Reception in Honour of the Nashville Sister Cities Delegation

 A reception in honour of the Nashville Sister Cities Delegation was held in the Discover Ulster-Scots Centre, Belfast on Tuesday 1st May.  The visitors from Nashville, one of Belfast’s Sister Cities, were welcomed by Ian Crozier (Chief Executive Officer, Ulster-Scots Agency).  The keynote speaker was former First Minister, the Rt Hon Arlene Foster MLA who brought good wishes from Northern Ireland.  The event saw the launch of the Ulster-Scot’s latest publication ‘Andrew Jackson, the first Scotch-Irish President’. The author, Billy Kennedy, gave a brief overview of the book and then signed copies for the guests.

 

Charles Hurst Land Rover Puts Belfast First At UK Awards

Charles Hurst has hit the top spot at Land Rover UK’s Retailer Conference for its aftersales service and expertise. Beating off keen competition from franchised dealerships in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Belfast-based Charles Hurst Land Rover is now officially ‘Aftersales Retailer of the Year’. Recognising the prestige marque’s best UK dealerships and quality of service, Land Rover, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, singled out Charles Hurst’s Belfast Aftersales team for the top prize and praised the company for its dedication to providing a first-rate customer experience. Land Rover judges were impressed by the team’s commitment to consistently exceeding customer expectations in its aftersales service and the importance which it placed on new and longstanding relationships.

Andrew Gilmore, Charles Hurst Group Aftersales Director, said:

“Charles Hurst Land Rover has a very clear direction and customer focus on our aftersales service delivery and we’re really pleased that this is recognised by Land Rover UK and among our peers in the industry.

“Our award win is the result of a real team effort and I’m thrilled that our collective efforts have been noticed in this way.”

Charles Hurst also highlighted the contributions made by Land Rover Aftersales Manager Glenn McCartney and by Parts Manager David Cockfield, who helped in leading the Belfast’s team UK victory at the national awards.

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

Ballymena

Hannahstown

Ormeau Park Belfast

Derry City

Rostrevor

Lisnaskea

Cookstown

Strabane

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.

Hillsborough Festival of Literature & Ideas

The Hillsborough Festival of Literature & Ideas will take place Friday 27 – Sunday 29 April 2018 with.The festival offers more than 30 events taking place throughout the village, and will include poetry, prose, music, film and talks. Artists coming to the village include: one of Ireland’s most prolific and accomplished prose writers, Donal Ryan; Scottish First Book Award-winner Kerry Hudson; Seamus Heaney Centre Fellow Doireann Ní Ghríofa and NI Music Prize-winner Joshua Burnside. There are events for children and families, including The Great Hillsborough Book Hunt, writing and craft workshops, and Writers in Schools visits in association with Poetry Ireland. The festival is supported by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council and is delivered by the team behind the John Hewitt International Summer School, a six-day festival of culture and creativity!

Full details here: https://bit.ly/2Hfj4bb 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belfast Bar Launches Northern Ireland’s First Menu For Dogs

Popular, Belfast bar, ‘The Dirty Onion’ is now catering to a wider variety of customers and local dog owners are in for a treat! The Dirty Onion’ has launched Northern Ireland’s first menu for dogs. The menu, created in partnership with local pet food brand, Naturo, means that dogs can now enjoy a nutritious meal with their owners, with dishes created using high-quality, fresh, natural ingredients, made in Northern Ireland.

Last year, The Dirty Onion became part of a select list of venues that are dog friendly in the city centre. The bar hosts a number of hugely successful Pooch Social events throughout the year in aid of Lucy’s Trust, a local charity providing a sanctuary for dogs in need. Tim Herron, general manager at The Dirty Onion commented, “We wanted to be able to offer dogs more than just water when they come to visit, so we are delighted to be the first to introduce Northern Ireland’s first dog menu, right in the heart of Belfast city centre.
The range of healthy doggy favourites on the menu include: chicken and rice, salmon and potato, lamb or turkey, served alongside rice and vegetables but of course, no meal out would be complete without dessert, so dogs can enjoy a liver brownie or Frozzys, a frozen yogurt packed with essential vitamins, minerals and fibre.

