Celtic Mindfulness returns, tickets on sale now!

The amazing Celtic Mindfulness event is making a return to the Navan Centre & Fort, Armagh on the 25th & 26th February.

This is a unique healing experience of the land and energy. The perfect way to create inner calmness, helping steer you through the year ahead.

Music, Myth and Mediation will be used to awaken your Celtic soul. Creating focus positivity and stillness for the mind.  Workshops during the event will be facilitated by the excellent Sandra Nelson and Kate Fitzpatrick. The event will also include light lunch and refreshments.

Admission is £40.00 for a Saturday Pass, £20.00 of for a Sunday pass, or buy a ticket for both days for just £50.00.  Booking is essential on www.armagh.co.uk/celticmindfulness

For information please contact: Navan Centre, 81 Killylea Road, Armagh.  BT60 4LD.  Tel 028 3752 9644 or www.navan.com


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.

  • Lakeside Luxury, Lough Erne Resort, Co. Fermanagh, from £110pps. Nestled on a 600-acre peninsula, between Castle Hume Lough & Lower Lough Erne, the five-star Lough Erne Resort features 120 luxury rooms & ensuites, the Faldo Course, the Castle Hume Course & Golf Academy. Enjoy an evening of divine dining in the 3AA rosette Catalina Restaurant, luxury overnight stay and breakfast the following morning. Pre booking essential. Valid until February 28. To book call 028 (66) 323230
  • Winter Wonderland, Ballygally Castle Hotel, Co. Antrim, from £50pps. Ideally located on the scenic Antrim coast, only 26 miles from Belfast and close to Larne, four-star Ballygally Castle faces the soft, sandy beaches of Ballygally Bay. Offer includes overnight accommodation in a luxury room, a seasonal cocktail on arrival, full Irish breakfast the following morning and complimentary WIFI and car parking during your stay.  Pre booking essential. Valid until February 28. To book call 028 (28) 581066
  • Winter Warmer, Ramada Encore, Belfast, from £89 per room. Located in the heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, this stylish three-star hotel overlooks St. Anne’s Square with some of the city’s most popular bars and restaurants on its doorstep including the Duke of York and Dirty Onion. Package includes overnight accommodation for two people, a VIP hamper, £20 food or drink voucher for the SQ Bar & Grill and a full cooked Irish breakfast the following morning. Pre booking essential. Valid until March 31.  To book call 028 (90) 261800

For further information log on to www.discovernorthernireland.com/offers.

*All offers are subject to availability.

10 Things to do Next Week Across NI

Tourism NI has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland next week (January 23 – 29).

  • The Commitments, Belfast Opera House, Belfast, until January 28. The Commitments is a fantastically feel good celebration of soul, set to take Belfast by storm! It tells the story of Jimmy Rabbitte, a young working class music fan, who shapes an unlikely bunch of amateur musicians and friends into an amazing live act, the finest soul band Dublin has ever produced.  Book your tickets now and join the band!
  • Toy Stories, North Down Museum, Co. Down, until January 29. Bringing together beloved teddy bears, cabbage patch dolls, Star Wars figures, board games and much more, North Down Museum has launched ‘Toy Stories‘ an exhibition that explores the fun-filled world of toys. This fun free exhibition, showcases and looks back at toys enjoyed by all from across the decades. So why not pop down to North Down Museum to see what is on display and reminisce about your childhood.
  • Gin and Gourmet Dining, Westville Hotel, Co. Fermanagh, January 27. Reinvigorate your senses’ and enjoy a gourmet tasting evening at the Westville Hotel where local food from the area will showcased.  Evening includes drinks reception, canapés and six-course meal.  Pre booking essential.  Cost £39.95 per person. To book call (66) 32 0333.
  • Titanic: Window on Emigration, Ulster American Folk Park, Co. Tyrone, until January 31. Set in the context of European emigration, Titanic: Window on Emigration explores the stories of the Irish passengers who travelled on Titanic. The exhibition uncovers the stories of steerage passengers, why they left for America and what happened to many of the 40 Irish survivors.
  • The Stars of Country, Market Place Theatre, Co. Armagh, January 25. Following a packed house last January, ‘The Stars of Country Show’ makes a welcome return with six household names in Country music all on one super show. The show features Gary Gamble, Stephen Smyth, Matt Leavy, Crawford Bell, Tony Kerr and Cowboy Larry who each showcase their hits with the fantastic ‘Keltic Storm’ band.
  • Traditional Burns Night, Galgorm Resort & Spa, Co. Antrim, January 25. Join in the fun and experience a traditional Burns Night at the Galgorm Resort & Spa. Guests will enjoy a five-course meal with whiskey and wine pairings and be entertained by live Scottish Bagpipes. Joanne Brown, ambassador for the Bruich Laddich brand will also be speaking on the night. Pre booking essential.  To book call (25) 881001.
  • Big Garden Birdwatch, Ulster Museum, Belfast, January 28 – 29. Would you like to be part of the world’s biggest wildlife survey in Belfast? Join the RSPB at the Ulster Museum, collect your binoculars and start counting how many feathered friends you see. Taking part is completely free and fun for all the family!
  • Hamlet, Millennium Forum, Derry~Londonderry, January 26 – 27. Are you ready for some Shakespeare for the Game of Thrones generation? Blending traditional and physical theatre with a musical score, this muscular production of Hamlet brings vividly to life some of literature’s most vibrant language and characters in a way you’ve never seen before: bold, muscular, and action-packed.
  • Clay Trolls, Market Place Theatre, Co. Armagh, January 28. Trolls are back and everyone is loving them! Learn to create your very own family of colourful miniature trolls using air drying clay complete with crazy felt wool hair. Tutor Louise Campbell will teach you the techniques to sculpt your trolls using hand building techniques and a range of shaping tools. All materials will be supplied. Please wear an old t-shirt as this class can get messy!
  • The Arenacross Tour, SSE Arena, Belfast, January 27 – 28. Arenacross Tour is back and once again the high-octane action will be returning to Belfast! AX throws together an intoxicating mix of world-class indoor Motocross Racing, high-flying Freestyle Motocross and a show to rival any music festival including lights, lasers, pyro and a pumping soundtrack.

