Quest for the Sacred Feminine – an exciting new course at the Navan Centre

An exploration of the feminine in ancient and contemporary spirituality with Grace Clunie M.A. The Centre for Celtic Spirituality and Kate Fitzpatrick B.Tech teacher of mythological and indigenous wisdom traditions.

This course is a journey to uncover and hear the call of the Sacred Feminine. Through the Old Testament and the Gospels, the Desert Mothers and medieval Mystics, we unveil a lost tradition within Christianity. We will also explore examples of the Celtic Goddesses such as Brigid, Macha, Danu and Morrigan and their roles within the beautiful mythological wisdom traditions of Ireland.

This course will be held at the Navan Centre over a period 10 weeks, every Friday from 12 midday to 2pm beginning Friday 30th September.

To enrol contact Queens University Open Learning on 028 9097 3323 / 3539 or see as soon as possible as places are limited.

Cultures of the world converge at Mount Stewart Conversations

Excitement builds as more details emerge on how Mount Stewart Conversations will unite global acts in a weekend of inspiring debate, arts and culture.

Mount Stewart will open its doors to world renowned academics, thought leaders and performers for Mount Stewart Conversations on the 17 and 18 September – a weekend festival that will bring global diversity to the shores of Strangford Lough.

Day passes to this unique National Trust event are selling fast as word spreads about how Mount Stewart Conversations will unite the arts, culture and youth in one unforgettable weekend.

Acting as a gateway to the world, the eclectic menu of talks, performances, music and dance will see Mount Stewart once again make its mark on the international cultural scene, stirring the emotions and stimulating the curiosity of all who visit during the two days. Encouraging conversation through the use of music and dance, Mount Stewart Conversations has worked with local charity Beyond Skin to add a range of unique creative acts to the programme ensuring inter cultural arts are at the fore.

‘Beyond Skin is an organisation focused on recognising the power of the arts and youth in the community for the development of peace. We know that this pioneering new festival will encourage interactions and conversations, leaving a legacy that will benefit the wider community,’ explains Chief Executive Darren Ferguson.

‘We are delighted to bring some of our acts to the Conversations weekend, adding to the global essence of the festival and ensuring cultural expression through arts and youth.’

Encouraging global diversity

Visitors to the festival can join a Ugandan dance workshop led by Donna Namukasa, a Ugandan musician living in Belfast who facilitates the entire workshop in her own native language encouraging the audience to use body language to communicate.

Intriguing Anglo-Colombian duo Bitch ’n’ Monk consisting of Mauricio Velasierra and Heidi Heidelberg will stimulate all the senses with their unique blend of electric guitar, beatboxing soprano and traditional Andean flutes, all electrified with effects pedals for a sound unlike any other.

Learn to play the Ukulele to the story and sound of its big brother – the Charango at a Charango and Ukulele workshop facilitated by Chilean musician Victor Henriquez.

Adding a sense of mystery to the weekend the illusive Orchestra des Réfugiés et Amis will be performing diverse music compositions throughout the weekend.  Developed by Beyond Skin and supported by the Arts Council, Orchestre des Réfugiés et Amis creates a space for artists in Refugee or Asylum status to meet, collaborate, socialise and get creative with professional musicians.

In addition to these international acts, musical minds can enjoy being serenaded by Bangor born singer-song writer Iain Archer, Irish artist Molly Sterling and maverick harpist Ursula Burns.

A belly of laughs is guaranteed from acrobatic act Lords of Strutt and the Camper Van of Dreams will be encouraging visitors to step inside and share their dreams. With new acts being added daily, this is shaping up to be an unmissable event.

Of course no festival is complete without enticing food and drink offerings and Mount Stewart Conversations will deliver on that front as well, with a host of local suppliers providing a tempting variety of drinks and snacks to enhance the visitor experience.

Summarising the ethos behind the event, Jon Kerr, National Trust General Manager at Mount Stewart said:  ‘Mount Stewart is no ordinary country estate. For hundreds of years, this has been Ireland’s secret retreat for Royals, leaders of state, influencers and aristocracy.’

‘For generations this has been a powerhouse of great thinking, art, music, talks and deliberation, and this energy lives on today. In the spirit of the estate, Mount Stewart Conversations will bring an eclectic range of people, artists and performers together for a unique weekend of lively debate, stories, music and arts.’

Mount Stewart Conversations runs on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 September from 11am – 9pm.

Day passes cost £30 per day or £50 for a weekend pass. Concession tickets are also available.

