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The Arts Council of Northern Ireland are major investors in Traditional music, with figures from the 2012/13 season showing they poured in more than a half a million sterling into events are artists, with Belfast festivals receiving the Lion’s share. It may seem a good deal, but it is less than 5% of the Council’s £13M budget. As part of its Music Strategy 2013–2018, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland has established a forum to specifically focus on the development of the traditional music sector in the region.

Bringing together a number of traditional music organisations, the aim is to explore the sector’s own aspirations and proposals for development, and encourage these organisations to advocate for the inclusion of traditional music’s in Northern Ireland’s formal music education provision.

Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: “As part of our commitment to act as a proactive development agency in the music sector, respecting all kinds of music, we recognise that the distinct traditional music’s of Northern Ireland have a special place in the culture of the region and we are committed to a long–term programme of support and development, to be guided by the sector.” In addition to the setting up of the Traditional Music Forum, the Arts Council’s programme of support also involves the commissioning of a full audit of traditional music to inform both future planning and advocacy for increased support. Dermot McLaughlin has been commissioned to undertake this audit in Northern Ireland.

Dermot, a native of Derry, is well– known traditional fiddle player and broadcaster. He is currently Chairman of the Irish Traditional Music Archive which he helped establish in 1987. Dermot’s professional involvement with traditional music includes his role as Traditional Music Officer with the Arts Council (Dublin), record producer with Claddagh Records and writer & presenter with RTÉ television. The inaugural meeting of the new Traditional Music Forum took place Thursday 16th October, in Belfast

Permalink - Posted: October 31, 2014 at 12:30 pm