Visit Belfast becomes ‘China Ready’

The Visit Belfast Welcome Centre scores an island-wide first to secure global China Ready status.

Visit Belfast has been recognised for being ‘China Ready’, another major accomplishment in the tourism agency’s efforts to maximise on the city’s growing popularity with Chinese tourists. As Belfast and NI’s flagship visitor information centre, it is the first on the island of Ireland to secure this market status. The new China Ready accreditation, which helps identify global services that Chinese visitors can trust, recognises the measures Visit Belfast has taken to cater for the increasing Chinese visitor market, a key growth market for the UK and Ireland.

Tourist trips from China to the UK and Ireland have doubled in the past decade, with Europe being a major global destination for Chinese tourists who tend to stay longer and are also among the biggest tourist spenders. Everyone in Belfast can benefit from a thriving and prosperous economy.  The strengthening relationship with China stands in helping to achieve that aim.


Young Musicians and Actors Wanted for Paperboy Auditions

Youth Music Theatre UK are looking for young actors and musicians from Falls and Shankill Road for the 2018 production of Tony Macaulay’s Paperboy,

Youth Music Theatre UK (YMT), the leading UK music theatre for young people, that has helped shape the careers of many including Grammy award winners Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, is now searching for Northern Ireland’s next big musical theatre star!

The brand-new musical adaption for Tony Macaulay’s Paperboy will be performed in Belfast’s Lyric Theatre in July 2018. Special auditions will take place on the Falls Road at Falls Leisure Centre and Shankill Road at Spectrum Centre on the 16th February 2018.

Shankill Road is the location where the novel has taken place and is where author and peace wall builder Tony Macaulay grew up. Auditions are open to anyone aged between 11-21 years of age and no previous experience is required. Auditions for all eight productions of the YMT’s UK-wide 15th season of new musical theatre, including Paperboy, will take place at Dance Ireland Dublin on the 21st January, The Playhouse Theatre, Derry/Londonderry on the 3rd February and Lyric Theatre Belfast on the 4th February. The wide popularity of Tony Macaulay’s Paperboy has led to its success across the world; the book has been published in the UK and Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.

Tony Macaulay has said that he believes the arts can break down barriers and build peace, bringing people together, which is why they are looking for some strong singers, actors, dancers and musicians from Ireland who will have the opportunity to work along side some of the most talented and best in the industry.

Belfast-born, platinum-selling singer-songwriter Duke Special and Derry born stand up comedian Andrew Boyle, will join renowned director Steven Dexter and choreographer Jennifer Rooney to bring Paperboy to life on the stage. Youth Music Theatre UK’s Executive Producer, Jon Bromwich, said that Paperboy is a flagship show of the YMT’s 2018 summer season and that it is also their 15th anniversary season, making it a special one.



Vertigo Indoor Skydiving, the first and only indoor skydiving simulator on the island of Ireland, has officially opened its doors in the former T13 building in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. The £1.5 million state-of-the-art facility, which has created 20 new jobs, is the newest venture from Belfast-based adventure centre, We Are Vertigo, bringing the company’s total investment in Northern Ireland’s leisure industry to £5 million.

Developed using world leading Aerodium technology, the indoor skydiving centre allows adrenalin junkies to experience freefall conditions with speeds of up to 200km per hour. The innovative skydiving technology has been used by the movie industry to film stunts for award-winning blockbusters, including the final fight scene in Jackie Chan’s Chinese Zodiac, and has become an increasingly popular sport in recent years, with more and more individuals and teams taking part in bodyflight competitions around the world, including the Indoor Skydiving World Championships.

The adventure activity has also sparked the interest of first-time flyers and novices, with an increasing number of indoor skydiving facilities opening in the UK attracting adrenaline junkies to simple fun seekers. Indoor skydiving is already popular world-wide. We are vertigo have invested heavily in the location, technology, equipment and the training of the centre’s instructors to make this a world-class facility based right in the heart of Belfast.

Indoor skydiving is suitable for those aged 4 and upwards. The facilities can also be used by professionals to train for skydiving qualifications. An indoor skydiving session starts from £45.   For further information on bookings and terms and conditions for use visit, or
Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Charles Hurst raising Awareness

Charles Hurst Motorcycle Village joined forces with BBB Motorcycle Club and leading mental health charity, AWARE recently for the chance to have won a superbike. The giveaway which took place at the NI Motorcycle Festive ran on Friday 2nd of February to Sunday the 4th February.

Attendees had their chance to chance their luck at guessing the winning combination at the Charles Hurst Motorcycle Village’s ‘Break the Safe’ stand to be in with a chance of winning a superbike with £15,000. All funds raised over the weekend went to Northern Ireland’s leading mental health charity, AWARE, who provide support groups, information outreach sessions and deliver mental health programmes to communities, schools, colleges and workplaces.

