Enniskillen Annual Drama Festival, Ardhowen Theatre, Co. Fermanagh, March 4 – 9. Now in its 33rd year, the festival is a celebration of the best amateur drama from all over Ireland. With a mix of comedy, tragedy, classical works and new writing there is something for everyone.
The New Rope String Band in Concert, Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart, Co. Londonderry, March 7. Truly unique entertainment as this band combines superb musicianship with side-splitting comic genius, performing on fiddles, accordion and bass, they have elements of circus clowning, vaudeville slapstick and sheer inspired silliness.
Style Fair Preloved Designer Fashion Sale, Park Avenue Hotel, Belfast, March 8. Don’t miss out on a range of high end and designer clothing for sale with the best items from the High Street alongside designer and boutique brands as well as some vintage offerings.
Saint Patrick’s Festival, Various Locations, Armagh City, Co. Armagh, March 8 – 18. With a proud link to Saint Patrick, Armagh city will host a festival catering for all audiences including a carnival parade with cultural entertainment on Saint Patrick’s Day.
Hofesh Shechter Political Mother Shortcuts, various locations, City of Derry, Co. Londonderry, March 9. Local dance companies will showcase outdoor performances throughout the city in specially commissioned works made with the dancers of Hofesh Shechter Company.
Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland – Film Screening, The Old Courthouse, Antrim, Co. Antrim, March 9. From Walt Disney Pictures and visionary director Tim Burton comes an epic fantasy adventure “Alice in Wonderland,” a magical and imaginative twist on one of the most beloved stories of all time. Capturing the wonder of Lewis Carroll’s beloved books, with stunning, avant-garde visuals and the most charismatic characters in literary history, “Alice in Wonderland” comes to the big screen in time to celebrate World Book Day.
Owen O’Neill in Struck by Lightning, Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, March 9. A brand new show of stand-up theatre from one of Northern Ireland’s finest comic story-tellers. The comedian, actor, playwright and poet has performed all over the world and has already received several awards for his one man shows.
Keeping Sketchbooks Workshops, Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick, Co. Down, March 9. The sketchbook can be a space for drawing, doodling, collecting, recording and reflecting on life. In this workshop you can create your own simple sketchbook and explore a range of sketchbook activity.
Mother’s Day Spring Stroll and Musical Melodies, Castle Ward, Strangford, Co. Down, March 10. Enjoy a stroll around Castle Ward with our knowledgeable guide who will lead you through the exotic Victorian sunken garden and the demesne, then relax in the Stableyard to the sounds of Vivaldi and others.
Festival in a Day, Waterfront Hall, Belfast, March 10. Come along and enjoy a number of activities that will be taking place including storytelling, balloon modelling, a treasure hunt, crafts, mum and baby yoga and make sure you try out the longest toy car race track you’ve ever seen.
The pottery workshop at Ards Arts Centre on Saturday 2nd March will introduce you to the art of throwing on a potter’s wheel. Even if you have never tried to throw before, come and have a go – you will be surprised! Beginners and children 12+ welcome. Facilitated by experienced teacher and artist, Donald Nelson. For all our County Down events click HERE.
An Creagán are hosting a Mrs. Brown’s Boys Quiz Night Friday 1st March at 9pm, tables of 4 are £10. A great nights entertainment so be sure to take out your Mrs. Brown’s Boys box set to brush up on your knowledge!! Various prizes to be won, fancy dress optional and a prize for the best costume on the night. For all our County Tyrone listings click HERE.
The Enniskillen Drama Festival 2013 includes performances of Tarry Flynn, How I Learned to Drive, Eden, Poor Beast in the Rain and When we are Married. Book tickets with the Ardhowen Theatre. For all our County Fermangh listings click HERE
Free family fun cycle to be held in Bellaghy on Saturday 2nd March at noon. Short cycle aimed at kids accompanied by their parents just for fun. As part of Bellaghy Pioneers Association’s “Bellaghy Gets Fun Day”, an all day event in the town with everything from Treasure Hunts and football matches to art competitions, finishing off in the evening with mass and concert with local talent. For all our County Derry/Londonderry listings click HERE.
