Mammoth Support For Cathedral Buildings Fire Hit Businesses

Branding and Digital Creative Agency lends office space to ‘homeless’ firms

Branding and Digital Creative Agency, Mammoth, stepped up to help businesses who lost office space when Cathedral Buildings, on Belfast’s Donegall Street was devastated in a fire in October this year.

Within a short space of time the businesses were offered space by Mammoth to enable them to get their companies back up and trading with chairs, desks and WiFi connections on the first floor of their building.

Managing Partner of Mammoth, Jeremy Poots, explained that they were delighted to offer a ray of hope for the people by donating a large section of their offices to create a working space and centre for all the companies affected.

“One of our staff members, Malachy McCrudden asked if we might show support and offer some direct and tangible help to the people that had been affected,” he explained. 

“We agreed and gave them use of a large space that would hold 20 plus people, completely free of charge to get them back at their desks and operational as quickly as possible.

“Some of those affected were in tears (of joy this time) from this gesture by Mammoth, such had been the trauma of being upended by the fire.

“Hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel as the group has been exploring options in a similar nearby building which might work for all those affected to move into in the longer term”.

Paul Kelly, of Form Native, was one of those who saw their business premises affected.
When our studio was lost in the Cathedral Buildings fire it was gutting in every sense,” he said. 

“The response from the wider creative community was a great support and raised our spirits at a critical time.

“Mammoth were quick to offer help to their neighbours in need, they gave us space that allowed us to be in the city, catch a breath, and find our feet again.

“We are very grateful for their generosity and while we get ready to move forward again it is with a great appreciation for a creative community that looks out for each other.”

Tina Calder, director and strategist, Excalibur Press, said her business had been building their space in Cathedral Buildings over a number of years to support their work and that of others.

“The fire was absolutely devastating to myself and my staff,” she explained. 

“To have lost the space we built up over four years was heartbreaking for the team and the uncertainty of where we would be settling was very worrying.

“Our four offices were also home to Merlin Arts CIC, NI Festival of Writing, BAM magazine and Belfast 247 radio station so the aftermath of the fire didn’t just impact Excalibur Press.

“When Mammoth stepped in and offered us a temporary space until the end of the year I don’t think they really understood the serious impact of their kindness. They gave us something most people struggle to find in life – time. They gave us the space to stop and think and re-evaluate everything whilst continuing to service our clients.

“The team at Mammoth have been incredibly supportive and for that I will be eternally grateful for their kindness and compassion.

“We have been incredibly lucky to have been supported widely by organisations such as the Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District who we are working with to secure a new place for 2023.

“Whilst the impact and effects of the fire have not gone away it has been made much easier to deal with mentally, emotionally and physically by the wonderful support of our friends, family, clients and peers.”

Mammoth, which started in Belfast over 21 years ago in a small two-desk office space by its two founders, now has 80 staff across offices in Belfast & London. Mammoth had just relocated to their offices in Royal Avenue, overlooking the Cathedral in 2020 after purchasing and renovating the iconic art deco Sinclair House – previously a landmark department store in the city.

“Naturally, coming from the same creative industry sector as many of the businesses in Cathedral Buildings, there was an added empathy to reach out and try to help ease some of the difficult positions these companies and individuals had found themselves in due to the fire,” explained Mr Poots. 

“Many staff members in Mammoth had been shocked and dismayed at the devastation caused to Cathedral Buildings – especially as this is only 150m from the Mammoth offices.

“And several of their staff members knew those that had been affected – some were artisans, designers with irreplaceable elements of their work – plus their livelihoods had either gone up in smoke or been put in limbo due to no access being given to the building.

“As the extremely damaged building started the assessment and recovery process it became evident that the local people affected would not be able to get back into the building for months, maybe indefinitely.

“When Malachy McCrudden, a project manager at Mammoth, made the request to the Senior Management that perhaps they could offer some unused office space on an immediate basis. It was instantly agreed, and Mammoth offered a 2,500sqft office space to be used, which included supply of all tables, chairs, lighting and heating for the duration of their stay there.”

