West Coast Cooler Fashion Week

Lights, Camera, Catwalk!

FASHIONWEEK Welcomes a New Season With a New Shade… of Pink!

fashion weekBelfast’s multi award-winning fashion event, West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK, is back with a show stopping schedule of runway shows and style events which will kick off on 09 March 2010 in the heart of the city at the old Northern Bank building in Waring Street.

Keeping in tune with the new pastel colour trends for the season, FASHIONWEEK is going pink.  Audience members can expect fabulous pink runways, funky décor and of course the refreshing West Coast Cooler Rosé, which will add extra sparkle to the ever-so-stylish nightly catwalk shows and non-stop, cutting edge fashion, both on and off the catwalk.

This season’s retailer line up includes one of Northern Ireland’s largest independent multiples, Tempest/Menary’s, who will open the week, showcasing brands such as A Wear, Quiz, Oasis, Wonderbra and Warehouse, with other high street leaders including Lipsy, French Connection, Benetton, Argento jewellery and Marks & Spencer setting the style stakes on the high street evening. Debenhams, Miss Selfridge and Vero Moda will be among those showcasing at the CastleCourt event, while local designers such as Una Rodden, Grainne Maher and Lizzie Agnew will show both static exhibitions and runway collections. Designer boutiques Cruise, Jourdan, Blush, Harrison and Candy Plum from Hillsborough will also have collections on the catwalk. Newry-based hot-young-thing Katie McGuigan, whose CCKT label is making waves with fashion industry big wigs in New York and London, will also showcase; as will young Coleraine designer Bridgene Graham. Belfast Met students’ work will also shine in what is predicted to be a complete sell-out show. And sticking with the tradition of guest designers from abroad, BFW will this season offer a place to German-based designer Petra Tobias.

And as well as guest designers, the event also welcomes a guest model this season, in the form of Ireland’s only ever supermodel Kiera Gormley, who took part in the campaign photoshoot last week in between her busy schedule – which often includes shoots with top photographer Mario Testino for UK & Italian Vogue. Her career CV also includes campaigns for Burberry, Agent Provocateur and MAC Cosmetics as well as catwalk shows for Vivienne Westwood and couture shows for Jean Paul Gaultier and Armani Prive to name a few.

The hair partner for this season’s event is Michael Quinn, while make up artist to the stars Paddy McGurgan has partnered with GOSH! Cosmetics to create the fab make up looks for the shows and shoots.

Organiser Cathy Martin said: “We are so excited about this season as we move to the edgy location of the old bank and usher in the season’s hottest colour, pastel pink. We’re also welcoming back some retailers who have been with us season after season, as well as bringing on board some new collections and designers. And there will be other news closer to our show dates on master classes and style events with the industry’s top experts – both from here and abroad, so watch this space!”

Show tickets, which cost £10, are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre Box Office on 028 9024 6609 or online at www.gotobelfast.com . For further information on show schedules, tickets, links to participant retailers and designers as well as the season’s hottest trends, log on to www.belfastfashionweek.com.

Actor Dan Gordon set to judge North West students

Dan Gordon
Dan Gordon

The North West Schools Drama Festival, which is being organised by the Strabane Drama Festival Committee and will be held at the Alley Theatre in Strabane, is delighted to annouce this groundbreaking festival will have a special celebrity guest judge for the two evenings, actor and TV star, Dan Gordon. Currently directing a play with the world famous Belfast Lyric Theatre and star of the hit BBC Show “Give My Head Peace”, Dan Gordon stated he “was delighted to be involved in this fantastic grass roots festival, which will tap into the acting talent the North West has to offer”. The festival is being funded by the Good Relations Section of Strabane District Council, and is supported by the office of the First Minstster and Deputy First Minister.

Dan is excited with the prospect of developing the North West Schools Drama Festival, which will see High Schools and Colleges from across the district compete to be festival drama champions. “I think this is a great idea for the North West, not only will it help students learn more about acting, but as time progresses it will offer a stepping stone for even bigger things” commented Dan. “When I was younger and competing in school drama festivals I worked alongside guys like Dermot Murnaghan, who through working on stage developed his skills and confidence to move into television and journalism. Wallace McDole was another contemporary who found school festivals essential in developing his skills, he went onto work at the Lyric as a production manager. I know several others who went onto acting, directing, technical or dance roles in Ireland and across the UK, simply down to how inspired they became through the schools drama festival scene.”