The Ballymoor Grousebeaters meet Ballygobackwards this Friday at the Market Place Theatre. A wonderful night of cabaret nostalgia featuring two of the North’s best loved cabaret acts. Clubsound, Ireland’s premier comedy showband, were part of the Ulster heartbeat through the troubles and helped people forget their worries. Special guest is Jimmy Cricket from the fictional town of Ballygobackwards – the Irish comedian with the funny hat, who wears his wellies on the wrong feet and regularly gets a letter from his Mammy. For all our County Armagh listings click HERE.
The Decadence Vintage Bridal Fair is taking place at Belfast’s Malone House on Sunday 3rd March. This prestigious event, evoking all the charm and romance of a bygone era within relaxed and luxurious surroundings, has been dedicated to providing vintage inspiration to the 21st Century bride since 2010, and the glittering extravaganza of vintage glamour and elegance makes planning a wedding a pleasurable and memorable experience for creative couples. For all County Antrim listings click HERE.
Brides from all over Ireland will be Saving the Date for the Decadence Vintage Bridal Fair taking place at Belfast’s Malone House on Sunday 3rd March.
This prestigious event, evoking all the charm and romance of a bygone era within relaxed and luxurious surroundings, has been dedicated to providing vintage inspiration to the 21st Century bride since 2010, and the glittering extravaganza of vintage glamour and elegance makes planning a wedding a pleasurable and memorable experience for creative couples.
Over forty high quality wedding designers and suppliers will have everything to offer the discerning bride and groomfrom authentic vintage and designer bridal gowns and accessories, jewellery, china teasets and cakestands, veils, hats and fascinators, glittering tiaras, handcrafted wedding stationery, and button and brooch bouquets to vintage-themed wedding services including decadent cakes and sweet treats, photography, bespoke flowers, event styling, vintage transport, retro hair and beauty, wedding entertainment, and much more! Most of the vintage treasures and one-off designs at the event will be available to purchase and take away on the day!
Whether newly engaged and in search of inspiration, or nearly married and just looking for the finishing touches, the Decadence Vintage Bridal Fair is the perfect place for brides marrying in vintage style to find advice and inspiration no matter if they wish to recreate a specific era, or mix some vintage ideas with some modern. The event will be bursting at the seams with Irish wedding talent, and with exhibitors specialising in tailoring their services to each individual couple it will be easy for them to put their own unique stamp on each and every aspect of their wedding day.
The impressive exhibitor list will include stunning gowns from Alison-Jayne Couture, Archive 12, Ivory & Pearl, and Norma Jean Vintage, bespoke wedding veils from Visionary Veils, spectacular wedding flowers from The Flower Room, exquisitely designed cakes from Patricia Mann Cake Designs, innovative event styling from Grace & Saviour, handcrafted paper bouquets from A Paper Rose, elegant designs in handmade stationery from Arbee Cards, inspirational photography from Campbell Photography, and beautiful hand-bound, memory books, photo journals, and wedding albums from Lotus Blu.
The Decadence Vintage Bridal Fair willtake place on Sunday 3rd March from 12-5pm at Malone House, Barnett’s Demesne, Belfast BT9 5PB. Admission costs £5 at the door. Updates and details of competitions and special offers available on the day will be posted on facebook.com/decadencevintageevents and the full exhibitor list will be available to view on the website www.decadencevintagefairs.com.
NITB and OutdoorNI.com launch third annual Adventureland weekend
THE Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB), in conjunction with OutdoorNI.com, are ready to whet your appetite for outdoor fun with the launch of the third annual and popular Northern Ireland AdventurelandWeekend which will take place on March 23 – 24.
More than 1400 people are expected to enjoy and take advantage of over 65 outdoor activity events offered by 21 different activity
providers including canoeing, surfing, horse riding and hovercrafting across Northern Ireland during an action packed weekend.
