Manchester Day 2017
In our eighth year as producers of Manchester Day for Manchester City Council our chosen theme for 2017 is Abracadbra – a celebration of all things magical.
For Mancunians, the magic of Manchester speaks for itself, and every one of them can come up with a reason or two why this great northern city is a magic place to be.
For 2017 we wanted to give our community groups the opportunity to come up with a plethora of creative responses to the Abracadbra theme, and from the creative output that made its way onto the streets on Sunday June 18th, we weren't disappointed.
In 2017 we were presented with the unusual challenge of unrelenting scorching heat from mid morning through to early evening which, while far more preferable to rain, does become an issue with some costumes and mobile pieces. The up-side was that we attracted record numbers of people who stayed for hours in the city way after the parade had finished to enjoy the additional elements that we had programmed for three of the city's squares.
The parade was proceeded by the tragic events at the Manchester Arena, which has led to a period of intense reflection by the people of Manchester, and global attention from the media. Manchester Day had been in the planning for over six months and the collective decision to go ahead with the parade was based on our shared belief that, at times like this, parades such as these provide an important public arena for shared community self-expression.
This year’s parade featured a simple but moving tribute to the victims of the arena attack, their families and the emergency services who played a pivotal role on the night, and are continuing to support those still in hospital care.
The formula for Manchester Day is a simple one. At the start of the year we invite community groups from all over Manchester, representing a diverse array of cultures and interests, to apply to be part of the forthcoming parade. Demand is always high, so we look for responses that show creative flair or ways in which they want to present their community to the people of Manchester.
Parades present groups with a fantastic opportunity for communities who might not be visible in the everyday workings of the city to be visible through a collaborative piece of work. This is why there is always such a diverse array of participants, each with their own unique interpretation on the theme.
Each group is linked up with an established artist who then helps them shape their key piece. The success and strength of this approach is the way it brings about close collaboration weeks ahead of the big day as community groups work together to develop their section of the parade.
Find full information on the Manchester Day website.
The parade is only part of the whole process. Equally as important is the way in which communities and people come together to work on their creative piece, their costumes and props in shared, collective activities.
Thanks to funding from the Arts Council through their ELEVATE programme we are able to team community groups with leading outdoor artists who can help bring their ideas to life with a seriously high quality standard of work."