Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

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2019 Christmas Gift Guide

Wednesday 11th December 2019 at 4pm 0 Comments


From music and original art, to tickets to a great play or concert, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland picks out some perfect arts-inspired presents to treat yourself or a loved one this festive season.  Merry Christmas!

In 2018, the Arts Council supported musician and songwriter, Davy Watson, to arrange his music for a special performance with the Ulster Orchestra and what a night it was! Re-live this moment with Davy’s recently released DVD and CD, Davy Watson with the Ulster Orchestra Live at the Ulster Hall, available at

Musicians, Ryan Vail and Elma Orchestra (Eoin O’Callaghan), were supported by the Arts Council to release their ground-breaking, critically-acclaimed collaborative album, Borders, in 2019, performing the work at many festivals including Guadalajara, Mexico with the city’s full, 60-piece Zapopan Symphony Orchestra.  The album is available on CD and vinyl at

Own Art is an interest free loan scheme, supported by the Arts Council, which makes buying a piece of art easier and more affordable by spreading the cost over 10 months.  Spoil your loved one and choose from jewellery, ceramics, paintings, original prints and objet d’art. Participating galleries include Gormleys, ArtisAnn Gallery and Steensons. For more information visit

Own that musical instrument of your dreams with Take It Away.  Similar to Own Art, the Take It Away scheme, supported by the Arts Council, offers the opportunity to purchase a musical instrument, equipment or software, with an interest free loan repaid over 10 months.  See for more information on participating stores in the region. 

The Out to Lunch Festival continues to keep the festive cheer going, returning to Belfast on 3-26 January, featuring the best in comedy, theatre, literature and music.  This year’s line-up includes, NI Opera, Los Dramaticos, Malojian, David Lyttle, John Shuttleworth and Emer Maguire among many others.  Visit

Staying on the festival theme, the IMBOLC Festival returns to Derry-Londonderry for a ten-day celebration of folk music, arts, dance and culture, featuring top international acts and local talent.  The festival opens on 1st February with something to suit all ages and tastes.  Visit

Craft NI recently launched their brand new space on Belfast’s Royal Avenue featuring the Craft NI Gallery, an exhibition space currently showing works from the Arts Council’s Collection but it’s also a place where you can buy extraordinary gifts by designer-makers from Northern Ireland.  The exhibition continues until 17th January.  Visit

It’s showtime! The MAC, Lyric Theatre, Grand Opera House, Millennium Forum, Crescent Arts Centre, The Playhouse and Waterside Theatre, all have fantastic shows coming up in 2020, including panto, musicals, comedy, family theatre, workshops and opera.  A highlight for 2020 is sure to be the return of Good Vibrations at the Lyric Theatre which completely sold out in 2019 and received rave reviews.  If you’re unsure what tickets to buy, simply pick up a voucher! 

The Panarts Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival and Convention returns to the city from 11-13 March.  One of Northern Ireland’s most innovative festivals, celebrating the art of song writing, it features a series of concerts and workshops linking local and international talent, including four Grammy Award winning songwriters who between them have penned hit songs for major artists including, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Avicii, Lady Antebellum, Alison Krauss and more.   Buy tickets at


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