Jacqueline from whatsonni.com shares her pick of What’s On this weekend across NI


Toy Stories, North Down Museum Bangor, is a fun exhibition looking back at toys enjoyed by all from across the decades. Come and reminisce!  Pop down to see what is on display and reminisce about your childhood.  Or, if you have anything to contribute, the Museum would be keen to add to the display! Open until the 29th January.


This Saturday at the Market Place Theatre, join artist Patrick Mohan and model Clare Broome for an exciting introduction to portraiture. This workshop will look at aspects such as composition, measurement of the face, tonal range and getting a likeness. Artists & students alike will benefit from this fun and informative session.  Max No: 10 | Suitable for 16+ & GCSE/A’Level Art and Design.


Lakeland Players have returned to The Ardhowen for their 30th production with the biggest and the best pantomime of them all, ‘Cinderella’! Poor Cinderella longs to go to the ball and meet her Prince Charming but the ugly sisters have made sure that things won’t go according to plan. Time for her fairy Godmother to step in and with the help of a pumpkin and some white mice her adventure begins. Will they all live happily ever after? Time will tell. Runs until 21st January.


John Linehan ‘You Must Be Joking’s’ compere and May McFettridge’s driver is joined by a line-up of Northern Irish stand-up comedians in a night of pure comedy heaven this Friday at the Strule Arts Centre, Omagh. Pack up all your cares and woes with a glorious helping of classic comedy medicine! Musical accompaniment and general silliness provided by Ivan Black.


Brides and Grooms-to-be and their bridal parties are invited to attend one of the largest, most reputable local wedding events. Now in its twelfth year, the Derry Journal Wedding Fair has everything you need under one roof  at the Millennium Forum this Sunday  22nd January to make your special day unforgettable.  Highlighting the latest trends from a wide range of wedding industry experts in bridal fashion, venues, accessories, cakes, room décor, menswear, transport, photography and much more, the Derry Journal Wedding Fair is a must-visit event for every discerning bride and groom.


For the first time ever The classic nursery Rhyme Humpty Dumpty is brought to the stage at Ballymoney Town Hall in a wonderful live interactive all singing and dancing production this Sunday 22nd January.   Humpty is going on a big adventure to climb the highest wall in the Kingdom, but Humpty needs your help!  Sing along, solve puzzles, and meet lots of famous children’s charters along the way including, The Three Little Pigs, Little Bo Peep and all the animals on Old MacDonald’s Farm and many more! With amazing costumes, dazzling stage sets and a host of colourful characters to bring you on the journey of a lifetime.


