A year-long programme of events to mark the centenary of Northern Ireland could be held within the borough.
And Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s leisure committee will meet tonight (Tuesday) to decide whether or not to press ahead with the plans.
The programme of events would cost in the region of £70,000 to deliver.
The indicated cost is £69,800 but there will be income from some of the public events to offset against these costs.
Council, therefore, will decide whether or not to approve its required spend – £60,000 – to press ahead with the list of events as drawn up.
But a report to committee advises: “One caveat on the programme is the Covid-19 situation and the need for events and
activities to be moved online where possible should the current situation continue into spring 2021.
“Events and activities will be delivered in a Covid safe way and within the regulations defined by the PHA applying at time of delivery.”
And it also points to the need for an inclusive calendar.
The report adds: “The programme is to reflect the Borough over the last 100 years but also the desire to look forward to the future and how the Borough and Northern Ireland develops over the next period of time.
“In terms of the historical element this will include all aspects and representing all different perspectives from communities.”
The decision to mark the centenary of Northern Ireland came after a notice of motion was passed in March last year.
The successful motion endorsed that, “this council recognises Northern Ireland’s centenary in 2021 and start a process to work toward a programme of events to celebrate this milestone, a budget is agreed through committee and that a working group is established at the earliest opportunity to oversee and develop the programme.
“Any celebration of Northern Ireland’s 100th birthday should reflect on its great strengths and on what makes Northern Ireland a great place to live, work, visit and invest in.”
That working group has met on four occasions to date and has developed a proposed approach to programming that it says “gives direction to the cross departmental group developing and delivering the programme”.
Among the many items planned are a an opening service in January in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, an art event – working with art clubs over the year on a painting project ‘Poppies and Lilies’ and featuring an exhibition of work, ‘A game of two halves’, with the return of the Happy Hooker, which is a half GAA and half rugby match, and a finale event in the form of a concert of the Cross-Border Orchestra of Ireland in December.
The full draft programme to be considered this evening is as follows:
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