AS part of Bright Young Things biggest ever summer programme, the leading drama company is giving pupils attending its first ever Actor’s Studio the chance to win a day on set with patron, Jimmy Nesbitt. The BYT Actor’s Studio takes place Monday 6 – Friday 10 August in the Crescent Arts Centre and is a unique, intensive five-day screen acting course giving the ultimate learning experience covering all attributes of acting for film and television and includes acting technique, script writing, practical rehearsal methods and the opportunity to work on their own production. All members of the BYT Actor’s Studio will have the chance to win The Jimmy Nesbitt Creativity Award which includes a one-day visit to join the renowned local actor on the set of one of his forthcoming projects next year.

Jimmy Nesbitt said: “As patron of Bright Young Things, I am delighted that this very special company is embarking on a huge summer of drama with 17 locations across Northern Ireland for 3 – 11 year olds and the very exciting new Actor’s Studio for secondary school age. Drama is such a powerful and life-changing thing for young people, not to mention, seriously fun. However, it can be misunderstood, so I have a message for those who have never tried it or think it is not for them. Drama should be for everyone. Whatever you want to be in life, who doesn’t need a bit more confidence, communication, creativity and fun in their life. Drama can give you all that and more.”

“The inaugural BYT Actor’s Studio is an incredible opportunity for those aged 12 – 18 and is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland. Which makes me very proud to announce the launch of The Jimmy Nesbitt Creativity Award. The person judged to be the most creative across the week will get the rare opportunity to spend a day on set with me in one of my forthcoming projects. The winner will experience all that goes on on a professional film set, both in front of and behind the cameras – and I am sure we will have lots of craic on the day too,” Jimmy added.

“I’m really looking forward to hearing about all the new Northern Irish talent coming through the Actor’s Studio’s first intake. I wish all Bright Young Things’ an amazing summer, and you never know, I might drop in and see you at your BYT summer camp,” Jimmy concluded.

Lisa Duffy, founder and creative director of Bright Young Things said: “We are looking forward to the very first Actor’s Studio as part of our biggest ever summer programme and we are thrilled to team up with our patron, Jimmy Nesbitt, to give young people the chance to win the priceless opportunity to join Jimmy on set. We believe this prize, along with Jimmy’s ongoing support, demonstrates his belief in the work we are doing across Northern Ireland to make drama more accessible and help children and young people develop confidence, communication and creativity that will stand by them for the rest of their lives.”

The Jimmy Nesbitt Creativity Award will be judged by the Actor’s Studio Facilitators and Lisa Duffy, Creative Director of Bright Young Things and will be announced on the last day of the camp (Friday August 10).

For further information or to book the Bright Young Things Actor’s Studio or a BYT Summer Camp, go to www.bytdrama.com/summer

New York showcase for Belfast International Arts Festival

The Belfast International Arts Festival was highlighted in New York this week, at an event hosted by Tourism Ireland, the Northern Ireland Bureau and Tourism NI. 
The event – which was an excellent opportunity to shine a spotlight on Belfast and this year’s festival – was attended by influential American arts and lifestyle journalists, as well as representatives of the travel trade in New York. Guests heard about the unique and authentic cultural experience on offer in Belfast for American visitors and about the festival programme which is set to feature world-class artistic performances.
Belfast International Arts Festival is one of the many festivals in Northern Ireland being promoted by Tourism Ireland around the world this year, particularly to our important ‘culturally curious’ audience.


Bushmills® Irish Whiskey has kicked off the #BlackBushStories collaboration series, showcasing and celebrating those who have gone against the grain to follow their passion and become champions in their chosen field. A collaboration with Belfast photographer Ronan O’Dornan will see the talented documentarian host a mobile photography masterclass at House Belfast on Thursday 21st June in association with #BlackBushStories ambassador and acclaimed bartender Paul Rocks, who will offer a tasting session on some of Bushmills’ best loved whiskeys.