As students take to the Alley stage, Dan admits to being jealous of the resources now on offer to students, “when we competed it was all about getting changed in cold classroom, no proper dressing rooms and the stage lights were often a bit unreliable to say the least. Now pupils can benefit from superb venues like the Alley Theatre in Strabane, backed up with great lighting and sound, a relaxing theatre space for the audience, proper dressing rooms and even a box office to help sell the tickets…. we had to make do with raffle ticket stubs.”

Dan will be the adjudicator for the 2 day schools drama festival and hopes he will have the chance to pass on some of his skills and thoughts to the students over that period. “If I could meet a young Dan Gordon just about to start out I would advise him that acting is all about listening, watching and reacting. Feed of the energy from the other actors and the audience. Watch as many actors as possible….and steal the best ideas!”

Ciaira McCay from the Strabane Drama Festival Committee stated “We are delgihted that Dan Gordon has agreed to be the festival adjudicator; he has a strong history in supporting grass roots acting and is a product of the drama festival scene himself. We have performances lined up from pupils including Holy Cross College in Strabane, Dromore’s St Johns High School, St Cecilia’s In Derry, Ballygawley’s St Ciarans and Thornhill College in Derry. The schools will be offering an exciting mix of work including pieces written by the students to Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”.

Currently Dan is working on numerous projects, including directirng the forthcoming production of “The Miser” from the Lyric, which will be appearing at the Alley later in the summer. “I am really looking forward to this new festival and I urge everyone in the community to get behind these young actors who are making their first ever big production.” Tickets are now on sale for the North West Schools Drama Festival, only £4, £3 (con) or book online at www.alley-theatre.com

2010 Moving on Music Festival

moving on musicThe 2010 Moving on Music Festival is taking place in various venues in Belfast from 23rd-28th March and will feature a wide range of acts that span everything from folk to funk to free jazz!

Some of the highlights of this year’s festival include acclaimed Geordie folk act, The Unthanks, Scottish post-electro band Errors (Black Box, Friday 26th March, with support from local lads Kowalski), a live dub show featuring legendary producer Adrian Sherwood and MC Brother Culture (who provided vocals on the Thunder track on Prodigy’s 2009 album, Invaders Must Die) and Buttons, Barrels and Bows – an evening of traditional Irish music from a trio of outstanding musicians  (Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh, Catherine McEvoy and Micheal O’Raghallaigh).

Some of the best local talent will also be showcased during the festival, as Bangor double-bassist/composer Dave Kane peforms as part of the exciting jazz quintet Dave Kane’s Rabbit Project, upcoming Armagh-born jazz drummer David Lyttle will appear with his group and special guest – American trumpet player, Terell Stafford, while local pianist/composer Simon Mawhinney will perform a free concert of twentieth-century and contemporary music, in association with Queen’s University, Belfast.

The festival will also encompass 2 exciting events in association with The MAC (Northern Ireland’s world-class home for the arts, due to open in 2011)…a whistle-stop piano-a-thon featuring acclaimed pianist Matthew Bourne and a seminar entitled Collective Thinking that will focus on the value of setting up music collectives.

To view a full copy of the programme go to http://www.movingonmusic.co.uk/



28th FEBRUARY 2010, 2pm-12am – £10.00


BELFAST 4 HAITI announces ‘Folk 4 Haiti’, a spectacular day of folk and traditional Irish Music in the Empire Music Hall Belfast, 28th February from 2pm- 12am. Tickets are priced at £10.00 and can be purchased on the door. All proceeds will go to the Haiti Earthquake Fund of the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Haiti’s strongest earthquake in more than two centuries devastated the Caribbean nation on Tuesday, 12th January 2010. Belfast 4 Haiti has raised over £41,000 so far and with continued effort more can be raised to aid the people of Haiti. Folk 4 Haiti brings folk and traditional musicians from Belfast and beyond for an amazing day long concert.

