Culture Night in Mayo North – Seven Must-Sees

September 16th 2016

Culture night in Mayo Ballina 2016

One of our favourite nights of the year, Culture Night is an annual all-Ireland public event that celebrates culture, creativity and the arts. This year’s Culture Night takes place on Friday 16th September 2016. Special and unique events and workshops are specifically programmed in multiple locations throughout the country and everything is available free of charge.  Culture Night is an initiative by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in partnership with the regional arts offices, local authorities and cultural organisations throughout the island of Ireland. For Culture night in Mayo North, as usual there are lots of  events happening. And there truly is something for everyone, from art workshops, open mic nights to traditional music.

Here’s our guide to Culture Night in Mayo North, featuring events in Ballina, Lahardane, Ballycastle and Swinford!

Culture Night in Ballina

Ballina Arts Centre

Ballina Arts Centre: 4.30PM – 9.30PM 

Children’s Workshops: There is a Children’s programme from 4pm to 9.30pm, with lots of opportunities to get involved in some entertaining and educational workshops, games, face painting and other fun activities.

Open Mic Night: The Ox Mountain Poets and Ballina Arts Centre are offering all aspiring poets and writers a chance to shine. following the success of the first Open Mic night, this event has been made a regular addition to the Ballina Arts Centre Calendar. Writers and performers can get some real experience performing their work. Anybody can just come along on the night and read their work!

For more information call Ballina Arts Centre on +353 (0) 96 73593 or email


Mary RobinsonMary Robinson Centre: Webs of Courage, a workshop with Artists Dr. Ann O’Mahony and Jane Dunn  ( only 12 places available – pre-booking is essential)

Artists Dr Ann O’Mahony and Jane Dunn, creators of the VOICE exhibition, in collaboration with The Mary Robinson Centre will facilitate a special Culture Night workshop, ‘Webs of Courage’ inviting 12 participants to come and celebrate women of courage.

Join Ann and Jane to make a multimedia collage using text, textile, print, stitch and paint in a 2 hour workshop. Participants should bring any personal mementoes, such as photos, photocopies, documents, fabrics, threads, buttons, beads, etc. related to the woman they wish to honour, to include in their work.

This workshop is a practical application of Jane and Ann’s work with the Chilean Arpilleristas, a women’s human rights movement who used tapestries and art to tell stories of their experiences, recording and preserving memory of a politically challenged time in Chile. They were a testimony to the lives of their lost loved ones, los desaparecidos, and an expression of protest against the oppression of Chile’s Pinochet dictatorship. Made from textiles and mementoes of the disappeared, the Arpillera workshop movement was a catalyst of empowerment and gave voice to women marginalised in Chilean society.

Booking: Places for this workshop are strictly limited to 12 people and must be booked in advance through this link .  The workshop takes place in the Ballina Arts Centre from 7.30-9.30pm.

For more information call the Mary Robinson Centre on +353 (0) 87 9713204 or email


Young musicians sampled the delights of their favourites instruments at the launch of the Music Generation's North Mayo Instrument Banks scheme in Ballina Library. PIctured with Music Generation's Co-ordinator Kate McKeon were Ethan Rodgers, Cliodhna Hennessy, Luke, Liam and Anna Maughan. Picture Henry WillsBallina Library: Big Music Jam for participants of the Music Generation Mayo Instrument Lending Scheme

Since 2013 Mayo Library Service in conjunction with Music Generation Mayo has run a very successful instrument lending scheme for under 18s in three centres around the county.

To celebrate Culture Night 2016 and the wonderful and varied music culture in Mayo, the Library invites everyone who has rented an instrument from the lending scheme to come along to a music session in Ballina Library which they are calling ‘The Big Jam’.  You might be able to only play one note, be the most proficient musician, or play somewhere in between, but you are invited to come along for an hour, bring your instrument and with the help of some tutors especially on site for the night, enjoy the fun!  Tuning up begins at 7.30pm and the session should be ready for the off by 8pm.

The night is open to all the participants families and the public as well, so if you would like a taste of the young musical talent in Mayo, come along on Culture Night Friday 16th September and join the craic!

For more information call Ballina Library on +353 (0) 96 70833 or email


Heritage Week in Mayo Jackie Clarke Collection

The Jackie Clarke Collection: “The Spirits of 1916” an evening of poetry, music, songs and drama, Saoirse na hEireann – Isle of Freedom with Moffatt School of Irish Dancing (Booking Advised!)

“The Spirits of 1916” – Under the guidance of the Jackie Clarke Collection’s Community and Volunteer Programme, the Collection will deliver an inspired evening of music, songs and drama, In honour of all the people involved in the 1916 Rising.  We will also be staging an Irish /American Wake called Saoirse na hEireann-Isle of Freedom in conjunction with the Moffatt School of Irish Dancing which has been designed around Linda Kearins dancing costume which is on display in the Jackie Clarke Collection. Both the senior and junior members of the Bofield Ceili Band will be performing  on the night.

For more information and to book call the Jackie Clarke Collection on +353 (0) 96 73508 or email


Culture Night in Mayo North – Ballycastle

Ballinglen Arts FoundationCulture night ballycastle : Exhibition-Joe Dunne,  Bookmaking workshop with Alice Austin – Open Artists’ Studio by Irish & International artists – Music & Refreshments

Ballinglen Arts Foundation has been involved in Culture Night since its inception in Mayo and a trip to Ballycastle is a real treat!  Artist Joe Dunne’s exhibition Near Ocean  will be on in the gallery on the night.  Joe’s work is strongly inspired by the North Mayo coastline and this exhibition contains a variety of media and approached to the subject matter.  At 7.30pm Alice Austin will be showing people how to make an instant book in a woven flexagon and an endless origami book.  Throughout, Irish and International artists, Margo Banks, Sandow Birk, Lynne Flemons and Bridget Flinn will be opening up their studios to audiences on the evening to talk and showcase work completed while on residency at Ballinglen. Music and refreshment on the evening as well.

For more information call Ballinglen Arts Foundation on +353 (0) 96 43184 or email


Culture Night in Lahardane

Leonards Lahardane Culture night

Leonards Bar: Butter & Boxty Making, Music & Song

Over the last number of years the Hammer & Tongs Group have worked hard to preserve traditional craft practice in the Lahardane area, particularly on Culture Night.  The night will include demonstrations of butter churning and boxty making – with tasters aplenty make sure to get here early. This is definitely one of the tastiest highlights of Culture Night in Mayo North!

A music session and sing song will round off the night in the famous Leonards of Lahardane.

For more information call Leonard’s Bar on +353 (0) 87 1268390

 Culture Night in Swinford

swinford-cultural-centreSwinford Cultural Centre: Celebration of local music & dance

Join the Foxford Brass and Reed Band and Michael Davitt Comhaltas Ceoltoiri group for a great night of music in the beautiful surroundings of the Swinford Cultural Centre.  Both groups have had huge success throughout the summer and this will be a great chance to see them perform together in a unique setting.

For more information call Swinford Cultural Centre on +353 (0) 87 4007045 or email


Wishing you a great 2016 Culture Night in Mayo North and be sure and let us know on our Facebook page what your favourite events were!

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