The exciting two-day event is perfect for families and groups of friends, with no previous experience necessary and all activities are either £10 per person or 50% off their normal price.
Families can choose from either enjoying the sites of the Giant’s Causeway in a high speed powerboat, taking the plunge wet bouldering in the Mournes or experiencing an exciting combination of archery, grass sledging and climbing on the shores of Strangford Lough.
The more adventurous and brave can choose from tackling Northern Ireland’s first tree top adventure course, going coasteering along the Ballyhornan Coastline, having a go at hovercrafting in Limavady or taking to the wheel of a rally car near Portadown.
NITB Activity Tourism Officer, Julie McLaughlin, said that whether people are looking to have fun with their friends, spend some quality time with their other half or do something different with the family, there is something for everyone on Adventureland Weekend.
“This is the third year of Northern Ireland Adventureland Weekend and it has proven to be a great success with over 1,400 people taking part last year,” said Julie.
“The weekend gives everybody the chance to try something new and fun for great value. It is the perfect kick start to a whole summer of outdoor activities and with so much to choose from across Northern Ireland adventure activities are ideal to build a weekend break around.
“Whether people are with friends, planning a family day out or simply going it alone – NI Adventureland Weekend is just about getting outdoors and trying something new. With qualified and experienced instructors showing people the ropes, no experience is necessary and all that’s required is a sense of adventure and an expectation of fun.
“It promises to be a great weekend and with so many fantastic activities at such great prices, the events will sell out fast so make sure you get your place booked!” Julie added.
To get you started, NITB and OutdoorNI.com have provided a sample of the activities on offer during Adventureland this year.
Family Canoeing at Shaw’s Bridge with Mobile Team Adventure
Go canoeing with the family in the middle of the stunning Lagan Valley Regional Park only minutes from Belfast City Centre.
Sailing and Powerboat Rides at Belfast Titanic Quarter
See the Titanic Quarter while experiencing the thrill of sailing and power boating.
North Coast Horse Trekking with Sheans Horse Farm
Take a historical trek on horseback to experience the freedom and buzz of this wonderful activity.
Sea Kayaking North Coast / East Strand, Portrush with Xplore Outdoors
Enjoy a perfect paddle sport and explore the fabulous coastlines on offer on the North Coast.
Family Stand Up Paddleboarding Experience in Portrush with Troggs Surf School
Have fun with the family whilst learning one of the fastest growing sports in the world.
Sea Safari North Coast & Rathlin Island with Aquaholics
Join Aquaholics aboard their high speed boat trip. The only way to see the North Coast and Rathlin Island!
Portrush Surfing Experience with Troggs Surf School
Learn all you need to get riding the waves from paddling to popping up and surfing safely.
Family Surfing in Portrush – Learn to surf at one of Europe’s best surfing beaches with the whole family – from kids to grandparents!
4×4 Off Road Experience at Superdrive Motorsports centre in Portadown
Drive a 4×4 as it was intended and get your adrenaline pumping.
Rally Driving at Superdrive Motorsports centre in Portadown
Take to the wheel for the drive of your life and learn to drive like a rally pro.
Segway – Skills and Speed Course at Tannaghmore Gardens, Craigavon
Test yourself around a skills course followed by an off road challenge!
Strangford Sea Safari with Clearsky Adventure Centre
Enjoy an exhilarating sightseeing boat tour of Strangford Lough.
Coasteering with Clearsky Adventure Centre
Experience the thrill and adrenaline of Coasteering! Traverse the stunning Ballyhornan coastline by scrambling over rocks, launching yourself off sea cliffs into the Irish Sea and discovering hidden caves.
Family Adventure Trio with Action Outdoors at Delamont Country Park
Enjoy three great family activities including scaling a climbing wall, archery and grass sledging.
Wet Bouldering at Bloody Bridge in Newcastle with Outdoor Concepts
Get ready for an action packed two hours of maximum fun on the water by making your way up a river, jumping into pools and climbing up waterfalls.
