Business diary: Events coming up

Your weekly round-up of conferences, dinners, seminars and charity events

Business diary - events coming up
Deepa Mann-Kler, director and curator for Belfast XR Festival, which returns to the city in February/March 2025 (Jim Corr Photography/Jim Corr Photography)


An internationally acclaimed award-winning interactive VR adventure that transports you into the heart of the Acid House movement is heading for Belfast early next year.

In Pursuit Of Repetitive Beats, produced by East City Films and created by Darren Emerson, has added Belfast to its eight-city UK tour.

In partnership with Belfast XR, the experience will take audiences back in time to the beginning of the Acid House movement and the creation of UK rave culture telling a multicultural story of collaboration and unity that celebrates music, friendship, and the joy of youth.

Belfast XR, entering its fourth year, specialises in curating world class immersive technology content that takes the art of storytelling to a new level.

Extended Reality or ‘XR’ is the collective name for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

VR is a computer-generated artificial environment with scenes that appear to be real, while AR is a digital overlay onto the real world, which is viewed through your phone or an iPad.

Deepa Mann-Kler, director and curator for Belfast XR Festival, which is an annual gathering for the XR arts (storytelling, visual arts, music, drama, dance, literature and theatre), said: “Northern Ireland has an incredible track record when it comes to music which is internationally recognised.

“It made sense to bring this work to Belfast as it also features music by a leading Northern Irish artist Max Cooper. Belfast also holds the prestigious UNESCO City of Music title.

“This marks a debut and premiere for the work on the island of Ireland. We are looking forward to this exciting collaboration with East City Films.”

Business diary - events coming up
William Thompson is among those taking part in a comedy night in Belfast’s Beehive Bar on Friday July 19 in aid of Newington Day Centre


Comedians including William Thompson and Shane Todd will perform at west Belfast’s Beehive Bar on Friday July 19 in aid of Newington Day Centre.

Brónagh NicAoidh, Johnny Bow, Jazmynne Sierra, Luke McGibbon and Ciaran Franco are also on the bill at the Falls Road comedy club night benefitting the north Belfast charity.

Tickets are £12 from the venue or £13.70 from

Business diary - events coming up
Scottish social entrepreneur and campaigner Josh Littlejohn will be among the speakers at the CO3 Leadership Summit on Thursday September 26 at the La Mon Hotel (JSHPIX.CO / free to use images/JEFF HOLMES/JSHPIX.CO 07802 610085/)


More than 250 senior leaders will come together for a day of inspiration and empowerment at the CO3 Leadership Summit on Thursday September 26 at the La Mon Hotel in what is the biggest networking & learning event for leaders of the voluntary and community sector in the north.

The summit will explore the key challenges that face leaders right now and provide a unique opportunity to discuss shared challenges, explore new opportunities and make connections.

Delegates will hear from exceptional speakers on how great leadership transforms organisations, the role of innovation as a force for social good, and the strategic challenges facing fundraising leaders. They will also discover the secrets of effective public policy campaigns, and hear from influential thought leaders on the future of funding in Northern Ireland.

Scottish social entrepreneur and campaigner Josh Littlejohn returns to Northern Ireland to talk about ‘Paying it Forward - Putting Purpose Before Profit’.

In May 2019, alongside Will Smith and Dame Helen Mirren, he launched a global campaign “The World’s Big Sleepout”. It staged ‘sleep out’ fundraising events in over 52 cities throughout the world, including Times Square, New York and Trafalgar Square in London. Some 60,000 people slept out in unison in the world’s largest display of solidarity for homeless and displaced people, and raised millions to tackle the issue.

Other speakers at the summit include: Roisin Wood, CEO Community Foundation NI; Lye Ogunsanya, CEO Didean; Colin Catney, chief operating officer, National Museums NI; Kate Beggs, NI Director, The National Lottery Community Fund; Jane Trenaman, founder of The Fundraising Leadership Assembly; and Aine Myler, Charities Institute Ireland CEO.

The Future of Funding panel will feature, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Halifax Foundation, Fermanagh House and the National Lottery.

Full summit details at


Cinemagic is urging young film enthusiasts to take on the role of ‘film consultants’ this July, to participate in workshops and film screenings to help programme a series of films for the annual Cinemagic Festival that takes place in October 2024, supported by the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen.

The film consultants scheme runs in Belfast’s Ulster Museum and for the first time in Portstewart’s Flowerfield Arts Centre.

Participants in the two-day programme (July 18/19, July 20/21 and July 23/24 at Ulster Museum and July 25/26 at Flowerfield Arts Centre) will work in groups of 8–11-year-olds, 12–14-year-olds and 15–17-year-olds along with the Cinemagic team to discuss festival planning and to help steer the choice of films for the autumn, as they watch and critique films from around the globe.

If you are a budding film critic who would enjoy the opportunity to spend time with Cinemagic Film Festival, then this is a fantastic summer scheme opportunity to meet like-minded young people who love watching and discussing films, deciding on some of the content for the largest film festival for young people in the UK and Ireland. The programme is open to all young people in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. More information at

Cinemagic programmer Chris Shaw said: “We are looking forward to welcoming young film fans to our annual young film consultants panel, which has been one of the longest running initiatives of the Cinemagic Festival since its inception. The film consultants will have the opportunity to watch and review international films guided by the Cinemagic team and there will be lots of opportunities for discussion and debate.”