imagine festThere ’s been widespread
dismay across the local arts
community with the news that
the city’s Imagine Arts Festival
will receive no funding this
year from the Arts Council.
The Imagine committee
became aware last week that
the State’s agency for funding
and developing the arts would
not be including the 10-day
Imagine in October on its list
of funded festivals for 2015.
Imagine, which features a
mixture of music, film, theatre,
comedy, visual art, children’s
events and much more from
local, national and international
artists, has received Arts
Council funding for over ten
Last year, it received
€11,000 and between 2010 and
2013 it received an average of
€12,000. Also in 2014, Imagine
was selected by AOIFE (the
Association of Irish Festivals)
as the overall winner in the
‘Best Marketed’ category.
Despite the relatively small
level of funding, Festival Chair
Dr Nicholas Bankes said financial
recognition from the Arts
Council gave legitimacy to the
efforts of the 40-strong team of
volunteers who run Imagine.
The Festival, now in its 14th
year, is run on a small fraction
of the funding afforded
to other arts festivals around
the country (for example,
Galway Arts Festival receives
€490,000 this year, Kilkenny
Arts Festival: €390,000 and
Wexford Opera Festival:
Aside from its own diverse
programme, it also hosts the
John Dwyer Trad weekend
and a History & Heritage
weekend. Previous acts have
included Roger McGough,
Martin Carthy, Ron Sexsmith,
Dervish, John Sayles, Donal
O’Kelly, Peter Sheridan,
the Unthanks, Billy Bragg,
Penguin Cafe, Mercury Rev,
John Cooper Clarke, Joseph
O’Connor and Rich Hall to
name but a few.
Last year’s Imagine
showcased in excess of 60 arts
performances and had overall
audiences in excess of 8,500
Organisers say the 2015 festival
will still go ahead, from
15th to 25th October. The
committee has announced a
number of support and sponsorship
packages available,
from a low level buy-in as
‘friend of the festival’ to commercial
If you or your business can
pledge support to the 2015
Imagine Arts Festival contact
Dawn Hayes via imaginefest@ or call