To find out how you can support the creatives and businesses impacted by the fire at Cathedral Buildings check out their IndieGoGo fundraiser at https://igg.me/at/cqcollective 

There will also be a fundraiser for those affected by the fire at the Black Box on Monday December 12. 

Joining the bill will be artists such as Ursula Burns, George Firehouse, Aidan Mulholland (who lost his studio in the fire) and Myles McCormack among others. Tickets are available from https://bit.ly/3umykd7 

West Belfast park to become a Winter Wonderland

Newly opened Páirc Nua Chollann in west Belfast will be transformed into a ‘Winter Wonderland’ on Thursday 8 December.

 

A free festive event is taking place at the park from 6pm to 9pm organised by Colin Neighbourhood Partnership with support from Belfast City Council.

Councillor Ross McMullan, Chair of the council’s People and Communities Committee and daughter Heidi join John Paul Russell, Arts and Cultural Officer with the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, Santa Claus and the Winter Fairy at Páirc Nua Chollann ahead of the Winter Wonderland event at the park on Thursday 8 December. The free festive event is taking place from 6pm to 9pm, organised by Colin Neighbourhood Partnership and supported by Council. Families can enjoy a visit to Santa’s Grotto and there will be fairground attractions, musical performances and a Christmas Variety Market with stalls from local traders.

Families can enjoy a visit to Santa’s Grotto and there will be fairground attractions, musical performances and a Christmas Variety Market with stalls from local traders.

Councillor Ross McMullan, Chair of the council’s People and Communities Committee, said: “We’re delighted to support this fantastic festive event with Colin Neighbourhood Partnership in one of our newly opened parks and community events spaces in the city.

“We hope it will bring along local residents as well as attract visitors from across Belfast to see and enjoy the park for the first time – making the most of the early festivities too.

“It’s also good to see parks’ events and activities like this taking place in our parks and open spaces again, following the last few years.”

John Paul Russell, Arts and Cultural Officer with the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, added: “It’s fantastic to see this new park with its state-of-the-art facilities open in Colin. This is such an exciting new development for the Colin area. It will allow us to host our biggest Christmas event to date and we look forward to using it for future events.”

Páirc Nua Chollann, opened in October and is located on the Stewartstown Road between Poleglass and Twinbrook. Among its attractions are a 13-metre ‘Leap of Faith’ sculpture, a new play park with range of accessible and sensory equipment, a cycle ‘pump track’, marked routes for walking, running and cycling and an outdoor gym.

The project was funded by The Executive Office’s Urban Villages Initiative and the Department for Communities. It was delivered and will be operated by Council.

Find out more about Páirc Nua Chollann and all of the city’s parks and open spaces, at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/parks

For more information on festive events taking place in the city, visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/christmas

Jacqueline’s pick of what’s on this weekend across NI

Antrim

Mallusk Enterprise Park Christmas Market takes place this weekend.  Find local businesses and social enterprises to shop and support, enjoy our entertainment line up including live music from Audio Level DJ, indulge in festive drinks and nibbles and browse the entries to the Children’s Art Competition. There will also be a free Santa’s Grotto experience and a festive food mountain built in aid of the Newtownabbey Food Bank and a Children’s Gift mountain in aid of Cash for Kids.

Find out more HERE

Armagh

It’s been the godmother of all waits, but this Christmas at The Market Place Theatre, you shall go to the ball!  Pantomime is back with all the traditional festive ingredients; an amazing cast, glittering set, laugh-out-loud humour, plenty of boos and hisses, all topped off with a sprinkling of fairy magic! So dust off your ball gowns and join us for the classic rags-to-riches tale with a modern twist – ‘Cinderella’.

Find out more HERE

Belfast

Children’s Craft Christmas at Clifton House. Why not let the kids experience something different this Festive season? Step back in time to Christmas 250 years ago and see how children once celebrated in the Poorhouse. Learn about their traditions, gifts, food and entertainment. It’s not the ‘Scrooge’ you’d imagine it to be.