David White, Head of Business for Charles Hurst Motorcycle Village said that they were delighted to partner with such a worthwhile and active charity as AWARE provide such essential services around and right across Northern Ireland through education and supporting people affected by depression. He also added that not only was it such a fantastic opportunity to win a superbike but it was also a chance to learn more about the work that AWARE does and also a chance to raise essential funds for the charity.

Lesley Wright, Community and Events Fundraising Officer for AWARE, said that they were encouraging everyone to take part and that not only was the event an amazing time for everyone, but everyone also had a chance to help out with raising money for AWARE, the only charity in Northern Ireland that works exclusively for those with depression and bipolar disorder.

Those who were keen had a go at cracking the safe were asked for a small donation for taking part in the competition, most gave a recommended donation of £3 to be in with the chance to have won the £19,500 bike. Whoever cracked the code had the opportunity to drive away on any one of the top three bikes available: a ‘Yamaha YZF-R1’, ‘BMW S 1000RR’ or ‘Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP’.

NI’s young people initiative to career success


A new initiative is now set to support to more than 4,000 young people in Belfast on getting on the road to career success over the next two years. Belfast City Council’s Career Development Programme will provide post-primary pupils with opportunities to experience the world of work, support them to making informed and important career choices and will help enable them in developing skills in innovation, creativity and enterprising.

Councillor Mairéad O’Donnell, Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee said that they are focused on creating quality employment for young people through their Belfast Agenda and that they want pupils, parents and teachers to be better informed about the growth sectors in Belfast, where employment opportunities exist and about the best career opportunities that exist, along with the best career pathways to take. She also spoke about how she feels the educational attainment is important for career success and how awareness of the world of work, real life work experience and the opportunity to engage with employers is important also.

The Career Development Program will give young people who are at risk of not attaining their five GCSE grades, additional support and mentoring. There will also be a range of workshops and an enterprise competition, which will help to develop businesses, creative skills and will also help young people find other routes such as self-employment with apprenticeships. Darren Nixon, who is the Senior Education Consultant and Partner with the eye4education programme, has stated that they are contacting various Belfast schools to offer their pupils the chance to register for the Career Development Programme that is in place. They are excited to welcome the first intake of students to help give them the level of support, motivation and encouragement that they need at this stage of development.


For more information on the Career Development Programme, go to:


CIPR Taking The Industry Global

Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) in Northern Ireland recently held their AGM at Clifton House Belfast, welcoming over 50 PR professionals to the event. CIPR’s new committee chair of Northern Ireland, Chris Pollock, Senior account manager at LK communications in Holywood, spoke at the AGM about how the professional body is committed to the goal of having the local industry hold its head high on the global stage and become a vibrant world class communications sector.

Northern Ireland already boasts the highest concentration of chartered practitioners in the UK with an ever growing membership. This included the large number of students graduating in PR, Marketing and related degrees. CIPR committee chair, Chris Pollock aims to ensure that these new recruits are welcomed, nurtured and encouraged as they find their place in the small yet thriving industry.

During the AGM outgoing chair Sinead Doyle of MCE peformed her final duties, presenting Rachel Burgoyne, Marketing and Communications Manager at the Cancer Fund for Children, and CIPR NI committee member, with the Chair’s Award, in recognition of her unwavering dedication and enthusiasm to her duties.Elected as new committee members were Haley Adams, Smarts Communicate; Lisa Rice, Navigator Blue; Clare Hiles, ASG and Conán Meehan from the Ulster University.

Tribute was paid to Sinead for her tireless efforts and to Seona McGrath of Smarts, Jane Williams of JComms and Sara McCracken of the Controlled Schools Support Council, as they step down from the committee. Chris added, “It goes without saying that I am delighted and honoured to accept the role of Committee Chair for the CIPR in Northern Ireland and I look forward to driving home the importance of a team approach with a focused calendar of engaging, informative and inspiring events. We all need to ensure that knowledge transfer and theory is brought back into the workplace and realised in the form of ideas, content, creativity and clearly defined strategy that will ultimately bolster bottom lines.”

For further information about CIPR Northern Ireland, visit Connect with CIPR NI on twitter @CIPR_NI and Facebook

Gradam Ceoil Awards – The Oscars Of Traditional Music

TG4’s Gradam Ceoil music awards, know as the Oscars of traditional music, is set to bring stars from the stage and the screen to Belfast Waterfront on the 4th February 2018. For the first time since the trad music extravaganza began, it will be held in Belfast City with the two hour concert being broadcast live on TG4 and worldwide on A total of seven awards will be given out on the night, with live performances from:

Musician of the Year: Frankie Gavin with guests Alec Finn, Colm Murphy & Máirtín O’Connor, original members of De Danna. Frankie  is legendary fiddle player and has played and recorded around the world, collaborating with everyone from Andy Irvine, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, Stéphane Grappelli, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and in 2010 became reputedly the fastest fiddle-player in the world, with an entry in the Guinness Book of Records.