Sea Safari North Coast and Giant’s Causeway with Aquaholics
See the Giant’s Causeway from a different way Perspective aboard a high speed boat.
Tree Top Adventure Course or Zorbing at the Jungle NI, Magherafelt
Take a swing through Northern Ireland’s only Tree Top Adventure Course or take a tumble in the Jungle inside a giant inflatable ball!
Hov a Go Hovercraft Experience in Limavady with Foyle Hovercraft and Leisure
Experience the thrill of skimming over land and water on a cushion of air and attempting the challenge of tricky corners on a purpose built hovercraft course.
Surfing Experience for Adults and Families with Long Line Surf School at Benone Beach
Jump into a wetsuit and grab a surfboard to experience a thrill the whole family can enjoy.
Adrenaline Play Zone at Todds Leap, Ballygawley
The Adrenaline Play Zone is the event of choice for thrill seekers. Experience pulsating action on Todds Leap’s most extreme outdoor activities – Drop Zone, 500 metre zip line and finish with a white knuckle, high speed Hill Rally!
Family Taster Experience at Todds Leap, Ballygawley
Get set for an exciting, fun taster session for families, incorporating archery, a 500 metre zip line and a high speed hill rally stage.
The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (February 25 – March 3).
Living legacy, Verbal Arts Centre, City of Derry, Co. Londonderry, February 25. Part of the City of Culture 2013 celebrations, this archaeology and the early modern town conference is intended to situate the 1613 granting of the city’s town charter within its broader historical context. It will include a tour of selected post-medieval sites in the Derry/Londonderry vicinity.
The Seafarer, Lyric Theatre, Belfast, February 28 – March 23. This darkly funny play tells the tale of a recovering alcoholic who returns to his Dublin family. Written by the much-acclaimed Conor McPherson, best-known for his play The Weir, The Seafarer is a multi-nominated play making its Northern Irish premiere.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Grand Opera House, Belfast, February 26 – 27. Watch out Belfast, ballet’s very grandes dames are coming to the Grand Opera House! Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is set to wow with a fantastic programme of dance including Swan Lake Act II and Walpurgis Night, a lorry load of costume changes and lashings of diva attitude.
How I Learned To Drive, Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, March 1 – 9. A wildly funny, surprising and devastating tale of survival as seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man. The Pulitzer Award winning play from the American dramatist Paula Vogel presents us with the story of a woman who learns the rules of the road and life from behind the wheel of a car.
Creativity Month, various locations across Northern Ireland, March 1 – 31. An exciting programme of events and workshops will be taking place throughout March, aimed at stimulating new thinking and collaborations to help creative people, creative ideas and creative businesses emerge and flourish.
Clubsound & Jimmy Cricket, Market Place, Co. Armagh, March 1. The Ballymoor Grousebeaters meets Ballygobackwards. A wonderful night of cabaret nostalgia featuring two of Northern Ireland’s best loved cabaret acts. A great night of craic and fun is guaranteed.
Creative Painting and Drawing, Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, March 1. Working at your own pace, you will gain confidence through a number of interesting and challenging exercises. There will be a demonstration at every stage as well as one-to-one support.
Draw Your Own Tales, Antrim Castle Gardens & Clotworthy House, Co. Antrim, March 2. Celebrate World Book Day in March with this great workshop with children’s book illustrator Margaret Ann Suggs. Margaret will read from some of the tales of Antrim Castle Gardens and lead you in drawing and creating your own character in your very own Gardens based story.
Car Boot Sale, Mount Stewart House, Garden and Temple of the Winds, Newtownards, Co. Down, March 2. Got some things that are taking up too much room in your house or are you looking for a bargain? Come along to this car boot sale which will take place the first Saturday of each month between March and September.
The Coast of Down, Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick, Co. Down, until March 23. An exhibition of photographs from around the coast of county Down and Strangford Lough highlighting the local area’s breathtaking scenery and hidden gems.
LEADING ferry company Stena Line has launched a new series of non-landing Pirates and Princesses Kids Cruises offering families the chance to enjoy a day of fun from only £10 per person*.
