The countdown to Yorkshire’s Cultural Olympiad activity has begun with the launch of the brand new Leeds Canvas website

Opera North is one of eight leading Yorkshire-based arts organisations taking part in Leeds Canvas alongside Northern Ballet, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Yorkshire Dance, Leeds Met Gallery and Studio Theatre, Leeds City Council, and Leeds Art Gallery. 

This exciting new project is one of 12 arts commissions that will be realised across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The city of Leeds will form the canvas upon which major artists will be invited to create something that will change the way people see, experience and understand the city.

The joint project, which is developed through Arts Council England funding, will uphold the legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games by delivering a high profile arts commission in the region every four years.

Leeds Canvas’ first commissioned work will take place in May 2012, and involves the highly-regarded and quirky Quay Brothers: identical twins whose award-winning stop-motion animation films have won them worldwide acclaim. Working with composers, choreographers, artists and filmmakers from the region, they will explore the themes of chance, discovery and surprise. 

Talking about the project the Quay Brothers said: ‘For us it is a fabulous opportunity to use the city of Leeds as a vast scenographic space. We have the entire city to create an unexpected marriage between all these different artforms.’

Visit the Leeds Canvas website for more information, blogs and regular updates at

The Quay Brothers