Main pic: Pupils from Scoil Naisiunta Na Sraithe Moire and Gartan National School helped Cathaoirleach Martin Harley launch Wainfest 2023. Also pictured is Cllr. Donal ‘Mandy’ Kelly. Pic: Paul McGuckin.
The Outdoor Classroom at Glebe House and Gallery was a fitting backdrop to launch this year’s Wainfest Children’s Arts and Book Festival.
The theme of the event, which is in its 27th year and runs from October 7th – 15th, is ‘Our planet, Our Home’.
Pupils from Scoil Naisiunta Na Sraithe Moire and Gartan National School were immersed in nature as Caothaoirleach Martin Harley lifted the lid on an awesome lineup of events and activities.
Executive Librarian, Sinead McLaughlin, acknowledged that: “as we embark on a week of activities for children across Donegal, the Donegal Library Service is mindful that we are also nearing the one-year anniversary of the 10 lives lost in Creeslough.”
She then invited some of the children in attendance to plant a tree in the beautiful surroundings of The Glebe Gallery, as a living tribute to their memories.
This year’s festival, organised by Donegal County Council’s Culture Division, embarks upon a journey of discovery, creativity and wonder, as storytellers, scientists, authors, musiciansm and artists deliver a programme of events aimed at inspiring children to become stewards for our planet and explore new ways to contribute to climate action.
Fantastic family events this year include Forest Exploration and Seashore Exploration with NatureNorthwest, Beach Cleaning with Liquid Therapy and a planetarium show – Dynamic Earth: Exploring Earth’s Climate Engine at the Inishowen Maritime Museum & Planetarium, as well as a variety of other amazing activities.
There’s also an art competition open to all National School Age Children in Donegal, which invites children to explore and learn about native Irish animals and wildlife.
Speaking at the launch, Caothaoirleach Harley endorsed the theme of this year’s festival ‘Our Planet, Our Home’ as “a testament to [Donegal County] Council’s commitment to the environment and sustainability as outlined in our Climate Adaptation Strategy.”
He went on to praise the work of Donegal County Library Service in providing a free and accessible service for all, highlighting that ‘Libraries offer knowledge, access to the internet, entertainment through the vast array of books and diverse programmes, and countless other resources that would otherwise be difficult to find or afford.’
With over 100 free events taking place across Donegal, from the 7 th – 15 th October, for schools and families, as well as an online programme, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Wainfest, which partners with a host of organisations across the county, is an all- inclusive festival which caters for the diverse interests and backgrounds of young minds across Donegal. There are ASD only events, an abundance of Irish Language events as well as Ukrainian language events taking place as part of this year’s festival.
The school’s programme, as expected, is packed full of amazing events including a Mad Scientist Show, visits from renowned authors such as Oisin McGann, Gemma Breathnach and Nicola Pierce, local author Isla McGuckin, as well as performances from storytellers, artists and a host of interactive workshops and activities.
Schools received an electronic copy of the brochure after the launch and families can view the full programme of events planned by picking up a brochure in their local library or cultural venue.
The programme is also available on our website www.wainfest.ie