CULTURE Night took place on Friday last with people from many parts of the county enjoying a unique range of free cultural experiences as part of this year’s programme.
Donegal County Council Culture Division proudly presented its 13th annual programme of events for Culture Night, an all-island public event that celebrates culture, creativity, and the arts. This exceptional night of festivities is an annual event as part of a national celebration of arts, heritage, and culture in Ireland.
Culture Night is a national moment, and the focus of this year’s event was about people coming together again. Streets, galleries, parks, theatres, libraries, and various other venues across the country welcomed back audiences and visitors, and most importantly, the night represented a return to normality for the artists and groups involved.
Donegal County Council Arts Officer, Traolach Ó Fionnáin said Culture Night in Donegal proved to be a huge success: “We were delighted with how this year’s Culture Night went. With the easing of restrictions around indoor and outdoor gatherings, this year’s programme saw the return of live, in-person events, performances and exhibitions and it did not disappoint. It was great to see venues like the Regional Cultural Centre, Donegal County Museum, Central Library and An Grianán Theatre so busy again.”
“It was a busy night in Letterkenny as events were hosted all around the town” Traolach added. “The Regional Cultural Centre stayed open until 11:30pm, and the good weather added to the atmosphere in the Town Park, where Inishowen Carnival presented the Alchemist to a sold-out audience. Jonathan Smeaton and Billy Robinson performed a live set in Blake’s Bar, Maura Logue presented ‘Donegal Women’s Voices from the Past – Revolutionary Times’ in Donegal County Museum, An Grianán Theatre hosted a series of live Youth Theatre and online events, and Dr. Proctor kept kids entertained with circus workshops at the Central Library.”
Physical and online events were also hosted around Donegal with live music and afternoon tea at Artlink Fort Dunree in Inishowen, Brí Carr and the Wild Atlantic Women shared a pre-recorded concert from Arranmore Island, and the Song House in Falcarragh became a digital Raking House with an evening of story and song with Ita O’Mahoney.
Traolach says the online events allowed people from around the world to connect with Donegal on Culture Night: “An important part of Culture Night all over the country is that it celebrates all that makes up the richness and diversity of culture in Ireland today and it connects people to cultural activities locally and nationally.
“The great thing about online events was that our diaspora could log in to the events and enjoy a night of Donegal culture from wherever they are in the world.”
Donegal County Council would like to thank all of the artists, heritage professionals, performers, venue staff and the enthusiastic audiences, whose input and participation helped make Culture Night 2021 such an enjoyable and safe occasion for everyone.