05/02/2004

Belfast gets into carnival spirit

A world renowned team of carnival arts and street performance experts arrived in Belfast today to explore the potential for carnival events and skills training in the city.

David Boyd, Director of Belfast’s carnival arts company, the Beat Initiative, was joined by three other carnival experts at the one day seminar, being held at Belfast's Waterfront Hall.

Commenting on the meeting, Councillor Naomi Long, Deputy Chairman of Belfast City Council’s Development (Arts) Sub-Committee, said: “Festivals and cultural events bring tremendous opportunities for communities to get involved in celebrating cultural diversity, learning new skills and, of course, enjoying themselves.

"Belfast City Council has committed to developing cultural activity in Belfast to help regenerate the city and tomorrow is a great opportunity for us to share experience in programming and producing large scale celebratory events for the city – and to explore what support there is from other agencies and festivals organizations for carnival skills training and a reinvigorated Belfast Carnival”.

Ali Pretty, Artistic Director with Kinetika, was just one of the visitors who shared her international experience with a wide variety of events including the Trinidad Carnival, the Notting Hill Carnival London and the Olympics Opening Ceremony in Atlanta.

She was joined by Pax Nindi, Senior Carnival Arts Officer with the Arts Council of England, and David Hill from Art Reach, who has extensive experience of developing fundraising strategy for large scale cultural projects.

Delegates included representatives from cultural funding bodies and festival organisations from across the city.

(MB)

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