Launch of Community Relations and Cultural Awareness Week

A loyalist/Muslim collaboration helped launch the programme for Community Relations Week in Belfast yesterday.

The event at Crumlin Road Goal, which took place on International Peace Day, gave a flavour of the activities that will take place next week.

Musicians from a loyalist flute band joined the Muslim community in a performance of 'Music Unite - An Unexpected Journey'.

This year's Community Relations and Cultural Awareness Week will see almost 200 events take place across Northern Ireland under the theme of 'one place - many people'.

The week is intended to "celebrate diversity, highlight best practice and consider what it means to share one place as many different people".

Among the events is a Traveller women's choir performing at the Belfast City Hospital foyer, a photo exhibition showcasing the talents of Polish migrants, a youth film night at Carrickfergus Town Hall, and a talk by Linda Irvine on the strong heritage of the Irish language within the Protestant community.

Artist Colin Davidson will also give a talk on Silent Testimony, his exhibition at the Ulster Museum which explores suffering and loss through the Troubles.

Jacqueline Irwin from the Community Relations Council said: "There is one message that we hope everyone will get from the week: Nothing about the future can be taken for granted.

"The job of learning to live peacefully is not yet done and if we want this place to be positive and inclusive, we all have to play a part in making it so at village, town, city and regional levels."

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