European Capital of Culture is one of Europe's most successful projects ever. Cities that receive this title benefit from its popularity and prestige, profit from the growth of tourism and investments, and become permanent visible points on the cultural map of Europe. Each year the title of European Capital of Culture is awarded to two cities in two EU member states. For the year 2015, was won by the Belgian city of Mons and Pilsen. Ostrava advanced to the second and final round of selection.

On 25 March 2009, Mayor of the Statutory City of Ostrava Petr Kajnar officially announced that Ostrava would compete for the title of European Capital of Culture 2015. The preparatory team was headed by film and television producer Čestmír Kopecký. The other Czech cities competing for the title of European Capital of Culture 2015 in addition to Ostrava were the cities of Pilsen and Hradec Králové.

Ostrava's application for the European Capital of Culture 2015 competition was submitted to the Czech Ministry of Culture by the 30 October 2009 deadline (download here).

On 8 December 2009, all candidate cities presented their projects at the Czech Ministry of Culture. Ostrava and Pilsen advanced to the main selection round. Both cities subsequently supplemented their applications for the competition by 30 June 2010. You can view the updated version of the application here.

After a brief visit by a delegation of representatives of the European Commission and the Czech Ministry of Culture, on 8 September 2010 the commission declared Pilsen the winner.

Therefore Ostrava did not become European Capital of Culture 2015. Of course, it is still a European city of culture. Members of the Ostrava 2015 team together with the Ostrava cultural community are continuing the initiative. The Old Arena - club for culture and information 2015 continues to operate and will also offer visitors a rich multi-genre program in the future.