Ennis Book Club Festival (EBCF) is just one of the local festivals funded by the Arts Council. The festival gives local readers’, both adults & children, an opportunity to meet a range of writers, authors, poets & journalists and has done so since 2007.
Writers and poets including Sebastian Barry and Paul Durcan have not only provided audiences with an insight into their work but into their lives.
Arts Council director Orlaith McBride believes that festivals play an important part in the cultural life and identity of communities throughout Ireland.
“Festivals are very special to us. Each festival has its own distinct character which comes from the artists, the vision and dedication of the individuals that make it happen, and the specific characteristics and history of its place.
“Festivals also contribute to the financial well-being of a region, providing work for artists, attracting visitors to an area and stimulating the local economy,” she added.
The Arts Council is the major funder of the arts in Ireland, this year the organisation received a grant of €68.2m from the Government.
According to Cora Gunter of the Ennis Book Club Festival, “Arts Council funding is vital to our festival as it allows us to develop and enhance reading practices and to programme a range of events from baby book clubs to the more sophisticated ‘how to read’ workshops.
“It also allows us to focus on audience development – EBCF aims to be inclusive to new audiences by providing a platform for audiences themselves to champion literature from their own countries.
“We also hope to programme authors from other countries and introduce them to a wider Irish audience. We want to be as accessible as possible by subsidising tickets to make sure as many people as possible can access quality literary events in their locality.”