New Holland Island marked its groundbreaking last night with spectacular celebrations hosted by Russias First Deputy Prime Minister, Sergei Ivanov. The event formed part of St Petersburgs festival of the White Nights and was the culmination of the Russian International Economic Forum. The evenings entertainment included appearances by over 100 performers and was highlighted by a concert of the Mariinsky Theater orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev.

The redevelopment of New Holland Island will create a new cultural quarter in the heart of St. Petersburg. The triangular shaped self-sustaining island provides 7.6 hectares of mixed-use cultural development including an indoor theatre, conference facilities, galleries, hotels, shops and restaurants, with a flexible performance venue incorporating an outdoor arena the Festival Hall - at its heart. The project will regenerate the eighteenth-century New Holland Island, celebrating its historic architectural legacy while transforming the city of St. Petersburg into the foremost venue for performance and visual arts in the world.

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