Find out more HERE

Down

Santa Cruise, Strangford Activity Centre. Join the merry old elf for a hair-raising sleigh ride around the islands aboard a fast speed boat – Black Jacket. Hold onto your santa hats asyou fly through the waters of Strangford Lough!

Find out more HERE

Fermanagh

Share on Ice! SHARE Discovery Village is kicking off an exciting festive period with SHARE Village on Ice: a fantastic indoor synthetic rink, which is almost identical to a frozen surface but much more eco-friendly for all the family to enjoy. Whether you’re a budding skater or a confident glider, our wheelchair-friendly ice rink is open to all ages and abilities!

Find out more HERE

Derry/Londonderry

Roe Valley Speciality Christmas Market.  Join Roe Valley on Saturday 3rd December for their Limabady Christmas Market, offering shoppers a warm welcome, with friendly traders and the choice of a range of unique local produce, Craft, Art, Treats, Street Food and speciality handcrafted items, this a perfect opportunity to pick up some unique Christmas Gifts and treats for all the family!

Find out more HERE

Tyrone

Carol and Jimmy’s Cracker is back at the Burnavon Cookstown this weekend after two long years!

Find out more HERE

COMMEDIA OF ERRORS PRESENTS PLAYS ALOUD CHRISTMAS CRAIC

Finally, back in-person and indoors, Commedia of Errors are once again bringing their Plays Aloud programme to vulnerable older people, sharing some Christmas craic with audiences across Northern Ireland.

A brand-new nostalgia filled Christmas show featuring classic tunes, comedy and more will be touring to care homes, nursing homes and dementia care units across NI this December.

Plays Aloud Actor Geoff Hatt

Plays Aloud’s digital, and socially distanced ‘outdoors-in’ performances have been in high demand all through the pandemic, but residents are delighted to be getting back to normal and to be able to welcome performers back into their living rooms!

This ambitious Christmas programme is principally funded by Arts Council Northern Ireland’s Arts and Older People Programme and Halifax Foundation NI, with support from Public Health, The Baring Foundation, and is made with partners Radius Housing.

Plays Aloud has been bringing their dementia specialist variety show into nursing homes, care homes, dementia units and folds since 2017. Each performance is specially curated to invigorate and reenergise older audiences, improving mental health and slowing dementia related decline.

In 2020, the pandemic temporarily put a stop to the programme, but unperturbed, company founders Benjamin Gould and Clare McMahon (working with programme partners Radius Housing and Accidental Theatre) digitised, creating Plays Aloud At Home. Through a combination of live streaming and bespoke made DVD recordings, the company broadcast their hit variety show six times to the TV’s of over 1400 beneficiaries since June 2020. They received Highly Commended by Arts & Business ‘Mental Health & Wellbeing Award’ 2021. Finally, as they pandemic abates, they are returning to in-person performances for their cherished older audiences.

Audiences of the programme are always positive: One care worker said, “They loved every minute of it.”

An audience member commented, “Better than the BBC!” Another added, “Don’t underestimate the value of this resource you have given us – Keep it up!”

The project has even been endorsed by Daniel O’Donnell who observed, ‘‘Plays Aloud At Home is engaging with the most vulnerable in our communities. It really is inspiring…long may it continue!’’

This Christmas the programme will feature two pairs of performers touring to the lounges of care facilities in every county of Northern Ireland.

Lorraine Calderwood, Community Arts Development Officer at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, explained how the Arts and Older People’s Programme is making a difference to the lives of older people across the region: “The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to support Commedia of Errors’ Plays Aloud programme. Research has proven that taking part in arts activities can raise self-esteem, confidence and motivation, as well as aid in relieving stress.

A member of the audience enjoys Plays Aloud by Commedia of Errors.

“The Arts and Older People Programme is committed to providing meaningful opportunities for our older people to take part in arts activities, enriching their lives for the better. As we emerge from the extra challenges faced by older people as a result of the pandemic, participating in the arts is now more important than ever.