Visit to book tickets and for up-to-date event information.

If you are interested in volunteering at Mount Stewart Conversations visit here


The Market Place Theatre in Armagh is playing host to William Caulfield’s Country & Comedy Show, which kicks off the Autumn | Winter season of events.

Top comedian William Caulfield guarantees a night of music and laughter with his special guest, award winning Country singer Seany Mac. William is no stranger to audiences at The Market Place, well known from not only his TV and Radio shows but also from his very successful theatre tours when laughter very soon fills the aisles.

For this very special show William is delighted to have young country sensation Seany Mac as his guest for the opening half of the show. Seany recently won ‘Best Newcomer’ at the Irish World awards in London and his hit songs such as ‘Jive Jive Jive’, along with ‘Tears In Mama’s Eyes’ from his new album ‘Love A Little’ and many more will have toes tapping and hands clapping.

The William Caulfield Country & Comedy Show will be staged on Saturday 3 September at 8pm. Tickets are priced £18 each.

Tickets for all performances can be booked through the Box Office on [028] 3752 1821, or online at And to keep up-to-date with the latest news at the Market Place Theatre, you can follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter ( where you will find all the latest information, special offers and video previews.

Smeg Pop-up Restaurant set to sparkle

Set to dazzle Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink, the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival presents it’s Gourmet Pop-up Restaurant on Thursday 1st September 2016.

Chef Andy Rea from the Mourne Seafood Bar, Karl Banks from The Hillside, Oyster Pearl Shannon Graham, and Derek Patterson from The Plough prepare for next week’s Gourmet Pop-up Restaurant taking place on Thursday 1st September 2016 as part of the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival. Sponsored by stylish kitchen appliance provider Smeg, the evening’s four-course menu will be prepared by top local chefs, with guests also being treated to a special appearance from top chef Richard Corrigan, and special European canapes from Festival sponsor Turkish Airline’s Flying Chefs. The Hillsborough International Oyster Festival also kindly acknowledges the support of Tourism Northern Ireland and Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council in the staging of this year’s event. For further information on the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival’s programme and to book tickets visit

Sponsored by stylish kitchen appliance provider Smeg, the evening’s four-course menu will be prepared by top local chefs, with guests also being treated to a special appearance from top chef Richard Corrigan.

After a successful premiere last year, the Gourmet Pop-up Restaurant will return with a fine bill of fare from local chefs, Derek Patterson of The Plough, Hillsborough, Andy Rea, from the Mourne Seafood Bar, and Karl Banks from The Hillside. Each chef will perform a live cooking demonstration of their signature dish at the fully-kitted out Smeg cooking theatre before guests are served a plate of these spoils to taste for themselves.

Festival committee member and Pop-up chef Derek Patterson said: “We’re delighted to be putting the Pop-up back on the menu for the Oyster Festival’s 2016 programme and contributing to what has already been a phenomenal year of food for Northern Ireland. Each course is an opportunity for chefs to showcase their individual flair for crafting home-grown produce into creative culinary designs. Andy Rea from Mourne Seafood Bar will be flaunting his famous seafood mastery while the Hillside’s Karl Banks is set to start the evening off with a delicious salad and sorbet creation, so guests get to enjoy a diverse dining experience.”

The Hillsborough International Oyster Festival, Tourism Northern Ireland, and Food NI are all delighted to welcome top chef, Richard Corrigan to the Pop-up Restaurant, who will be partnering up with Derek Patterson to cook-up the main course of the four-dish feast.

The event is set to be a gourmand’s dream with dishes prepared using award-winning ingredients such as Hannan Meats. Guests are invited to go on a culinary adventure with each course perfectly paired with wine from top South American wine maker Concha Y Toro. Festival sponsor, Turkish Airlines also seek to add a dash of Eastern Europe flavour to the evening with their native canapes, baklava and Turkish Delights, from the airline’s Flying Chefs.

For further information on the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival’s programme and to book tickets visit

The Hillsborough International Oyster Festival also kindly acknowledges the support of Tourism Northern Ireland and Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council in the staging of this year’s event.

BBC Good Food Show’s First Northern Ireland Appearance

At Belfast Waterfront From Friday 14 – Sunday 16 October. Doors will be open from 9am – 6pm every day.

