The Oficial Opening of Bulgarian Cultural Institute London: 28th of September 2011
The Bulgarian Spring: May 2012
On the 26th of May 2012 London’s Bulgarian community gave a gift to Londoners – a new drinking fountain near the Mount Gate in Kensington Gardens, appropriately named ‘Bulgarian Spring‘.
Organisors of the event were as follows:
Bulgarian Cultural Institute London
Bulgarian Embassy in London
Bulgarian Olympic Committee
Bulgarian Ministry of Physical Education and Sports
Bulgarian Ministry of Culture
Association of Bulgarian Schools Abroad, uniting currently 56 Bulgarian schools around the globe, including the largest school outside Bulgaria, based in the Bulgarian Embassy in London, currently educating on a part-time basis more than 250 pupils.
Dimitar Berbatov Foundation. Founded by star Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov, the Foundation runs annually a worldwide contest for children with exceptional achievements in the areas of sports, sciences, humanities and visual, applied and performing arts. A select few of the children, who have been awarded with distinctions in the performing arts categories, will be performing at the aforementioned community event.
Bulgarian Cultural Institute, London
Bulgarian Student Society UK, an association of all Bulgarian university students in the UK
Friends of Bulgaria, a UK charity dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance to Bulgaria
BG Ben and Budilnik, the two main Bulgarian language newspapers in London
The Bulgarian Church in London.
The brainchild of the Bulgarian City Club, a networking organisation that builds links between the British business community and Bulgaria, the ‘Bulgarian Spring’ stands about 4 feet high and has traditional Bulgarian embroidery patterns arranged around its base. Attending the launch were HRH Kyril, Prince of Preslav (the second son of deposed Bulgarian monarch Tsar Simeon II, who has the familiar surname of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) who gave the main speech, Bulgaria’s Minister of Sport, Svelin Neykov (who also happens to be a world-class rowing coach – in fact his wife won gold in rowing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics) and senior dignitaries from the boroughs of Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea, within which Kensington Gardens falls.
Accompanying them were an array of young Bulgarians dressed in traditional folk costume, and the Archpriest of the Bulgarian Orthodox community in London, Simeon Iliev, who gave a traditional blessing over the drinking fountain. The whole ceremony was a rather colourful and noisy affair – a bit like Bulgaria itself if my visit to the capital, Sofia, some years ago is anything to go by!Following the formal opening ceremony a nearby group of marquees hosted a Bulgarian cultural festival – traditional Bulgarian crafts were on display, there was a children’s story-telling tent and, on the main stage, big stars of the Bulgarian music scene entertained a large crowd of Bulgarian ex-pats and interested onlookers. Amongst them were a few of the female members of Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, known for their performances as the official state television ladies choir from the 1950s onwards, a very energetic young singer from the Dimitar Berbatov Foundation, and Bulgarian jazz legend Beloslava. Of course the kids got a look in again, when children from the London’s Bulgarian School took to the stage for some traditional folk singing and dancing. Well-known mime artist Alexander Iliev also mesmerised the audience with his outlandish antics…
Awards Ceremony for Britons Who Have Contributed to the Popularization of Bulgarian Culture in the United Kingdom: May 2013
Awards Ceremony for Bulgarians Who Have Contributed to the Popularization of Bulgarian Culture in the United Kingdom: June 2014
Signing of the Memorandum for Partnership Between the Bulgarian National Library and the British Library: June 2014