The Holiday World Show takes place in the Titanic Exhibition Centre from Friday 20 January – Sunday 22 January, bringing a world of destinations – at home and abroad – together under one roof, making Holiday World the place to find out where to go and how to pay less for your holiday.  It offers holiday inspiration and advice from around the globe, across a vast range of holiday types. The Caravan & Motorhome Show is a special feature of the Show which also incorporates a 50+Village. Other key features of the exhibition include a Cruise Pavilion and a Honeymoon & Wedding Destinations Pavilion. The great value family day out is packed with exclusive show-only deals, competitions and family entertainment too. Holiday World runs from 1pm to 6pm on Friday and from 11am to 5.30pm on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is £5 for adults, £4 for senior citizens, £3 for students, and £10 for a special family ticket (2 adults and up to 4 children).

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

The Belle of Mid-Ulster aims to champion the diversity of local Mid-Ulster women in addition to showcasing Mid-Ulster as a great place to live, work and visit.

The event is open to all females 18+ years, contestants must reside or have ancestry links to the Mid-Ulster.  This exciting event aims to celebrate all women of all backgrounds, shapes, size with no upper age limited.

And what the Lucky Lady Wins:

Prizes to date:

  • A sensational crown sponsored by Soirée Society NI
  • Front page photo-shoot courtesy of media sponsor Local Women Magazine
  • £500 prize money courtesy of DM Specialist Roofing
  • A bespoke crystal piece made specially by Dunri glassware
  • Jewellery from award winning Jewellers D&K Jewellers
  • Photography portrait from multi–award winning photographer John O’Neill Sperrin Photography
  • Overnight stay at The Lodge Hotel Coleraine
  • A caricature from Querky Caricatures
  • Flowers from award winning florist Therese Flowers
  • Vouchers from The Fashion Boutique and Black Shoes
  • Pampering session from Urban Hair
  • Beauty session from Lorraine at the Glenavon
  • Prize from Copperlocks and NIckz and Cutz.

The final is at the Royal Hotel Cookstown 23rd March 2017

Heat Dates

  • Walsh’s Hotel Maghera Friday  27th Jan 2017
  • TAAJ Restaurant Magherafelt Friday 27th Jan 2017
  • Roadside Tavern Stewartstown Friday 3rd Feb 2017
  • Forbes Bar Ardboe Sat 4th Feb 2017
  • Hanover House Coagh Sat 11th Feb 2017
  • Hagans Bar Dungannon Friday 17th Feb 2017
  • Sit N Sip Drummullan Sat 18th Feb 2017
  • Tomneys Bar Moy 24th Feb 2017
  • Four Corners Coalisland 25th Feb 2017
  • Bridge  Ballinderry Sat 4th March 2017
  • Brysons Bar Magherafelt Friday 10th March
  • Davison’s Bar Sat 11th March 2017
  • Royal Hotel & Loughview Brides Double heat Sat  11th March 2017
  • Moes Bar Cookstown Sat 18th March 2017
  • The Fashion Boutique Cookstown Facebook Search

There will be also entries from:

  • Copperlocks
  • Home Trend Furnishings
  • Hollywood Fitness
  • Wizard of the Dogs
  • M. Lonal laser Clinic.

To apply or nominate visit www.belleofmidulster.co.uk to download an application form.

Background to The Friends of the Belle of Mid-Ulster Association.

The Friends of the Belle of Mid-Ulster Association is a cross community group that was formed in 2016.

The Friends of the Belle of Mid-Ulster Association was established to promote the benefits of the Belle of Mid-Ulster event to the wider Mid-Ulster Community.

The objective of the association is to develop further participation of the Belle of Mid-Ulster event to all inhabitants within the Mid-Ulster community.

Membership of the association is voluntary and there are currently no employees.

The Belle of Mid-Ulster Event

Mission Statement

‘Devoted to showcasing the Mid-Ulster area as a great place to Live, Work and Visit’

Aims are:

  • To support Mid-Ulster women, to inspire them to flourish personally, economically, and professionally.
  • To showcase the Diversity of Mid-Ulster Women

To Champion:

  • Community spirit, building bridges throughout the Mid-Ulster area
  • Business Networking
  • Mid-Ulster is a great place work , live
  • To outside businesses – Mid-Ulster is great location to establish
  • Tourism & Shoppers
  • Feel good feeling about the area we live in – Let’s get positive!


Supporting local is at the heart of everything we do.

Our first year charitable donation is to Air Ambulance Northern Ireland Charity. Visit their website for more information here.

Living in the rural Mid-Ulster we all can appreciate the benefits of an Air Ambulance Service to support the paramedics on the ground.

“My Husband Ryan was injured at the North West 200 race last May held in Portrush.

After Ryan was stabilised he was transferred by Police helicopter to intensive care in Belfast.

The journey from Portrush to Belfast took only 9 minutes and there is no doubt in my mind that the speed of the transfer greatly increased Ryan’s chances of survival.

