Cathaoirleach gets in on the act for Culture Night

at the launch of Culture Week. Photo Clive Wasson

Cathaoirleach Cllr. Seamus Ó Domhnaill was busy finding out more about what’s on in Donegal for Culture Night this Friday night as he launched this year’s Culture Night programme in the Donegal County Museum last week.

Culture night takes place on Friday September 21st when hundreds of thousands of people across the country will lose themselves in their imagination and an explosion of creativity as the country comes alive for Culture Night, Ireland’s annual nocturnal cultural extravaganza.

Speaking at the launch Cathaoirleach Cllr. Seamus Ó Domhnaill said: “Donegal is delighted to be once again taking part in Culture Night. The programme of activities in Letterkenny is now available in venues across Letterkenny as well as on www.donegalcoco.ie.

“This will be Letterkenny’s 10th occasion to take part in Culture Night, providing a terrific opportunity for families to sample aspects of Irish Culture and Heritage. The programme for 2018 offers 39 diverse events in 26 venues that celebrate our unique local cultural identity. In common with other participating towns and cities, Letterkenny will light up to an evening of accessible, family friendly events – all completely free of charge”.

Culture really is catching and each year Culture Night brings people together to create unique shared experiences and memories. All for FREE! From generations of families consuming and exploring new night-time adventures to groups of friends enjoying cultural genres they might never have before. Highlights of events taking place in Letterkenny include:

Letterkenny Town Park 7pm – 10pm: A firm favourite in the Letterkenny Culture Night programme, the Town Park will once again provide a variety of creative and cultural delights for families including: Spiky Tribe with the Inishowen Carnival Group. As night stretches to meet the day, the edges of reality blur, through cracks in the ether, we slip between worlds, strange, alien, mysterious and sometimes very spiky.  This illuminated sculpture trail will be brought to life with music, dance and performance.  Presented by Donegal County Council Arts Service.

Donegal County Museum 6.00pm – 10.00pm – Exhibition ‘A Long Farewell’ – Emigration of Donegal Women 1845-1955.  This major exhibition explores the emigration of women from Donegal between 1845 and 1955.

As part of the exhibition the Museum will also host a series of events for the public including  ‘An American Wake’; Stories of the Donegal Orphan Girls who were sent from Donegal Workhouses to Australia during the nineteenth century and a traditional music session with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann

Regional Cultural Centre – Willie Doherty – REMAINS (2013) is a video installation filmed in a number of locations in Derry, Northern Ireland, used since the early 1970’s to carry out kneecappings, a form of punishment shooting used to control drug use and other forms of so-called ‘anti-social behaviour’. Despite the relative calm achieved since the signing of the Belfast Peace Agreement in 1998, paramilitaries still seek to exert control over the lives of those who live in some of the most economically deprived areas.

In 2012, a number of parents were forced to present their children for punishment shootings. REMAINS builds on Doherty’s interest in the relationship between landscape and memory and in working in locations that are contaminated with untold stories; some forgotten, some half remembered or unacknowledged. Doherty uses the camera to examine these locations in almost forensic detail. His telling of these events is punctuated by the image of a burning car, a motif that first appeared in his body of work in the early 1990’s. On loan from the collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Regional cultural centres will once again create a large-scale, hands-on, art-room curated by Harriet Purkis where visitors can find out more about the exhibitions on display and make their own artworks. People of all ages will have the opportunity to experiment with a range of ideas and materials to produce their own masterpieces.

An Grianán Theatre – 7pm – late Following on from the success of his solo show, Little Folk- On Tour, Kyle Riley is back and bringing the band- The Temper Tantrums. The ‘Sing to Me’ Tour features original songs, some traditional children’s music and a little something for the adults too. It’s an hour of folk and rock music, sure to get you moving. For your under 8’s, your rock toddlers and the little boppers in between, it’s fun for the whole family.

Then from 9pm until late, in the Eatery Bar, we have the return of Pauric Gallagher’s Culture Night Comedy Cavalcade. Sketches, Improv & Stand-Up from Pauric and other top local talents. Patric is the host of the successful Comedy at the Vintage Room which takes place monthly in Voodoo Vintage and he has worked with such disparate comic talents as Andrew Maxwell and Farmer Michael.

Heritage Tours- Connecting with Letterkenny’s Historic Streetscape – 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. ‘Make a Connection’ with the historic buildings and streetscapes of Letterkenny this Culture Night on a short walking tour with Colm Murray, Architecture Officer with The Heritage Council.  Drawing on the stories these buildings tell, built heritage archives and historical photographs, Colm will identify clues to the development of Letterkenny’s built environment.  The walk will start at the Central Library, proceed along the Main Street and finish at the County Museum.