Former art teacher Ronan threw himself into a career in photography following a serious car accident in 2017 which pushed him to make the most of every day and pursue his passion for capturing people, moments and experiences in images. Ronan is now one of the country’s most exciting new talents, attracting commissions from big brands that see him travel all over the country to capture Ireland’s untold stories. The ‘Black Bush and Photography’ interactive event will see Ronan teaching attendees how to take great photos on their smartphones with tips and tricks that can be applied straight away, and how to tell stories through images. Alongside a tasting session, attendees will also be treated to specially-created Bushmills® Black Bush® drinks throughout the night where whiskey enthusiasts can experience the signature rich, fruity notes and velvety smooth character of Black Bush.

Bushmills Irish Whiskey has also collaborated with Ronan to launch an all-Ireland social media competition, whereby budding photographers are encouraged to find an Irish story that moves them and upload their photographs to social media using the hashtag #BlackBushStories. The photograph could be a city, a person, a landscape, a moment or anything else that captures their imagination. A winner from each county in Ireland will be picked and will receivea bottle of Black Bush, with the overall winner also receiving a Sony Xperia XZ2 smartphone and trip to the The Old Bushmills Distillery (including an overnight stay at the Bushmills Inn.) Inspired by the supreme craftsmanship, passion and care that goes into the special premium blend of Bushmills Black Bush, #BlackBushStories celebrates the stories and talents of independent, spirited and extraordinary Irish individuals who challenge traditional thinking in their fields and live outside the box. A series of immersive collaborator events will be held across the country’s leading venues over the coming months. Each event will celebrate those who have pioneered their craft with phenomenal success and have had the determination to nurture their talent to be the best they can be.

To register for ‘Black Bush and Photography’ and for more information on the photography competition visit blackbushstories.com.



Ulster Tatler Awards 2018


We have officially launched the Ulster Tatler Awards 2018.

The awards now in their eleventh year will once again be hosted by popular television and radio personality Pamela Ballantine who has said she is “extremely excited to be hosting the Ulster Tatler Awards for another year.” She commented that “It is always a great night and such a pleasure to be involved in. I just hope that as many people as possible get voting for all the wonderful talented people in Northern Ireland who make the awards the great event they have been over the last decade,”.

We are proud to announce two brand new categories – Home of the Year and Best Dressed (on the night). The Ulster Tatler Awards 2018 will celebrate the best that Northern Ireland has to offer in hospitality, beauty and business with readers being asked to vote in various categories honouring the local people and companies that have shined throughout Northern Ireland in the last year.

The awards will take place at Belfast City Hall on Thursday September 6 with key awards including Celebrity of the Year and Sports Person of the Year as well as the desired Lifetime Achievement Award which has recognised some of the province’s best-loved personalities over the years such as Dame Mary Peters OBE, Brian Friel, Sir James Galway, Gloria Hunniford, Barry McGuigan and playwright Marie Jones who was honoured at last year’s ceremony.

Optilase Eye Clinic is on board as title sponsor for the 2018 ceremony, continuing its involvement with the event for a fifth year. Philip McGlade, CEO of Optilase said: “We are thrilled to be Title Sponsor of the Ulster Tatler Awards again, and to be part of such a brilliant night that recognises the best people and businesses of Northern Ireland.”

Members of the public can vote by visiting  https://bit.ly/2ojZEY2 where all the categories are listed, or by picking up the latest edition of Ulster Tatler magazine and filling in the voting form inside. Voters have a further incentive to cast their ballots as they will be entered in to a draw to be in for a chance of winning a VIP trip for two to the awards ceremony including an overnight stay at the Hilton Hotel Belfast.

Votes must be received by midnight on Sunday June 24.

Ulster Tatler editor Chris Sherry commented: “We are delighted to launch the voting for the Ulster Tatler Awards 2018, we’re hosting the awards a week early this year so please don’t forget to get your votes in as soon as possible.

“Once again the awards ceremony will be held in the grandeur of Belfast’s City Hall and the night will be hosted by our good friend and TV personality Pamela Ballantine.

“This year we are very excited to announce two new categories, Home of the Year and Best Dressed. Like our other categories you must send your entries for Home of the Year prior to the ceremony, whereas Best Dressed will be judged on the night by fashion expert Nuala Meenehan – so make sure to get your glad rags on!

