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Launch of the debut Look North! The North Belfast Festival

Friday 14th January 2022 at 12pm 0 Comments

North Belfast’s rich culture and built heritage is to be recognised in a new Festival whose aim is to celebrate the story of North Belfast with its vibrant and diverse community.

This debut weekend festival - Look North! The North Belfast Festival - will take place from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 February in a wide range of venues along the new North Belfast Cultural Corridor. In just over one mile you can find 15 historic buildings and sites which stretch back to the 18th Century. It is an area also renowned as the birth-place and alma mater of such international literary talent as Brian Moore, Helen Waddell, John Hewitt, Ciaran Carson, Sinéad Morrisey, Anne Devlin, Gerald Dawe, Bernard MacLaverty, and Anna Burns.

The festival programme is jam-packed with activities to showcase and celebrate North Belfast’s rich heritage and its cultural, creative and literary talents, with appearances from local authors, artists and young people, though it is not all limited to the area. To this end the programme reflects a wide range of activities and interests, including talks, poetry readings, panel discussions, walks, historic tours, the visual arts, music and comedy performances, creative writing classes for adults and the launch of the first Look North! Short Story Literary Awards in association with Intercomm North Belfast

Speaking at the launch in Clifton House North Belfast, Tony Kennedy, Chair of The John Hewitt Society, who outlined the festival programme said,

“It is a great pleasure to bring a festival to this part of Belfast where John Hewitt was born and grew up, and which shaped his views on life. This debut Festival aims to be open to all and we hope that it will be the beginning of a regular event recognising the rich heritage and cultural contributions of North Belfast, both to the city and beyond. I would like to thank my fellow committee members for the development of such a rich and exciting programme. I would also like to thank our core funders, particularly the National Lottery Community Fund, Belfast City Council and Ulster University for their support, as well as sponsors and partners who are named in the programme.”

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Kate Nicholl, who launched the festival said:

“This debut festival is a fantastic celebration of the unique and creative talents that exist in North Belfast. The packed schedule of events offers something for everyone to enjoy. Good luck to the team on delivering what I’m sure will be a hugely successful programme.”

The Festival Ambassador, Tim McGarry, who also spoke, added:

"As a proud son of North Belfast I'm delighted that we are finally getting our own bespoke festival and am honoured to lend my support to it. I hope the excellent range of events brings more people to this part of the city and that this is just the start of something beautiful for North Belfast".

Welcoming the Festival, Roisín Mc Donough Chief Executive of The Arts Council of Northern Ireland stated,

‘’The Arts Council is delighted to support what will be a tremendous celebration of arts in and of North Belfast.’’

To view the full schedule, and to book for events, please visit

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