This unique cruise sets sail from Belfast at 11:30 on Saturday 9th March and will also run on a number of Saturdays including 23rd March, 6th and 20th April, 4th and 18th May and 1st and 15th June. During the summer holidays the cruise will run on Tuesdays 2nd, 16th and 30th July and 13th and 27th August.
Young pirates and princesses can enjoy a day of swash-buckling fun from the minute they step onboard with a magic show, treasure hunt, face painting, balloon modelling and many more surprises before arriving back at Belfast Port at 17:45.
The cruises are ideal for birthday parties and the ferry giant even has your party invites wrapped up as these can be downloaded online and personalised. There are even goody bags as the birthday guests depart.
For further information or to book go to www.stenaline.co.uk/kidsfun, call 08447 70 70 70 or visit your local travel agent.
*The Pirates & Princesses cruise is £10 per adult/child and £5 per infant (0 – 3 years). All cruises are subject to availability. Terms and Conditions apply.
Hamilton Road Community Centre Bangor are hosting a furniture upcycling workshop this Friday from 10.00am to 4.00pm. Pick a piece of furniture and transform it into something truly unique for your home. You will be taught how to get that “chalk paint look” without the hefty price of chalk paint – any matt emulsion paint can be used – you just need to add a little magic first! A few other craft techniques such as crackling and decoupage will also be demonstrated. Furniture and all materials provided along with afternoon tea!! For all our County Down events click HERE.
The Pupils of Much Ado Stage School are delighted to return to The Alley Theatre on Friday 22nd February for their fourth annual Showcase. This year the pupils present ‘Strictly Musicals’- an exciting collaboration of the West End’s newest and most loved musicals. Expect to hear extracts from Mamma Mia, Shrek, Toy Story and The Beatles Classic Love’ This production is a great family outing and guarantees to include songs the whole family will enjoy. For all our County Tyrone listings click HERE.
The William Scott Centenery Exhibition is now open at Enniskillen Castle. This exhibition celebrates 100 years since the birth of Fermanagh’s most famous artist, William Scott, on 15 February 1913. William Scott spent his formative years in Enniskillen. Here he received his first art lessons and the encouragement to become an internationally renowned artist. The exhibition highlights Fermanagh County Museum’s important collection of William Scott’s art. The masterpieces are displayed alongside creative responses to Scott’s work by young students from local primary and secondary schools. The exhibition is a feast of creativity and inspiration. For all our County Fermangh listings click HERE.
Come and sample the wide cultural practice of Limavady Borough at the Roe Valley Arts Showcase this Saturday! This event is being organised to showcase the wealth of local artistic talent. The evening will feature sketches from Limavady Drama Club and “The Gossip Stop”, an original piece written and performed by Benedy Community Association; as well as a short performance from All Stars Drama Academy, local art and photography displays, readings, verse, dance, song, arts, crafts and more! Don’t miss out on a great night’s entertainment and prepare to be inspired! For all our County Derry/Londonderry listings click HERE.
Armagh Planetarium has a range of shows suitable for all the family. Tickets must be collected thirty minutes before the show commences and tickets for all shows must be pre-booked. Due to the darkness and sound levels some shows are only suitable for children of six years and above. Shows currently running: Dynamic Earth, Sun Moon & Stars, Astronaut, Secret of the Cardboard Rocket, Experience the Aurora and Little Yellow Star. For all our County Armagh listings click HERE.
On Friday 22nd February, Johnny Brady will head line a country concert & dance in The Elk, Toomebridge in support of Cancer Focus Northern Ireland. Tickets are available from the Elk and on the night at the door. Johnny Brady, hailing from Co. Antrim, is the man tipped to take the Irish Country music scene by storm. This was very evident when Johnny received his 1st award (most promising Country Act of 2012) at The Hot Country Awards just weeks after taking to the road. Johnny is no stranger to the Country scene having close family connections in the music industry spanning over four decades. Come along for a great night out in aid of a very worthy charity. For all County Antrim listings click HERE.
