Competition to showcase local talent

Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness pictured at Wednesday Talent Northwest launch in conversation with last year's winner Abbie O'Neill and her mum Amanda. In background is Minister for Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Caral Ni Chuilin.

Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness pictured at Wednesday Talent Northwest launch in conversation with last year's winner Abbie O'Neill and her mum Amanda. In background is Minister for Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Caral Ni Chuilin.

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Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuillin was in Derry last Wednesday to launch ‘Talent North West 2016’ at the Millennium Forum – a major talent competition now in its second year.

The Minister was the special guest at the launch in the Millennium Forum, where she was joined by Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

Other guests included SDLP leader Colum Eastwood and the city’s Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion.

This year’s competition will witness five local heats across the Derry City and Strabane District Council area, starting in the Waterside Theatre on Saturday, February 27th, followed in early March with heats in St. Brigid’s College, the Alley Theatre, Strabane, St. Mary’s College and finishing in St. Cecilia’s College on Sunday, March 13.

The grand final will be held at the Millennium Forum on Easter Saturday.

Speaking at the launch, Event producer Oliver Green said the competition was a huge success last year when it was won by 12 years-old Abbie O’Neill, a student of St. Mary’s College.

“I’m hoping this year’s event digs deep into the heart of the community and pulls out the very best to showcase the cream of talent we have in this region,” said Mr. Green.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness praised the event and said the competition would help uncover Derry’s young talent.

“The thriving arts and music scene in the north-west is very much a part of our community spirit.

“Talent Northwest 2016 will bring together the arts people who want to develop and showcase their talents.

“Our young people, through their talent, energy and enthusiasm are a huge source of inspiration and hope for the future.”

The event is free to enter and open to everyone, professional or amateur.

For more information or to apply, contact the Talent Northwest office on 02871-357443 or visit www.talentnorthwest.com or Facebook/talentnorthwest.