2023 is shortly coming to an end – and what a year it has been for Dundee!
At the start of the new year, I said that it was going to be a big one for the city – and I think it is fair to say that I was right.
The first things when you think of Dundee in 2023, is the events which have happened this year in the city.
Big Weekend, the World Karate Championships, the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships were just some of the biggest events which took place in Dundee this year – all were big successes and helped bring many visitors into the city.
Attending Big Weekend over two days was a treat, and I had a fantastic time seeing the likes of the Jonas Brothers and Jess Glynne, to Nothing but Thieves and The 1975. It was a fantastic time and to see Dundee hosting it again was nothing but special!
We also had a lot of special anniversaries in 2023.
The V&A Dundee celebrated five years of being in our fantastic city – with an incredible exhibition celebrating Tartan which has been an excellent addition to the museum which has generated widespread attention.
Creative Dundee turned 15, an organisation which has helped transform Dundee into a creative and cultural hub. The Beano celebrated 85 years of being pure blam, Minnie the Minx turned 70 and the Caird Hall celebrated 100 years of being Dundee’s beloved home of entertainment.
This year has also been a personal one for me as Dundee Culture too celebrated an important milestone as it marked ten years of showcasing Dundee to the world. It has had the best year ever in terms of performance and I am so happy that the support for it has only grown.
To celebrate ten years, I launched the Sunny Dundee glasses campaign to raise money for the Archie Foundation which raised £1,700 for sick children and young people, and their families. I consider this to be one of the proudest achievements in my life.
In sport, Dundee FC won the Scottish Championships and returned to the Premiership, Eilish McColgan broke the 27-year standing 10,000m British record, and Natasha McKay retired after an incredible career in ice skating, which paved way for more Dundee skaters to become champions at the British Ice-Skating Championships.
In the field of science and technology, our educational institutions have made incredible breakthroughs and firsts. The University of Dundee helped identify zombie cells which cause aging which could one day lead to treatments for age-related diseases; Abertay University made a breakthrough in Parkinson’s research where they discovered that music could help stimulate the brain; and Dundee and Angus College became the first in Scotland to introduce Esports courses and open Scotland’s first purpose Esports studio.
It’s hard to imagine all of this has happened in these last 12months, and it goes to show at what an incredible place Dundee is, and how amazing Dundonians and the people who work and study here are.
I look forward to seeing what 2024 will bring, but as we close out 2023, I believe it has been a fantastic year for our city, and it will be one that I, and many others, will forever cherish.