Be Entertained

Take a seat in front of a host of Britain’s most popular chefs, whilst soaking up the exciting Supertheatre environment. Learn top tips and prized recipes straight from the mouths of experts. Paul Hollywood, James Martin, Emmett McCourt and the Hairy Bikers are just a few of the experts who will be commanding audience attention in this 1800 seater Supertheatre. An interactive interview stage also promises to draw crowds and create highly entertaining conversation, particularly amongst the more curious, budding chefs.

Be Inspired

Over 100 culinary exhibitors will be present in the exhibition space. Here, visitors have a chance to shop for local produce, enjoy taste testing, and learn tricks and tips courtesy of live demonstrations by the exhibitors themselves.

Be Treated

Opt for the VIP Package and experience the entire event as only royalty would. Receive prime seating in a Supertheatre session of your choice, access to the VIP lounge hosting talks, demos and tastings , warm drinks, snacks, VIP bathrooms and parking, recipe book, goody bag and more!

Standard ticket prices start at £18.50. Book your tickets online today.

Use the exclusive  code MVI20 at checkout to get 20% off your tickets until 5th September!


Northern Ireland boasts a unique collection of irresistible places to stay including quirky B&Bs, luxurious spa hotels and hidden gem properties for an ideal short break and Discover NI has selected the best offers of the week for you to choose from.

  • Bed and Bubbles, Tullylagan Country House Hotel, Co. Tyrone, £89 per couple. Tullylagan is one of Northern Ireland’s best kept secrets. Set within 30 acres of its own landscaped, private grounds, this family-run 19th Century Estate ensures that a personal and caring welcome is a priority. Enjoy a Sunday Night away in a three-star luxurious double bedroom with a complimentary Bottle of Bubbles on arrival to share, followed by Full Irish Breakfast in the Kitchen Restaurant the next Morning. To book call (028) 8676 5100
  • Country House Escape, Beech Hill Country House Hotel, Derry~Londonderry, £105pps. Beech Hill Country House Hotel, gloriously set in 32 acres of woodland, lakes and tranquil well-tended gardens, is famed for its warm welcomes and fine food. Revitalise your senses on a luxurious two-night break at the four-star Beech Hill.  Amble through 32 acres of woodland and landscaped gardens before enjoying a gourmet evening meal on an evening of your choice in the award-winning Ardmore restaurant and breakfast on both mornings. To book call (028) 71 349279
  • Belfast Sightseeing Package, Dukes at Queens, Belfast, £135.95 per double room The four-star Dukes at Queens hotel showcases a lavish environment at the heart of Botanic Avenue in Belfast – only a short walk from the city’s beautiful Botanic Gardens. Special package includes one night’s stay in a standard double room, freshly prepared buffet and A La Carte breakfast, a three-course evening meal and passes for Belfast City Sightseeing tour. To book call (028) 90 236666

For further information log on to

*All offers are subject to availability.


Tourism NI has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland next week (August 29 – September 4).

  • Hillsborough International Oyster Festival & British Street Awards, Co. Down, until September 4. Now in its 24th year, the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival is set to return from Tuesday 30th August to Sunday 4th September 2016 in Hillsborough village, Co. Down and at venues in the surrounding area. Highlights of this year’s festival will include musical performances, pop-up restaurants, gala balls and not forgetting the World Oyster Eating Championship.
  • The 2016 Belfast Tattoo, SSE Arena, Belfast, September 1-3. The Belfast Tattoo returns with over 600 performers. There will be a magnificent showcase of the finest international and local marching bands, musicians, and dancers in a two-hour show building up to the Grand Finale of the Massed Pipe and Drums. The 2016 show piece event will also commemorate the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme. Booking essential.
  • Bluegrass Festival, Ulster American Folk Park, Co. Tyrone, September 2 – 4. Expect plenty of strumming on the porches of log cabins, dancing in the cobbled streets and jamming sessions outside the General Store at the 25th Annual Bluegrass Music Festival. To celebrate the NI Year of Food and Drink, local celebrity chefs’ will be heating up the hearths and cooking some fantastic food in a series of food demonstrations.
  • Carnival of Colours, St Columb’s Park, Derry~Londonderry, September 3 – 4. This circus, arts and music festival will be jam-packed with top treats featuring the very best of International Street Theatre and local acts interspersed with an eclectic mix of side shows and attractions to guarantee a full quota of belly laughs and a truly magical experience for folk of all ages.
  • Air Waves 2016, Portrush, Co. Antrim, September 3 – 4. Are you ready for some high-speed aviation fun? This fantastic air show returns for another two action packed days featuring air displays, sea displays, trade village, entertainment shows, family entertainment and exhibitions. The world-class RAF Red Arrows will once again be returning for a fantastic performance each day!
  • Autumn Book Fair, The Argory, Co. Armagh, September 3 – 4. Calling all bookworms. Browse through hundreds of second hand books in our Courtyard and stock up on your winter reads. There’s sure to be something for everyone with live music and children’s activities on Sunday.
  • Images of Starlight, Linen Hall Library, Belfast, until September 30. From the sparkling curtain of the Milky Way to romantic moonscapes to the electric colour undulations of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), stargazers will love this photographic display capturing the beauty of the universe. Three special astronomy talks will take place on Tuesday 2 September.
  • Fermanagh, August 29. See a different side to the natural beauty of Crom Estate from the water as you cruise around the Lough in a 100-year-old traditional craft. Weather dependant. Booking essential 028 6773 8118. Weather dependant.
  • Castlerock Walkfest, Castlerock, Derry~Londonderry, September 3. Take part in a range of guided walks along the beautiful North Coast at Binevenagh Mountain with magnificent views of Lough Foyle or walk the beautiful Causeway cliffs to admire the Giant’s Causeway and wonderful North Antrim coastline. Booking essential.  To book call (028) 708 49303.
  • Street Food Circle, Bank Square, Belfast, September 2. Folktown market is putting a sizzle into summer with ‘Street Food Circle’ – a Friday evening street food market with a difference. Call down and take your pick from 15 artisan food traders for a culinary snack and enjoy crafts, music and picnic areas complete with synthetic grass.

