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Beneficiary Newsletter

December 2011

Youth & Sport Arts & Culture Health & Welfare Irish Language

Dear Readers,

You are very welcome to the

December 2011 issue of The

Spark, the publication which

keeps you informed on the broad

range of work carried out in

National Lottery assisted

projects countrywide.

This issue of The Spark focuses

mainly on the work being

carried out in the South-East in

the areas of Choral Music and

Opera, Caring in the Community,

the Arts, with a quick look to the

West and Foroige’s youth work

in Galway city.

In Carlow, the youth choral

group Aspiro was formed in

September 1997 and quickly

established itself as a unique

and ambitious choir. Read about

how it’s gone from strength to

strength with National Lottery

assistance.

Still with music, the Wexford

Festival Opera is currently

celebrating its 60th year, and

since 1951, has played a central

role in the cultural life of Ireland

and in the world of Opera and

Arts internationally.

In Waterford, we celebrate the

work of the Carers Association,

which is assisted by the

National Lottery, and has

provided vital services to

Waterford Carers for over ten

years. Their sterling work in the

community was recently filmed

by RTE for the Winning Streak TV

programme.

Finally in Waterford, witness the

gaiety and pagentry of the

Imagine Arts Festival which

this year added a new notch to

its belt with the addition of a

Traditional Irish Festival

weekend.

On behalf of the National

Lottery, may I wish all readers a

peaceful Christmas and a

healthy and peaceful 2012.

Paula McEvoy

Public Relations Manager

The Carers Association - Caring for the

Carers in the Deise

The Carers Association has

provided services to Waterford

carers for over 10 years and, in

2011, moved to new premises

in Waterford City Centre. There

are over 4,000 family carers in

Waterford City/County, who

provide almost 90,000 hours of

care in many homes each week.

The Carers Association reaches

out to carers by providing

supports such as an in-home

respite service. This is where

trained and vetted staff give

carers, in their own homes, a

break from their caring roles.

Other services include the

provision of information and

advice on entitlements,

training for carers, support

groups and advocacy.

Aspiro was formed in September

1997 and quickly established itself as a unique

and ambitious choir, promoting a world class

model for choral music education practice in

Ireland. Aspiro offers a musical education of the

highest artistic standards through the medium of

choral music for interested young people in

Carlow and surrounding counties. Aspiro’s work

is assisted by National Lottery funding, through

the Arts Council.

‘Funding by the National Lottery through the

Arts Council has enabled Aspiro to fully

develop and explore its artistic potential. It

has facilitated Aspiro to sustain its ethos of

accessibility and inclusivity for all young

people while promoting our belief in the

innate musical ability of all (no auditions are

held for membership which is unique

considering the high artistic standards

achieved)’ said Mary Amond O’Brien, Aspiro’s

founder.

‘Funding has also given many young people

the opportunity to develop the most

accessible instrument of all - the voice.

Children might never get the opportunity to

play a musical instrument. Aspiro has also

been given exciting and rewarding

opportunities to commission and premiere

the work of Irish composers and collaborate

“Funding from the National

Lottery has enabled the

Carers Association Waterford

to provide emergency respite

hours to families, sometimes

at very short notice or in

emergency situations. We

also provide training in areas

such as patient moving and

handling, dealing with

challenging behaviour, safety

in the home and how to cope

with the emotional stress of

full time caring. We also run

recreational days for carers,

and for many this is the only

time they get a break away

from their full time caring

roles”, said Catherine Cox,

Communications Manager, The

Carers Association.

Pictured at the opening of the

new Waterford Carers

Association premises were (l-r)

Aoibhin and Kitty MacNeill

THE SWEET SOUND OF ASPIRO MUSIC

Aspiro choir making music

with artists of various disciplines as part of

this funding’ she finished.

Today Aspiro incorporates four ensembles -

Aspiro Junior, Aspiro Girls, Aspiro Male Voice

Squad and Aspiro Youth Ensemble – engaging

its members, male and female age 7+, in diverse

choral music programmes of exemplary artistic

quality. As a performance group, Aspiro continues

to push the boundaries of choral music beyond

the standard repertoire and raise the standards

not only of youth arts practice but arts practice

in general.