Young Musician of the Year: Clare Friel with sisters, presented by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Altan. Clare is from Glasgow and has emerged as one of the most exciting young traditional musicians on the scene today. Her family background has a shared heritage between Donegal and Scotland with her songs reflecting the history of migration and the cultural traffic.


Singer of the Year: Máire Ní Chéileachair, presented by Nell Ní Chróinín and Conchubhar Ó Luasa. Maire from Cork is known as one of the sweetest voices in Irish music. She is both a singer and teacher and has been teaching sean-nós singing in her native area for many years in the Aisling Gheal scheme.

Special Contribution Award: Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin, presented by Stephen Rea. Pádragín will perform with guests, The Voice Squad. Pádraigín is a  local recipient. The acclaimed singer, researcher, poet and composer is based in South Armagh.


Lifetime Achievement Award: Patsy Hanly, presented by and featuring a guest performance with Matt Molloy, The Chieftains. Patsy is from Co. Roscommon, who has taught and performed at festivals worldwide.

Musical Collaboration: CONCERT created by Colin Dunne with Sinéad Rushe and Mel Mercier.

Special Award: The Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band. They will open the show with a special montage filmed in iconic locations around Belfast, ahead of their performance.  Widely considered at the pinnacle of their game on a global scale, The FMM have brought Irish traditional music to audiences and peers across the world, and have set standards of excellence that others aspire to.

Showcasing the very best of Irish music and song, Gradam Ceoil celebrates musicians from Ireland and across the world. The award winners who are world-class musicians, will perform on the night, alongside many well-known faces.

Tickets for TG4’s Gradam Ceoil 2018 are available from 

Visit for further information or connect with Gradam Ceoil on Facebook,, Twitter, @GradamCeoil or search the #Gradam hashtag.

Starting 2018 in Style

Here at Ulster Tatler we started 2018 in style with our striking January front cover from the wonderful Aesthetic Skin Clinic, Belfast.

Their first clinic opened in 2001 and soon after marked the start of the clinics 15 years (so far) of working with the Ulster Tatler, starting with a feature in our ‘new kids on the block’ article and progressing to our front cover. The relationship is not all that has grown over the years. At the time aesthetic medicine was a new specialty and John, a Belfast boy, was at the forefront. The ASC has gone from being one of the first clinics in Belfast to offer  anti wrinkle injections and fillers to become a group of clinics in both Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands with award winning doctors offering a vast range of cutting edge treatments and technologies.

Dr John Curran is widely recognised by the profession as a master in the field of cosmetic dermatology.  At the Aesthetics awards last year in London he was honoured with a lifetime achievement award for services to aesthetic medicine as well as being named in the top 30 doctors in the UK delivering ‘state of the art’ results in skin rejuvenation.

The Belfast Clinic has recently undergone a transformation to refurbish the interior to reflect the clean aesthetic lines of the flagship clinic in Guernsey. The Clinic offers a fab range of treatments that are definitley worth checking out. Details of all their treatments available can be found here:

See the January issue of Ulster Tatler for the Aesthetic Skin Clinic’s feature on the new power facials creating a buzz in 2018.


Swap The Winter Blues for Blue Skies This January

Forget the January blues and get yourself down to the Holiday World Show this month!

Now in it’s 26th year the show will transform Belfast’s Titanic Exhibition Centre into a lively celebration of all things travel-related from Friday January 19 – Sunday January 21, with many major companies and destinations coming to Belfast to answer Northern Ireland’s insatiable demand to travel.

Anthea Turner is headed to open the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World show which will open the doors of opportunity for hundreds of travel-related businesses, showcasing deals and destinations to an expected audience of 20,000+ potential travellers.


The event, firmly established as one of Northern Ireland’s largest and best-attended annual public exhibitions,  is a rich global marketplace for deals and destinations, featuring exhibitors from close to home and from all four corners of the world, presenting just about every style of vacation experience alongside an array of travel-themed entertainment, complimented by competitions, attractions and special show-only offers. The three-day show provides opportunities to discover what’s new, to chat with the industry professionals, gather expert information, check out destinations and compare prices … all under one roof. Whether you’re there to buy or to browse, it’s also a favourite family outing as audiences prepare to shake off the winter blues and think about blue skies ahead.

