Celebrating Colmcille at An Chulturlann

Maria Gallagher and Aideen carlin, An Comhaltas, winner, u-12 duets, at Derry fleadh. (3105SL10)
Maria Gallagher and Aideen carlin, An Comhaltas, winner, u-12 duets, at Derry fleadh. (3105SL10)

The five day Colmcille celebration, Scoil Samhraidh Cholmcille, concludes at An Chulturlann, Great James’ Street, this weekend.

This year’s programme marks the 12th annual Scoil Samhraidh Cholm Cille - Colmcille Summer School. The festival will, according to organisers, explore the legacy of Colmcille in a modern context, a legacy which, it is argued touches on many aspects of history, culture and identity.

The festival will focus on themes of exile, exclusion and tradition.

The centre has already hosted a celebration of the 40 years of traditional music and culture offered by Comhaltas Ceolteoiri Eireann. The organisation, a vehicle for the best in traditional music locally, was the subject of a photographic presentation on Wednesday evening.

On Thursday evening folk rockers, The Moulettes, and Balkan Alien Sound, led a celebration of gypsy and folk music.

The Irish language, music, arts and film-led progamme also features a fundraiser for Gay Pride Week.

Today the centre hosts ‘Queer Day’ which will invite people to “dress in another man’s shoes. In most cases these will be high heeled stillettos.”

Pictúrlann na Cultúrlainne returns later this evening with a screening of ‘Paris is Burning at 8pm. This poignant, well-received documentary investigates the community of New York’s minority drag queens, gay black and Latino men. These men were thought to have invented the dance style of ‘voguing,’ which involves imitating the fashion poses on the covers of the magazine Vogue. Filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, it is a thoughtful exploration of race, class and gender in America.

Finally those interested in learning the Irish language can avail of an intensive Irish language course this Saturday June 9 and Sunday June 10.

The Sunday class will be followed by trip to Limavady for the Drumceatt Convention of Poets featuring renowned harpist Laoise Kelly, sean-nós singer Lorcán MacMathuna and Dungiven bodhrán player Séamus O’Kane.

A free bus to the Radisson Hotel, Limavady will be leaving An Chultúrlann at 2.30pm for the event.

Scoil Samhraidh Cholm Cille is funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Derry City Council, Limavady Borough Council and Foras na Gaeilge.

Joan Dempster, Community Arts Development Officer, Arts Council, said: “Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin is a vital asset to Northern Ireland’s cultural infrastructure and we welcome the return of the Colmcille Summer School to this year’s programme.

“With support from the Arts Council, the Summer School offers local people the chance to not only improve their Irish language skills but to work with arts professionals across a range of artistic disciplines.”