“As always, this is going to be a special night as we recognise the great achievements and talents coming out of Northern Ireland,”

Our full list of categories can be seen here: https://bit.ly/2ojZEY2

Dan Gordon’s Hit Show Comes Home to Belfast!

Dan Gordon in Frank Carson: A Rebel Without A Pause, which comes to Belfast’s Lyric Theatre from 13 to 30 June.

Happenstance Theatre Company is delighted to announce that Dan Gordon’s one-man play about Northern Ireland’s best-loved comedian will be returning to Belfast in June for a limited run.

Belfast funnyman Frank Carson blazed a comedy trail for over fifty years.  His quick-fire gags and infectious laugh delighted audiences in variety shows, on telly and in clubs across the land – The Comedians , The Good Old Days, Seaside Special, Royal Variety, Noel’s Houseparty, Tiswas, and many more. In 1976 alone he did 41 network TV shows. He was Mayor of Balbriggan (twice), King of Blackpool, Clown Prince of Ireland and Prime Minister of Fun.

But there’s more. In this acclaimed one-man show, written and performed by Dan Gordon, we journey with Frank from his Belfast boyhood – where life was so tough ‘even the arms on the chairs had tattoos’ – through his adventures in the army, and into the world of showbiz where he entertained Royalty, delighted Pope John Paul II and never forgot where he came from.

Dan Gordon decided to write the play after being approached by Tony Carson, Frank’s son, after a performance of Dan’s acclaimed play The Boat Factory in London.  The show is the culmination of three years of research, during which he was given access to Carson family archives as well as notes and tapes left by the comedian.

The play charts Frank’s tough upbringing in the docklands of Belfast where he was raised in poverty between two world wars.  His beloved brother was killed in WWII and Frank himself later served in the Middle East.  On returning to Belfast, Frank performed in talent shows, parish teas, charity and variety shows. Through the sixties he played a pivotal role in St Columb’s Hall Sunday night variety shows in Derry / Londonderry, he then attracted affection across the UK as he toured the working men’s clubs before bursting onto our television screens and staying there for fifty years.

This is 75-minute whirlwind comedy drama celebrating the man, the myth and the mouth – it’s a cracker!


Frank Carson: A Rebel Without A Pause runs from 13-30 June at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. Tickets: £20, Matinees: £16.                                Box Office: 028 9038 1081 | www.lyrictheatre.co.uk


Mournes Provide Giant Welcome for Walking Festival

The Mourne International Walking Festival celebrates 20 years next month!

 The Mourne International Walking Festival celebrates two decades of outdoor enjoyment and discovery next month when this award-winning three-day event returns on Friday 22nd June. This Festival celebrates the Mourne Mountains area, with its sweeping slopes, granite peaks and stunning coastline views, and has captivated thousands of walkers, hikers – and strollers – with its myriad of weaving trails and popular rest spots, since 1998. This year’s special event kicks off on Friday 22nd June and runs until Sunday 24th and will feature a range of routes suitable for those who are just starting out, those keen to put their best foot forward and those more experienced to walking a tougher terrain.

Launched by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, the annual festival welcomes hundreds of individual, group and family walkers of every age and all nine routes to choose from have been carefully planned to impress at both low and higher levels. The Mourne Mountains has already been recognised as the ‘Best Walking Destination’ in Northern Ireland by WalkNI, which credits the area for its unrivalled network of paths and tracks which provides walkers with incredible opportunities to explore. The Mourne International Walking Festival has also won the WalkNI ‘Favourite Walking Event’ award for two consecutive years.