“The arts have a vital role to play in helping older people find their voice thus promoting positive physical and mental health. Thanks to The National Lottery, Public Health Agency and Baring Foundation, the Arts Council is hugely proud to have supported 250 projects benefitting older people since the programme began.”

Plays Aloud At Home is the brainchild of local theatre makers Clare McMahon and Benjamin Gould in partnership with Radius Housing. McMahon and Gould also recently collaborated to bring McMahon’s play, ‘The Gap Year’, to sell-out audiences at the Lyric Theatre. They have previously worked together to bring smash hit ‘I Am Maura’, and the sell-out ‘Shakespeare’s Women’ to audiences across Northern Ireland.

To find out more about Commedia of Errors, go to: www.commediaoferrors.co.uk

 

Stranger Crows Hootenanny: Showcasing Local Talent At Oh Yeah Music Centre

Four up and coming bands will take to the stage at the Oh Yeah Music Centre as part of a local showcase this Friday, December 2. 

A collaboration of the online zine Stranger Dais and local talent promoters Old Crows Promotions, Stranger Crows Hootenanny will see music fans from across the city show their support for headliner Strange New Places and bands such as Garrett Laurie ,Daisy Chain and Heart Shaped.

Also on the night, attendees will be able to support the local arts industry as Leigh Lowry, Melyssa Shannon and Lydia Leneghan are set to display their unique works as part of a mini art fair before the main event.

An online zine, Stranger Dais is keen to support creatives both locally and beyond, providing a platform where artists can speak freely and openly about their passions, showcase their art and circulate their talents.

Owners and editors of the e-zine, Megan and Jack Hopkin are delighted to be able to take their online stage to that of the famous Oh Yeah Music Centre. 

“The Stranger Crows Hootenanny is our way of celebrating the vast array of talent right here on Northern Ireland’s doorstep,” said Megan, adding: “We value eclecticism and supplying a platform for artists and creatives of all walks of life.”

Headlining the event is Belfast-based folk punk and power pop band, Strange New Places, a queerpunk five-piece, who sing about gender, sexuality and life under capitalism. 

They will be supported by Garrett Laurie a dreamy, pop-infused alternative rock singer-songwriter from Belfast whose latest EP, which was released this September,  ‘Can I Play Too, Or Is It Just For Boys’ explores topics from queer identity to mental health, and The Daisy Chain, which showcases Rhys Mayes’ uncomplicated and deliberately crude approach to songwriting in the form of short, simple Psychedelic Pop songs, influenced by The Carter Family, Dolly Mixture, and Norma Tanega.

Also performing on the night will be Belfast-based dreamy pop band Heart Shaped, led by Texas-bred songwriter Kendall Bousquet whose latest single, No Contact has been long-listed at the NI Music Prize for Single of the Year.

Events promoter Michael Smyth from Old Crows Promotions said the event is the perfect opportunity to create an open space to showcase local talent and help people discover new artists.

“Collaboration across grass roots independent arts is at the heart of what Stranger Crows Hootenannay is all about,” he said, adding: “Bringing together a wide range of musical genres and mixing that with some of the best artists. Creating a safe, open space to share in everyone talents and rock around the Christmas Tree at the same time.”

Stranger Crows Hootenany kicks off at 7pm, Friday, December 2 at the Oh Yeah Music Centre. Tickets for the event are £7 and are available from Eventbrite (http://bit.ly/3OHIPkQ).

LISBURN & CASTLEREAGH CITY COUNCIL ANNOUNCES A SERIES OF FAMILY FRIENDLY CHRISTMAS EVENTS

Festivities to Take Place in Lisburn City Centre from 1st to 22nd December

 

29 November 2022 Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has announced that a series of exciting festive events for all the family will take place in Lisburn City Centre from 1st to 22nd December.

Pictured l to r are Christmas character Captain America with Alderman Allan Ewart MBE Development Committee Chairman at Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council and Harley Quinn

Alderman Allan Ewart MBE, Development Committee Chairman, says, “We’re delighted to welcome visitors to experience Christmas events in Lisburn City Centre this festive season.

