Culture Night is an annual all-island public event that celebrates culture, creativity and the arts. This year, it will take place on Friday, September 22nd between 5pm and 11pm. On Culture Night, arts and cultural organisations, venues of all shapes and sizes, artists, and voluntary and community groups programme special and exciting events for their communities to enjoy, and everything is free of charge.
This is the seventh year of Culture Night in County Cork, and with 100 free arts and cultural events in over 40 towns and villages around the county it is the biggest yet. I’m really looking forward to attending some of these events. There’s plenty to choose in the extensive Cork County Programme, which you can find at www.culturenightcorkcounty.ie. Some of my highlights are:
Clonakilty Community Arts Centre will host a week of fun and informative workshops combining sustainability and music making, all leading to the finale event with community music practitioner John Bowker, on Culture Night. The arts centre is also one of the venues for the Marking Time Art Trail and Clonakilty Comhaltas will also perform in Astna Square on the night. Also in Clonakilty, Kilmeen Drama Group will bring Irish revolutionary history to life with dramatic readings of poetry, speeches and song in Michael Collins House.
There’s plenty happening in Dunmanway as the local branch of Comhaltas hosts an evening of trad music, song, set dancing and storytelling in the old farmhouse setting of the Sam Maguire Homestead, while Dunmanway Cultural Treasure Trail will allow you to try your hand at traditional crafts, and takes you around the town to exhibitions, music performances and ringing of the community bells.
The charming new Store of Memories Museum in Inchigeela will open late (9pm -10pm), and will host a lamplight storytelling of a 1913 voyage to Australia.
If you’ve ever fancied being a piper, Ballingeary Pipe Band invites you to meet members, discuss the various instruments and even give one try. Afterwards they will treat you to a parade through the town.
Bantry Community Choir will be performing in Bantry Library and Accapellabella will open the festivities at Drimoleague Singing Festival, which runs over the course of the weekend with a wide variety of singers and events.
Doneraile House welcomes you to an outdoor performance of ‘The Tayman’ by Jack Healy with music from The Northern Stars.
Culture vultures in Mallow will have a jam-packed evening with poetry readings from local poets and special guest Gerry Murphy, cultural cafes extending their opening hours for music performances, a taster workshop from Lightbulb Youth Theatre, and an evening concert in St. James Church organised by Mallow Arts Collective.
If you want to exercise your ‘cúpla focal’, Gaeilgeoirí Chois Móire will host an evening of Irish language, song and stories in Fermoy Youth Centre.
The Cork Adult Education Centre, New Street, Macroom will hold the following from 5pm – 11pm: Art Exhibition, storytelling with Pat Speight, Blas nua Gaeilge, Amhránaíocht na Mumhan le Caitllín Ni Bheaglaíoch, a performance from Macroom Community Choir, and a session with songwriter Ger Wolfe.
South & East Cork
There will be an amazing evening of traditional music in Ballincollig Shopping Centre performed by Ballincollig Comhaltas and a screening of short films by local filmmakers in the Gunpowder Mills.
St Multose Church, Church Street, Kinsale is the venue for an exciting evening of orchestral music. Kinsale Amateur Orchestra Society will perform a number of pieces including ‘Palladio’ for string instruments and ‘Disco Lives’ for wind and brass. The orchestra will be collaborating with members from Comhaltas Ballinspittle, following their appearance together at Fleadh Ceoil Chorcaí in April, as well as several singers from Kinsale College of Further Education.
Come along for a great night of entertainment, with everything from classical to traditional Irish music, with some pop and film music in between.
St Mary’s Collegiate College, Youghal hosts a celebration of culture with opening by The Reverend Edwin Hunter; a performance by Youghal Choral Society; history of St Mary’s Church by Norman McDonald; and a talk on Youghal artists by Mary Roach.
There are many more events being hosted countywide. The website www.culturenightcorkcounty.ie gives full details. There are events to suit all tastes and I would encourage everyone to attend at least one. As Mayor of the County of Cork, I would like to thank all of the organisations and individuals taking part in this fantastic event. I sincerely hope that the night is a resounding success for all.
Cllr Declan Hurley
Mayor of the County of Cork