Live Acts include:

Anne, Ben and Colm Sands

Gerry O’Connor and Cathal McConnell

Alan Burke

Barry Kerr

The Rapparees

The Pigeon Top

Caoimhín Mac Giolla Catháin (Bréag)

Craobh Rua


Conor Caldwell and Kevin Mc Cullagh


Crúb agus Béal


An Modh Díreach

Conor O’Kane

Breandán O’Hare, Ruadhraí O’Kane and co

Please be advised this event is being run to benefit the DEC – Disasters Emergency Committee.

At times of overseas emergency, the DEC brings together a unique alliance of the aid, corporate, public and broadcasting sectors to rally the nation’s compassion, and ensure that funds raised go to DEC agencies best placed to deliver effective and timely relief to people most in need. The DEC’s remit is to unite agency efforts in times of disaster – such as flood, earthquake or famine – wherever it happens in the world. The way we at DEC approach our work is to maximise funds raised and ensure they are spent in an effective and fully accountable way.

Folk 4 Haiti logo


Charity No: 1062638


PO BOX 999,



Venue:             The Empire Music Hall, Botanic Avenue, Belfast

Date:                           Sunday 28th February

Ticket Price.                £10 on the door

Doors:                         2pm

You can also donate directly to the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) via our Just Giving Page at this address:


For further information please contact Méabh/Dee on


Up to the minute details on Facebook: http://bit.ly/folk4haiti

and Twitter:    http://twitter.com/folk4haiti

‘Little Nashville’ Comes To Belfast

A little piece of Tennessee is on its way to Belfast at the end of February when Botanic Avenue becomes an all-American street.  Restaurants, cafés and hotels will join in the spirit of celebrating the cultural links between Belfast and Nashville. It’s all part of the family fun at 6th Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival, which features forty two concerts in five days from 24th-28th February.  Festival Director Colin Magee said;

Nashville's Carlene Carter
Nashville's Carlene Carter

“we’ve organised some great music throughout the week and now we’re taking Belfast Nashville out onto the street. There’ll be American cars in the Botanic Avenue area and free songwriter showcases at Madisons Hotel.  Nashville food specials will feature on several menus and international Nashville artists such as Carlene Carter and Nanci Griffith will be sharing a stage with talented local writers”

Each year, the festival features song writing talent drawn from every part of Northern Ireland. Many artists travel to the event to take part in the Song Writing Convention and to perform in free showcase concerts. Joining the local artists throughout the week will be household names such as Midge Ure and Ralph McTell. With over one hundred and fifty songwriters performing in forty two concerts and ‘Little Nashville’ on Botanic Avenue, this year’s Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival is going to be a feast of music and American goodies.

More information on ‘Little Nashville’ and the 6th Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival is available online at www.belfastnashville.com or call at the Belfast Welcome Centre, 47 Donegall Place, Telephone 02890246609

New Student Nightclub NU NOISE Launch 4TH MARCH

Nu Noise Poster low qBelfast’s hottest new Student Club Night comes to the Spring & Airbrake on the 4th of March. Every month Nu Noise will be showcasing the hottest up and coming DJs Northern Ireland has to offer. Show your support by coming along and making this student night a success.

It’s only £ 4 entry and there will be drinks promos on the night!!
The music will be a mixture of modern Trance, Techno + Electro playing from 9pm till 3am!

We are always looking for fresh blood to grace the decks at our events so if you think you have what it takes send a mix to – djjoshmccann@live.com also include a bit about yourself!

Our Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=260358624420&ref=ts

Hope to see you on the 4th of march!! x

Josh McCann

Spring Fashion Event of the Year for Mid Ulster!

The 20th March will see the Spring Fashion Event of Mid-Ulster. Emma McCann, Fundraiser for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund will be hosting an Afternoon Cream Tea and Fashion Show in Gardiners Restaurant in Magherafelt.

Sonia Butterworth, GMTV
Sonia Butterworth, GMTV

The two outlets featured will be The Brown Bag  and Debonair Men’s Wear both based in the town centre of Magherafelt. Emma has secured NI celebrity couple Sonia Butterworth and her husband Keith Law to compere the event. Sonia, a newsreader for GMTV NI and Keith a singer, songwriter, comedian & producer, will help make this an enjoyable and entertaining afternoon – and all in a great cause.