Having lived through this experience and understanding the challenges of living in the rural community, for those of us who seek urgent medical treatment, I can see the enormous advantages of having an Air Ambulance Service supporting our hard working medical teams on the ground.

My appeal to support Air Ambulance Northern Ireland has nothing to with motorbike racing.

I have experienced the advantages first hand and my Husband is the living proof that it will save more lives.

This service should to be available for everyone in Northern Ireland because I believe everyone should have the same chance as Ryan.”

Karen Farquhar (Check out Karen’s Blog here)

I’ll Tell My Ma is heading to The MAC stage!

I’ll Tell My Ma is a hilarious one-woman show by Patricia Gormley charting the adventures and mis-adventures in the life of four generations of one West Belfast family.

Come meet 16 year old Davina Corrina a highly intelligent school girl with a penchant for Russian vodka and the high life, her Mother Chelsea Marie a 30 something with a tangled love life who is looking to join the “mile high” club as an air stewardess with CryinAir.

The lovable 60 year old Patricia who’s life has been turned upside down with tragedy but sees the way out by turning her life into a book and finally Granny Eileen the fiery 80 year old matriarch of the family who is coping with facebook, tweeting and her free bus pass.

Come and meet Belfast’s funniest, maddest and most lovable family,

Starring Christina Nelson (Handbag Positive) and directed by Alan McKee (History of the Peace, accordin to my Ma). Book your tickets today at www.themaclive.com

Evening of Reflection and exhibition to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

An Evening of Reflection and an exhibition have been organised by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

The events will provide an opportunity to remember the millions of people murdered under Nazi Persecution and in the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The Evening of Reflection will take place in the Bann Gallery of Council’s Cloonavin building in Coleraine from 7pm – 8.30pm on Thursday 26th January. It will include readings, music and personal reflections from some local people who recently visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau sites in Poland as part of training programmes supported by the Council’s Good Relations plan. These experiences will also form part of the exhibition.

It takes place in the same location and will be open to the public from Wednesday 25th January until Friday 27th January, between the hours of 9.30am and 4.30pm.

Those who attend the events will be invited to sign a Book of Remembrance.

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is a time when people of all ethnicities, religions and interests come together.

January 27th marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, and the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day this year, as promoted through the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is “How can life go on?” The theme is broad and open ended and there are few known answers to this question. Author and survivor of the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel said, “For the survivor death is not the problem. Death was an everyday occurrence. We learned to live with Death. The problem is to adjust to life, to living. You must teach us about living.”

Holocaust Memorial Day is not only about commemorating past genocides and honouring those who died, but about standing with those who survive.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Maura Hickey, said: “I want to encourage people to attend our Evening of Reflection and exhibition – everyone is welcome. The aftermath of the Holocaust and of subsequent genocides continues to raise challenging questions for us all: we need to think about what happens after genocide and of our own responsibilities in the wake of such crimes. What role do we have towards individuals, communities and nations who have survived genocide? Please do come and commemorate with us.”

Space will be limited at the evening event so it is important that you register your intention to attend.

This project has received financial support from the Executive Office.

For further information or to register please contact good.relations@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk or ring Lorraine at 028 7776 0304.



Producers Karl Sydow and Paul Elliott are delighted to announce casting for the UK and Ireland tour of the brand new production of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage. The classic story of Baby and Johnny, featuring the hit songs ‘Hungry Eyes’, ‘Hey! Baby’, ‘Do You Love Me?’ and the heart stopping ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life’, returns to the UK this summer, following two blockbuster West End runs, two hit UK tours, and various sensational international productions. The smash hit show bursts onto the Millennium Forum stage for the first time on Monday 13th Feb 2017 for a week long run.

Lewis Griffiths will star as ‘Johnny Castle’, one of the most iconic roles in popular culture. Lewis has had a prolific career in musical theatre, most recently starring as ‘Nick Massi’ on the UK tour of Jersey Boys. Other roles in UK tours include Ghost and Legally Blonde, and West End credits include Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Rent and Whistle Down the Wind.

Katie Hartland will make her professional musical theatre debut carrying the watermelons as she takes on the role of ‘Baby Houseman’, having graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2015.

Carlie Milner will star as ‘Penny Johnson’. Carlie is part of the Dirty Dancing family; starting as a member of the ensemble in 2014, she covered and subsequently took over the role of ‘Penny’ in 2015.