Based in County Armagh, Mackle Pet Foods, who own Naturo was established over 40 years ago by the Mackle family, whose aim is to create pure and natural pet food from the family farm. They work closely with leading nutritionists to ensure their products meet the specific nutritional needs of pets; targeting their immune and digestive systems, as well as the quality of their skin and coat.

The Cathedral Quarter bar also features as a stop on Belfast’s new dog friendly pub tour, with The Dirty Onion’s dog menu starting from just £1.25 per meal. For more information, visit thedirtyonion.com and Belfast’s dog friendly walking tours, visit dogfriendlywalkingtours.co.uk

The Dirty Onion’s Dog menu includes

PUPPERS 0-2 YEARS
Chicken and rice with vegetables, 150g, £1.25

DOGGOS 2-6 YEARS
Salmon and potato with vegetables, 400g, £2.00

Chicken, lamb and rice with vegetables, 400g, £2.00

SENIORS 6 YEARS+
Turkey and rice with vegetables, 400g, £2.00

 TREATS
Liver Brownies, 150g, £1.75
Frozzys, 85g, £2.00

POOCH HOOCH
Snuffle dog beer, chicken flavor, £3.50

 

‘Trainee Filmakers’ Wins At World Documentary Awards

Cinemagic’s short documentary film, ‘Trainee Filmmakers’, has won a platinum award at the recent World Documentary Awards in Bali. ‘Trainee Filmmakers’ is a short ‘behind the scenes’ documentary linked to Cinemagic’s second feature film GRACE AND GOLIATH, due out later this year. It is a comedy about an American film star whose world comes crashing down, and who finds himself lodging in the home of a working class family in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The film is written by Omagh born Maire Campbell and produced by Cinemagic Chief Executive, Joan Burney Keatings MBE. Cinemagic patrons include Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan, Saoirse Ronan, Colin Farrell, Paula Malcomson and Julian Fellowes, to name a few.

A number of these high profile patrons feature in the ‘Trainee Filmmakers’ documentary including Liam Neeson, Saoirse Ronan and Paula Malcomson. Ian McElhinney narrates the short film. Grace and Goliath is the second feature film to come from Cinematic following the success of ‘A Christmas Star’ in 2014-15. The project offered an invaluable opportunity for young filmmakers from both Northern Ireland and Los Angeles to work across a range of disciplines including directing, production, costume and make-up, sound, lighting and music composition.

A special preview screening of the documentary ‘Trainee Filmmakers’ will be aired during Cinemagic’s Festival in Los Angeles on 15th March 2018 to an audience of celebrities, film and music industry executives at the annual Cinemagic Los Angeles Showcase event in the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows, Santa Monica.

Established almost 30 years ago, Cinemagic is an award winning Belfast-based charity and is the largest film and television festival designed for and by young people in the UK and Ireland. Cinemagic offers young people real skills and opportunity. They embrace the magic of film, television and digital technologies, as well as educating, motivating and inspiring young people through film screenings, industry workshops, practical masterclasses, filmmaking projects and outreach activities.

Sammy Nutt from Killaloo, just outside Derry/Londonderry, director of ‘Trainee Filmmakers’ one of Cinemagic’s greatest success stories said “Cinemagic breaks down boundaries, promotes inclusion, and introduces young people to other cultures, languages and traditions. It’s absolutely thrilling to see how our young trainees have gone on to work with various film and television companies such as the BBC, HBO, Disney, Sky Atlantic, RTE, and Bedlam Productions.”