For more information, see www.aspirochoir.ie.

For information on how to apply for National Lottery funding, please visit Good Causes at www.lottery.ie


(Pic: Clive Barda)

Beneficiary Newsletter December 2011

Diamond Celebrations as Wexford Festival Opera

Marks its 60th Year

An uplifting scene from Claudia Boyle, John Molloy & Nathalie

Paulin in 'La Cour de Célimène' by Thomas - Wexford Festival

Opera 2011

FORÓIGE FORGING AHEAD IN GALWAY

Foróige is a leading national voluntary youth organisation

engaged in youth development and education. Its core philosophy

is based on a belief in the dignity and creativity of each individual

person. The purpose of the organisation is to enable young people

to involve themselves consciously and actively in their own

development and in the development of society.

There are 421 Foróige Clubs in Ireland, each of which is "owned"

by its members, who vote in their own club committees. Foróige

provides a range of youth services through the operation of Foróige

Clubs, Local Youth Services, Local Youth Development Projects and

Youth Information Centres. This work is supported in many parts

of the country by National Lottery funding.

This varied approach enables Foróige to meet the development

needs of young people and in particular circumstances, to focus

on vulnerable young people with specific needs.

A typical Foróige Club consists of young people between the ages

of 12 and 18 years and adult leaders. Recently, ‘The Spark’ visited

the Galway Foróige Club and found its members engaged in a wide

range of activities, including arts & crafts, sports, community

projects, leadership programmes and computer classes.

Waterford’s Imagination Runs Riot in IMAGINE Arts

Festival 2011

This year’s Imagine Arts Festival took place from the 20-31

October and, in its 9th year, was the most diverse yet. The huge

annual event, which is entirely run by volunteers and supported

by National Lottery funding through the Arts Council, aimed to

put Arts in unexpected places, and into the hearts and minds of

an unsuspecting public.

This year’s event was a huge success, with a number of marquee

performances at the city’s premier venue, The Theatre Royal, as

well as shows, events and workshops in venues all over the city.

The Wexford Festival Opera is

currently celebrating its 60th

year, and since 1951, has

played a central role in the

cultural life of Ireland and in

the world of Opera and Arts

internationally.

From small and humble

beginnings, it has achieved

world-wide success and critical

acclaim. With the help of a 350

strong volunteer corps, Wexford

Festival Opera presents three

high quality productions each

year which annually delight

both critics and audiences

alike. The Wexford Festival

Opera is supported by National

Lottery funding, through the

Arts Council.

Wexford Festival Opera also

offers a packed programme of

morning events, lunchtime

concerts, afternoon ShortWorks

and recitals, and late night

revues throughout the year.

The Fringe Festival covers

everything from art exhibitions

through to singing. The Wexford

Festival Opera generates €6

million for the local economy.

Paul Tannian, Foróige Galway, takes youth members through their

paces on laptops

“For one weekend, the cream of Irish trad music rose to the

top, and Waterford people were able to see it all on their own

doorstep. It was a great success by any standards and we

hope that it will grow each year in size and stature, with

many opportunities in the future to see world class

musicians in Waterford”, he finished.

This year, the festival added a new notch to its already bountiful

belt, with the addition of a Traditional Irish Festival weekend. The

Imagine Trad Fest featured some of the world’s most gifted

musicians and gave people a chance to see them, in many cases

absolutely free, in a number of cosy and intimate settings.

This was the first time trad has been given such a platform in

Waterford’s only arts festival and was a unique opportunity for

trad fans, not only in Waterford, but all around the world.

Festival organiser and trad musician Ben Delaney called the

weekend an amazing opportunity:

Enthusiastic performers enjoy

Waterford’s Imagine Arts

Festival.

‘Deaf Joe’ entertains crowds at

The Church, Patrick’s St.,

Waterford.

For information on how to apply for National Lottery funding, please visit Good Causes at www.lottery.ie

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