Castlereagh provides an annual programme of community arts events
Under the umbrella of Castlereagh Borough Council, Castlereagh Arts provide an annual programme of community arts events including concerts, workshops, exhibitions, bursaries and festivals for all ages. Events and exhibitions take place in venues throughout the Borough, including libraries, leisure centres, the Belvoir Players Rehearsal Studio and even Forestside Shopping Centre.
Castlereagh Arts Forum
Castlereagh Arts Forum was established in 2001 for Borough residents with a keen interest in the arts. The Forum provides a networking opportunity and a platform for members of the public to make suggestions, voice their opinions, and become involved in the programming of events for the Castlereagh area.
Castlereagh Arts run a number of annual festivals that aim to provide opportunities and involvement for the community as a whole, encouraging cultural awareness and making the arts more accessible.
Verbal Arts Festival
The Verbal Arts Festival takes place every February and highlights the oral tradition of storytelling. Events range from stagings of comedy, drama and opera, to poetry readings and workshops for children.
Summer Dance Festival
The community based Summer Dance Festival usually take place in May or June, and provides an excellent opportunity for the large number of dance groups in the borough to showcase their talent. Highlights of the 2004 festival included a demonstration of Tai Chi and martial arts by Chang Hai and Jane Zhu, a salsa night, and a pensioners’ tea dance.
Visual Arts Festival
The Visual Arts Festival traditionally takes place in October and consists of a series of exhibitions, workshops and demonstrations covering everything from photography and painting, to cake decorating and special effects make-up.
Castlereagh Arts held its first exclusively Ulster-Scots event in May 2004 and hope to make this an annual event celebrating the borough’s strong Ulster-Scots heritage. The night featured storytelling, music and dancing, accompanied by the Ulster-Scots Folk Orchestra and Bright Lights dancers.
First Friday Concerts
This successful series of lunchtime recitals take place on the first Friday of each month (excepting July and August) at Castlereagh Civic Centre. The varied programme includes jazz, classical, traditional Irish and Ulster-Scots music, and has acquired a regular audience.
© Castlereagh Borough Council 2004