Wales Week London, the largest annual programme of events celebrating and promoting Wales, kicks off this weekend, for its seventh successive year.
Running for two weeks until Sunday 5th March, Wales Week London will deliver a schedule of nearly 100 activities and events around the period of St David’s Day; together helping to celebrate Wales’ heritage and culture, commemorating its national day, and promoting a modern Wales to the rest of the world.
2023’s programme includes events covering business, social enterprise, start-ups, innovation and finance, tech, architecture, art, music and song, screen, language, government, sport, food and drink, celebrity interviews, entertainment, theatre and more.
It builds on the success of the last six years, during which a multitude of Welsh celebrities, businesses, sporting, arts and food organisations, government and international partners, have all contributed to showcasing Wales to a collective audience of some 56,000, at around 540 events in over 80 different venues across London.
Chair of the Wales Week initiative, Dan Langford has been overwhelmed by the level of interest received by the programme again this year, he said; “Every year I’m always surprised by the incredible enthusiasm we continue to see from all our partners, event organisers and friends – both long-standing ones, who join us for Wales Week London every year; and new sponsors, event organisers and supporters, who we attract each year. It’s genuinely humbling, and it always gives our preparations a real boost when we know there is so much energy and ideas that they bring with them. Their ongoing contribution is just incredible, and it’s fundamental to the initiative’s enduring success.”
Wales Week London also works closely with Welsh diaspora groups in London, and both the Welsh Government and UK Government. This year, the event schedule also includes St David’s Day receptions hosted by the Swiss, French and American governments, as they generously look to join with their Welsh friends and partners, to mark the occasion of Wales’ national day.
Langford continued, “Wales Week is very much about partnerships; we attract and coalesce the goodwill, imagination and energy of so many wonderful people and organisations under one Wales Week banner, through which we promote them, their brands, their activities, and together we make a huge amount of Welsh noise.
“This drives our purpose of commemorating our national day, celebrating Welsh culture and heritage, and promoting a modern Wales to the rest of the world.”
New sponsors for 2023 include Gerald Eve, Admiral, Atradius, RBC Brewin Dolphin and the Football Association of Wales.
In recent years, the Wales Week initiative has also expanded to other locations around the world; running Wales Week programmes simultaneously for places such as New York, Hungary, Berkshire, Paris, Kansas, New England, Melbourne, Osaka, Ohio, Tokyo, Dublin, Iran, British Columbia, Newcastle, Pittsburgh; and for the first time this year, they have extended to Detroit, Las Vegas and across the northeast of England.
Langford adds, “Our worldwide destinations change each year depending on the availability of our friends and volunteers, but we have a growing number of people around the world interested in joining us to run a Wales Week programme where they are – we’re reliant on their time, goodwill and energy, which they volunteer every year. It’s so humbling to attract such good people to be involved in this way – and by doing so they are tremendous ambassadors for Wales around the world.
This year, Wales Week London has also supported an increased amount of charitable activity, such as sponsoring the Support a School programme for Swansea-based 2B Enterprising, to deliver activity sessions at Ysgol Gymraeg Llundain; sponsoring the Welsh Art Exhibition held at the London Welsh Centre, and with the help of Lexington Corporate Finance, has collaborated with Welsh artist Nichola hope in publishing a book on Welsh art and poetry, with all proceeds from the sales going to Velindre. In recent years, Wales Week London has so far helped to raise nearly £125,000 for its designated charity, Veindre.
Wales Week London was first held in 2017, and was founded by marketing and communications consultant, Dan Langford, and Mike Jordan, Managing Director of leading branding agency Bluegg.