“This city has everything. From seasonal fayre to unique gifts and sensational light shows, there’s magic to be discovered around every corner.  Our Christmas celebration events feature something for all the family.

“The exciting programme includes everything from sensory late-night shopping and a festive roller disco, to a Christmas tea dance, a ladies’ night, and rocking around the Christmas tree with DJ David Lamont. We invite adults and children alike to come celebrate with us in Lisburn & Castlereagh this Christmas.”

The first event is inclusive Sensory Late-Night Shopping, which will take place from 6pm to 8.30pm on Thursday 1st December. This will offer families the opportunity to view the light attractions with quieter music and fewer lights switched on. Visitors will welcome Sophie the Sensory Playbus and another Soft Area Playbus to Market Square between 6pm and 8pm.

The age limit for Sophie the Sensory Playbus is 6, however, parents are welcome to bring any child along who may enjoy the bus. The second Soft Area Playbus is suitable for children aged from 2 to 10 years.

Santa will be in Castle Gardens on the evenings of 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th December if you would like to take the opportunity to visit him as part of the Christmas Garden Light Trail and take a family photo.

A festive Roller Disco will take place in Market Square from 4pm to 9pm on Friday 2nd December and Friday 9th December. Adults and children alike are welcome to come skate the night away at the festive rink.

You can borrow skates on site or bring your own if preferred. To register for tickets, please visit Eventbrite:  https://bit.ly/LCCCEvents

A free Christmas Tea Dance with Housty will take place from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday 3rd December. Visitors are invited to put their best foot forward and get involved in the festive fun. No registration is required for this event.

A Ladies’ Night will take place in the Marquee from 6.30pm to 9.30pm on Wednesday 8th December, with live demos on stage from 7pm. Suitable for adults, this event will provide ladies with tips for applying make-up, updating their winter wardrobe and making the most of what they already have with the help of one or two sneaky additions!

Participating in the event will be Evolve by Samara, The Sanctuary, Lisburn, International Beauty, Jonzara, The Tan Brush, Specsavers, Green Angel Skin Care and Sew Ready. To register for Tickets, visit Eventbrite:  https://bit.ly/LCCCEvents

You never know who you’ll bump into when Christmas shopping in Lisburn City Centre! Visitors on Thursday 8th December might encounter Buddy the Elf and The Grinch as they roam Market Square and Bow Street from 3:30pm to 5:30pm.

The classic Christmas movie, Elf, will be live on the Big Screen in Market Square from 4.30pm to 6pm on Thursday 16th December. Visitors are invited to bring blankets and cosy up for the viewing.

Visitors are also welcome to Rock Around the Christmas Tree from 4pm to 7pm on Thursday 22nd December, when Market Square will be transformed into a family friendly dance party with DJ David Lamont from Lisburn’s 98FM and a host of Christmas characters.

You’re also welcome to come along and enjoy the Lisburn Light Festival this festive season. You can take in the illuminating captivating light installations at various locations across the city until 22nd December, and don’t forget to visit the spectacular Christmas Garden Light Trail in Castle Gardens, open from 4pm to 8pm daily from 28th November until 22nd December.

To find out more about the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council and Lisburn Light Festival, visit: https://www.lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk/christmas-programme-2022

Have yourself a Derry little Christmas

A host of fun-filled festive events in the Walled City

 

November 28: Go to the top of the nice list this year by treating your loved ones to one of Derry~Londonderry’s Christmas events.

 

Ranging from pantos to artisan craft and food fairs, there is a wide range of great value family-friendly events taking place throughout the Walled City this festive season.

 

With amazing places to stay and a vibrant bar and restaurant scene, why not make it a short break and have yourself a Derry little Christmas.

 

Visit Derry has compiled a list of events to give you a flavour of what’s planned for this festive season.

