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Musical showcase celebrates cultural expression in Community Relations Week

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Musicians from a loyalist flute band presented their experiences of working with musicians from other cultures. The event was hosted by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Good Relations, in the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre, Limavady on Friday 2nd October.

The original project took place in Belfast and culminated in May 2015 with a celebration public event at the Spectrum Centre, Shankill Road. The event showcased the music and culture of the Shankill Road Defenders Flute Band with artists from Kurdistan, India, Slovakia, Ghana, Jamaica & Ireland. It was a celebration milestone of the journey, achievements and relationships developed between members of the Shankill Road Defenders flute band and musicians from different cultural backgrounds.

For Community Relations Week 2015, which ran from 28th September to 4th October, a touring presentation was developed by musicians from the loyalist flute band and a Kurdish musician who had worked with the band on the project. The presentation in Limavady explored what the participants had learned from the experience and the shared empathy loyalist bandsmen had with a Kurdish musician, both having experienced a negative stereotype towards their cultures.

Joy Wisener, one of the Good Relations Officers for Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council commented, “We were privileged to host one of these presentations in our area during Community Relations Week. It was inspiring to learn of the relationship that had developed between people of different cultures through their shared appreciation of music. Participants explained how the friendships which developed through this project had really helped to forget about the cultural differences between them”

The event in Roe Valley was facilitated by ‘Beyond Skin’ and was just one of hundreds of events throughout Northern Ireland marking Community Relations and Cultural Awareness Week whose theme this year was ‘One Place, Many People’. Events were designed to celebrate the wide range of people and cultures in our region and what it means to share our community with each other.

For further information on Causeway Coast and Glens Good Relations Projects telephone Joy Wisener, Good Relations Officer at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council on 7034 7044 or email [email protected]causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk. Alternatively, contact the Good Relations Officer in your own local Council offices.

This project received funding from the Community Relations Council.

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