and Bristol 2015 ambassador, said: “In 2015, Bristol has the chance to play a leading role on the world stage by showing how it is not only possible but highly desirable to close the 'green gap'. I am looking forward to Bristol providing the kind of inspiration needed to shape a different future than the one we are presently heading toward.”

Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future, former Director of Friends of the Earth and fellow Bristol 2015 ambassador, added: “Both in the UK and internationally, we’re way off the pace in terms of improving the state of the environment. Bristol has a unique opportunity to show exactly what now needs to be done – in practice, not in yet more buckets of greenwash.”


The event will take place outside of the CREATE centre in Hotewells, Bristol on Saturday 24 January. The show is free of charge and open to the public. The build up will begin at 6pm, with the ceremony commencing at 7pm.

Recommended vantage points include Greville Smyth Park, Ashton Road and the Cumberland Basin, Hotwells. The following roads will be closed to cars from 6 – 8pm:

  • Brunswick Place
  • Ashton Avenue
  • Brunel Lock Road
  • McAdam Way
  • Smeaton Road
  • Brunel Lock Road slip

For more information, visit the Bristol 2015 website.

The European Green Capital award comes without any funding. The opening event and programme of events planned for the rest of the year has been made possible through funding from central government, Bristol City Council and the wider business community including First Group, KPMG, Skanska, Airbus, Bristol Sport, DNV GL and Triodos Bank.

Read more about Bristol’s placement as European Green Capital 2015