Oireachtas Committee Visit to The Model

We were delighted to welcome a delegation from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Tourism, Culture, Sport, Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, to The Model on July 19th. They were joined by Vincent Woods (RTE Arts) and local TD’s Jimmy Devins and Eamon Scanlon, along with CEO of the British Council Matt Burney, and representatives from Failte Northwest.

The purpose of the visit was for the Oireachtas Committee to see how the redevelopment funding for The Model has been used, and to get an overview of The Model’s artistic programme and how the centre can support cultural tourism for the Northwest.

Our Director/Curator, Séamus Kealy, outlined the key programmes we will be rolling out over the coming months, which will entice both domestic and international visitors to the Northwest and greatly enhance the experience for the visitor to Sligo with an ambitious programme of contemporary art and cultural activities.

Séamus also emphasised to the Committee that in order for creative industries to play a significant role in aiding economic recovery, there must be continued support for contemporary artists and we must have the resources to offer them first-class studio and showcasing opportunities to ensure their continued development and growth. They were hugely impressed by the studio floor and met some of the artists who work from The Model during their visit

During the visit, the delegation of TDs and Senators reviewed The Model’s exhibition space and participated in a working lunch, attended by Sligo’s County Manager, Hubert Kearns. The focus of the discussions, was around the role of the arts in offering sustainable development potential for Sligo and the wider North West region, particularly in relation to the potential for increased cultural tourism to the region as a direct result of the redevelopment.

Sligo County Manager, