National Lottery funding announced for YFCU arts festival competition

The Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) has announced National Lottery funding support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through their Rural Engagement Arts Programme for the arts festival competition.

YFCU would like to thank NFU Mutual Charitable Trust for their long-standing generous support and sponsorship of this competition also.

This year’s YFCU arts festival competition is set to take place in Ballymoney High School where 10 clubs will take to the stage.

Lisnamurrican YFC will lift the curtain for the week on Wednesday 15th February, followed by Kilrea YFC and Glarryford YFC.

Members of the YFCU taking part in the arts festival competition
Members of the YFCU taking part in the arts festival competition
Members of the YFCU taking part in the arts festival competition

On Thursday 16th February, Finvoy YFC, Coleraine YFC, Moneymore YFC, Straid YFC will perform.

The curtain will fall on Friday 17th February with Randalstown YFC, Garvagh YFC, and Kilraughts YFC showcasing their talent.

The arts festival competition is a much-anticipated event in the YFCU events calendar encouraging participating clubs to showcase their creativity in producing a 15 minute drama performance based on a theme drawn from the field of music, humour, song, dance, mime, and the spoken word.

Sonya Whitefield, arts development officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said, “The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to support the YFCU arts festival competition through the Rural Engagement Arts Programme.

“We know that taking part in arts activities can raise self-esteem, boost confidence and motivation, as well as alleviate isolation and loneliness.

“The pandemic and the resulting lockdowns across the UK have taken a toll on individual lives, with mental health and well-being adversely effected and this has been particularly compounded in rural communities which are characterised by smaller and more dispersed populations.

“Thanks to The National Lottery players, this funding will increase opportunities for people living in rural communities to engage and participate in meaningful arts activities, enriching their lives for the better.

“The Arts Council believes that arts can make a vital contribution to building wellbeing, confidence and healthy, integrated communities.”

Expert judges, John Trueman and Jessica Keough will assess the performances on each night, scoring clubs on a variety of elements and their production as a whole. The top five clubs from the heats will then progress onto the arts gala which is being held at The Millennium Forum in Londonderry on Saturday 25th March 2023.

Martin Malone, NFU Mutual manager for Northern Ireland, said: “The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust is very proud to be long-standing supporters of the YFCU’s arts festival.

“The much-anticipated competition is a great initiative to showcase and celebrate the exceptional creativity and talent of our young farmers across Northern Ireland.”

Tickets are still available for the opening night performances on Wednesday 15th February in Ballymoney High School, don’t miss out, call YFCU headquarters to book your ticket 028 90370 713.