The BSPA Centre of Excellence in association with the GOH runs every Sunday of the school term from 10.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m for kids aged 6 – 18 years old. This prestigious new school is workshop based training and focuses on all three disciplines of dancing, acting & singing. Each week will be completely different and pupils will get the chance to explore all aspects of musical theatre, shows and musicals whilst obtaining experience and knowledge from our BSPA teachers who are professionals and artists within the industry. The school is set within the outstanding Grand Opera House, Belfast, the hub of art and culture in Northern Ireland and the pupils will make full use of what the Opera House has to offer. For all our Belfast listings click HERE.
The hottest, rising young star of the Irish Country Music scene, Nathan Carter is set to headline Dalriada Live, Sunday 14th July, at this year’s P&O Ferries Dalriada Festival of Sport, Music & Fine Foods in the grounds of the historic Glenarm Castle.
At only 22 years old, Nathan Carter has already recorded four CDs and has a hugely successful DVD. Fans can expect to hear many of his hit songs, including; Wagon Wheel, One for the Road and Caledonia at the festival. Nathan has brought country music to a whole new generation of fans and with his shows regularly selling out across Ireland organisers are advising to book early to avoid disappointment.
P&O Ferries Dalriada Festival, supported by UTV and NITB, which runs Saturday 13th – Saturday 20th July is set in the glorious surroundings of the majestic Glenarm Estate. The festival will include sporting events such as the Campbell V MacDonnell Highland Games (13th – 14th July) as well as featuring fine foods, celebrity chef demonstrations, live music and dancing, children’s entertainment and much more.
Adrian Morrow, Glenarm Castle Estates Managing Director, commented; “What a privilege it is to announce that Dalriada Live as part of the P&O Ferries Dalriada Festival will headline with the rising, young star of country music Nathan Carter. With his star set to reach global status we would advise fans to get along to the event and see him in this intimate capacity! The festival kicks off on Saturday 13th and runs until 20th July and will be jammed packed with events from sport to food.
“We are also delighted to announce that P&O Ferries is back on board as headline sponsor and supported by UTV and NITB. Their support plays a huge part in making this event happen and we thank them for their continued support.”
Arthur Murphy from P&O Ferries, title sponsor of the event, said; ”We, at P&O Ferries, are delighted to be title sponsor of the Dalriada Festival once again. This week-long celebration promises an incredible line up of music acts, fine foods, arts and crafts plus lots of fun activities for all the family to enjoy. Each year the Dalriada Festival puts on an even bigger and better show which is becoming a key highlight in the Northern Ireland events calendar for local people and visitors alike.
“We operate the shortest, fastest and most frequent crossings between Northern Ireland and Scotland very much look forward to welcoming on board the great numbers of visitors to Northern Ireland this summer.”
Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV added;
“UTV is delighted to join forces once again with the P&O Ferries Dalriada Festival in Glenarm which promises to deliver a fabulous weekend for all the family this July. We look forward to capturing the essence of the activities taking place on the North Coast of Antrim on UTV for all our viewers, with regular updates online on u.tv and interviews on U105.”
Eddie Rowan, Events Manager with The Northern Ireland Tourist Board, said;
“We are delighted to once again support the P&O Ferries Dalriada Festival. With such large numbers of spectators expected to attend across the week, this fantastic festival will not only generate a significant impact to the economy but also showcase a wealth of entertainment for all to enjoy. On behalf of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board I would like to wish all visitors and participants a very memorable trip to Northern Ireland and to Glenarm Castle for this action packed week of events.”
Tickets for Dalriada Live are on sale from 9am on Thursday 7th February at www.ticketmaster.co.uk.Further information on the festival can be found at www.dalriadafestival.co.uk. Tickets for festival events, including the Highland Games, can be purchased at the gate.
The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (February 18 – 24).
