Planning for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies and the wider cultural programme has taken an important step forward with the appointment of Martin Green CBE as Chief Creative Officer.
A large part of each Games’ unique personality, the cultural programme is hugely important to the experience of athletes and spectators alike. Alongside responsibility for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Green will also oversee the Queen’s Baton Relay (part of which will pass through Scotland) the Team Welcome Ceremonies (performed when each competing nation and territory arrives at the Athletes’ Village), how the sports are presented and showcased in venues, medal ceremonies and spectator entertainment.
The Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee made the announcement one year on from Gold Coast 2018’s Closing Ceremony which incorporated Birmingham’s spectacular handover segment, produced by Green and performed live in Birmingham’s Victoria Square.
Head of Ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, recruiting and leading the team of 500 people that successfully delivered the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the torch relays and victory ceremonies, Green has a wealth of experience working on global sporting events.
He will take up his new role before the end of month and said: “Ever since working on last year’s ‘Go the Distance’ handover celebration, part of the Gold Coast 2018 Closing Ceremony, I knew I just had to be involved in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. I was blown away by the local performers who took part, as they were so talented and enthusiastic and I loved the way that the people in Birmingham and the region embraced the handover event.
“I can’t wait to get started and I’m delighted that I’ll be working with organisations from across Birmingham and the West Midlands once again. This region is overflowing with talented, creative people and I want to get their input and ideas, to ensure that the ceremonies and culture programme are dynamic, uniquely Birmingham and truly memorable.”
John Crabtree, Chairman of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, welcomed Green’s appointment and said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Martin has joined our team and I am delighted that someone with such relevant experience will be helping us deliver the biggest sport and cultural event ever to be staged in this region. There was a strong vision in Birmingham’s bid and so an inspirational leader is needed to bring that vision to life and Martin definitely fits that description.
“Martin’s experience on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games made him the perfect candidate for this role on Birmingham 2022 and we were also impressed with the hugely successful handover event that Martin directed for Birmingham last year as, in just a few weeks, he orchestrated such a bold and brave live performance. I can’t wait to see what he will create for us over the next three years.”
The Birmingham 2022 Opening and Closing Ceremonies will take place at the Alexander Stadium, which is in line for a £70 million upgrade to increase seating capacity from 12,700 to 40,000 for the Games. The revamped venue, which is already used for Diamond League athletics events, will have new community sports facilities, a permanent warm-up track and a new conference meeting space. A permanent seating capacity of 20,000 will be retained for future events.