With less than four weeks to go until multiple Leeside venues, streets and public spaces come alive with the sights and sounds of music, dance, theatre, art and much more, preparations are in full swing to ensure that Cork City Culture Night 2019 leaves a lasting impression. Launched on Wednesday 28th August by Cork City Culture Night Ambassador and Derry Girls star Siobhán McSweeney, this year’s event boasts a programme of events that will draw crowds in their droves into the city on Friday 20th September, all keen to catch a glimpse of the action taking place in over 100 participating venues.
Cork’s Culture Night celebrations in 2019 will reach farther afield than previous years thanks to the recent boundary extension, which has seen the city bounds stretch to areas such as Ballincollig, Glanmire, Blarney, Douglas and Whites Cross. Those unable to make it into the centre of the city on the night need not worry about missing out; with events such a photography exhibition and short film screening at Ballincollig’s Gunpowder Mills Centre and a traditional music session in Glanmire, culture vultures all across Cork can immerse themselves in the buzz and excitement.
Speaking as this year’s Cork City Culture Night was officially launched at the Triskel Arts Centre, Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr John Sheehan commented:
“Cork plays a huge role in maintaining Ireland’s reputation for the vast cultural heritage and sheer volume of talent that exists here, across all facets of the arts. Culture Night in particular offers us a unique opportunity to showcase the many wonderful strings to this city’s bow, in terms of drama, music, literature, art and much more. I would encourage the people of Cork to make a point of circling Friday 20th September in their calendars, to take the opportunity to tour this wonderful city of ours over the course of the evening, and to soak up the many free events on offer across more than 100 artistic and cultural venues. It’s truly a chance for us all to ‘Wrap Up in Culture’ and lose ourselves in a little magic for one night only.”
In a city that celebrates the arts in many ways all year round, what is it that sets Culture Night apart from any other day of the week? There are three key criteria that distinguishes a Culture Night event or venue:
- It must be a free event
- It must be open and accessible to the public after 4pm
- Participating venues must offer something different from the norm
The latter point is incredibly evident within the 2019 programme of events, with a vast array of venues, from cafes, pubs and theatre spaces to educational institutions and art galleries all going above and beyond to ensure this year’s celebrations are as unique as they are memorable. Examples of such events can be found at Cork University Hospital, who are offering tours of their in-house art collection from 5pm – The West Cork Collection – which consists of 32 artworks and is kindly on loan from Paul and Aileen Finucane, while the Quay Co-Op will play host to an evening of short film, presented by IndieCork Festival and kicking off at 7pm.
Younger culture vultures will certainly not be overlooked this year, with a variety of fun and interactive events taking place across the city. The ‘Around the World in 80 Games’ extravaganza at City Hall, one of this year’s highlights, will introduce young people, and indeed people of all ages, to a unique intercultural experience, inviting them to participate in games from the past, games from other cultures and street games we all know and love.
Pitch’d Circus Arts Festival returns for 2019 and will feature street performances and circus spectacles, including a teenage circus club at Skiddy’s Plaza, building to the explosive highlight of the Inferno Fire Show, which will light up the skies of the Coal Quay on Cornmmarket Street. Cork Community Art Link in Blackpool has a real treat in store for young creative minds, inviting guests to view props, floats and costumes used in The Dragon of Shandon Parade, join in an open workshop demonstrating techniques used in creating the Dragon and all her spooky friends, and sign up to get involved in The Dragon of Shandon 2019.
Cork actress Siobhán McSweeney was quick to share her enthusiasm over her status as ambassador of Cork City Culture Night; an annual entity that showcases the city’s deep connection to the arts.
“I feel truly honoured to be the ambassador for an event that embraces and celebrates the rich culture that exists in my home city. Although I’ve spent the past 15 years working all across Ireland and the UK, my support of Cork and its affiliation to the arts has never waned. Cork City Culture Night has been in existence for more than a decade and there is a reason for such longevity; this city’s relationship with theatre, film, art, music and more is enduring and I hope we continue to cherish our creativity for many years to come. Whether you’re a regular culture vulture or a newbie on the Culture Night scene, this night is guaranteed to be a memorable one, so let there be no doubt surrounding where you need to be this coming September 20th!”
For more information on Cork City Culture Night 2019, visit www.culturenightcork.ie or keep up to date with programme additions by following the conversation online #CorkCultureNight and #LOVECulture. Check out Facebook\corkcityarts or Twitter @corkcityarts. Culture Night is brought to you by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Creative Ireland Programme in partnership with Cork City Council.