Belfast Telegraph

On the grapevine - August 26

CITY CENTRE

New abuse recovery group

A new recovery group Lifering will be starting soon in Belfast.

Lifering is open to people with substance abuse problems and their families — it has a secular approach and is non 12 step.

Taking off in Dublin with six new meetings in the past year, this meeting in Belfast will be the first face to face meeting in the UK.

Friends Meeting House in Frederick Street, Belfast will be the venue for the introductory talk at 8 pm Tuesday, September 7 — after which regular meetings will start from Tuesday, September 14, at 8pm.

Lifering will appeal to the non denominational cross community mind set. The Belfast meetings will have close links with Dublin instead of the UK simply because its more practical than ideological.

You are not required to label yourself as an “alcoholic” or “addict” to participate at the meetings. A desire to be clean and sober is the only requirement for being there. It is a requirement you be clean and sober at the time of the meeting in order to speak.

Lifering will be seen as a cross border, peaceful initiative which will make it easier for networking with other community groups. For further information visit www.lifering.org

NEWTOWNABBEY

Classic night to remember

Newtownabbey Borough Council is delighted to announce that ‘Live Classics in the Park’ will return to the Shoreline Festival on Monday, August 30 — music commencing at 7.30pm.

The outstanding line-up will feature Adriano Graziani (Tenor), Charlotte Kinder (Soprano), David Kempster (Baritone) and Ingrid Surgenor (Piano), all of whom are internationally renowned.

Lisa O’Kane, who has organised the event, said: “This is our fourth Classics in the Park and it just gets bigger and better each year. We want to show that classical songs and opera can be enjoyed by all.

“The programme is designed to appeal to both fans of opera and to those who are just curious, with the programme including popular arias and songs from well known musicals and opera.”

Admission is free and the evening concludes with a fireworks extravaganza on the lough shore. For a special touch, why not pack a picnic, but remember that glass containers and bottles are not permitted. So, dress for the weather and enjoy a night to remember!

Free park and ride will be available from Hazelbank Park. For further information visit www.newtownabbey.gov.uk/shoreline, follow Shoreline Festival on Facebook or telephone Lisa O’Kane on 028 9034 0052.

Still time to have your say

Residents and shop owners in Ballyclare and Glengormley are being encouraged this week to take up the last opportunity to be part of the consultation on the draft Masterplans for Glengormley and Ballyclare. The consultation period will close on Friday, August 27.

The plans can be viewed in Woodsides (Ballyclare) and Northcott Shopping Centre (Glengormley), as well as on the council’s web site www.newtownabbey.gov.uk/masterplans and Department for Social Development’s website www.dsdni.gov.uk

The draft proposals have identified key development opportunities in both town centres, including new retail and leisure sites by redeveloping derelict and run down areas, as well as physical improvements to create new public spaces in the town centres.

CITY WIDE

Ulster Bank Belfast festival

The countdown to Ireland’s largest arts festival — the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s – is officially under way.

Unveiled on Monday, August 23, the festival programme is bursting at its proverbial seams with the best of international and local music, theatre, dance, visual art and spoken word in a packed 16-day programme which kicks off on October 15.

Taking place at a record 36 venues across the city, the festival will see a school sports hall in North Belfast transformed into the battlefields of Iraq and the tranquil Botanic Gardens turned into a mystical, magical garden. With traditional venues from the Ulster Hall, the Waterfront, Grand Opera House and the Great Hall at Queen’s to a barge on the Lagan, Clonard Monastery and May Street Church, this year’s festival will be the liveliest and the most diverse in its 48th year history further bolstering its reputation as one of the premiere arts events on these islands.

With round-the-clock entertainment, there really is no better time to take in the city. Featuring more than 60 show-stopping acts the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s also welcomes back world-class comic Michael Palin.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Pat Convery, hailed the Festival as being a highlight in the city’s artsand entertainment calendar. He said: “Thanks to excellent initiatives such as this, Belfast’s status as a thriving cultural centre of excellence is being secured locally, nationally and internationally.”

This year’s festival runs until October 30. For more information on the festival programme or to book tickets, log on to www.belfastfestival.com or contact the festival box office Mon-Fri 9am-6pm and Sat 10am-2pm on 9097 1197.

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