Our programme will focus on three interwoven themes that collectively reflect our nurturing of mind, body and soul:

Traditions for the Future

Showcase our unique cultural traditions to embrace the past, enliven the present and enrich the future – highlighting uilleann pipes, mumming and road bowls, Orange culture, Lambeg drumming and our linen-making and applegrowing cultures. Celebrate the rich oral and written traditions of Irish and Ulster-Scots – and connect with the diverse language communities within our borough, and across the UK. Plan festivals, inter-generational engagement and placemaking programmes using our heritage as a cultural canvas.

Provoking Thought

We will celebrate Armagh as a seat of learning, spirituality and progressive thinking. St Patrick didn’t build his first stone church in Armagh by chance. It’s no accident that Armagh inspired Jonathan Swift’s ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, or that he made Armagh his home. Championed by physicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Armagh Observatory isn’t worldrenowned in astronomical research by luck. Francis Crozier wasn’t part of the Franklin voyage to the Northwest Passage at random. For centuries Armagh has led the way in journeys of discovery. We want to create new stories of thought and innovation, using every creative means at our disposal.


Our programme will aim to heal, with creative connections through language and light. We’ll work with isolated communities to deliver a creative programme that builds on our literary heritage. Ground-breaking practitioners will create projects that bring light, connecting people and places We’ll partner the Observatory in a programme on the nature of light and darkness. As we emerge from the pandemic – and face challenges and opportunities presented by Brexit – we will focus on physical, environmental, mental and societal healing.