Sammy Nutt is a former Cinemagic participant and took part in the organisation’s music directing talent lab workshop with the esteemed music/tv director Hamish Hamilton over 12 years ago. Sammy was chosen as the most promising director out of his class and took part in Cinemagic’s Young Filmmaker competition. He subsequently went on to secure a work placement as one of the directorial assistants at The Brit Awards in 2006 and 2007. Now based in London, Sammy works as a director in prime time broadcast television, music promos, short films and branded online content with broadcasters, companies and brands such as the BBC, ITV, MTV Networks, Universal Music, Sony Music, American Airlines, Budweiser and Cadbury. He is working with talent such as Ed Sheeran, Harry Styles, Ariana Grande, Russell Brand and Simon Cowell.

The last few years have been a particularly exciting time for Cinemagic.They have firmly established annual Cinemagic Film and Television Festivals in Belfast, Dublin, London, Paris, Los Angeles and New York, with over 40,000 young people participating in their events each year. They have produced two feature films; secured worldwide distribution for ‘Christmas Star’ ; developed two “behind the scene” documentaries, produced over 45 short films; supported over 150 young trainees to work in the film and television industry; and we are now planning the world premiere of ‘Grace and Goliath’ later this year

To view the official trailer too ‘Trainee Filmmakers’, the behind the scenes documentary of ‘Grace and Goliath’, please check out: https://vimeo.com/248477769

Are you ready to be part of a top-secret project?

Wholesale and retail giant, Musgrave, is looking for two people from Northern Ireland to appear in a top-secret project, which will go live in March this year.  They are hoping to cast an adult and a child of either gender in the project and excitingly you don’t need any acting or modelling experience so every man, woman and child, aged 5 and over, in Northern Ireland is able to audition. If you have a great sense of humour and are looking for an adventure, then head to The MAC on Saturday March 3 at 10am and you could land a role in our project. You don’t need any acting or stage experience or be a model to qualify, everyone is welcome to audition. Musgrave explained,“We’d like to meet people who really embody what’s great about Northern Ireland; whether that’s a cheeky grin, a dashing head of red hair or a swagger to their walk that makes them stand out in a crowd. But to be honest we are hoping that someone will come along and surprise us by offering something we weren’t expecting – it’s going to be very exciting.” The lucky duo chosen will find out before the whole of Northern Ireland what the secret Musgrave project is all about. Musgrave are remaining tight-lipped about the details but what they can reveal is that the lucky ones chosen will be part of an incredible experience they will never forget and they could even become a well-known face in Northern Ireland.

Informal auditions will take place in The MAC on Saturday March 3rd between 10am and 12pm. Only children 5 and over can attend.  Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Musgrave employees are not eligible to audition.  Winners must be free for the week of March 5th. No fee provided. Contact gemma.beattie@musgrave.ie if you have any questions about the open casting.

Portrait Of A Century

An exciting new photographic exhibition is being held at The Market Place Theatre in Armagh in Association with the National Museum of Ireland. The Exhibition, ‘Portrait of a Century’ is by Irish photographer Kim Haughton. The exhibition opens to the public in Armagh on Monday 12 March 2018 and forms part of the ‘Home of St Patrick Festival’ programme 2018 in Armagh. The Market Place Theatre will be a hub of activity throughout the festival with a programme of exciting performances, talks and exhibitions which aim to inspire, inform and entertain.

‘Portrait of a Century’ is a photographic exhibition of one hundred images of people who are threaded together through a shared language, culture and nationhood. Each photograph represents the birth year of the person in it. The series as a whole spans a one hundred year time frame from 1916 to 2015. The exhibition is a photographic representation of a nation reflected in those who have shaped it in some way.  Between 2015 and 2016, Kim photgraphed familiar faces of people who are woven into the fabric of national arts as well as sporting legends, presidents, public servants, private citizens, pioneering women, dazzling young people and the children of the future to create this visual time capsule. Each image in the series represents the birth year of the sitter and spans a hundred-year time-period from 1916 to 2015. Beyond the colour of their skin or the texture of their clothing, many of the portraits reveal something deeper than just the people in them. Exploring themes of nationhood, identity and time, the work is a photographic representation of a nation reflected in those who have shaped it in some way.

