County of Culture plans progressing in Clare

County of Culture plans progressing in Clare

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Ennis will host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in 2016
Ennis will host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in 2016

Clare County Council plans to promote Clare as a County of Culture during 2016 have taken a significant step forward with the issuing of a call for expressions of interest for key cultural events and festivals during the year-long initiative.

The County of Culture initiative was first announced in March after Ennis was designated as the host town for next year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.

The initiative will incorporate the development of a programme of cultural events, to be promoted nationally and internationally, around the prestigious annual event which is expected to attract up to 400,000 people to the Clare County Capital in August 2016.

The Council is now calling on community groups and individuals throughout Clare to submit expressions of interest for cultural festivals and events that will form part of the County of Culture programme. The Local Authority anticipates that the scheme will support a minimum of four projects each to a maximum value of €10,000.

Expressions of interest are invited from new or existing festivals and events which celebrate the culture of Clare and will leave a lasting legacy, while at the same time demonstrate a capacity to attract domestic and overseas tourists.

The Council says the proposed projects may already be in receipt of funding from other schemes administered by the Local Authority but need to demonstrate a “new and innovative element” for 2016. .

“The County of Culture initiative is a wonderful vehicle for promoting the huge breadth and scale of cultural activity ongoing in Clare and I am delighted that the Council is now progressing its plans by encouraging communities to get involved,” said Cllr. John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council.

“Clare is already home to more than 150 festivals and cultural events each year, many of which celebrate the County’s lengthy and celebrated association with Irish traditional music in places like Doolin, Feakle, Ennis and Miltown Malbay. This call for expressions of interest is targeted at growing existing and developing new events that celebrate this County’s rich cultural legacy and promoting Clare as a county of culture to a national and international audience,” added Councillor Crowe.

Tom Coughlan, Chief Executive of Clare County Council said the people of Clare have “a central role to play in the creation of an ambitious programme that promotes the outstanding cultural attributes of the county.”

“The Elected Members are fully behind the initiative which means the Council and its partners can now plan a programme that delivers a compelling reason for people at home and abroad to visit Clare during 2016 and future years to enjoy the unique cultural experience which Clare has to offer,” he added.

Guidelines on the content of applications to the scheme are available to view on www.clarecoco.ie. To apply, festival and event organisers are asked to submit a one-page proposal by 4.00pm, Friday July 3rd and return to: Catherine O’Hara, Tourism and Community Development, Clare County Council, New Road, Ennis, Co. Clare. Email: cohara@clarecoco.ie.

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