Fermanagh Live Arts Festival

Creativity on and off the Island Town is celebrated in its 10th anniversary festival programme which offers something for all ages

Festival Details


Wednesday, 04 October 2017 to Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Fermanagh Live Arts Festival for 2017 promises to be a truly creative and engaging family affair, building upon the successes of previous years and the ongoing commitment, creativity and imagination of an experienced team of volunteers, artists, educators and creatives. All dedicated to ensuring this year’s programme is diverse, dynamic and all-inclusive.

Fermanagh has much to offer, the landscape, the waterways, the history, heritage and architecture...as well as the talents and creativity of the people. Come on board what promises to be a journey of creativity, curiosity, imagination and self-expression during this year’s Fermanagh Lives Arts Festival 2017. Oct 4th to Oct 8th.Celebrating creativity on and off the Island Town and the stunning Waterways.

Chair of Fermanagh Live 2017 Noelle McAlinden, an artist, arts activist and arts educationalist, is passionate about the arts and is excited about building on previous success of Fermanagh Live Arts Festival, now in its 10th year.

'I am delighted and privileged to be this year’s chair, with a dedicated team of highly experienced and talented volunteers, artists and educationalists, who continue to recognise the ongoing benefits of the Arts and Culture to our general health and well-being, the educational benefits, as well as the contribution to cultural tourism and local economy. The impact upon supporting community spirit can never be underestimated. We want to continue to celebrate and showcase the cultural assets and the talent of this unique county and Island town, the people and this place. We want to provide a platform for both emerging as well as internationally renowned artists. We want to support our educationalists and artists celebrate and promote creativity within and outside the curriculum and promote opportunities to support creative pathways to learning, growing and thriving. We want to continue to celebrate creativity on and off our waterways, encourage new and existing audiences to participate in a range of art forms. Now more than ever before we need to be creative, resourceful and resilient in today’s society, recognise, respect and celebrate our own and each other’s creativity and culture.'

'We are delighted to welcome home artists who continue to push boundaries and excel in creative and cultural pursuits. This year’s festival proves to be no exception. A masterpiece in the making. Welcoming home the prolific actor and author Ciaran McMenamin to his hometown to provide insights into his craft as an acclaimed actor of stage and screen and his latest plans following the success as an author. Audiences will have an opportunity to hear Ciaran read site specific extracts from his novel Skin Town and glean insights from his role in the much acclaimed film Jump.'

'The arts are increasingly overlooked in society as an integral part of what we say and who we are,' said McMenamin. 'In Northern Ireland particularly, arts budgets have been slashed significantly. In this climate, the arts are more important than ever before and needed to retain a sense of community, to have a good night out and to remind our youth of the power of individuality. I am very excited to be coming home for the Fermanagh live Arts Festival. I love where I am from and it plays a key role in who I am and what I feel when I write or act. The chance to read from my novel Skin Town, and discuss were it came from, in the place where it is set, was always going to be a no brainer.'

On October 7 the festival welcomes the internationally renowned Jack L, who performs his Magic Days tour at Ardhowen Theatre at 8.00pm. Tickets are on sale from Ardhowen Theatre Box Office – 028 6632 5440.

We welcome Barry Douglas, world-renowned classical musician, back by popular demand, who will be performing well known pieces by Schubert and Brahams, as well as the infamous 'Pictures at an Exhibition' by Mussorksky. He will no doubt delight us with a little taste of traditional Irish melody, on Sunday October 8 in St Macartain’s Cathedral.

We celebrate a vibrant, dynamic, engaging, visual and performing arts Programme, with film, moving image, drama , comedy and music from across all genres; classical, brass, jazz, traditional, and much, more. Masterclasses, workshops and illustrated talks. The talented Richard Pierce navigates us through Our Erne with insights, images and antidotes following his travels through Lough Erne, October 6 at Waterways Ireland.

Vibrant visual art trails celebrating the talent of emerging artists from South West College beginning in SW College and meandering through various venues across the island town of Enniskillen and embracing the beautiful and uplifting The Art of Well-being, highlighting the inspiring masterpieces that grace the walls of South West Acute Hospital, where art has been co created in partnership with well-established artists alongside students in schools and colleges across Fermanagh and Omagh District Council areas, through the South West Acute Hospital.

We welcome a host of group and solo exhibitions, during September and October. Waterways Ireland provides the serene venue for Elsewhere, a solo exhibition of recent masterpieces by Douglas Hutton. Followed by The Painterly Tactile, textile canvasses by Patricia Kelly in her solo show Navy Skies and Golden Horizons. Finely executed textiles by Jenni McGrail's solo show, Thread Softly Through Memories, is exhibited in the intimate space of The Jolly Sandwich.

Throughout September Tara Moran Woods addresses poignantly the concepts of memory, loss and the journey of life, in her solo show Tactile Postcards. We celebrate the iconic work of Mavis Thompson RUA, in a solo exhibition of new work, Post Cards from Japan. We celebrate her life and work and contribution to the arts with her daughters, Sydney and Marion Thomson, in a very special audience with Mavis Thomson and Daughters in The Round at Enniskillen Castle.

We celebrate arts and crafts in its many varied forms with a unique exhibition of artisans from The Collage Collective, The Buttermarket Enniskillen. We welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with our local galleries the Devenish Gallery Enniskillen, Hambley and Hambley Gallery, and the McKenna Gallery Omagh in promoting the visual arts.

Fermanagh Live Arts Festival promises fun filled, family opportunities for all ages including children and young people, from film clubs and FabLabs facilitated through the innovative Creative Learning Centre, Nerve Centre. The Enchanted Erne celebrates creativity at its best inspired by waterways and Lakelands, with workshops, performances and magical mayhem and cultural trails for all the family, commencing in The Buttermarket, Saturday October 7.

We celebrate the appreciation of poetry with poet and critic, Kevin Quinn at Enniskillen Castle and Damian Smith, Head of Literature & Drama at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. We highlight performing arts and the creative and innovative animation of spaces and places of The Buttermarket and Enniskillen Castle grounds. We warmly welcome The All-Ireland Poetry Slam, hosted by Performance Poet Frank Rafferty, where we support the ongoing appreciation of poetry of local  writers and internationally renowned poets, wordsmiths and the engaging humour and infamous wit of Rory Jones, Wizword.

We welcome back our FLIVE Cultural Boat Tour, with opportunities to join us on board the MV Kestrel  in the company of Catherine Scott and Seamus Mac Annaidh. We continue to here from The talented  Fermanagh Writers Group and celebrate and expand the unique and ever inspiring Island Town wide, poetry trail, quite literally from Dawn to Dusk. With opportunities to Breakfast on The Barge, The Lovely Leitrim, BOATEL, on National Poetry Day ,Sept 28th.Celebrating poems by literary champions, on and off the island and waterways, whatever the weather. With Book Launches, Jazz Brunches, Music and The Sound of Brass what better to spend a weekend in Fermanagh, where Culture thrives all year round.

We are committed this year to profiling a range of arts and cultural as well as community events in the lead up to our festival. An opportunity to build new audiences, connect organisations and events that promote creativity and culture, compliment rather than compete with each other. A rising tide really does lift all boats.

While this year’s Fermanagh Live Arts Festival is Oct 4th to Oct 8th, we have many opportunities for events, exhibitions, performances and cultural engagement in September in the lead up to and beyond the festival weekend. We wish all our Creative and Cultural Champions and Festival Partners continued success and sincere thanks for their ongoing support. A Special word of thanks to ta very special team and all the volunteers  that make Fermanagh Live Arts Festival a very special festival in a very special place……..we hope you can join us.