Kim, who is now based in New York, completed her MA at London University of the Arts and was named as ‘an Irish photographer to watch’ by TIME magazine in 2015. She spent the early part of her career as a photo journalist covering post conflict humanitarian issues around the globe with her work having been exhibited in London, New York, Oslo and Dublin and her images apperaing in publications worldwide, including The Financial Times, Der Spiegel and Vanity Fair as well as having her work is held in the National Archives of Ireland.

The exhibition will run at The Market Place Theatre, Armagh from 12 Mar – 5th May 2018.

Additional information on the exhibition can be found on: www.visitarmagh.com/marketplacetheatre

Midtown Sounds

The rising stars of the Northern Ireland’s Music scene performed in venues all around Ballymena last weekend. The occasion, ‘Midtown Sounds’, celebrated the local talent who gave live performances including;

  • Ryan Price in the Corner Bakery and later in Ground Coffee Shop.
  • Andrew Farrell in Wellington Barber and later in Outdoor Adventure.
  • Dean and Matt helping Bob & Berts celebrate their third birthday.
  • Amy McAlister on her harp in Wallaces, Ultimate Fashions and McKillens Shoes.
  • Patrick Donnelly played in Red Star Music.
  • Stripped in Midtown.
  • Makers and Erin Fullerton in Moore Electrics.
  • Sara Crockett played in Marmalade.
  • Tiernan Heffron was in Follow Coffee.
  • Jedidah Shanks played in both Woodside Chemists and Montgomerys Restaurant.
  • Students from the Music Rooms also joined in. The afternoon of music ended with Brash Issac in Middletown.

The live music in shops and eateries around the town was very well received by local traders and the public. The event showcased all that is good about the local music scene to a varied audience in an unconventional but brilliant format.

Ballymena BID manager, Alison Moore said, “Midtown Sounds brought a very different sound to Ballymena on Saturday. We have had great feedback from the traders in the town, there is no doubt that it was well received and it has been reported that customers and staff in shops were noted to be swaying to the music.

“This event allowed us to highlight some of the local music talent as well as Ballymena and its great offering.  With Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s assistance, this has been a great event.”

Midtown Sounds was officially launched on Friday 23rd February in Follow Coffee Co with three fantastic videos, Runabay performing in the Grouse, Andrew Cameron from Brash Issac in Middletown and Sara Crockett in Marmalade. The videos can be viewed on Ballymena Means Facebook page. The project has been supported by The Executive Office through Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Good Relations Programme.

 

Live Here Love Here Awards

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful hosted the second Live Here Love Here Community Awards in Belfast Harbour Commissioner’s Office recently. The event was sponsored by ISL Waste Management Ltd and compered by Lesser Spotted Ulster star Joe Mahon. The evening was filled with inspirational tales from volunteers who have and continue to instil pride in the local communities through practical environmental action.

The fourteen award winners, aged 5 to 77, showed that caring for your local environment and working to make a change is a passion that spans all generations. From regular litter picks to the creation of shared community spaces these unsung heroes dedicate their time and efforts into making where we live cleaner, greener, safer and more sustainable.

The bespoke award pieces, handmade out of recycled materials, were created using unplugged methods by David Keys Sustainable Woodcraft.

Dr Ian Humphreys, CEO of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful commented that, “we are all remembered for our actions and everyone involved in Live Here Love Here, whether volunteer or funding partner, is changing people’s lives for the better and leaving a lasting legacy. With 170 nominations for the awards it is obvious that there is a growing movement of people who act because they care.”

Sponsor ISL Waste Management Ltd, commented that, ‘We can’t take the attitude that it’s someone else’s problem. Supporting the Live Here Love Here Community Awards is an essential message to the whole business community that if we all play our part in creating a clean environment we will make Northern Ireland a place where people want to live and work.”