Specialist pavilions will be available,  including The Cruise Pavilion, the Honeymoon & Wedding Destinations Pavilion, and the popular Caravan & Motorhome Show, along with the return of the 50+Village. Amongst the desirable destinations set to tempt show-goers in 2018 will be family favourites such as Spain and France. Air Canada will be at the Belfast show for the first time, while America will have a major presence at the show. Florida and New York holidays have retained their popularity with local audiences but this year there will be opportunities to explore further with new representations from Alabama, Atlantic City, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Tennessee. For those with an appetite for far-flung destinations, the choice has never been broader or more exciting. There will be national tourism organisations for countries as diverse as Cyprus, Malta, Tunisia and Thailand ready to tempt travelers to new horizons.

Holiday World will be staged at Titanic Exhibition Centre, situated on Queen’s Road in Titanic Quarter, close to Titanic Belfast and just opposite the Titanic Studios where the global hit fantasy series Game of Thrones is filmed.

The Belfast Telegraph Holiday World show will be open from 1:00pm – 6:00pm on Friday 19 January and from 11:00am – 5:30pm on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 January. Tickets are £5 for adults; £4 for Senior Citizens and £3 for Students. A £10 family ticket admits two adults and up to four children.

Here at Ulster Talter we have teamed up with the Belfast Telegraph Holiday World to offer readers the chance to win one of 15 Family Passes (admits 2 adults and up to 4 children under 16) to this year’s Holiday World Show.

Check out the competition on our website:

To find out more visit


Belmont Orthodontics Opens In Downpatrick

Belmont Orthodontics recently opened their new specialist practice in Downpatrick. Grainne O’Regan and Paul Clifford started Belmont Orthodontics 15 years ago in Belfast. The practice is renowned for its work having offered orthodontics to adults and children in a friendly, modern environment. The brand new practice brings the same highly regarded services to Downpatrick where they will be joined by a skilled team including orthodontists John Mark Chapman and Mark Allen. They look forward to welcoming patients to their Downpatrick and Belfast practices.

Reaching New Heights for the Children’s Cancer Unit

For the second year in a row, holiday-makers and commuters travelling through George Best Belfast City Airport have supported World Duty Free’s festive ‘Buy a Bear’ initiative for the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity.

The plush, cuddly teddy bears have been sold at World Duty Free in the airport for the last number of weeks with visitors to the store purchasing over 600 bears, which have now been donated to children of the Royal Victoria Hospital’s Children’s Cancer Unit.

Donations of the bears far exceeded expectations, meaning all 470 children in the hospital will receive a Red Kay or a Green Lancelot bear, complete with a Christmas jumper. The generosity of passengers means there were plenty of teddies to spare, which have now been donated to other local charities to spread some Christmas cheer.

After the wonderful response received from passengers last year, the commercial manager at Belfast City Airport, Joanne Deighan along with Ciara Hamill from World Duty Free thought it would be a fantastic idea to promote the bears to the Children’s Cancer Unit again in 2017, wanting to bring festive cheer to the children.

The passengers, once again, showed their incredible kindness and have been able to not only give a little bear to all children in the Royal Victoria Hospital, but were also able to give them to more local charities. Belfast City Airport and World Duty Free are so thankful to the passengers who have taken part in this year’s charity gift.

The generosity of the public never fails to amaze, with the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity counting over 450 bears being gifted. Passengers ensured that all the children receiving treatment, at the Cancer Unit or at home, and children throughout the hospital received a special little present.

Donations to the Children’s Cancer Unit come in a variety of forms and the charity are very grateful that World Duty Free could organise this initiative for a second year. For a small donation, passengers from Belfast City Airport have helped bring a smile to children living with cancer this Christmas.

The Children’s Cancer Unit Charity supports the work of the Children’s Cancer and Haematology Unit at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and their families, in providing care for children with cancer and blood disorders. The Unit is the only place in Northern Ireland where children with cancer can be treated.

Ashfield Girls Raise £1000 for Charity

Following the success of their annual Sponsored Walk in December, pupils from Ashfield Girls High School,  Madison Tate, Alisha Stitt, Jodie Rainey and Megan Neill, were delighted to present a cheque for £1000 to Gayle Baird from the Child Brain Injury Trust.

The students had been given the opportunity to research, discuss and choose charities they wished to support this year, Student Council representatives then elected to donate the funds raised through the Sponsored Walk to Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, Child Brian Injury Trust, East Belfast Community Counselling and Cancer Research UK.

Pictured left to right: Mr P McClintock (Vice Principal), Madison Tate, Alisha Stitt, Jodie Rainey, Mrs J Donaldson (Charity Co-ordinator), Megan Neill and Gayle Baird (Child Brain Injury Trust)