THE fifth annual Kanturk Arts Festival was a success with sunshine, sopranos and a showcase of the best of Irish culture and literature on display over St Patrick's Weekend.
Spine tingling, breathtaking and memorable were just some of the words used to describe the main event, the gala concert by Cork soprano Cara O'Sullivan, accompanied by the 70 strong Duhallow Choral Society. The evening, at the Edel Quinn Hall, built to a stunning crescendo with a rendition of Jerusalem, which saw the entire crowd joining the world renowned soprano and the choir for the song.
With the aim of opening various venues around the town to cultural events, the three-day festival kicked off on Friday evening amid a stunning exhibition by both invited and local artists at O'Callaghan's Toyota showrooms, which proved itself an ideal exhibition space. "The setting really gives an added dimension to the beautiful artworks on display. It's one of the most contemporary exhibition spaces I've come across," said Festival chairperson Ciara Colleran.
Guest speaker, award winning screenwriter Will Collins was on the receiving end of the longest standing ovation ever given to a visiting speaker when he dropped in on Transitition Year students at his alma mater, Scoil Mhuire. Poetry events were very well received over the weekend and the Haiku workshops, hosted by renowned poet Gabriel Rosenstock, were fully booked out well ahead of the event. The candlelit poetry slam at Kanturk Courthouse very well attended for the second year in a row. After a very entertaining evening, Tom Neenan who advocated for and performed the Dylan Thomas classic "Under Milk Wood" was named the winner by Liscarroll based poet and judge for the evening, Philip Egan.
There were smiles all around during the Family Art Treasure Trail, which saw families trailing all around the town following clues to eventually win much coveted signed Sminky Shorts t-shirts. There were scores of gorgeous exhibits in the Open Art Exhibition in Kanturk Library, with a massive thanks to Anna Collins and Cork County Council Library Service. Participation across the age groups and art forms was the main aim of the weekend and the committee was thrilled with the outcome.
"Community spirit was definitely on show this past weekend, between business people such as Barty Harman in the Frame Shop and Breda Sheehan in Kanturk Bookshop and the Craft Shop coming on board to sponsor or host an event and the locals coming out in force to ensure one of the most well supported events held in the town. Spread the word about 2014," said Ciara Colleran.
Other winners over the weekend included Aisling O'Sullivan, 6th Class in Kanturk Girls National School for the Student Art competition, while Vivian Buckley won the photography competition and the Poetry Slam youth winner was Darragh Meehan.