There are wonderful prizes to be won, all donated by local businesses and  there will even be a goody bag to take home!

Emma’s enthusiasm for raising funds for the PCRF has been  relentless over the last few months and if her track record is anything to go by, this next leg of her epic journey is sure to be no different.

Keith Law
Keith Law

So don’t miss out on getting your hands on the hottest tickets in town. But you need to be quick as the numbers are limited to 100. Tickets are £15 each and can be purchased from The Brown Bag, Gardiners Restaurant, Debonair Menswear all in Magherafelt.

Alternatively you can purchase tickets directly from Emma by calling 07731375022 or emailing her to emmy.lou123@yahoo.co.uk.

Emma McCann Fashion Show Poster1

Grammy Nominated Band coming to Strabane


With over 400 gigs, 54 flights, 13 countries and 4 lost suitcases in 2009, Beoga, the internationally acclaimed Irish Trad band will be finally touching base at Strabane’s Alley Theatre on February 26th. Beoga’s 2009 album ‘The Incident’ has seen this Irish supergroup continue to blaze a pioneering trail, rewarding fans with their fresh creative energy and seducing a diverse array of music lovers. The Incident was shortlisted for a Grammy award nomination for Best Contemporary World Music Album, a tremendous achievement for this Irish band from humble.

As well as the 2010 Grammy Award ballot nominations, Beoga have been storming the planet with their unique sound receiving recognition as diverse as the front page of the St Patrick’s Day Wall Street Journal to even congressional recognition from the US House of Representatives for their contribution to Irish music. With reviews like “Their unique chemistry creates a sheer joy that permeates their playing… Every track is a sonic bouquet with tasty little flourishes… Beoga live are a sight for sore ears and a sound for sore eyes and this album (The Incident) captures the vibrancy of their live shows… the album’s a keeper” from Irish Music Magazine, you can understand why the band is packing out venues across North America, Scandinavia, Europe and Australasia.

“The Alley is delighted to bring the top Irish Trad band currently performing live to our award winning venue” commented John Kerr, Alley Theatre Manager. “If you love the raw energy, deep soul, stunning beauty and energetic pace of Irish music, then don’t miss Beoga at the Alley on February 26th.” Tickets to see this amazing band live are only £14, £12 (con) and are on sale now at the Alley Box office (028 7138 4444) or online at www.alley-theatre.com


A staggering 50,000 votes have been cast to produce a dazzling shortlist for this year’s Fate Awards in association with Diet Coke, showcasing the very best the Northern Ireland entertainment and hospitality industry has to offer.

Announcing the shortlist, Michael Deane, head of the judging panel, commented; “The Fate Awards is synonymous with success throughout Northern Ireland.  Each year the bar is raised as the expert panel of judges whittle down the public nominations to determine the leaders in our industry.”

The heat is on as Michael Deane, head of Fate Awards judging panel, and Michael-Mervyn Jones of Fate Magazine announce the shortlist for this year’s Fate Awards in association with Diet Coke.  The judges have a difficult task ahead in deciding who will win a coveted Fate Award from each of the 17 categories which showcase the very best the Northern Ireland entertainment and hospitality industry has to offer.
The heat is on as Michael Deane, head of Fate Awards judging panel, and Michael-Mervyn Jones of Fate Magazine announce the shortlist for this year’s Fate Awards in association with Diet Coke. The judges have a difficult task ahead in deciding who will win a coveted Fate Award from each of the 17 categories which showcase the very best the Northern Ireland entertainment and hospitality industry has to offer.

Now in their fourth year, The Fate Awards ceremony on the 26th March will recognise 17 categories, with all shortlisted entries competing for the judges affections to win the now coveted award.

Last year’s winners included Belfast hot spots Muriels, No 27 Talbot Street and Apartment, alongside regional winners Sallys in Omagh and The Plough in Hillsborough.  The challenging part of actually judging the people and venues shortlisted is just beginning and with old favourites like The Bot and Laverys together with newcomers like Slide and Rain featuring, some difficult decisions lie ahead.