 

December 1 – January 2
Cinderella, Millennium Forum

 

  • Come and have a ball at the biggest panto in the North West! Enjoy this fun-filled panto, starring Conal Gallen as Buttons, and have a truly magical family experience this Christmas in the ultimate rags-to-riches tale of Cinderella. The signed performance will take place on Thursday December 8 at 7pm, whereas the relaxed performance/dementia friendly performance will be held on Saturday December 10 at 2pm and the captioned performance will be on Sunday December 18 at 2pm. Visit

www.visitderry.com/whats-on/cinderella-p805811

December 1 to 22

St Columb’s Magic Kingdom, St Columb’s Park

 

  • Enjoy a magical light trail through the enchanting grounds of St Columb’s Park. A magical world awaits all the family in the heart of the city this festive season at St Columb’s Magic Kingdom. Take in the spectacle of illuminations, see Santa, Mrs. Claus, and The Grinch, toast your own marshmallows, and shop for gifts with local food and craft traders from across the Nort West. Visit www.visitderry.com/whats-on/st-columbs-magic-kingdom-p813531

 

December 4
Shirah of Bethlehem, Playhouse Theatre

  • It’s Christmas Eve in Bethlehem. But of course, the people don’t know their little town will soon become a sacred place. Shirah of Bethlehem does what no other retelling of the Nativity has attempted: it stars a girl! Think of Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Little Drummer Boy, The Littlest Angel — even the animals in the stable and Joseph’s donkey have speaking parts. Mary is the only female. But what if the one who led the shepherds to the manger was a girl? Enter Shirah. Shirah’s story comes alive through the exuberant music of Motown hit-maker Elliott Willensky and the lyrics and narrative written by bestselling author Mary Pat Kelly. Visit www.visitderry.com/whats-on/the-playhouse-theatre-shirah-of-bethlehem-p812641

December 7
A Celebration of Saint Columba, St Columb’s Hall

  • This special event is a home-coming for world-renowned Derry-born conductor, Darren Hargan who founded Le Foyer des Artistes orchestra. Handel’s Water Music was written in response to a request by King George I for a concert on the River Thames. In Derry, a city with an ancient maritime history, it’s the perfect choice to open the residency of Le Foyer des Artistes at St Columb’s Hall. This debut concert, features some of the world’s most outstanding musicians led by internationally renowned baroque violinist, Bojan Čičić. And for this special performance Le Foyer des Artistes will be joined by some of Ireland’s finest singers including internationally acclaimed soprano, Claudia Boyle. Visit A Celebration of Saint Columba – Le Foyer (lefoyerdesartistes.com)

 

December 16 to 19

Christmas Winterland Market, Guildhall Square

 

  • A series of unique handmade crafts, mouth-watering local artisan foods, and tasty treats will be offered at this Christmas market nestled in Guildhall Square from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th December. The Christmas Winterland Market will feature artisan traders from the craft and food sectors offering a variety of Christmas gifts and foods, making it a great place to get into the festive spirit. Visit www.visitderry.com/whats-on/christmas-winterland-market-p812211

 

December 17
Allegri & Orchestra North West, The Snowman, The Guildhall

  • Allegri Ladies Choir will join forces with Orchestra North West in the Guildhall, Derry to perform a beautiful programme of music. The show will include Howard Blake timeless orchestral work ‘The Snowman’ as well as popular pieces such as Troïka, Gaudete and some original takes on a few festive tunes which you will know and love. Come share in the excitement of the festive season and experience a sprinkle of Christmas musical magic. Visit www.visitderry.com/whats-on/the-snowman-and-other-christmas-classics-p813511

For great places to eat, drink and visit as well as great value international hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses and self-catering accommodation to stay in Derry, visit www.visitderry.com.

Motorcycle Plus Show Unveils Big Name Dealers Who Will Be There

February event will have top motorcycle firms backing the February show

The Motorcycle Plus Show has unveiled some of the top motorcycle dealers that will be present at the landmark event at Eikon Centre, Lisburn, on February 4-5, 2023.

360 Events, who are organising the packed weekend of motorsport, said they were delighted that some of the biggest motorcycle dealers in Northern Ireland have confirmed that they will be there.

