It is undeniable that the absence of full programme and post-COVID circumstances significantly reduce the effects that mega-event could have on SMEs growth.

We predicted 4 million visitors during the ECoC year, whose economic, social and/or cultural needs would certainly mobilise the local business potential. This was supposed to be an additional take-off for Rijeka's SMEs in the 2020. Instead, our local businesses, primarily those in the tourism sector, are struggling to survive the crisis, save jobs and keep their business running in the terms of new normal. It is impossible to predict what kind of situation will be in the autumn and until the end of the year. Therefore, ECoC activities are planned in the short term, and for now will be hosted mainly by Rijeka cultural institutions and Agency Rijeka 2020.

Rijeka 2020 Company Director Relieved from Duty at her Own Request (09.06.2020)

Emina Visnic, the director of the Rijeka 2020 company tasked with the implementation of the project of Rijeka 2020 ECoC, was relieved from the duty at her own request and the city authorities reported on Tuesday that Irena Kregar Segota would be the new director.

Source: Rijeka 2020 Company Director Relieved from Duty at her Own Request
Irena Kregar Šegota nova direktorica Rijeke 2020 (In Croatian)

 Cultural and artistic programme announced for May and June, addressing "the new abnormal" (06.05.2020)

Both ECC and cultural programmes of all cultural institutions go on, in conditions of “the new abnormal”

– Ivan Šarar, head of the City’s Department of Culture.

Ballets without touch, concerts on construction sites, theatre in a time of distancing

The Croatian National Theatre Ivan Zajc included all its art ensembles in the programme, and during May, artists bring to the audience short video forms and will address “a new normality”, primarily social distancing that has separated the audience and the theatre and also performers themselves

The opera soloists of the CNT will now perform more famous opera arias and duets from their Rijeka repertoires of this and past few seasons, but in such a way that each duet poses in a different way the problem of “social distancing” of the opera performance. 

The Rijeka opera choir will perform “a capella” a variety of pieces, and members of the Rijeka Symphony Orchestra will hold and record five chamber concerts on the construction sites of the infrastructural facilities making part of Rijeka 2020 European Capital of Culture.

The ballet ensemble brings ballet with a character – several micro choreographies: Contact forbidden, box, BoNet, Ballet glossary in the air and Lace 2.

The drive in movie of the Art Cinema brings great cinematography and legendary film classics

The movie screen is being raised again at the Beretich parking lot in Rijeka, where a new edition of a drive in movie takes place in May, organized by the Art Cinema and the Filmaktiv association, under the auspices of Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture.
The programme will be free of charge but subject to obligatory prior reservation, for all visitors who, from the safety of their car, can once again enjoy the charms of the big screen.

Source: Culture in the time of corona – the ECoC programme in conditions of “the new abnormal“

Croatian national theatre Ivan pl. Zajc announced an eventful summer season, with 49 performances in the next 4 months. In June and July, the theatre will hold 6 premieres, 4 of which would not be financially possible if they were not part of the ECoC 2020 programme.

Source: “Zajc” najavio bogatu Ljetnu sezonu (In Croatian)

Major activities suspended (17.04.2020)

A coronavirus crisis management plan for RIJEKA 2020 ECoC project has been drafted, consisting of two phases.

“The plan consists of two phases: in the first phase, which is already in implementation, several necessary measures were put into place and the majority of ECoC activities were suspended for the moment. We are simultaneously preparing for the second phase when we plan to continue with the implementation of a part of the program within a framework that will be agreed upon with our strategic partners.”
- Emina Višnić, RIJEKA 2020 CEO

New program goals were defined, as well as criteria and indicative list of programs to be implemented, along with new financial plans. However, the financial framework needs to be confirmed with the main co-funders, the City of Rijeka, Ministry of Culture and the Primorje – Gorski kotar County, while the timeline needs to be adapted to the epidemiological measures of the Republic of Croatia and the County presently in power.

Source: Majority of the activities of Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture temporarily suspended 

Photo credit: Grad Rijeka