The Culture & Tourism Group met in Sandnes (Rogaland County) on 15-16 February. Led by acting Chair, Otto Kjær Larsen from North Denmark Region, the group discussed several issues, including the revision of the NSR2020 strategy and the re-organisation of the thematic groups. The focus was however on the 2017 Youth Festival of Art to be organised in Sandnes in June 2017. This is only the second time that this annual festival has been organised outside of Trondheim. In addition to the Norwegian youth (around 500-600), the organisersCTG will invite participants from the other NSC regions. The national secretariat of the Norwegian Youth Festival of Art (UKM) and the local organisers of the 2017 event gave presentations to the group and we heard that some regions are already well under way in preparing their participation next year.

The other important item was the follow-up of the seafood initiative. Initially, we planned to establish a European cultural route on the seafood theme, but we realized that it will take longer time to have all elements in place, and it is now suggested to establish a ‘Seafood Experience’ brand for ‘hotspots’, e.g. places where fish is landed, processed and served, in the member regions. Eventually, this could evolve into a cultural route. This initiative will be further developed by a working party within the group, and will also be the main theme at the October 2016 meeting.

The next meeting of the group will be held in Billund of 14 June.