Planned as a curtain raiser for the start of the motorcycling season for the year ahead the show will attract fans of both on and off-road competitions as well as bike enthusiasts across the country.

“Hurst Yamaha will have their 2023 range of road and off-road motorcycles on display and available to purchase,” explained Kenny Gardener of 360 Events. “Hurst BMW have also signed up and again will have the full range of new BMWs on display.

“As well as this HTM will be there with the road and off-road Husquvarna and GasGas Machines. Along with other dealers, we have Crossan Motorcycles in attendance with their comprehensive range of Helmets and gear etc. including specialised bikes.”

As well as the dealers already signed up some of the top teams from both the road and off-road sports and will provide information on their activities for the 2023 season ahead.

Motorcycle sport governing bodies along with some of the clubs that promote some of the biggest motorcycle events in Ireland will be in attendance to promote their events.

It has also been revealed today that three charities will be supported at the show.

“We can confirm that Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council’s Mayoral charity, Helping Hand for the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children will be one of the beneficiaries of the biggest motorcycle event in four years.”

Kenny Gardner said they were delighted to be able to say that local charities will benefit from the Motorcycle Plus Show.

“The local charities we will be supporting are the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Mayor designated charity, Helping Hand, the Atlas Women’s Centre in Lisburn and St John Ambulance service, Portadown Branch, which provides excellent medical cover at motorsport events throughout Northern Ireland.”

360 Events is a new group of motorcycling and motorsport enthusiasts and volunteers with many years of experience as competitors and officials in all branches of the sport.

Kenny, one of the organisers from 360 Events, explained the Motorcycle Plus Show has been specifically designed for motorsports enthusiasts.

“Primarily, we will be using the show to showcase all forms of motorsport and motorcycling, if it has an engine and wheels, we intend it to be there,” he said.

“Attractions will also include rider appearances, interviews, Q&A sessions, and not just established stars, but also up and coming riders from on and off-road disciplines who will become household names in the future,” he said. 

“As an innovation, there will be advice from experts on securing and keeping sponsors, Social Media use and lifestyle advice which will be useful for young competitors from all disciplines.

“This is in line with our stated aim of helping to establish a Motorsport Academy for all forms of motorsport to make sure our rising stars get the best advice and guidance possible on their career path.

“Race Teams will be there with their 2023 line ups, both on and off-road, 2023 street bike models, accessories, gear, and lots more so plenty for everyone to see and do.

“Governing bodies will be in attendance with advice and guidance on their various Championships, how to start racing and competing, and of course officiating and marshalling, as well as various Clubs promoting their own events, alongside trade and dealer stands.” 

Previously the show was held for a number of years under different guises starting with the Enkalon Club in the Antrim Forum and finally with Nutt Promotions in the Eikon Centre in 2019. 

The Motorcycle Plus Show will take place at Eikon Centre in Lisburn on February 4-5, 2023. For tickets go to www.motorcycleplusshow.co.uk

All online bookings will be entered into a free raffle to win prizes such as a small motorbike, discounted ferry bookings and other prizes.

More details on the prizes will be confirmed but there are vouchers to the value of £1000, £300, £100, 4 ball golf voucher, and money off ferry travel vouchers to be had from Hurst, Crossan’s, Norman Watt Motorcycles, Edenmore Golf Club and Nutt Travel.

 “These are exciting times and another great reason to purchase tickets as Christmas presents for your biking loved ones and be in with a chance of picking up some excellent prizes,” Kenny concluded.

