Calderdale’s creativity to shine at Year of Culture launch event

Calderdale’s Year of Culture 2024 will get off to a spectacular start on Saturday 13 April, with 26 free events, activities and performances providing hours of entertainment in Halifax.

From 10am right through to 8pm, there will be a non-stop showcase of culture, creativity and talent at venues across the town – from music and dancing, to art and workshops for everyone to enjoy.

The Year of Culture (CultureDale(external link)) is a 12-month celebration of Calderdale turning 50 on 1 April 2024 – a landmark moment in the borough’s story – and marks the ultimate year for the Vision 2024 for Calderdale.

Cllr Jenny Lynn, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, said:

“Our eagerly anticipated Year of Culture is almost here! We can’t wait to welcome residents and visitors to a packed programme of events and activities that all our diverse communities can get involved in for free at its official launch on 13 April.

“This will be a unique moment in Calderdale’s history – it’s not every day we see this amount and variety of cultural activities happening all on one day, across multiple venues. And this spectacle is just the start – people will be blown away by the 12-month CultureDale programme that will give the borough a 50th birthday celebration to remember.

“It’s fitting that culture is at the heart of the 50th celebrations – it’s one of the qualities that makes Calderdale so distinctive, it reflects the talent that’s a major part of our Vision 2024, and it’s playing a key role in local regeneration and wellbeing, and our priorities for thriving towns and places, reduced inequalities and climate action.”

The CultureDale opening celebration event will have activities split between The Piece Hall, Dean Clough, Halifax Borough Market and across Halifax town centre.

Nicky Chance-Thompson MBE DL, Chief Executive of The Piece Hall, said:

“We’re really proud to be hosting part of the opening event for CultureDale and playing our part in bringing everyone together as we showcase, celebrate and encourage creativity.

“There is a huge amount of talent in the region but also so much potential just waiting to be unlocked.

“We’ve got an amazing line up of global music stars heading to The Piece Hall this summer, but we’re passionate about nurturing the next generation of creatives and this year has the potential to inspire so many people.”

Jeremy Hall, Chairman at Dean Clough, said:

“As one of Calderdale’s most treasured heritage sites, and indeed a celebrated cultural destination, we are delighted to help kick off the CultureDale celebrations here at Dean Clough. With such a diverse range of attractions on site, we will be hosting many events and engagement activities throughout the Year of Culture programme. Watch this space!”

Head to link) for the full Year of Culture opening event programme, and make a day of it! Also see the video here: link).

The Piece Hall programme will kick off with ballroom dancing in the courtyard, and also includes uplifting performances from The Signing Choir and folk singer-songwriter Roger Davies and his band. Dean Clough will celebrate local heritage with a Crossley Carpet sculpture workshop, and will get people active with a climbing wall. A range of local artists will fill Halifax Borough Market’s Albany Arcade with music and performances, and the town centre streets will come alive with a makers’ market, music, skateboarding, an art workshop and much more.

These are just a taste of what the whole Year of Culture has to offer, with iconic events, festivals, exhibitions, performances and initiatives for everyone to enjoy from April 2024 to April 2025. The programme will reflect Calderdale’s rich history, amazing landscapes, incredible people, creativity, entrepreneurship, talent and diversity.

The Council has already raised around £2 million from external grant support to fund the Year of Culture, including contributions from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The local creative organisations delivering big projects and events as part of the Year of Culture are:

Mr Wilson’s

Hebden Bridge Arts

Northern Rascals


Everybody Arts

Curious Motion


Happy Valley Pride

Hebden Bridge Film Festival

Handmade Parade

Northern Broadsides

Many other creative and community organisations across Calderdale are also holding events and celebrations for CultureDale, and the Council is providing support through grant schemes.

Events will include a community festival at People’s Park in Halifax, a children’s and families’ creative roadshow, a Youth Music Takeover, community-led performances – even on a canal boat – a creative writing festival, an arts and health festival, a film competition, and lots more to be announced.

Be inspired at link)

To volunteer in a once-in-a-lifetime role supporting the Year of Culture, please visit link)

CultureDale supports the Vision 2024 for Calderdale themes of distinctiveness, kindness, talent, enterprise and resilience. April 2024 marks Calderdale’s 50th birthday and there’s not long to go! Get involved on X with #VisionCdale2024 and find out more at

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