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On the grapevine - January 12


Event to inspire group trip organisers

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board is calling all group trip organisers to attend a ‘Days Out Fair’ on Saturday January 29 designed to showcase the best that the country has to offer with great ideas for day trips and group visits.

The event at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum will cater for group organisers from all walks of life from church groups to sports and social clubs, community groups to retirement associations, from gardening groups to Rotary clubs and many more; with each group that registers being offered two free tickets to attend. Free transport will also be provided on a first come, first served basis by local members of the Federation of Passenger Transport NI.

Those wishing to register should contact the Northern Ireland Tourist Board on 028 9044 1506 or email a.andrews@nitb.com


Free swimming trips

Free swimming trips are available for men from Kilcooley via the Kilcooley Tenant Support Project’s Men’s Club. The trips take place on Tuesday mornings.

If you are interested in going you can contact Stuart at Kilcooley Tenant Support Project on: 02891-470666.

Winter woolie walks

Crawfordsburn Country Park and Lady Dixon Park in Belfast and are among the venues hosting one of the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children’s annual Winter Woolie Walks and Miss Northern Ireland, Lori Moore, is urging local people to come along.

The Winter Woolie Walks will take place on Saturday, February 26 and each walk will range from two to five miles. Registration is £5 for adults and free for children and participants will be given sponsor forms in advance and encouraged to raise as much money as possible. Money raised from the walks will help support children, teenagers and young adults up to the age of 24 and their families who are living with a cancer diagnosis.

The walks will start at 10.30am and warming refreshments will be provided afterwards. For further information and to register your place, please contact Dawn Weir on 028 90805599 or email dawn@nicfc.com. More information can also be found by logging on to www.nicfc.com


Youth urged to act up!

Young people in Ards are being urged to ‘act up’ in 2011, and join the Ards Arts Youth Drama Club.

Teenagers aged between 13 and 16 can join the drama club, now in its second term and beginning again on Monday January 24. The club offers youngsters an opportunity to develop their theatrical skills and confidence, while exploring a range of drama techniques, including characterisation, improvisation, performance styles, vocal techniques, working with text, devising and directing.

Formed by Ards Arts, Ards Borough Council’s arts service, the group is led by one of Northern Ireland’s leading drama professionals, Orla Makeagney.

Orla has been working as a drama facilitator for over 15 years with substantial experience directing youth and adult theatre in community settings. She was a founder member of Kabosh Theatre Company and has worked with countless organisations including Playback Theatre, Open Arts, Young at Art, Ulster Scots Agency, Down Youth Arts, Opera Theatre Company and many more. She has a degree in Theatre, a diploma in Playback Theatre and is a registered Group PsychoDrama Psychotherapist.

“The drama club’s first series of 10 sessions were very well received and drew quite a number of young people, no doubt because many of them were keen to learn from someone of Orla’s experience and talent. While we’ll be welcoming back many of the young people who joined the club in the first term, there is plenty of room for more teenagers who have an interest in drama or who are studying the subject at school, and I’d encourage them to get in touch,” said Amy McKelvey, community arts development officer with the Council.

The Youth Drama Club begins its second term on Monday 24th January at Ards Arts Centre, Conway Square, Newtownards and runs for 10 weeks each Monday from 7pm to 8.30pm. For further information contact the Arts Centre on 028 9181 0803.

Get ready to strum or sumba

Local people can get ready to strum or ‘zumba’ in the most extensive programme of leisure classes ever offered by Ards Arts Centre.

Old favourites, including patchwork, pottery and floral art, are now on offer alongside some exciting new opportunities, all beginning at the end of January.

New to the line up is a ‘Zumba’ dance class. ‘Zumba’ fuses a mix of Latin rhythms like Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia and Reggaton, with easy to follow body sculpting movements, and is the latest dance fitness craze. Facilitated by ArtsEkta, the classes will be relaxed and easy going, but with a lot of energy.

For the first time, the programme also includes a four week introduction to illustration, led by local artist and illustrator Bernice Anderson which will look at illustration techniques in pen, pencil and watercolour. And master calligrapher, Jaquie Brachi, will also be back at the Arts Centre to facilitate a calligraphy class which this time will investigate the versatility of the capital letter.

Young people can also take advantage of increased artistic opportunities. A pottery class by local artist Angela George for children aged 5 to 7 has proven so popular that another has been added to the programme, this time for 8 to 12 year olds.

Art for Kids also returns with the 2011 theme of Medieval Magic where children will delve into a magical world of knights in shining armour and princesses in fairy castles, creating 2D and 3D work to take home.

And a Youth Drama Club will appeal to young people with dramatic flair, particularly when led by Orla McKeagney, one of Northern Ireland’s top drama tutors.

Enrolment for all classes (except watercolour with Ray Elwood) is on Wednesday January 19 between 9am-5pm. Watercolour enrolments will be accepted in person only on Tuesday January 18 at 10am, 2pm and 7pm respectively. Prices vary. For a full list of leisure classes and further information, contact Ards Arts Centre on 028 9181 0803 or visit www.ards-council.gov.uk.

Belfast Telegraph