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Derry City & Strabane

Local Groups in Derry City and Strabane District celebrate ‘Brighter Days Ahead’

Pictured with The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane, Alderman Graham Warke is local children from the Enagh Youth Forum and Pauline O'Neill, Derry City and Strabane District Council and Peter Day, The Community Relations Council.

Local Groups in Derry City and Strabane District will celebrate the peace building and cultural diversity efforts of young people and the challenges they face with a creative programme of cross-community and multicultural events as part of Good Relations Week 2021.

Good Relations Week 2021, co-ordinated by the Community Relations Council, will run from Monday 20th to Sunday 26th September, with a mix of arts, history, music, sport and culture-based events from a diverse range of organisations across the region.

This year’s colourful programme will include the return of face-to-face events, alongside an expanded online offering of virtual events and digital content. This will include workshops, lectures, panel discussions, feature talks, podcasts, film, music and dance performances, storytelling and exhibitions.

The theme for Good Relations Week 2021 is ‘Brighter Days Ahead’ which celebrates the efforts of young people in their everyday lives to break down barriers, unite communities and act as a catalyst for peace building and cultural diversity in our society.

It will explore how society can better meet the needs of young people and explore the issues affecting their culturally diverse lives today, including sectarianism and racism, dealing with the continuing impact of the past, mental health, isolation, education, faith, the pandemic, and the environment.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Alderman Alderman Warke said Good Relations Week was an important date in the calendar to allow local communities to celebrate the positive work they are doing to promote equality. “The Council is fully supportive of Good Relations Week and the work being done across our area in encouraging various communities to express and celebrate their cultures in a positive and respectful way. We as a Council are delighted to be involved in the celebrations and will be encouraging community and voluntary groups from across the district to take part and showcase the wide range of diverse and cultural projects here.”

Martin McDonald MBE, Chair of the Community Relations Council, says: “Good Relations Week 2021 will showcase over 200 highly entertaining events that will shine a light on ground-breaking projects and initiatives that tackle sectarianism and racism and promote cultural diversity – all aimed at building brighter days ahead for everyone. 

“We are delighted that over 100 different event and content organisers have embraced our ‘Brighter Days Ahead’ theme and helped to shape a truly remarkable Good Relations Week 2021 that demonstrates imagination, enthusiasm, and commitment to building a united community in our everyday lives.”

Jacqueline Irwin, Chief Executive of the Community Relations Council adds: Huge thanks to everyone who has contributed to this year’s dynamic programme of events, helping to make Good Relations Week a modern celebration of our diverse culture and heritage.

“We are once again thrilled to be able to deliver this showcase of cross community and multi-cultural arts, history, music and culture.  We have a packed programme of face-to-face and virtual events, as well as online material.  There is so much to attend, watch and experience, don’t miss it! I would encourage everyone to plan their week of events by checking out the programme at www.goodrelations.com.”

Good Relations Week is co-ordinated by the Community Relations Council and supported by The Executive Office.  It contributes to delivering the Together: Building a United Community Strategy. The Community Relations Council co-ordinates the week with the support of a Steering Committee comprising of The Executive Office, Department for Communities, Department of Justice, Education Authority, Libraries NI, Cathedral Quarter Trust and The Nerve Centre. 

Derry City & Strabane

Business and Culture Committee Receives Update on Christmas Plans

Members of Council’s Business and Culture committee were presented with an update on plans for the Christmas programme within the district at their September meeting on Tuesday.

Presenting the report, Council’s Head of Culture, Aeidin McCarter, explained that the Christmas programme would begin on November 20th and continue into December, focusing on key weekends throughout this period.

Members heard that the programming will focus on bringing communities together, creating the space for shared inclusive celebration around the Christmas period and that all programming would be carried out in line with Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines.

It was explained that Christmas lights switch ons will take place in Strabane on Saturday 20th November and in Derry on Sunday 21st November. Members were told that following last year’s virtual switch ons, this year it was proposed that the event return to an outdoor event format using different streets in the city and town centres to allow for social distancing.

Aeidin McCarter said, “We are planning a ‘Santa’s Switch On Procession’ which will consist of festive characters, NI Fire and Rescue Service, Panto Characters and beautiful bespoke Christmas themed mobile installations.

“Members of the public attending the Switch On event will be able to view Santa switching on the Christmas lights from a series of city and town centre streets which will allow for the maximum number of people to safely line the routes.”

She added that Business and Culture officers are working closely with the Council’s Environment Directorate to ensure that the various Christmas lighting schemes are complemented by a mix of events and activities to ensure an enriched overall visitor and shopper experience.

Members were also informed that work was ongoing around the Christmas Markets and a further update would be provided on the proposed details and dates at next month’s committee meeting.

Due to the continued indoor restrictions with regards to Covid-19, members were told that the possibility of hosting the Guildhall Craft Fair is unlikely, but that the festive marketing campaign would centre around ‘shop & gift local’, ‘support local’ and ‘your small spend makes a giant difference’ messaging themes to support local businesses and traders.

As part of the update, members also heard that the Council’s Events team are continuing to work closely with the Mayor’s Office on a series of activities that will enable the Mayor to bring Festive fun to communities in the Derry City and Strabane District.

Members voted to approve the overall budget of £80,000, with a further update to come before committee in October.

Business and Culture chair, Cllr Conor Heaney, welcomed the report and thanked Council officers for their work on the programme to date, adding that the festive period is always a positive and exciting time for local people and businesses and that the proposed programme will add to that excitement.

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Derry City & Strabane

Mayor to Host ‘Supercar Sunday’ for Charity

The Mayor, Graham Warke pictured at Guildhall Square on Saturday with Christopher Cooper, manager, FDST and staff Grainne Dunne, Megan Crossan and Aine Barrett. 'The Mayor's Supercar Sunday' will take place on 3rd October in aid of the Mayor's charity, Foyle Down Syndrome Trust. The event will include Lamborghinis, Corvettes, Mustangs and MacLarens on display in the city centre.

If you’re a fan of all things cars, there will only be one place to be next month as Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, hosts ‘The Mayor’s Supercar Sunday’ which will see a range of the world’s most exciting supercars on display in the city centre.

The event will take place on Sunday 3rd October when car enthusiasts Gary McCaul and Keith Gamble will bring up to 15 cars that will include supercars such as Lamborghinis, Ferrari and McLarens together with American Muscle cars such as Corvette and the Fo​rd Mustang to Guildhall Square and Harbour Square for the public to get up close and personal with these incredible machines.

Mayor Warke is hosting the special event to raise funds for his Mayor’s charity, Foyle Down Syndrome Trust, and attendees will be invited on the day to donate to the charity, which supports and empowers children and young people with Down syndrome from birth to adulthood.

“I’m really looking forward to this event at the start of October and having got a sneak peek of some of the cars that will be on display I can safely say this is something not to be missed,” said the Mayor.

“We’ve all seen the Lamborghinis and Mustangs on TV and in films, but this is an opportunity to get a close-up look at these magnificent cars.

“I can guarantee that it will be fun for all the family. It’s not often that you get to see so many of these supercars all in one spot, so make sure you call down on Sunday 3rd October and have a look.

“This is all in aid of my chosen Mayor’s charity, Foyle Down Syndrome Trust, who do fantastic work in this city and district. All donations will be hugely appreciated, and all proceeds collected on the day will go directly to helping FDST.”

‘The Mayor’s Supercar Sunday’ will take place on Sunday 3rd October from 12pm to 4pm in Guildhall Square and Harbour Square. Donations can be made on the day to Foyle Down Syndrome Trust or you can donate online.

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