The walking festival features a variety of self-guided lowland walks including more strenuous mountain climbs ranging in distance from 10km to 40, so everyone is encouraged to gauge what would be most suitable for them. For those taking part, there is also the chance to celebrate their achievements by attending the special ‘Life and Sole Swing’ festival evening event on Saturday 24th at McCann’s in Newcastle. A tasty hot buffet meal will be provided and a ceilidh band will be on hand for those still keen to stay on their feet! Celebrating the region’s mythological past and encouraging visitors and locals alike to explore the land forged by the hands of giants, the walking festival provides the perfect entrée to the region’s upcoming summer festival series. Organised by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, this year’s ‘Giant Adventures’ will feature several popular events, including Footsteps in the Forest, Wake the Giant, the Festival of Flight, the Strangford Lough Skiffie Festival and City of Merchants.

The Mourne International Walking Festival takes place from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th June 2018. For more information, visit www.visitmournemountains.co.uk.



Galgorm Resort & Spa, Northern Ireland’s globally-recognised luxury hotel and wellness destination, is calling on young adults interested in a career in hospitality to apply for its inaugural Apprenticeship Programme.

Galgorm’s all-new ‘Go to Grow Apprenticeship Programme’ represents an annual investment of £250,000 by the company and will expose students to the hotelier’s world-leading hospitality approach, as well as guaranteed employment at the Resort or one of the company’s other restaurants, for those who successfully complete the programme. The comprehensive one-year programme offers students the chance to be part of one of three programmes; Food & Beverage Service, Professional Cookery or Spa Therapy. Apprentices will be in a position to learn as they earn, gaining both practical hands-on experience whilst achieving accreditation through the City & Guilds or CIBTAC qualification frameworks.

Delivered in conjunction with Northern Regional College and Bronwyn Conroy Beauty School and within the accredited qualifications framework, the programme will offer apprentices a weekly mix of masterclasses and workshops alongside their practical experience, to enhance their learning and development and provide invaluable insight into the hospitality industry. Commencing in September 2018, the new programme builds on the success of The Resort’s existing trainee management and operational trainee schemes. All the programmes have been developed in line with the resorts ‘grow your own’ strategy, focussed on the development of the next generation of hospitality professionals, who will in turn help future proof not only Galgorm but the hospitality industry as a whole.

Commenting on the Go to Grow Apprenticeship Programme, Richard McGowan, Galgorm Project Manager: School of Excellence and Staff Wellness, said: “Galgorm Resort & Spa enjoys a global reputation for excellence and through the Apprenticeship Programme we want to open the doors on that excellence to the next generation.

“Northern Ireland’s tourism industry is flourishing at an exponential rate with a wealth of investment being made across the sector. With that growth however comes the challenge of finding sufficient talent and resource to deliver. We are meeting that challenge head on by investing £250,000 annually in the scheme, demonstrating our commitment to nurture and inspire a wealth of young resource.

“Go to Grow will expose students to some of the world’s most exclusive brands, immerse them in practices that have gained us a global reputation for excellence and allow them to train at facilities so exclusive they are not found anywhere else in Ireland. We want to give them that insight though into the operation of one of the UK and Ireland’s busiest and most successful Resorts because they are the future of our hospitality industry.”

With more than twenty awards scooped last year, including being named Global Spa of the Year 2017 at the World Luxury Hotel Awards, Galgorm are world renowned for exemplary standards. Deadline for entries closes on 1st June 2018. To find out more or to apply, visit Galgorm.com/apprentice


Galgorm Resort & Spa, is calling on young adults interested in a career in hospitality to apply for its inaugural Go to Grow Apprenticeship Programme. Commencing in September 2018, the comprehensive one-year programme offers students the chance to be part of one of three programmes; Food & Beverage Service, Professional Cookery or Spa Therapy. Apprentices will be able to learn as they earn, gaining both practical hands-on experience whilst achieving industry standard accreditation. The programme represents an annual investment of £250,000 by the company and is focussed on the development of the next generation of hospitality professionals, who will help future proof not only Galgorm but the Northern Ireland hospitality industry as a whole. Go to Grow will expose students to some of the world’s most exclusive brands, immerse them in practices that have gained Galgorm a global reputation for excellence and allow them to train at facilities so exclusive they are not found anywhere else in Ireland. Deadline for entries closes on 1st June 2018. To find out more or to apply, visit Galgorm.com/apprentice Pictured fishing for new talent are L-R: Aaron Finlay, Assistant Executive Head Chef, Tara Moore, Spa Manager and Aaron Logan, Food & Beverage Manager.

