Ghent, a city full of culture, arts and events, offers a unique combination of a celebrated past and a lively present.
With its university and several institutes for higher education, Ghent is an educational hub where approximately 12% of the city's students are following culture oriented training. Ghent is also a regional economic hub in which the cultural and creative sector accounts for 4% of total employment.
Ghent is internationally known for its dynamic music scene and its many music festivals including the Festival of the Flanders, offering a range of concerts from classical to world music; the Ghent International Film Festival focusing on the impact of music on film; the open-air festival Gent Jazz, which is top in its genre; and Glimps, an international showcase festival for pop and rock music.
The use of historical venues as unique locations for concerts is another asset of Ghent's vibrant music life. Among the most notable sites are the Ghent Opera House dating back to the 19th century, the Bijloke Concert Hall which is located in a medieval hospital ward, and the HA Concert Hall, situated in a former stock exchange.
A broad range of initiatives in music education characterizes the city's daily life. In addition to music classes on drums or classical guitar, the municipal intercultural centre De Centrale also offers lessons in lesser known instruments such as Qanoen, Saz and Oed. The Ghent-based International Opera Academy and the Orpheus Institute both offer unique post-graduate training programmes in their respective disciplines.
As a Creative City of Music, Ghent envisages:
- Actively participating in the activities of the UCCN and in the music sub-network;
- Looking for realistic ways of building lasting cooperation between the member cities of the music sub-network and of the broader Network;
- Enforcing the 2014 – 2019 Action Plan - Ghent Music City;
- Strengthening the existing music scene;
- Developing concrete actions and events with local actors, such as enhancing the existing Day of the Music Education;
- Providing actors in the local music sector with opportunities to gain greater international experience and exposure; and
- Safeguarding the focus on music in the upcoming strategic plan for culture 2020-2025.