Lagos Cultural Centre is celebrating its 30th anniversary with several surprises and shows throughout the year
In the early 1980s, there was talk of the need for the municipality of Lagos to have a cultural facility that could potentiate any form of art and that would provide a space for shows, concerts, and exhibitions.
“A place with an auditorium and an exhibition space worthy of the Algarve and the whole country. This was the primary need because there was no such venue,” says Sara Coelho, councillor for Culture on Lagos City Council.
And so, on October 24, 1992, the former Casa dos Ricos, on Rua Lançarote de Freitas, in the heart of the city’s historic centre, gave way to the Centro Cultural de Lagos (CCL), designed by architect Vaz Pinto de Queirós. The venue was inaugurated with a concert by the Sociedade Filarmónica Lacobrigense 1º de Maio.
Today, with four areas for temporary exhibitions, two animation rooms, and an auditorium with capacity for 275 people, CCL is, in the words of the councillor, “a place of excellence for the community, visitors and local associations”.
Throughout its 30-year history, the facility has undergone some renovations, but perhaps the most substantial changes will take place later this year, following the anniversary celebrations.
The first, planned to coincide with the beginning of the next school year, is the creation of an educational service at the CCL. “It will be a place that will greatly benefit not just our youth but the entire population. The idea is for visitors to be able to watch a show or see an exhibition and speak with the artists and experience various forms of art. It will feature workshops, lectures, and talks with professionals after a concert or exhibition, so that they can explain, for example, how to sculpt, to make ceramics, to be an actor or musician,” explains Sara Coelho, who also underlines the importance of this future service to “continue to develop the commitment to education of the public”, in order to “encourage people to enjoy and produce culture”.
A renovation of the facilities is planned for the end of 2022, to modernise and update the facilities. “We want to improve on quality and make the venue even more modern, adapting the auditorium to the technologies that are used today. The equipment we have is not obsolete, but technology is constantly evolving, and we need to keep up with the demands,” she said.
Still, the biggest news presented by the head of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Youth is the creation of a CCL hub. “Expanding the space is on the table, with the creation of a hub that has a larger auditorium.” It will take a few years to develop, however, the idea is to host “other activities, since the size of the new auditorium will allow us to bring shows with a larger number of people on stage”, says Sara Coelho.
For the councilwoman, planning CCL’s annual programme involves paying special attention to all sections of the population, local and foreign residents, but also to a different range of art forms. Therefore, in a year of celebration, CCL reinforces even more its commitment to an eclectic programme.
The highlights this year began with the April 25 celebrations, with a recital by Afonso Dias. The Orquestra Clássica do Sul will perform on June 4, followed by Ana Bacalhau (June 9) and João Gil (June 10), as part of the initiative “Os Eternos, os Consagrados e os que acabaram de chegar” (The Eternals, the Consecrated and the ones who have just arrived).
For July and August, the focus will be on shows in the courtyard and, in September, “Lagos Nights Out – Nights at the Quay”, organised by CCL, returns for its third edition in the old quay area, with performances by Tiago Nacarato, Pedro Burmester and Grupo de Fado D’Anto.
Finally, in October, the Algarve Jazz Orchestra, “due to its quality and importance at a regional and national level”, explains Sara Coelho, will honour the CCL with “a great commemorative concert” on the 24th.
Follow the CCL on social media to keep up to date with all the events.
By MARIA SIMIRIS