Call me a cheapskate but one of the things I love about Waterford Imagine Festival and indeed Spraoi, the street festival extravaganza is their accessibility and their 'arts for all' inclusiveness. With many free events, lack of funds should not be a stumbling block to firing your Imagination. Here is a roundup of the best free, no strings attached events you can enjoy at this year's Imagine Arts Festival.
** Highlight Booze Blaas and Banter: Jordan's Bar Sat 25th 9am -12pm One of my personal favourite events of the year. Who could forget Catherine Foley recalling the visit of Dan Shanahan to deliver oil and the trip down memory lane as everyone joined in with her evocation of the childhood skipping games. Teena O Connor reading from her father's memoir of fighting in the Spanish Civil brought a lump to everyone's throat. John Molloy's memoirs of his life as a merchant seaman are just wonderful. I am proud to have been invited to add to the musical interludes to the banter. I am working on some melodies with a World War 1 theme for this year's event.
listen to ‘Catherine Foley reads her Sunday Miscellany piece about growing up in Waterford’ on audioBoom
Author John McKenna reads from his 5th novel Joseph Saturday 18th Oct 3pm Greyfriars Gallery
Ernest Shackleton Illustrated Talk by Michael Smith. Tuesday 21st Oct 7.30pm Central Library
Festival Heads Mark Graham: Geoffs Bar Tues 23rd 6.30pm Irelands' favourite festival junkie and blogger Mark Graham may have curtailed his journalistic activities but Mark will be at Imagine displaying his splendid photographs taken on his festival odyssey at Geoff's Bar. I dare say we will hear him read in his own inimitable voice. Well I am hoping we do. How good was it to hear those Deise dulcet tones on the national airwaves from time to time.
Cat Dowling and Band .The Vic: Sat 25th 11pm Not familiar with this artist but by all accounts she has a terrific voice and writes great stuff. You can hear her at Victoria House Tramore, one of Tramore's oldest and most popular pubs in a late night gig
WIT Book Fair New Used and Antiquarian Books Sat 18th
Trad Festival Club Dooley's Hotel As part of The John Dwyer Festival Midnight -2am Fri Sat 17/18th Oct
History and Heritage Weekend: Continuing on where Booze Blaas 'n Banter left off, there are two afternoons of history talks, Sat and Sun, at St Patrick's Gateway Centre. This year, the theme is Waterford's contribution to the Great War. Among the contributors will be Emmet O Connor (Sat 2.00pm) and the series is put together by James Doherty who will present images of Waterford during the war on Sunday .
Parade of Light LET THERE BE LIGHT. Here's hoping the thunder and lightening will blow over for the very first Parade of Light at Imagine. Staring at the Bull Post Ballybricken at 6pm, hildren bearing willow lanterns will make their way to the Park. It promises to be dee'light' ful.
Lots of art exhibitions all over the place including Gerald Scarfe at Port Building and Patrick Morrison restrospective at Greyfriars Gallery will be a must see for art buffs.
Drama: Hurrah for Jim Nolan who is pivotal in making Waterford a beacon for theatre in Ireland We mourn the loss of our regional theatre company, Red Kettle but as director Ollie Bresin put it ,
very important for a city to tell it's own stories and Jim does it more eloquently and dramatically than most. We heard Jamie Beamish read from his play Dreamland at the launch. Jim Nolan launches the print version on Fri 17th at 6.30pm at The Book Centre
WIT Theatre Studies students present a reading by candlelight of a new play by Demot Curraoin Good Shepherd Chapel 7.30 pm Thurs 23rd Oct
Ballybricken Documentary by Mark Power 5pm Sun St Patrick's Church
Health Symposium Mad Men Musician, Dylan Tighe and writer, Michael Harding discuss mental health with chairman Dr Mark Rowe of Prescription for Happiness seminars St Patrick's Church 4pm
Weds 22 Oct
ALL EVENTS ARE FREE