Lumiere coming back to Durham in 2023.

On November 15, it marked one year until the return of Lumiere, the UK’s light art biennial. It is a free-to-attend, four-day event that will take place from 16-19 November 2023 in Durham. 

It is produced by leading arts producers Artichoke and commissioned by Durham Council. Lumiere will reimagine Durham’s iconic buildings and spaces with a thought-provoking and entertaining new programme of spectacular light artworks and exclusive commissions by the UK and internationally- renowned artists who have something to say about our world. 

Fundraising for the event is already underway and with plenty of opportunities for local businesses to get involved. Since 2009, Lumiere in Durham has attracted more than one million visitors and stands as a landmark event in the cultural calendar of the North East. 

For its 8th Edition in 2023, the programme will continue to bring magic, joy and light to the local community, brightening the dark winter nights of November and boosting the local economy. For this event, they will also be working closely with the community.

Lumiere 2023 is going to be partnering with the County Durham Community Foundation to channel investment back into the local community. Selected donations made to Lumiere by individuals, new partners and local businesses will be doubled by The Foundation, unlocking additional funds for Lumiere learning and participation programmes and the Foundation’s Poverty Hurts Appeal. 

Poverty hurts will provide year-round support to County Durham families, older people at risk due to cold homes, younger people struggling with mental health and employment issues, and children without warm winter coats. Furthermore, beyond the lights, Lumiere’s established learning and participation programme and volunteering opportunities have benefitted over 12,000 local people and schoolchildren since 2009, inspiring ongoing artistic endeavours and providing learning resources.

Artistic Director of Artichoke, Helen Marriage, said: “Over the years, Lumiere has consistently brought tangible benefits to the local community, building the local economy, investing in local businesses, training local kids and putting Durham firmly on an international culture map. In these challenging times, it is all the more important that families have events to look forward to without having to worry about what it will cost to attend”. 

Chief Executive of County Durham Community Foundation, Michelle Cooper, says “To support Lumiere is to support one of County Durham’s great treasures – an event that brings art, culture and magic to everyone while enriching local lives throughout the year. To be able to offer businesses match funding once again, and the chance to support our Poverty Hurts Appeal is a win-win situation that can only strengthen our communities as they face increasing hardship.”

Cllr Amanda Hopgood, Leader of Durham County Council, says, “We are delighted to announce the return of Lumiere in 2023. Lumiere demonstrates our commitment to championing culture and culture-led regeneration following our campaign for UK City of Culture 2025. It also provides a huge boost to our economy and helps to strengthen our communities as they come together to experience the festival.

Lumiere Durham is a central pillar of The Culture County, the long-term creative regeneration strategy born out of the Durham 2025 UK City of Culture campaign.