10 things to do in Northern Ireland 

Here are ten exciting things taking place 28th November – 4th December 2022

 

  1. Hillsborough Castle and Gardens Light Trail, Hillsborough, County Down, 1st December 1st Gather friends and family for an after dark illuminated trail experience like no other. You’ll be blown away as over a million twinkling lights and festive sounds fill the grounds of the historic gardens, not to mention the giant baubles, tunnels of light and fire garden. There’ll be no shortage of talented independent food vendors present so make sure to leave room for some delicious treats.
  2. Todd’s Leap Christmas Experience, Ballygawley, County Tyrone, 1st 22nd December (on selected dates see website). Bring your little ones to Todd’s Leap this Christmas where Santa’s mischievous little elves are wreaking havoc. While visiting this winter wonderland, the children can write and post a letter to the man himself, help the elves in the workshop and even meet Mr & Mrs Claus before choosing a present to go home with.
  3. Cinderella, Derry~Londonderry, 1st December – 2nd Don’t miss the timeless fairytale Cinderella at the Millennium Forum, Derry~Londonderry. As part of their inclusive programme, there’ll be sign language performance options as well as relaxed/dementia friendly options to ensure everyone can enjoy this festive favourite.
  4. Aladdin Panto, Belfast, 25th November – 31st There’s no adventure quite like it. Aladdin in The Waterfront Hall promises to be a show like no other. Will he and Princess Jasmine end up happily ever after? Get ready to go on a journey as you and your loved ones experience one of the greatest stories ever told with a stellar cast and production.
  5. Christmas at Marble Arch Caves, Florencecourt, County Fermanagh, 3rd – 5th There are a selection of events in the unique location of the UNESCO Global Geopark, including Foraging, Christmas Wreath Making and a Christmas Elf Escape through the woodland. Enjoy a fabulous 10% off your purchases throughout the weekend in their gift shop and relax in their Café with some homemade Christmas treats.
  6. Festive Afternoon Tea at Titanic Belfast, Belfast, 4th, 11th & 18th Step back in time to a period of luxury, elegance and five-star service with Titanic Belfast’s special Festive Afternoon Tea. Set in the opulent surroundings of the Titanic Suite featuring the stunning Grand Staircase and live jazz music, the Festive Afternoon Tea is an experience not to be missed.
  7. Christmas Fair at The Argory, Moy, County Armagh, 3rd – 4th December. The festive period is not complete without a visit to the annual Christmas Fair at The Argory. Featuring a variety of local craft, food and drink stalls, as well as festive traditional entertainment. Soak up the wonderful atmosphere and see the house decorated for Christmas. Families will also have the chance to meet Santa and his elves in the grotto.
  8. Festive Afternoon Tea at Castle Coole, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, 3rd & 10th Experience festive afternoon tea at Castle Coole, relaxing by the open fire and taking in a tour of the National Trust mansion. There is also a children’s Christmas baking and decorating workshop.
  9. Christmas Artisan Market at Castle Ward, Strangford, County Down, 2nd – 4th Arrive in the theatre space and stable yard where you will find a handpicked selection of local designers/makers and food vendors showcasing their work and locally produced products. The stable yard will be dressed in Georgian style with Christmas lights, accompanied by living history actors telling you the stories of those who called Castle Ward home during the 18th century.
  10. Walled City Market at Christmas, Derry~Londonderry, 3rd December and 16th – 18th Unwrap the magic of Christmas this year with a trip to the Walled City Markets this December. Nestled in the Guildhall Square, the markets will offer unique handmade crafts, mouth-watering local artisan food and scrumptious, tasty treats.

 

Booking is essential for most activities. Book in advance to avoid disappointment. Subject to availability.

 

For more information on what’s on or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit https://discovernorthernireland.com/christmas 

Festive Stars Afternoon Tea

Back by popular demand! Join Armagh Observatory and Planetarium for its popular Christmas show, ‘Mystery of the Christmas Star’ this December and explore the science behind the star of Bethlehem. 

 

Armagh City Hotel Festive Stars and Afternoon Tea

Available Tuesday to Friday in December, come along and experience the 2pm show and then head off for a festive afternoon tea in the Armagh City Hotel.

 

This offer is available for individual and group bookings. Simply contact the Armagh City Hotel to make your booking and join in the festive fun. 

 

Offer available 1st – 23rd December. Mystery of the Christmas star starts promptly at 2pm. Bookings to be made through Armagh City hotel only.