Academy of Irish Dance, Sundays at Millennium Forum & Saturdays at Waterside Theatre, Co. Londonderry, various dates betweenFebruary 16 – November 23. Pat Henderson, renowned Irish dancing teacher, adjudicator and former world dancing champion, has offered her services to teach ceili dancing to children from both sides of the community during City of Culture year.
Out of this World – Island’s half-term Festival, Island Arts Centre, Lisburn, Co. Antrim, February 18 – 20. In conjunction with Cinemagic, this festival is a real treat for fans of all things Outer Space. Enjoy three days of jammed packed activity, workshops and themed films. Dress for mess, for children between four and 11 years old.
Comedy of Errors, Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, February 19 – March 2. Shakespeare’s classic comedy of mistaken identities between two sets of identical twins separated at birth. This witty new musical translation set in 1920s Belfast explores the love, loss and reunion between brothers in a series of chance encounters and is recounted with sparkling melodies and sharp modern day language.
The Story of Thomas Mellon, Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, February 20. Hear the story of Thomas Mellon and try your hand at traditional baking in Mellon Homestead and candle-making in the Pennsylvania Log Farmhouse.
Isla Grant, Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, February 21. Scotland’s most popular singer-songwriter Isla Grant makes a welcome return visit to Ireland after an absence of two years. Isla is now established in Ireland, Australia, the UK and her highly entertaining show features all her wonderful hit songs.
Silver Jewellery Workshop, Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick, Co. Down, February 23. Create a unique piece of jewellery in sterling silver. Each participant will be taught traditional jewellery making techniques such as piercing, soldering, rolling, annealing and filing, enabling them to design and make a beautiful piece of jewellery to take home.
Lislea Drama Festival, Lislea Community Centre, Newry, Co. Down, February 23 – 27. Lislea Drama Association presents their 32nd Drama Festival which runs over three weekends and two Wednesday nights, attracting groups from all over Ireland.
Abseil Challenge, Europa Hotel, Belfast, February 24. The Northern Ireland Hospice is looking for individuals with a spring in their step to join them for an exciting abseil. Do you have what it takes to descend 130ft down Belfast’s Europa Hotel?
Hugh and Lily’s Pop Up Vintage Shop, Wicker Man, Belfast, until February 28. Step back in time into Hugh and Lily’s Pop Up Vintage shop which will offer food and gifts from a bygone era with lots of old world charm including crockery, furniture and tableware.
Rhythms of the Year, Armagh County Museum, Co. Armagh, until September 28. Rhythms of the Year explores seasonal celebrations and customs at home and throughout the world. Planned with the help of a youth panel, this exhibition takes a fresh look at traditions alongside the increasing cultural diversity of the community in Northern Ireland.
It’s now into its fifteenth season, but Belfast’s very own West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK is one event that is not going out of style as it remains to be the hottest show in town when it comes to all things glamorous and fashionable.
Despite the cold spell, the atmosphere at this season’s launch was full of the joys of spring and summer as crowds gathered to hear all about this season’s line-up for spring/summer 13.
This season’s event will take place from 21-24 March across various venues in Belfast with the key catwalk shows moving to the exciting new home at the iconic Ulster Museum in Botanic Gardens. The contemporary and minimalist atrium at the historic building will be transformed into a fashion haven as hundreds of fashion fans gather in March to celebrate all things style.
Cathy Martin, director of FASHIONWEEK said: “After fifteen seasons and nine years, FASHIONWEEK has become a much celebrated and anticipated event among people of Northern Ireland. It provides local retailers and designers the opportunity to showcase their designs and talents and very much supports and encourages local businesses. Once again, we will be showcasing all the key collections from the high street as well as the finest established and up-and-coming local designers from all over Northern Ireland to create an exciting first glance at all the latest trends.
She added: “Key looks this season include pretty pastels, striking stripes, flirty florals and eye catching graphic prints. In terms of colours it’s all about the bright neons, monochrome and also white and neutrals are big for spring/summer too. Shows always sell out so we’d encourage anyone who wants to come along to any of the events to snap up their tickets!”
