This May Day bank holiday weekend (1-3 May), an online programme of events is giving people the opportunity to discover Belfast and its fascinating history from the comfort of their own home.
Over the three days there will be stories looking at how Belfast became a capital city to the present day, and reflections on the past 100 years through art, architecture, film, food, song, and much more.
Lord Mayor of Belfast Alderman Frank McCoubrey said: “This is Northern Ireland’s centenary year and I’m delighted that we have been able to curate this exciting series of online events as part of our Decade of Centenaries programme. The varied programme, showcasing some of our best local talent, will bring our city’s history to life through a range of different mediums.
“Belfast has a rich and complex history, and I think that even if you’re born and bred in Belfast like myself, there is always something new to learn about the city we so proudly call home.
Alderman McCoubrey added: “The ongoing pandemic has meant us having to do things a bit differently and so this weekend it’s about bringing these events directly to people, and the beauty of that is that people can tune in from the comfort of their sofa, or maybe even their garden while enjoying a cuppa; there really is something for everyone and I hope people will enjoy the programme and learn something new about our city and its history.”
The online programme of events will be accessible throughout the three days (1-3 May), although booking is required for some events while others will be livestreamed.
The events include:
- Lord Mayor of Belfast Alderman Frank McCoubrey looking through Lord Carson's scrapbook at Linen Hall Library.
- Belfast Soundings - eight new poems read and performed by local poets about their connection with special places all over Belfast.
- A new short film showing how Belfast has changed physically over the last 100 years.
- A series of short films on Belfast’s music, past and present, including the legendary Good Vibrations, I Am Belfast, and Shellshock Rock, and new interviews and footage with local and international musicians, writers, composers, and bandsmen.
- A look at local sport through the ages, including two short films on the history of boxing and skateboarding, We also look back at Belfast’s cinema with a short film on our movie houses, including the Ormeau Road’s Curzon cinema and Strand Stories, sharing memories of our wonderful Art Deco icon the Strand Arts Centre.
- Paradosso Theatre will unveil a short synopsis of a new play about writer and novelist Brian Moore born in 1921, who served during the Belfast Blitz in 1941. And there’s a chance to see the film version of Kabosh Theatre Company’s original play, 'The King Of East Belfast', a unique and poignant insight into how society operated back in 1940s East Belfast.
- A look at Belfast’s murals, entries and street art and the painting of a new positive-message mural featuring American poet and artist Maya Angelou will be livestreamed. David Holmes, who instigated the mural, will talk about why street art is important to Belfast.
- A series of new short docu-films, virtual events and tours by Hearth, Ulster Architectural & Heritage Society, and NI Screen Digital Archive.
- Stories about Belfast’s Maritime Mile and 100 years of Belfast’s shipyards as well as a look back at the city’s linen and trading roots.
- A Taste of Belfast and NI’s food and drink culture featuring a new mini docu-film with the BBC's Paula McIntyre about 100 years of culinary richness and heritage, traditional dishes, and recent resurgence.
To find out more, visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/belfastmayday