Slovenian capital Ljubljana will host the 17th World Lace Congress in 2016. Ljubljana will organise the OIDFA Congress following Caen, France which will host the Congress in 2012 and Adelaide, Australia where it will be held in 2014.
According to organisers, the Congress is expected to host 800 accredited participants and journalists and some thousands of daily guests. Within the Congress’ framework, professional lectures and the gathering of the largest world organisation that represents bobbin and needle lace professionals and enthusiasts (OIDFA) will be held between the 24th and 26th of June, 2016. According to the president of Congress Organising Committee, Afrodita Hebar Kljun, in addition to the events to be held in Ljubljana, professional excursions to lace-making centres such as Idrija, Žiri, Železniki, Škofja Loka, Gorenja vas and Polhov Gradec will be organised for the accredited participants.
As part of the Congress, many exhibitions will take place which will be open to the public. In addition, a Congress youth programme will be featured by presenting the best of children`s lacework. The week before the Congress, professional workshops will be held in Ljubljana, Idrija, Žiri and Železniki. The event will provide an opportunity for the international popularisation of Slovenian lace-making, new market opportunities for lace makers and a broader promotion of the Slovenian tourist offer.
The numbers speak in favour of Slovenia deserving to organise this international event of lace making. In Slovenia, about 700 children aged 7 to 15 attend the lace schools in Idrija, Žiri and Železniki, and about 300 children attend optional lace-making classes at schools in Ljubljana, Medvode, Vrhnika, Radovljica, Jesenice and Slovenj Gradec. There are more than 2,500 adults registered who make lace in organised groups, meaning that every 600th Slovene is registered to make lace. This number is not including the numerous non-registered lace makers in Slovenia.
Since it is a huge organisational challenge to prepare such an international event, the Congress and other plenary events will be held in the Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre while the workshops and other professional events, as well as excursions lasting several days, will take place in Slovenian lacemaking centres. A novelty that Slovenia will be the first in offering to participants will be the youth programme since Slovenia is one of rare lacemaking countries where so many children also make lace.