Karen Anderson from West Coast Cooler added: “We’re always excited when FASHIONWEEK comes round again and this season is no different. Although it is now entering its ninth year, each event brings something new and exciting to those who attend. Keen fashionistas are always eager to snap up the limited edition front row seats and sit back with a West Coast Cooler to enjoy the shows. There’s something for everyone, no matter what their budget or fashion favourites are.”
The High Street fashion show is always popular and will take place on Saturday 23 March at 8pm. Retailers from the high street taking part include, Marks & Spencer, Oasis, Warehouse, French Connection, Jigsaw, Benetton and Internacionale as well as Dorothy Perkins, Debenhams, Miss Selfridge, Quiz, Blue Inc, Gap, Republic, Wallis, Laura Ashley, New Look, Burton and Exhibit from CastleCourt. Once again the OUTLET Banbridge are returning for a third season to showcase their various collections.
Siobhan McKeown, Marketing Manager from The OUTLET said they’re thrilled to be back again for another season: “The OUTLET is delighted to be a part of Belfast Fashion Week for a third year running. This amazing event showcases the best in retail in Northern Ireland. Our brands, Oasis, LK Bennett, M&S Outlet, DKNY Jeans and many more, relish the opportunity to feature the latest high street trends.”
George at ASDA will showcase a major spring 2013 collection on Thursday 21 March as one of the opening events that week and Maggie Jardine, regional manager of George at ASDA NI said they’re thrilled to be taking part in the biggest fashion event of the year: “FASHIONWEEK is a fantastic opportunity to show off our upcoming trends to customers both old and new. We’re dedicated to keeping on top of the latest looks to ensure customers remain stylish without breaking the bank. We’re very pleased to be showing off some of our lovely spring/summer pieces on the great platform that FASHIONWEEK offers – an audience of stylish and glamorous ladies who I think will be very impressed with our latest collection.”
Boutiques from right across Northern Ireland will also be highlighted in the designer/boutique night on Friday 22 March. Boutiques including Diamond Dolls in Banbridge and Jourdan and Blush from the Lisburn Road will sit alongside key pieces from local designers Una Rodden, RUEDI, Grainne Maher, Leonora and Nor Lisa among others.
New on the agenda this season is an exciting and purse friendly ‘fashion swap’ which will take place on Saturday 23 March at IKEA, Holywood Exchange. Everyone is invited to come along and swap ‘til you drop and exchange like for like garments through a traffic light system ensuring a fair trade. There will be no exchange of cash simply an exchange of very fashionable clothes!
In keeping with the season’s floral theme, Ferguson’s Flowers, who provided the beautiful floral backdrop featured on the advertising campaign, will also be providing stunning bouquets and floral arrangements to ensure the perfect backdrop to showcase all the spring/summer fashion at the shows.
Lisa Ferguson, from Ferguson’s Flowers said they’re delighted to be on board for the first time: “This is our very first Belfast FASHIONWEEK and we’re so excited to be taking part. Spring/summer is the perfect season for us as it gives us the chance to show off all our beautiful flowers in the most stunning arrangements whilst reinforcing the key trends of the season – pastels and florals.”
Andrew Mulvenna, who is returning for a second season to make sure the models are sporting the latest hair trends, says he loves being part of the event: “Obviously I love doing hair and FASHIONWEEK provides a great opportunity to experiment and showcase a variety of styles for all hair types so it’s a dream to be involved with. There’s such buzz throughout the whole week and it’s amazing to be part of something which just seems to go from strength to strength with every season. In terms of hairstyles for this season I’m looking forward to showing off some gorgeous looks and will be experimenting with texture and volume to create a mixture of commercial and high fashion runway hair. Deep side partings, low ponytails, 60s beehives and controlled waves are all big looks for hair this spring/summer, giving an urban but easily managed edge to your look.”
Tickets for the main catwalk shows (priced £20) are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre Box Office on 02890246609 or online via the links on www.belfastfashionweek.com For the latest information on West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK log onto www.facebook.com/belfastfw & look out for updates.