Guests were entertained by music from talented Claire Louise Turner and Eastside Partnership Community Choir. Award winning journalist, Joyce Ferder Rankin was the guest speaker for the night, and spoke about what is happening to our changing environment and what one person can do to help save the world. Prizes were donated by Belfast Cookery School, Jungle NI, Ulster Rugby, Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel and Chalets and The Odyssey Trust Company.

If you would like to find out more or get involved with Live Here Love Here please visit our website; www.liveherelovehere.org or contact enquiries@liveherelovehere.org.

 

 

The award winners are as follows:

 

Antrim and Newtownabbey Litter Heroes Award; 

Winner: Tidy Randalstown

Ards and North Down Litter Heroes Award; 

Winner: Beach Cleaners – Ards and North Down

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Litter Heroes Award;

Winner: Peter McKernan

 

Belfast City Litter Heroes Award; 

Winner: St. Mary’s CBGS Eco Club

 

Derry City and Strabane Litter Heroes Award; 

Winner: John Lennon

Fermanagh and Omagh Litter Heroes Award; 

Winner: Camowen Community Anglers

 

Mid and East Antrim Litter Heroes Award;

Winner: Nicholas Davis

Mid Ulster Litter Heroes Award; 

Winner: Brénainn Brunton

 

Newry, Mourne and Down Litter Heroes Award; 

Winner: Charlie and the Hamilton-Cooper Family

Adopt A Spot Award presented by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful;

Winner: AES Kilroot Green Team

Good Neighbour Award presented by Choice Housing;

Winner: Springhill Live Here Love Here Garden Group

Community Together Award presented by Northern Ireland Housing Executive;

Winner: Magheralin Community Association

BIG Transformation Award presented by McDonald’s;

Winner: Millisle Youth Forum

 

Spirit of Live Here Love Here Award presented by DAERA;

Winner: Screen Eco-Schools

Corporate Colours Day for Autism NI

This April, Autism NI are celebrating World Autism Awareness Month with their new ‘Making Sense of Autism’ campaign. As part of the campaign they are encouraging workplaces to hold a ‘Corporate Colours Day’. In Northern Ireland, just 16% of Autistic adults are in full-time employment. Through this campaign, Autism NI is calling for all businesses to take positive steps to become more accessible for individuals with Autism – both as valued employees and customers.

Autism NI Corporate Fundraising Manager Sarah-Jayne wants companies to embrace their corporate colour and stand-up for Autism. All you need to do is choose a day within the month of April and ask all staff to wear your corporate colour. This can be socks, a tie, scarf, shirt or go all out and dress head-to-toe in that colour and then donate to Autism NI. The ‘Corporate Colours Day’ encourages employees to think about the Autism Spectrum and that all individuals are different just like the colour spectrum. Top local businesses Savills, Blush Boutique, Trust Ford and Lloyds Banking are all getting behind ‘Corporate Colours Day’. The charity’s aim is to get as many different coloured businesses within Northern Ireland to take part.

Alongside this campaign the charity will be holding ‘Making Sense of Autism’ Family Fun Days throughout Northern Ireland. On Saturday 14th April at venues including Belfast City Hall, Seven Towers Leisure Centre, Ballymena, Lakeland Forum, Enniskillen and Guildhall Derry/Londonderry and on Saturday 21st April at Lagan Valley Leisureplex, Lisburn from 1pm – 4pm. There will also be fun awareness activities that your friends and family or school can get involved in including our ‘Walk 5k A Day’ and the ‘School’s Sensory Challenge’ all taking place during World Autism Awareness Month.

Autism NI is a local charity providing life-changing services for the 30,000 individuals living with Autism throughout Northern Ireland and they rely on your help to improve the lives of children and adults living with the daily challenges of this hidden disability.

For further information or to request a ‘Corporate Colours Day’ fundraising pack contact Sarah-Jayne on 028 9040 1729 (option 3), email Sarah-Jayne@autismni.org or visit www.autismni.org.