| 8.1°C Belfast

Close

Premium

State of the arts: £29m lifeline for Northern Ireland's cultural sector may be too little, too late for many

The Government finally announced a £29m lifeline for NI's cultural sector this week. But, for many, it's too little, too late. Mark Bain reports

Close

Concerns: A protest at Custom House Square, Belfast by people who work in the arts sector in Northern Ireland

Concerns: A protest at Custom House Square, Belfast by people who work in the arts sector in Northern Ireland

Jimmy Fay, executive producer at the Lyric Theatre

Jimmy Fay, executive producer at the Lyric Theatre

Concerns: A protest at Custom House Square, Belfast by people who work in the arts sector in Northern Ireland

Once upon a time, we enjoyed a night out at the theatre, a live music gig in a crowded venue, experienced the anticipation as the lights went down and the curtains drew back. The show must go on, those in the profession have always said. Except now, when someone tells you to stop.

Despite the Executive's financial support, promised in July, with £29m finally announced on Thursday, it's too late to put Christmas back on the cards.

As a child, I remember the trip to the big city with my parents to the Christmas pantomime at the Grand Opera House. It didn't matter what or who was on the stage, but I'm sure May McFettridge was there.