Belfast Children’s Festival Expands Thanks To Cash Investment

Belfast Children’s FestivalBelfast’s Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (CQ BID) has partnered with the 2019 Belfast Children’s Festival to unveil a packed programme of events this Spring.

Gareth Neil (BID Manager, Destination CQ BID), Eibhlín de Barra (Director Young at Art) and Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey

The money has been secured through the Arts & Business NI Investment Programme allowing the BID in partnership with Young at Art to secure match funding. Leveraging in total £14,000 to support the Belfast Children’s Festival.

Running from March 8 to 13 the Belfast’s Children Festival has become established as one of the premiere creative events for children and young people on the island, and the new ‘inSPIREd’ family programme throughout Cathedral Quarter, is set to be a key feature.

With 450 business members CQ BID aims to drive commercial and community development in the area.

Gareth Neill, CQ BID Manager said it was an opportunity to show that the Cathedral Quarter, as well as being a renowned business area and night-life hub, also a destination for families.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with the Young At Art Children’s Festival this year to support the CQ BID vision to ‘create, celebrate, invite and inspire’.  This partnership will help to further connect Young At Art audiences with businesses in the area.

“There are so many unique businesses here, from innovative dining through to cutting edge tech companies and this partnership will drive further footfall into the area and in turn increased spending throughout the Cathedral Quarter.”

Maeve McKervey Business Manager at Arts & Business NI said: “ We are delighted to support our 2018 Arts Award Winner Young at Art in developing a new partnership with Cathedral Quarter BID. We are very familiar with Young at Art’s fabulous creative programme and are excited to see how they will animate and energise the Cathedral Quarter during their amazing Belfast Children’s Festival 2019.”

The inSPIREd family programme will be bursting with exciting events and activities across the Cathedral Quarter, supported CQ BID. On Saturday March 9, a one-off special Baby Rave ‘Rave in the Nave’ takes place in Belfast Cathedral in the morning, followed by free children’s art workshops exploring home and the urban landscape around us, DJ workshops with Bounce Culture, digital animation with Can Do Academy, augmented reality workshops with Art Cart, theatre workshops with Northern Ireland Opera, and much more.

Over the festival families are also invited to discover a wide range of theatre, dance, music, comedy and interactive events in venues across Cathedral Quarter including The MAC, Oh Yeah Music Centre, Black Box, and Ulster University.

The MAC will also play host to four international and two local theatre and dance productions, including Oorlog (War) by Theatre Artemis (Netherlands), Expedition Peter Pan by Het Laagland (Netherlands), Loo by Ponten Pie (Spain), NIE’s We Come From Far, Far Away (Norway/England), The Alien’s Guide to Dance Gone Wrong by Maiden Voyage Dance, and Baby Daddy by Replay Theatre Company, and also a platform of exciting works-in-progress performances from four emerging local artists.

Eibhlín de Barra, Director Young at Art, said: “The 2019 Belfast Children’s Festival is a wonderful mix of theatre, dance, comedy, music, visual arts and interactive events for families. There is strong synergy with CQ BID’s vision and we’re excited to work together on raising awareness of the cultural offering of this area to families and schools, positioning the Cathedral Quarter as an essential part of the cultural and civic life of the children of this city and to deliver on commercial objectives of driving footfall, increasing spend, and developing awareness of this special part of the city.

The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, added: “Once again, Young at Art has lined up an incredible programme of quality cultural entertainment for families at the Belfast Children’s Festival this Spring – animating our great city and inspiring creativity, joy and curiosity in children and young people through affordable, accessible and energising events.”

Festival tickets, and a full list of events, are on sale at The maximum ticket price is £10, and adults pay the same price as children. Many events are free.

Find out more about Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter at

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