Joining Lewis, Katie and Carlie will be Julian Harries as ‘Jake Houseman’, Simone Craddock as ‘Marjorie Houseman’, Roger Martin ‘as Max Kellerman’, Jo Servi as ‘Tito Suarez’, Lizzie Ottley as ‘Lisa Houseman’, Michael Kent as ‘Billy Kostecki’, Greg Fossard as ‘Neil Kellerman’, Tony Stansfield as ‘Mr Schumacher’, and Daniela Dobega as ‘Elizabeth’. Also joining the company are Gabby Antrobus, Imogen Brooke, Simon Campbell, Robert Colvin, Katie Eccles, Beth Highsted, Megan Louch, Ashley Rumble, Callum Sterling, Austin Wilks and Karl James Wilson.

Full of passion and romance, heart-pounding music and sensationally sexy dancing, the record-breaking show has been reconceived in an all new production created by an innovative new creative team; directed by Federico Bellone, choreographed by Gillian Bruce and with design re-imagined by top Italian set designer Roberto Comotti. The production premiered in Milan in July 2015, subsequently packing out the 15,000 seat Roman Arena in Verona, and has played a season in Rome, and will shortly be embarking on a major Italian tour.

It’s the summer of 1963, and 17 year- old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is about to learn some major lessons in life as well as a thing or two about dancing. On holiday in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents, she shows little interest in the resort activities, and instead discovers her own entertainment when she stumbles across an all-night dance party at the staff quarters. Mesmerised by the raunchy dance moves and the pounding rhythms, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle the resort dance instructor. Her life is about to change forever as she is thrown in at the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady both on-stage and off, and two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives.

Dirty Dancing –The Classic Story On Stage originally opened at London’s Aldwych Theatre in 2006 with a record-breaking advance of £15 million, making it the fastest ever selling show in West End theatre history. The production became the longest running show in the history of the Aldwych Theatre and played to over 2 million people during its triumphant 5 year run.

Since its Australian debut in 2004, Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage, has become a worldwide phenomenon, with productions staged in the USA, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore and throughout Europe, consistently breaking box office records. Recent sell out tours include France, Germany and Australia. The first ever UK tour of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage, which launched in 2011, took an unprecedented £42,000,000 at theatres across the country. In 2013, Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage returned to the West End and played at the Piccadilly Theatre in London until 23 February 2014, prior to launching a second UK and Ireland tour.

Produced by Karl Sydow, Joye Entertainment and Paul Elliott, in association with Lionsgate and Magic Hour Productions, and written by Eleanor Bergstein, script writer of the phenomenally successful 1987 film, the production features the much-loved characters and original dialogue from the iconic film, with exciting extra scenes added in.

Dirty Dancing performs at the Millennium Forum from Mon 13th to Sat 18th Feb 2017.  Tickets are now available from the Box Office.  Telephone 71 264455 or visit www.millenniumforum.co.uk for bookings.

Alex Blair’s local history talks return to Ballymoney Town Hall

Local historian Mr S. Alex Blair makes a welcome return to Ballymoney Town Hall on Wednesday 25th January with his spring series of local history talks.

This first talk will explore the life of Lord Macartney of Lisanoure, Loughgiel. In his life of achievement, Lord Macartney met and talked with notables such as Catherine the Great, The Empress of Russia and the Great Khan of China.

He was one of the most illustrious British diplomats of his day and his life ensures to be a great talking point.

Mr Blair will also lead talks on different topics on Wednesday 22nd February and Wednesday 22nd March.

The talks begin at 8pm and cost £2 to attend.

For further information please call the Town Hall on 028 2766 0230 or contact Elaine Gaston, Cultural Services Development Manager on 028 2076 2225.

A lasting legacy has been gifted to Flowerfield Arts Centre in Portstewart by one of its most ardent patrons.

John Onslow Springhall passed away in 2015 aged 71 – and he left a significant proportion of his estate to the facility. This legacy of £94,500 will be used to support and develop creative learning in the arts centre.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Maura Hickey recently hosted an evening of celebration to mark the inheritance.

She said: “Flowerfield Arts Centre is delighted to accept this very generous gift. It’s both an endorsement and an absolute affirmation of the esteemed value in which the centre was held. John gave Flowerfield his enthusiastic support and this money will allow his memory to live on. We thank him for his magnanimous generosity and his vision in making his request specific to further education through the facility.”

Mr Springhall, who lived in Portstewart, was a renowned author and University lecturer in Coleraine.

He was an enthusiastic supporter of Flowerfield Arts Centre from its inception in 1980 – when it became the first arts centre to open in Northern Ireland.

He was a regular patron, and had a particular interest in jazz concerts with the music genre being one of his passions in life.

With this in mind, the evening of celebration featured music by The Ronnie Greer Jazz Trio.