Exclusive Holiday Destination for Summer 2018

 Jet2.com and Jet2holidays have kicked off their Summer 18 programme from Belfast International Airport.

The launch of the new route to Madeira from Belfast International and eight other brand new destinations, demonstrates the huge expansion of Jet2 here in Belfast. It marks the start of Jet2’s biggest ever summer programme from Belfast International Airport, with more flights, seats and hotels than ever before giving Northern Ireland holidaymakers even more choice. The inaugural flight to Madeira is the first of seven new destinations launching in the next week. Earlier this week lucky Northern Ireland holidaymakers were served up some tasty treats, in the theme of the Madeiran Flower Festival, which traditionally takes place on the Portuguese island throughout April and May. The new route to Madeira is exclusive, meaning Jet2.com is the only airline flying to Funchal from the island of Ireland, a clear indicator of the company’s desire to give Northern Ireland holidaymakers even greater choice and flexibility when booking their holidays. The leading leisure airline and package holiday specialist will fly to 23 destinations from Belfast International in Summer 2018 meaning we won’t be stuck for choice. In line with their family friendly approach, the company also recently expanded its Free Resort Flight Check-In service, meaning customers in nine destinations and 250 hotels can now securely drop their bags off on the last day of their holiday, making their flight home quicker, easier and more convenient.


The nine new destinations from Belfast International are:


First flight on April 30th with weekly Monday services operating all-year round. com is the only airline flying to this famous island, known for its green and rugged landscape, from the island of Ireland


First flight departs on May 2nd with a weekly Wednesday service operating until the end of October. Paphos is famed for its archaeological sites relating to Aphrodite, including ruins of palaces, tombs and mosaic-tiled villas


First flight on May 3rd with weekly Thursday services operating through to the end of October. Antalya offers Northern Ireland holidaymakers some of the best beaches in Turkey and a stylish mix of old and new, from ancient Roman temples to trendy waterfront bars


First flight on May 4th with a weekly Friday service operating through to early October. Naples is one of Italy’s oldest, most artistic and most delicious cities, known for its culinary delights and access to the stunning Amalfi Coast


First flight on May 4th with a weekly Friday service operating until the end of October, Rhodes is a picturesque Greek island, offering sandy beaches, lush forests, medieval towns and a buzzing nightlife

Costa de Almeria

First flight on May 5th with two weekly services (Tuesday and Saturday) until late-September, Costa de Almeria offers Blue Flag beaches and white washed villages. Northern Ireland holidaymakers can take their pick from the family friendly resort of Roquetas de Mar or the historic village of Mojacar for authentic Spanish charm

Crete (Heraklion) 

First flight on May 7th with weekly Monday services operating through to the end of October. Sandy beaches, seafront tavernas, ancient palaces and neon nightlife – this sun-soaked island has the lot for Northern Ireland holidaymakers to enjoy.


Starting June 26th, a weekly Tuesday service will operate until the end of September. With resorts on the famous ‘turquoise coast’, Dalaman offers visitors stunning blue seas, vast beaches and ancient ruins


With weekly Thursday services starting in early-April and operating until the end of October, Malta offers year-round sun and upbeat resorts like Sliema and St Julian’s. Visitors can tour Malta’s three UNESCO sites – made up of ancient temples, Roman ruins and medieval cities

For further information or to book, please visit www.jet2.com or www.jet2holidays.com.

Fashion Relief

TV presenter Lorraine Keane has teamed up with Irish fashion, rugby and entertainment stars Miriam O’Callaghan, Rob Kearney, Brent Pope, Glenda Gilson, Deborah Veale and Sarah Morrissey to launch FASHION RELIEF – a fashion fundraiser extravaganza in aid of helping Oxfam Ireland to tackle the hunger crisis overseas. The event will take place in Dublin’s RDS on Sunday 13th May and will offer the public the unique opportunity to bag a bargain from the wardrobe of their style icon while raising vital funds for Oxfam Ireland’s hunger crisis appeal, providing life-saving aid to people facing starvation in East Africa and beyond.

