On 1st February 2020, the year when Croatia also holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time, Rijeka was declared the European Capital of Culture. Rijeka became the first Croatian city which holds the prestigious title that has been awarded to competing cities since 1985 by the European Commission, which are required to prove that they consider culture as an important aspect of their development and transformation. On the occasion of taking the title Rijeka organized grand opening of the whole project in its own way as the all-day culture party, including more than 70 events at over 30 different locations. The event’s organization included more than 40 different associations, entrepreneurs, artists’ organizations and numerous individuals. An unusual but unique event of the day was the Opera Industriale which has brought forth a reminder of the rich and stormy Rijeka past, along with the messages of respect for the power of workers in the life of a modern city, the working people who proudly built Rijeka. Freedom, Tolerance, Antifascism and Love are some of the messages that ended the central ceremony, and the program continued through to the early morning hours, in Rijeka’s cafes and clubs and concert venues.
Media Val agency was responsible for all support to the foreign media at the event. Our engagement included making a detailed list of media from targeted foreign markets, the preparation of media materials (invitations, memos, and additional information), contact with journalists so we could arrange accommodation and transportation and programs of their stay in Rijeka at the time of the opening, managing the accreditation process for journalists, running a press centre for foreign journalists, all communication related to arranging statements and interviews at a press conference and after the event, sending press releases to foreign media, monitoring coverage in media, and communicating with journalists and editors after the event.