The 2019 Ted & Mary O’Regan Arts Bursaries were presented at a ceremony in Garter Lane this week.This year’s winners were Circus Artist, Megan Maher, Visual Artist, Brenda Carroll, Musicians, Fabian O’Flynn and Niamh Dalton and Singer, Eppie O’Meara.In addition, the generous sponsorship of The Bilberry Goats enabled the presentation of bursaries to Theatre and Drama Studies student, Sarah Corcoran and local Musical Theatre Producer, Jack Cunningham.Circus Artist, Megan Maher’s award will assist her to take up a two-year course at the Circomedia Centre for Contemporary Circus in Bristol.On her return, Megan hopes to establish a circus school in her native Waterford.
Brenda Carroll’s bursary will enable her to complete work on a mixed media exhibition, Cataphillia of a Human Mind. which charts the journey of a stroke victim on the road to recovery from patient to working artist.Niamh Dalton is a multi-instrument musician with a background in traditional Irish and old time North American music.Her award will assist the purchase of a range of broadcast quality home recording equipment. Ten-year old Eppie O’Meara’s ambition is to become an opera singer and her bursary will enable her to take singing lessons with noted Irish soprano, Roisín O’Grady.Eleven-year old, Fabian O’Flynn, is a fellow student of Eppie’s at Gaelscoil Philip Barún in Tramore.His bursary will assist him with the continuation of a Musicianship Course at WIT.In September, Sarah Corcoran will begin the second of a four-year degree course in Theatre and Drama Studies at Cork School of Music and The Bilberry Goats bursary will assist with her study and living costs in Cork.A further Bilberry Goats bursary is awarded to emerging actor-producer, Jack Cunningham, whose production company will present Chicago at Garter Lane Theatre in September.
The award scheme is the brainchild of a group of friends and colleagues of the late Ted and Mary O’Regan and was created to honour the couple’s invaluable contribution to the artistic and cultural life of Waterford.Launched in 2005, the bursary is financed by local arts organisations and statutory bodies as well as by the O’ Regan family and by friends and admirers of the much-loved couple.To date the award scheme has disbursed more than €85,000 to local artists.Among the organisations who have contributed to the bursary are Waterford City and County Council, Garter Lane Arts Centre, Spraoi, Theatre Royal and Waterford Youth Arts.Bursary Committee Chairman, Bertie Rogers, said that the twenty applications for this year’s awards provided compelling evidence of both the range and quality of artistic activity in Waterford city and county.He paid tribute to bursary assessor, Robert Browne and thanked the bursary’s many benefactors, who have maintained their support for the awards since their inception.Mr. Rogers welcomed the renewed association of The Bilberry Goats with the bursaries and thanked the group’s producers, Michael Grant and Pádraig Ó Gríofa for their generous commitment to continuing its support in 2020.