Cultúrlann to create new cultural quarter

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Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin is to mark the 10th anniversary of the opening of the landmark Irish language, arts and cultural centre with plans to develop a cultural quarter.

Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin has announced plans to expand its site with an integrated cluster of new and re-purposed facilities.

Following a £4.5m build, Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin opened in September 2009 on the former McDaid’s bakery site on Great James Street.

Since opening, the venue has established itself as an important resource for the Irish language, arts and culture in the region.

It is a major venue for some of the best musicians, artists and performers from across the country and internationally and also provides a local community resource.

In addition to the iconic Irish language and cultural centre, the hub will comprise three Grade 2+ listed buildings: Acadamh Ceoil Caoimhin Uí Dhochartaigh centre of excellence for music; An tSeaneaglais (Glassworks), recognised as one of the finest live performance spaces on the island; and Teach Scoile, halls of residence for Ulster University (Magee Campus) Irish language students.

Over 400 language learners follow weekly Irish language classes and more than 1,000 young people attend music classes and activities every week in Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin.

A further 200 young Irish speakers attend Club Oíge Setanta (Youth Club) weekly.

The organisation said it continues to put young people at the heart of Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin and has plans for a purpose-built space enabling the organisation to expand its extensive work with young people.

Gearóid O hÉara, the organisation’s CEO, said: “The organisation has been through numerous periods of transformation and reinvention from its humble beginnings 35 years ago.

“From a single room in Dove House in the 1980s to Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, one of the city’s most iconic spaces, the development and presentation of Irish language, culture and arts has been transformed, and the new ‘Cultural Quarter’ will enable us to continue our mission and growth.”

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland said: “Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin has, over the past 10 years, established itself not only as a major part of Derry’s cultural scene, but also as an important regional hub.

“It has made a significant contribution to the opportunities that are now available for all sections of the community to engage with the arts. We are proud to be its principal funder and I would like to extend my congratulations to everyone involved with Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin as it celebrates its 10th birthday.”

Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin will celebrate with a series of special events to mark the anniversary year

An ‘Open House’ event will take place on Saturday, September 7 from 11.00 am – 4.00 pm, with a range of events and activities, including music performances, ‘Come and Try’ sessions in music and Irish and eco events.