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Creative Belfast project to celebrate the River Farset

Friday 5th February 2016 at 3pm 0 Comments Community Arts , Visual Arts

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive Arts Council of Northern Ireland pictured with 7-year-old Aaron McMillen and Aisling Ni Labhrai, at the launch of the Farset Project at Belfast City Hall. Image: Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive Arts Council of Northern Ireland pictured with 7-year-old Aaron McMillen and Aisling Ni Labhrai, at the launch of the Farset Project at Belfast City Hall.

The Farset Project will bring a spectacular celebration to Belfast on Monday 30 May in a large-scale, outdoor, family-friendly event which has at its heart the story of the origins of Belfast and its people.

The project is one of seven high-quality events funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council through the Creative and Cultural Belfast Fund and is a cross-community collaboration between Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich on the Falls Road and the Spectrum Centre on the Shankill Road.

The River Farset was a vital source of sustenance for the first Belfast settlers and a key attraction for the many foundries and linen mills which flourished here making Belfast an important industrial city which drew many workers to Belfast from the surrounding countryside and further afield. This one-day festival will explore the centrality of the River Farset to the development of the city socially, economically and physically, while re-connecting communities to this rich heritage.

Lumiere Productions, the innovative and award-winning team behind the outstanding visual displays at MTV Crashes, Fleadh Ceoil and whose team were responsible for delivering many of the highlight events of the Capital of Culture year in Derry, have come on board to manage the Farset Festival.

In addition, a brand new public art sculpture will be revealed to become a new icon for Belfast located near the source of the River Farset. The public art piece has been developed, planned and shaped by local communities through a series of artist-led engagement workshops. Artist Collective Solas Creative has been commissioned to develop the piece which will act as a symbol of the river and the communities that grew around her.

Cultúrlann Executive Director Aisling Ní Labhraí says the excitement surrounding the project is growing:

“A lot of the work has been behind the scenes up to now with workshops and commissioning processes,” she said. “Now we’re moving up a gear with the launch and the preparations for the spectacle event and art piece, the anticipation is mounting. The investment the Creative Belfast Fund has made in the arts and communities has been a big boost for Belfast.”

The Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Guy Spence, said of the project:

“Farset gets to the very essence of our Creative Belfast projects, which symbolise our recognition of the importance and value of bringing together cultural and community organisations. Creative Belfast brings that ethos to life, and Farset is the embodiment of it, drawing on the spirit, geography and history of the river which is the lifeblood of our city for its inspiration, while at the same time bringing together our communities in the spirit of artistic and cultural expression.”

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:

“The Farset Project is one of seven ambitious, exciting events taking place in Belfast as part of the Creative Belfast initiative. Through the initiative, Belfast Baby Day, Draw Down the Walls and Nine Nights have already delivered truly exceptional landmark experiences for participants and audiences unlike anything which the city has seen before. Marking the industrial heritage of the city of Belfast, the Farset Project, is an innovative and imaginative take on the city’s own fascinating history which will bring the people and communities of Belfast together in celebration and I would encourage everyone to get involved in something amazing.”

The spectacular Farset Project will take place on Monday 30th May 2016. Keep up to date with the Farset Project at or connect with all projects online at and via twitter @Cre8tiveBelfast and #CreativeBelfast.


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