Please note some of the events require pre-booking. For more details on these and other events click on, visit your local tourist information centre or log onto

Jacqueline from shares her pick of What’s On this Bank Holiday Weekend across the NI


Bring your picnic and settle down on the lawn this Sunday afternoon with your family and friends to enjoy an afternoon of jazz in the beautiful gardens at Mount Stewart. Sorry no BBQs. Normal National Trust admission charges apply.


The Portadown Phoenix Players present ‘OKLAHOMA’. Oklahoma tells the love story between Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, and features song such as ‘oh what a beautiful morning’ and ‘Surrey with a fringe on top’.  The show runs from Thursday the 25th of August until Sunday the 28th and starts at 7.30pm, with a matinee on Sunday at 2pm. The venue is Portadown Town Hall ad tickets can be purchased from Winnies Newsagent, Woodhouse Street Portadown, or at the door. Tickets £10. For further info please ring 07899629227.


Louise Morrissey and the Ryan Turner Band make a welcome return to The Ardhowen this Saturday evening for a special concert in aid of Bawnboy Heritage Group. Louise has long been one of Ireland’s favourite female vocalists, with her easy style of Country and Folk. Hear her sing her many hits and songs from her new album ‘Duets and Hits’. Support act for the evening are Éiru. A Celtic fusion of Irish Traditional and Folk with modern elements.


Treat yourself to a delightful afternoon tea this Sunday at the Argory Dungannon.  Enjoy finger sandwiches, Victoria sponge, homemade scones and other seasonal delights. Afternoon tea sittings are 2pm and 3.30pm and booking is essential.  Estate admission is included on the day and why not book a house tour on arrival?


The village of Bellaghy will come to life this Friday 26th August in and around Bellaghy Bawn to honour and celebrate the life of the great Seamus Heaney.  Seamus, who grew up in Bellaghy and whose work was influenced by the spaces, people and places of his childhood, is also buried in the village and this event will recall the poet on the third anniversary of his passing. It is also 50 years ago this year that Seamus’ first collection of poems was published by Faber & Faber and that body of work, ‘Death of a Naturalist’, will be celebrated throughout the event.


Jordanstown Loughshore Park will once again be rocking with this year’s Shoreline Festival this weekend.  The fun kicks off on Friday with amusement rides from 2pm until 9pm and continues each day of the festival with activities including bouncy castles, face painting, magic shows, foam party and a petting zoo from 1pm until 6pm.  Jane McClenaghan from Vital Nutrition will host cookery demonstrations on Saturday from 1pm until 5pm.  Saturday night features the Sounds of Adele with Suzanne Pavis.  Fiddler Adam will be making sure everyone’s toes are tapping from 4pm on Sunday and at night the rock ‘n’ roll lovers will be Livin’ on a Prayer” when Con Jovi kick off their concert at 8pm.  The fun continues on Bank Holiday Monday from 1pm until 6pm.  For the little kids and not so little kids, an opportunity to belt out your favourite songs from the movies and charts begins at 2pm. Bonkers Betty’s Bizarre Bazaar is open from 1pm.