Host Lorraine Keane is calling on the Northern Irish public to get involved. “Over the last eight years I have worked with a number of Irish and international charities and have seen first-hand the suffering of communities facing starvation. I’m calling on the public across the entire island of Ireland to join us by donating their own pre-loved clothes and accessories for sale on the day or, better yet, volunteering to stock and staff their own stall at the event – why not get some friends together and make a day of it. Together we will make a difference. We will save lives.”

FASHION RELIEF will showcase rail after rail of designer clothes and accessories starting at just €5, with brand-new items from designers and retailers across the nation and pre-loved donations from the stars, including host Lorraine Keane, Oxfam Ireland ambassadors Andrew Trimble and Lorna Weightman as well as stars like Cillian Murphy, Miriam O’Callaghan, Brent Pope, Rozanna Purcell, Liam Cunningham, Yvonne Connolly, Kathryn Thomas, Aisling O’Loughlin, Nicky Byrne, TV3’s Xposé presenters and many more. Starting at 11am, many of the stalls will be staffed by the high-profile personalities who donated stock with models and celebs taking to the catwalk at 1pm and 3pm to showcase some of the coveted designer items on offer. FASHION RELIEF attendees are invited to make a day of it by booking their place at an exclusive VIP After-party from 5pm at ICE, the luxurious bar inside the 5* InterContinental Hotel in Ballsbridge. For just €20, they can enjoy a glass of champagne and nibbles, unwinding after a day at the sale rails alongside Lorraine Keane and the fashion-savvy stars who made the event happen. Every cent of the €20 will go to the hunger crisis appeal. Places are limited so booking is essential.

FASHION RELIEF is asking the public to donate any unwanted items in resalable condition and support the hunger crisis by following these simple steps:

  • Bag up any pre-loved or brand new clothes, accessories or handbags – making sure they’re in good nick and ready for the sale rail.
  • Clearly label the bag/box FASHION RELIEF.
  • Drop the bag/box to the nearest Oxfam Ireland shop. Find out where at org/shops

Those wanting to do more than donate, are encouraged to volunteer, helping to maximise funds raised on the day by supporting with logistics and staffing the stalls.The event organisers are seeking volunteers on Saturday 12th May to assist in the set-up of FASHION RELIEF – a great opportunity to get a sneak peak of what will be on offer at the event the following day and reserve free entry – as well as on the day itself, Sunday 13th May. The public can also get their office on board by organising a workplace clothes and accessories collection or a colleague’s team building day volunteering at the event.

For more information on donating or volunteering or to book tickets for the sale and VIP After-party, visit www.fashionrelief.ie, call +353 (0) 1 672 7662 or email info@oxfamireland.org

Electric Ireland launch The Annual Wake Up Campaign

Jamie-Lee O’Donnell (aka Michelle from Derry Girls) joined other well-know Northern Ireland faces, including GAA legend Oisin McConville and Q radio’s Stephen and Cate to help launch Electric Ireland’s Wake Up campaign and encouraging people of all ages to sign up to walk from Darkness into Light. The annual Darkness Into Light campaign invites the people of Northern Ireland to Wake up and Walk on Saturday, May 12th to raise vital funds for suicide prevention, suicide bereavement and self-harm.

Electric Ireland, together with Pieta House, the organisers of Darkness Into Light which is now in its tenth year, have joined with some of Northern Ireland’s best known personalities to raise awareness that how we treat each other is a matter of life and death whilst also helping to de-stigmatise suicide and self-harm. Darkness Into Light has become much more than a fundraiser; it is now a global movement which touches the hearts and minds of people throughout Ireland and around the world with over 180,000 participants taking part last year. All registrations must be completed online by Friday May 4th to receive the new design, free Darkness Into Light t-shirt via post and secure a spot at a registered location.

