Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about local arts and events:
Q1. How can I keep up to date with the arts activities and events taking place in the Banbridge District each year?
A1. You can keep up to date by checking the 'Events' pages of this website on a regular basis, picking up an events guide from the local Tourist Information Centre or your local library. You can also ask for your name and contact details to be added to the Council's 'Events' mailing list by contacting the Council's Leisure Services Department on 028 4066 0605. Check your local press for information on regular events taking place within the Banbridge District.
Q2. What major arts events are run in the District each year?
A2. The major local community events that take place in the District each year include the Brontė Festival (March), Easter Activity Programme for Young People (April), Civic Week and Dromore May Fair (May), BuskFest (June), Summer Activity Programme for Young People (July and August), Sunday Band Concerts in Scarva Village (June-September), Arts Festival and Craft Fair and Childrens Mini Arts Festival (October) and Rathfriland Christmas Festival (December).
Q3. Can you give me information for arts courses available for my son/daughter?
A3. Yes. The Council runs a series of arts and crafts workshops for young people at Easter, during the Summer holidays and at Hallowe'en. The Council's Leisure Services Department also holds information on all local arts groups and drama schools. Contact the Leisure Services Department if you would like more information on all of the above.
Q4. What venues are available for live entertainment?
A4. Visitors and locals are have a spoilt for choice menu for entertainment establishments. These include the Iveagh Movie Studios in Banbridge for film, music and theatre, the Brontė Interpretive Centre in Rathfriland for theatre, drama and music and the Bannville House Hotel, Belmont Hotel, Downshire Arms Hotel and The Coach for live music. All of these establishments are located in Banbridge. Many local community, youth and church groups also run a number of events throughout the year. Details of these can be found in the following local press (Banbridge Chronicle, Banbridge Leader, Dromore Leader and The Outlook).
Q5. How can I get advice and support to market and promote my arts event or activity?
A5. Advice and support on marketing and promoting your own arts event is available from the following:
- Leah Duncan, the Council's Arts and Events Officer, who can be contacted on 028 4066 0632 for general information on marketing and promotion of arts events.
- Banbridge District Arts Committee provides assistance in the form of financial, marketing or support to local community groups in the development of arts projects/events within the Banbridge District Council area. Application forms are available by contacting the Council's Leisure Services Department on 028 4066 0605.
- Banbridge Tourist Information Centre, libraries and local businesses are often willing to display promotional material.
- Advertising in the local press either via an advert or press release.
- 'Awards for All' scheme offers grants, advice and information on events marketing. Application packs are available on 0845 600 2040.
- For major arts projects, you may also wish to contact the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Q6. Can I come along to arts events if I live outside the District?
A6. Banbridge District Council is delighted to welcome people of all nationalities, religious and cultural backgrounds to attend and participate in the many arts events which it organises in the Banbridge District. It is our aim to promote access for all and in particular to encourage young people. For some events which are run in rural areas, free transport is provided to help people get to the venue.
Q7. What does the Council do to promote arts in the Banbridge District?
A7. The Council undertakes the following in order to promote the arts and create a vibrant local arts sector:
- It provides an annual grant of approximately £10,000 to Banbridge District Arts Committee which is used to organise and promote a series of arts events and activities throughout the year.
- It encourages local people to play a key role in the development of the local arts sector by ensuring representatives from the local Art Club, Writers Group, drama, cultural groups and council representatives are involved in the Banbridge District Arts Committee.
- It employs local artists, performers and crafts people to run workshops where possible. It also organises 4 annual craft fairs for local producers to showcase and sell their work.
- It provides small grants (up to a maximum of £200) to help local community groups to develop local arts projects and events via the Banbridge District Arts Committee. Application forms available from the Council's Leisure Services Department on 028 4066 0605.
- It produces a quarterly events guide and promotes local arts events in the local and regional press, on arts websites and via the radio.
Q8. Has the Banbridge District got any museums or galleries?
A8. Yes. These include:
- Brontė Interpretive Centre - Visit this Centre to discover more about Patrick Brontė, father of the famous literary sisters. The Centre holds many artefacts about the family's fascinating lives here before they moved to Haworth in England.
- Scarva Visitor Centre and Tearooms - Learn about the early history of the local area and industrial archaeology of the canal beside the tranquil waters of the Newry Canal Towpath
- Ferguson Linen Centre - This modern day working factory is the sole world producer of the most luxurious double damask linen. Guided tours are available on request by contacting 028 4062 2230.
- Old Town Hall in Banbridge - This building holds many exhibitions throughout the year. Contact the Council's Leisure Services Department on 028 4066 0605 for further details.
- F E McWilliam Centre - The F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio in Banbridge is dedicated to the memory of Banbridge-born sculptor Frederick Edward McWilliam, one of Irelands most influential and successful artists. Frederick Edward McWilliam was born in Banbridge on the 30th April 1909. He died in London in 1992 and the executors of his estate donated the sculptor's studio and its contents to the town of his birth. The gallery and studio houses the collection in a superb exhibition facility of gallery, garden and reconstructed studio. It also provides a tourist information centre, café and craft shop
- Q9. I am very interested in crafts. How can I find out about the local craft sector?
A9. You can find out about local craft fairs by getting your name and contact details added to the Council's event mailing list. Contact the Council's Leisure Services Department on 028 4066 0605 if you wish to exhibit or attend local major craft fairs. In addition, you can contact County Down Crafts in Downpatrick on 028 4461 7214 for information on local crafters.
Q10. How can I submit or ask a question about local arts activities and events?
A10. You can submit a question by selecting the 'Contact Us' link in the left hand navigation listing. Alternatively, you can contact the Council's Arts and Events Officer directly on 028 4066 0632.