Sir James Galway has called on the business community to invest more money in Northern Ireland arts.
The world-renowned flautist said the onus was on the local business community to get behind the arts and to financially support the creative industries.
Sir James was speaking ahead of an event last night organised by Belfast City Council to pay tribute to the contribution he has made to Northern Ireland. The 70-year-old, who flew in from Switzerland where he lives with his wife Jeannie to collect the award, said: “Belfast has many brilliant people, like physicians and mathematicians, but it’s not them that the tourists come here to see. When you get a city like Belfast or Berlin, it’s the museums, theatres, and orchestras that people want to see. And at the moment Belfast has so much to offer. It’s a no-brainer, really. More investment is needed in the arts if the tourists are to keep coming.
“Generally, the business community doesn’t give money to the arts but they need to realise that it’s the likes of the Lyric that tourists want to see. These are the things that make Belfast such a wonderful city.”