Visit www.darknessintolight.ie to register to Wake Up and Walk to help create a brighter future for everyone. Early registration is vital as spaces fill up quickly, for the latest news and updates follow Pieta House on Twitter https://twitter.com/PietaHouse  and Electric Ireland at https://twitter.com/ElecIrelandNI

Northern Ireland venues for Darkness Into Light walks:

Antrim & Newtonabbey



Ormeau Park Belfast

Derry City





Jamie-Lee O’Donnell (aka Michelle from Derry Girls) is joined by sporting legend Oisin McConville, Q Radio’s Stephen Clements, Annette Kelly from Little Penny Thoughts and mental health nurse and blogger, Judy from French Grey Lifestyle who are all urging the people of Northern Ireland to Wake Up and Walk from Darkness Into Light on the May 12th. They are pictured with Kevin Caldwell of Electric Ireland, the proud partner of the annual event for the 6th year running, and Brian Higgins of Pieta House, organisers of the 5k walk. This year the walk will take place at nine venues across Northern Ireland helping to swell the numbers of the global movement of people who are waking up to the issue of suicide. All registrations must be completed online by Friday May 4th. Visit www.darknessintolight.ie to register to Wake Up and Walk to help create a brighter future for everyone.

Capture Conference

Torbin Bullock will be the keynote speaker for the Inaugural ‘Capture Conference’ being launched in Belfast.

The new conference, which hopes to enhance collaborative efforts and skill-sharing among Northern Ireland’s creative industries, has been launched and Torbin Bullock, a California-based Film Editor at Pixar Animation Studios who has worked on films including Toy Story, Monsters, Inc and Finding Dory will be its keynote speaker. The inaugural Capture Conference, launched by Belfast Photo Festival to coincide with the 2018 Belfast Photo Festival Compact, will take place at the Queen’s Film Theatre (QFT) on Friday, June 8. The day-long conference will include speakers from industries right across the creative spectrum exploring the use of photography in visual effects (VFX), virtual reality (VR), film, animation, gaming and more.

Keynote speaker, Torbin Bullock will take part in a panel discussion on the use of photography in animation alongside Colin Williams, Creative Director at Sixteen South, and Ruth Ducker, Brown Bag Films. He will also deliver a keynote talk about his experiences working in the golden age of 3D animation on countless classic and record-breaking box office hits. Having worked in animation since the early 1990s, Torbin is known for his work on films such as Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc, Cars, Brave and Finding Dory where he also voiced hapless sea lion, Gerald.

Other conference speakers include Kris Kelly, Managing Director at Enter Yes, Phil Morrow, CEO at Retinize and James Busby, Director at Ten24 who will participate in panel discussion covering the use of photography in gaming and VR. Stills photographers, David James and Joanne Mullin will also be joined by Andrew Reid, Head of Production at NI Screen to explore how photography is used in film and TV. As one of the world’s leading stills photographers, David has photographed from the set of major motion pictures including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mission Impossible, Batman Begins and Saving Private Ryan to name but a few.

Conference founder and Festival Director of Belfast Photo Festival, Michael Weir said:“Northern Ireland has a rich history of creative export. From people and place to product, our celebrated creative output spans the globe. We have state-of-the-art film studios used for blockbuster film and TV production, we have award-winning visual artists of all kind that hail from our shores and act as global ambassadors, shining a light on our homegrown creative industries and calibre of work. “The inaugural conference will act as a forum for creative professionals in all fields across Northern Ireland to collaborate and skill-share to further enhance our excellent creative output. The conference will bring with it leading creative minds from across various industries to share their story and insights, but we have a rich pool of creative minds in Northern Ireland too. So, alongside global names and brands will be keynote addresses by some of the best minds in creative professions across Northern Ireland. “Photography is universal and industries across the creative spectrum rely on it. The conference will bring to light the growing application of photography in so many creative fields.”

