London 2012 Open Weekend

David Healy helps to launch London 2012 Open Weekend sign up. Click Play Video for a video podcast

During a visit to the Belfast Community Circus in the heart of Belfast's artistic Cathedral Quarter, footballer David Healy called for cultural organisations of every kind to apply to play a part in the annual London 2012 Open Weekend.

The Open Weekend will take place from July 24-26 each year in the run up to the 2012 Olympic Games, feature events of various kinds and celebrate Northern Ireland's role in the greatest sporting event in the world.

Healy was joined by a duo of acrobats at the launch, Will Chamberlain of the Belfast Community Circus, boxer and Olympic bronze medalist Paddy Mullen and Lorraine Conlan, head of the Olympics Unit at the Depart of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

'As Northern Ireland’s Ambassador for 2012 Olympics I am proud of the local enthusiasm and willingness to take part in London 2012 events,' commented Healy. 'The Open Weekend marks three years to go until the opening ceremony on July, 27 2012.'

Eight organisations from Northern Ireland have registered to take part in the Open Weekend thus far, including Open Arts, the Ulster American Folk Park, the Belfast Community Circus and the Ulster Hall.

During the course of the weekend-long celebrations, events in venues across the whole of Northern Ireland will look foward to the arrival of the Olympic Games and encourage communities to come together in an appreciation of the arts.

'We must seize every opportunity to get involved and show the world what Northern Ireland is capable of,' Healy continues. 'Chances like this only come along once in a lifetime and it is unlikely than any of us will be this close to the world’s greatest sporting event again.

'You don’t have to be an athlete to take part. There are many other opportunities for people to become involved such as volunteering, tourism and business. Other aspects include arts and cultural activities and education and sporting programmes.'

'We're looking for organisations of all types to apply to take part,' commented Conlan. 'Whether they're visual arts based, musical, theatrical, sporting or otherwise, the Open Weekend has a place for everyone.'

Organisations keen to take part can register an event for Open Weekend with London 2012 by logging on to the following web address: