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Celebrations and Getting Involved

Lonely was the word of 2020, but not for 2021 now that the government has given us the green light to get out and about without the restrictions. The loneliness that would have isolated so many was kept at bay throughout the year with Coventry changing their way of providing amazing community spirit through online events, socially distanced celebrations, and a diary full of exciting things to look forward to further on in the year. You can find a list of events here.

As our year as City of Culture, Coventry is reimagining the role of culture in a diverse, modern Britain, demonstrating that culture is a force that changes lives, moving Coventry and the region forward. Delivering an ambitious UK City of Culture year from May 2021 by celebrating our city with events, music, dance, theatre, and large-scale spectacle, some events have been and gone, but the buzz that surrounds them is still ongoing!

The programme reflects Coventry as a diverse, youthful and modern city, moving forward and embracing culture, to connect communities and change lives. As well as big celebrations, our city will show its unexpected side, with more intimate experiences and ways to get involved throughout the year.

The City of Coventry has always been a catalyst for change, breathing life into areas that could be forgotten and allowing all visitors and residents to enjoy everything Coventry has to offer and display it in the best light.

Our city is all about opportunity, and with the huge level of community spirit across the area inspires resident-led change. Being the City of Culture 2021 has provided many opportunities to those that know the city best and help to shape it into the amazing place it is today whilst continuing to explore it’s vast history. There have been 1,000’s of volunteers recruited in support roles who have been able to reap the many benefits the city have provided, from developing their skill sets, adding to their CV and meeting new people.

The Year long celebrations are being displayed across the city in many different fashions, allowing residents and visitors to get involved and see the huge difference the developments have had on the city landscapes. You may well have seen the colourful displays of art popping up across the city in light of ‘In Paint We Trust’.

Coventry Moves was an amazing event, with hundreds brought to the streets of the city (socially distanced, of course), to celebrate the opening of Coventry’s year as City of Culture for 2021 in a playful and engaging introduction to the City’s stories, it’s people and it’s culture. The event told the story of Coventry’s pioneering identity and how it continues to shape it’s future and give voice to the many people that call Coventry their home, just like I am proud to do.

I was so honoured to be part of Coventry Moves; it was such an amazing experience walking from Tile Hill to Coventry City Centre carrying a banner which was made by Amanda Harlan and pupils from King Edwards V College.

Coventry Moves

If I hadn’t got enough spirit from that event, I also signed up to be a City Host in Coventry. I am kept busy helping to welcome visitors to our amazing city and show them to the best things to see and do this year. I signed up to become a host as I wanted to be a part of the Coventry City of Culture 2021 and have the opportunity to say ‘I was part of that’, being in amongst the celebrations and events kicking off across the area has been such a great experience and representing the city has been a real pleasure.

Jo in her City Hosts Uniform

The benefits were huge when signing up, I had access to free training, enhancing and gaining personal skills and access to local discounts and offers - which I have taken full advantage of on my journey around the city, and of course, another added benefit is my daily step count has never been better! It has also proven to be an amazing way to meet new people and grow both my own, and CovHour’s social circle! I’ve even been lucky enough to run into old friends and small business owners that make a regular appearance on Thursday Evening CovHour events.

Now lockdown is over we have the greenlight to go out and be free, so why not take that and run with it as part of the city host team, meet new people from around the country and guide them to the beauty that Coventry has to offer, spend some time giving back to a community that is so passionate about its people and culture.

Catching up with new and old friends in Coventry City Centre

There is still time to sign up as a City Host, if you have some free time and would like to spend it out and about in our fantastic city, providing a friendly and welcoming face to visitors, to help guide them and provide information about the events across the city, then you should definitely sign up. You can do as little or as much as suits you and make the role your own. I fit my shifts around my career and free time, thinking I would do it around the things I love, but it has actually turned into the thing I love too. The uniform is an added extra that I didn’t expect to feel so comfortable in, and it looks great too! I love seeing others in it, it gives me a real sense of belonging, and belonging to something amazing.

If you want to get involved and join me on this amazing adventure, visit the Coventry 2021 website to sign up and find out more!


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