Welcome to our seventh Annual Abhainn Rí Festival of Participation and Inclusion. We pool together the creative, social and civic resources of the town to make this special festival happen. This year is very significant in Ireland’s history and a number of events in festival are part of the larger Kilkenny County Council’s 1916 Commemoration Programme. As many of you may be aware of Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford have come together as the Three Sisters region in a bid to win the European Union’s prestigious European Capital of Culture for 2020. Our festival will be an good opportunity to highlight Callan’s exciting cultural life. We hope you enjoy participating in our diverse programme of events across architecture, music, ecology, theatre, visual arts, sport, spoken word, heritage, religion, food and craft.
Festival is administered by Callan Community Network and programmed and delivered by a volunteer committee: Paul Bokslag, Mary Byrne, Antoinette Crotty, Abbas Ghadimi, Etaoin Holahan, Seamus Kelly, Anna Kennedy, John Lennon, Patrick Lydon, Joe Lyons and Rosie Lynch. Festival coordination team: Julie O’Hea, Hannah McCorrmick, Rachel Murray and Louise Osborne. We would like to thank our amazing volunteers who work hard to make this festival happen. In particular we would like to thank Albert Deere, Darragh Byrne and Jim Foran.
AIMS & OUTCOMES
The Abhainn Rí Festival will continue to expand it’s audiences, to make meaningful connections with local communities and to be an inclusive series of events, that brings people in Callan together. The festival has grown stronger every year and has become a regular and popular feature of the calendar year. Callan continues to attract new residents who move here to be part of year round arts-led activities – highlighted by the Abhainn Rí Festival in the summer. The festival began in 2010 with an ambitious impulse to change attitudes and renew hope in the future of small town Ireland, as an inclusive and welcoming place to live. This will continue to be a stated ambition of the Abhainn Rí Festival and as a measured outcome, the standards are raised – and so far have been met – year on year. From year one, participation has been at the heart of Callan’s Abhainn Rí Festival. Inclusive projects have not only given children, young people and adults the chance to learn new skills and explore different media; they have also been a platform to meet and actively engage with the festival programme and the town. Each year the nature and range of events has been varied and far-reaching, facilitating a relevant contribution to the development of the town through creative audience participation and maintaining a challenging and nationally significant programme of events and activities. Callan people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds participate in the festival by attending events, volunteering, getting involved behind the scenes and through taking part in workshops.