Don’t miss Northern Ireland’s premier motoring festival, N.I Speed Weekend on Sunday 28th and Bank Holiday Monday 29th August at Eikon Exhibition Centre and Balmoral Park! There’s so much to see and do for all the family including Live Action Drifting, Live Action Drag Racing, Live Action Sprint Circuit, “Supercar Dream Rides” in association with Hillsborough Oyster Festival, “Flyin Ryan” Motorcycle Stunt Shows, Zorb Football and Kids Zones, Rally Cars, Race Cars, Super Bikes, Autotesting, Go Karting, Helicopter Rides, Show Cars, Live Music, Tradestands and much more.

For more details on these events and to add your events free go to Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at for news, competitions and what’s on near you.

Fermanagh Gets Ready For Its First Restaurant Week 16th – 25th September 2016

As part of the NI Year of Food & Drink 2016, Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism together with the Fermanagh food trade are organising the first ever Fermanagh Restaurant Week, from Friday 16th – Sunday 25th September 2016.

This event will coincide with Festival Lough Erne, Fermanagh’s food and water festival taking place in the grounds of the newly redeveloped Enniskillen Castle on 24th & 25th September.

Theresa McVeigh, Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism; Nicky Cassidy, Westville Hotel, Noel McMeel, Lough Erne Resort, Emmett Sweeney, Franco's Restaurant; Norman Coalter, Saddlers Restaurant & Tanya Cathcart, Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism.

The highlights of Restaurant Week will include three signature events taking place at Enniskillen Castle from Wednesday 21st – Friday 23rd September, where three of our well known eateries: Westville Hotel, Saddlers Restaurant & Lough Erne Resort, will turn the venue into a pop-up restaurant for the night, serving the very best of their cuisine in the grounds of this iconic visitor attraction overlooking Lough Erne.

Diners will also get the chance to eat at Florence Court and Castle Coole National Trust properties with menus by Tully Mill Restaurant, Florencecourt.  Other events include afternoon tea at Belleek Pottery or taking part in the black pudding recipe competition organised by O’Doherty’s Fine Meats during their Black Pudding Festival.  There will be seafood specials at Franco’s and a special taster menu in the Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel. There’s plenty going on to whet the appetite!

Fermanagh Restaurant Week aims to highlight the wonderful local produce on offer here, combined with our wealth of fantastic scenery, historic monuments, the iconic Lough Erne, as well as the great range of eateries in the County.  The event has been welcomed by many of our well known restaurants and producers as an opportunity to give customers a different dining experience, available only for the duration of Restaurant Week.

This is the perfect event for food enthusiasts with cookery demonstrations, courses and competitions, wine tasting, craft beer events and themed m

enus such as a “Game of Thrones” speciality menu created by Cafe Merlot, there really is something for all tastes and budgets.  Dine on the tranquil waters of Lough Erne on board one of our water buses- the MV Kestrel, Lady of the Lake or take a bespoke tour in the Erne Water Taxi and discover the Lough Erne Food Trail.

Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism would like to acknowledge the funding assistance from Fermanagh & Omagh District Council and the Lakelands & Inland Waterways Initiative (funded by Waterways Ireland and Fáilte Ireland) in support of Fermanagh Restaurant Week.

For a full programme of events, please visit the website or

Unleash Your Creativity at the Crescent Arts Centre!

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn – we’ve been waiting for you as the new term brings with it the Crescent Arts Centre’s Autumn programme!

This term we want you to Unleash Your Creativity at the Crescent and we have lots of new and exciting classes, workshops and events lined up for you!

Some new classes include: Singing Class for the wee ones, Hip-Hop fit for the grown-ups or perhaps you fancy learning the Ancient Greek language. If creative Arts in more your thing then perhaps take a peek at the class Develop A Personal Drawing Project. If you fancy learning how to play the oldest known wind instrument on the planet, then check out the Didgeridoo class!

Keith Acheson, Crescent Arts Centre Director said, “At the Crescent we try and offer a wide scope of classes for both children and adults alike in a variety of art forms. Be it Young People, Dance and Movement, Spoken Word and Written Word, Visual Arts and Music there is something for everyone at the Crescent.”

The Crescent Arts Centre, based in the heart of South Belfast, offers over 250 classes, workshops and events each week. The new term begins on the 12th September and registration for classes and workshops is now available to book.

For further information visit or call our Box Office on 028 9024 2338.