Award categories are: Best Classic Bar, Best Style Bar, Best Cocktail Bar, Best Gastro Pub, Best Front of House, Best Chef, Best Restaurant, Best Regional Bar, Best Regional Restaurant, Best Club, Best Regional Club, Best DJ, Best Gay Venue, Jim Aiken Live Venue, Colin Angus Best Media Personality, Best Hotel and Best Newcomer.

Commenting on the shortlist, Michael Mervyn-Jones, publisher of Fate Magazine, said; “Across the country, everyone in the entertainment industry has worked really hard to prove their worth in the past year and although the year ahead is also predicted to be a difficult one, outstanding achievements should always be celebrated.  That’s what the Fate Awards are all about; recognising and celebrating those who go that extra mile within the hospitality industry.

“The industry is still thriving with a number of new restaurants, bars and clubs opening in 2009 and our newcomer category is testament to the resilience of the Northern Ireland people who, even in recession, have come out to support and enjoy these new and exciting venues.”

The Fate Awards in association with Diet Coke, star-studded Party of the Decade will be held on 26 March 2010 in Belfast’s Europa Hotel and is proudly supported by Peroni, BMI, Bacardi Brown-Forman, Tigi and UTV.

Shortlisted entries for Fate Awards 2010 are:

Classic Bar

Duke of York

The John Hewitt

The Botanic Inn



Style Bar


Bar Retro


Cafe Vaudeville

Muriels Cafe Bar

Cocktail Bar


Tzar Bar @ Kremlin

The Merchant Hotel

Northern Whig

Cafe Ceol

Gastro Pub

The Plough

Ramore Wine Bar

The House

The John Hewitt

Cutters River Bar and Grill

Front Of House

Gerry White – The John Hewitt

Claire Charleton – Northern Whig

Darren Latimer – Cafe Ceol

Andy Carson – Bar Retro

Theresa McGourty – Crescent Town House

Best Chef

Alan Higginson – No 27

Danny Millar – Balloo House

Derek Creagh – Deanes

Damian Tumilty – Cafe Vaudeville

Andy Rea – Mourne Seafood

Best Restaurant

No 27



Menu @ Fitzwilliam Hotel

Cafe Vaudeville

Regional Bar

Bar Retro (Hillsborough)

Mint Cafe Bar (Cookstown)

Grace Neills (Donaghadee)

Brysons (Magherafelt)

Sallys (Omagh)

Regional Restaurant

Balloo House (Killinchy)

Plough (Hillsborough)

Ramore Wine Bar (Portrush)

Jamaica Inn (Bangor)

Tartine Distillers Arms (Bushmills)

Best Club





Stiff Kitten

Regional Club

Lush (Portrush)

Mint Cafe Bar (Cookstown)

Sallys (Omagh)

The Bank (Newry)

Halo (Ballycastle)

Best DJ

Dale Hooks

Kenny K

Jay Kay

Steve Boyd

Steve Simpson

Gay Venue


Union St




Live Venue

Ulster Hall

Spring & Airbrake

Mandela Hall



Media Personality

Zoe Salmon

Gemma Garrett

Pete Snodden

Gerard McCarthy

Julian Simmons

Best Hotel

The Merchant Hotel


Galgorm Resort & Spa

Fitzwilliam Hotel

Ten Square

Best Newcomer



Bengal Brasserie

Little Wing Pizzeria


Fitzwilliam Hotel



Lonely Poet

Tartine Distillers Arms

Manchester baby for £10

PEYE BMI Man Urd 2 (2)Pictured is Noah Johnston aged 4 from Dundonald with his cousin Max Weiniger aged 7 celebrating bmibaby flights from Belfast to Manchester at a guaranteed fare of £10 one way including all taxes.

As a city famous for its football and unique landmarks like Old Trafford and curry mile, Manchester is the perfect place to indulge in a short break.

This fare is valid for travel between 15 February 2010 until 27 March 2010 and applies to flights departing from Belfast International to Manchester and from Manchester Airport to Belfast.

These fares are available for a limited time only.  For more information and to book visit www.bmibaby.com

Conditions apply, subject to availability; offer is available for a limited time only.  Prices correct at time of going to press, available on flights departing from Belfast Intl to Manchester and from Manchester to Belfast Intl, including all taxes.