A celebration of people and culture
A celebration of people and culture took place at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall at the weekend to mark the beginning of Good Relations Week, featuring song and dance of various traditions. Northern Lights was organised by 12 local housing associations including Apex Housing Association (Apex), and was hosted by Ian McElhinney, star of Derry Girls and Game of Thrones.
The event was supported by the Department for Communities and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s ‘Housing for All’ Shared Housing Programme. The Programme has its origins in the NI Executive Together: Building a United Community Strategy which reflects the Executive’s commitment to improving community relations and continuing the journey towards a more united and shared society.
Apex currently has eleven shared housing developments across Northern Ireland in Antrim, Belfast, Eglinton, Dungannon, Omagh, Portglenone and Dungannon with further developments under construction in Ballycastle and Derry~Londonderry. Those living in Apex’s shared communities were all invited to enjoy the cultural showcase in Belfast, alongside other shared communities supported through the ‘Housing for All’ programme.
Sharon Hunt, Apex’s Senior Communities Officer, commented:
The theme of Good Relations Week this year is ‘Together’, and this event was a perfect way to celebrate that theme – bringing people together from across Northern Ireland who live in shared communities. Northern Lights saw the Waterfront Hall become a cultural melting pot, filled with song, dance and music from a variety of traditions. It was wonderful to see families and people of all backgrounds enjoying the performances together.
Good Relations Week 2023 runs from Monday 18 September to Sunday 24 September 2023. This year will embody the spirit of togetherness, celebrating the remarkable peace-building and cultural diversity efforts to tackle sectarianism, racism, and inequality across the region. For more information, visit www.goodrelationsweek.com.
Images: George Pennock Photography