NewcastleGateshead welcomed delegates from 33 countries in July 2013 when the Association Internationale de la Couleur (AIC) hosted their 12th International Colour Conference – Bringing Colour to Life – at Sage Gateshead.
The event, which was worth an estimated £1.1m to the local economy, took place from 8-12 July. NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau won the bid to bring the conference to the destination in 2010, in partnership with local Conference Ambassador, Professor Anya Hurlbert, Director of the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University. Newcastle-based Benchmark Conference & Events managed the event.
The AIC hosts the only colour conference in the world that promotes all facets of colour, providing a forum where interested individuals, researchers, academics, artists, architects, industrialists, engineers, designers, lighting experts, and business leaders can share ideas, interact and learn of recent advances in the field.
The programme looked at the technical and scientific areas of colour production and reproduction, the human response to colour, and the ways in which colour can be used sustainably, now and in the future.
A welcome drinks reception was held at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, the first non-Tate venue to host the Turner Prize, on the banks of the River Tyne, home to world famous landmarks the Tyne Bridge and the Millennium Bridge.
The official opening reception of the conference took place at the Hatton Gallery, home to the world-famous Schwitters Merzbarn Wall, on the Newcastle University campus. The reception included a private view of Touching Colour, an exhibition of colour artworks by international artists.
The conference also featured a special performance from the Royal Northern Sinfonia, orchestra of Sage Gateshead. The concert was enhanced by live computer visuals generated in real time, transforming sound into light.
Craig West, Head of Classical Performance Programme at The Sage Gateshead said: “This is one of the great features of The Sage Gateshead – that its Performance Programming team and its Conference & Events team can work closely together to create something that adds a special element to a client’s event. It can make the event stand out and presents a different and inspiring spark for creating music performances.”
Delegates also had the opportunity to explore the wider North East with excursions to Durham Cathedral, host of the Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition, and a locally-sourced banquet held at Northumberland’s Alnwick Garden complete with traditional Northumbrian music.
Gill Pilkington, Conference Development Manager at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau said: “AIC 2013 was a fantastic event of significant benefit to NewcastleGateshead and wider region. Not only was there be almost 600 delegates from across the world enjoying the conference on the iconic NewcastleGateshead Quayside, but there was a varied social programme meaning that many of them experienced some of North East England’s other highlights.”
Prof. Anya Hurlbert, who was also part of the AIC 2013 organising committee commented: “It seems such a long time ago when we approached NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau to help us pull together a bid to attract the 12th International AIC Colour Conference.
The Sage Gateshead is an iconic building filled with light and colour, reflected from its own architecture and the surrounding riverscape – perfect for an international conference on colour.”