Xunta to present 371 performances in close to 100 municipalities through the Cultura no Camiño (Culture on the Camino) programme

  • The fifth edition of this series will feature three times the initial number of companies hired to perform
  • The aim is to enhance the cultural offerings of municipalities along the pilgrimage routes to Santiago, while also stimulating the cultural job market

Santiago de Compostela, 19 April 2017

Now through the end of September, the Galician Department of Culture, Education and University Planning and Turismo de Galicia, with the sponsorship of Gadis, will be presenting a total of 371 performances in 98 municipalities throughout Galicia – one out of every three in the autonomous community – through which the different pilgrimage routes to Santiago run. This was how the series was described by Secretary Román Rodríguez at the presentation of the fifth edition of Culture on the Camino, which also included Turismo de Galicia Director Nava Castro, as well as live performances by Guadi Gallego and Pistacatro, providing an example of the programme’s artistic diversity. Also in attendance were the general manager of Cultural Heritage, María Carmen Martínez Insua; the director of the Agadic (Galician Agency of Cultural Industries), Jacobo Sutil; the manager of S.A. de Gestión del Plan Xacobeo, Rafael Sánchez Bargiela; and the communications manager for Gadisa, José Luis Fernández Astray.

Investment in Culture on the Camino totals 544,287.47 euros, to be defrayed by the Xunta de Galicia, the participating municipalities and Gadis. Many of the mayors and managers of these localities also attended today’s presentation, held at the Museum of Pilgrimage and St. James in Compostela, symbol of and centre for dissemination of the Jacobean phenomenon.

The head of the Xunta’s Department of Culture made mention of the fact that this initiative is now well-established. In five years, it has doubled the number of participating municipalities, almost quadrupled the number of events and tripled the number of participating companies. The secretary indicated that one of the goals of this programme is to stimulate the job market for our culture professionals, given that all of the companies hired are Galician. In fact, this year’s events will create jobs for almost two hundred of these companies.

Román Rodríguez also extended thanks to the participating municipalities for their efforts, as they contribute to covering part of the artists’ fees, and to Gadis for its support of this programme for the third consecutive year. He also explained that given the scattered nature of the Galician population, enhancing the region’s cultural offerings requires working with local government bodies towards a common goal: decentralizing distribution and bringing theatre, oral storytelling, dance, magic, music and the new circus to the squares and auditoriums of Galician towns.

Symbol of identity

For her part, Turismo de Galicia Director Nava Castro noted that the programme will again boost the cultural aspect of the unique experience represented by doing the Way of St. James. On this subject, she stated that following the pilgrimage route must be an opportunity to discover the culture, landscape and people who share the experience or live in towns along the route.

‘With this initiative, we add an attractive accompaniment to the cuisine and the cultural, natural and scenic heritage resources of the Way of St. James. It will constitute a demonstration of our cultural life and a warm welcome to make the days of pilgrimage more pleasant,’ she indicated.

She also pointed out that the Camino continues to be a truly modern phenomenon and a symbol of identity. Additionally, it reduces seasonality and attracts international tourism, positioning Galicia as a distinctive brand and destination. In this regard, she noted that following on from the historic high in pilgrim numbers last year, this figure is already being exceeded in 2017, with more than 23,000 pilgrims having obtained their Compostela, over 10% more than during the same period of the previous year.

Reinforcing the pilgrimage routes

The performances will continue until 30 September, coinciding with the largest influx of pilgrims and helping to enhance the tourism programme of participating municipalities. On this matter, the secretary pointed out that the Xunta is firmly committed to the pilgrimage routes of the Way of St. James. It is therefore working to strengthen their attractions, making each stop unforgettable for visitors.

Performing arts, music and circus

This year, Cultura no Camiño will feature eight new venues not included in 2016, the municipalities of O Barco de Valdeorras, Pantón, Mondoñedo, Sarreaus, Xinzo de Limia, Xunqueira de Ambía, Tui and Meis. The programme provides the structure for a large circuit of Galician performing arts and musical productions. It also provides an example of collective effort and institutional collaboration in order to offer the best programming possible, involving different government bodies, as well as creators, companies, managers and programmers, in a season conceived, designed and implemented by and for the public. Treixadura, Guadi Gallego, Uxía, Elefante Elegante, Cé Orquesta Fantasma, Caramuxo Teatro, Raquel Queizás, Rosa Cedrón, Pistacatro, La Tropa de Trapo, TrasPediante, Sarabela Teatro, Talía Teatro, el Mago Tetilla … these are just some of the artists who will delight audiences of all ages in these 98 municipalities throughout the entire spring and summer.

By province, A Coruña has the most participants (34 municipalities and 124 performances), followed by Pontevedra (24 municipalities and 96 performances), Lugo (24 municipalities and 94 performances) and Ourense (16 municipalities and 57 performances). As regards the type of activities, theatre dominates, with 161 events, followed by music (102 performances), magic (69), the new circus (32) and dance (7), with all of them being productions recently produced in Galicia. The majority will be held in outdoor venues, increasing their visibility and impact in relation to cultural promotion in Galicia.