Belfast Photo Festival returns from June 7 – 30 with Belfast Photo Festival Compact, in association with Quilter Cheviot Investment Management. A condensed festival format, Belfast Photo Festival Compact will include the inaugural Capture Conference as well as a programme of workshops, seminars and exhibitions staged throughout greater Belfast. Highlight exhibitions include the work of Brian Griffin, best known for his album photography with artists such as Billy Idol, Depeche Mode, Iggy Pop and Elvis Costello. The grounds of Belfast City Hall will also be the home for an engaging, large format exhibition – entitled ‘The Disciples’ – by James Mollison which showcases musicians’ fans photographed outside gigs emulating the unique style of their idols.

  The conference takes place on Friday, June 8 and tickets are available from the Belfast Photo Festival website

For more information on this year’s festival or the inaugural Capture Conference, visit www.belfastphotofestival.com and keep up to date on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

DS Store Eglinton brings Parisian Chic to Northern Ireland

The new DS Store Eglinton brings a taste of Paris to Northern Ireland, opening its doors to customers for the first time on Thursday, 19 April. Located on Courtauld Way, Eglinton, near Londonderry (BT47 3DN) it is a completely new build, conceived from the ground up to represent the expanding premium French car brand DS Automobiles. Embracing the very latest technology, DS Store Eglinton will provide new and used car buyers with a special environment to explore, experience, specify and purchase their next DScar.

Andrew Miller, Dealer Principal of JC Halliday & Sons in Eglinton, commented: “The opening of DS Store Eglinton is a great moment for all at JC Halliday & Sons. We share the vision with DS Automobiles in the growing demand in premium and stylishly-distinctive new cars that reflect strongly on their owners’ status and vehicle aspirations. A DS Store has a very different feel to a traditional car showroom with a premium space for displays and attention-to-detail features that gives customers a feeling of well-being in stylish surroundings.

“DS Store Eglinton, the only DS outlet in Northern Ireland, permits customers to be on a progressive and immersive journey that makes specifying a new car to be a wholly delightful experience. This can start with a high-definition, life-sized 3D DS Virtual Reality experience through to the arrival of their bespoke-specified new DS car. This environment raises the bar of customer experience to a new level. We welcome everyone to come and see it for themselves, and to enjoy refreshments and one-to-one service from our DS Expert Advisors.”

DS Store Eglinton incorporates a number of features designed to enhance the customer’s experience:

  • 3300sq ft showroom can accommodate the display of 5 DS cars
  • 3D DS Virtual Vision area – for a life-size configuration of a customer specified DS car of their choice
  • Lounge area – with Nespresso coffee machine and comfortable bespoke seating
  • Air conditioned surroundings, lightly scented with an exclusive DS ambience-scent via a special diffuser
  • Digital configurator and crafted items display, including vehicle options available

As well as displaying a compilation of beautifully crafted items from collectors’ models to leather bags, scented candles and books, the DS Store brings together an exclusive array of physical and virtual assets. The result enables each customer to try out before they buy in a stylish and chic environment that is nonetheless a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

The DS Store concept is a retail outlet very different from a normal car showroom. Offering an entire brand experience, it’s designed as a luxury boutique dedicated to the DS brand. The unique Parisian chic atmosphere is reflected in every design detail: from the colour scheme, the DS designed furniture, lighting effect, to the DS scented rooms and chosen music, everything is in harmony to create a unique environment.

Alain Descat, Managing Director at DS Automobiles in the UK commented, says: “2018 represents an important period for the emerging DS brand. We have started a new-generation of new models, the first of which is DS 7 CROSSBACK, the SUV by DS. In parallel we are introducing an expansive range of services to ensure each person has a unique customer experience, under the guise of ‘Only You, the DS Experience’, to ensure all services are extended to our customers and we also have a growing network of dedicated DS Stores and DS Salons, primary among which is DS Store Eglinton.

“We’ve used intuitive technology like DS Virtual Vision to be at the forefront of new ways for our customers to specify, experience and buy a new car in order to make their lives easier and better informed. DS Store Eglinton has been finished with great attention-to-detail. The result has the French savoir-faire we’re renowned for and most importantly, we’ve created an appealing environment for our customers to immerse themselves with the DS brand.”

For more information on DS Store Eglinton, visit: www.DSstoreNI.com or telephone 02871 811470.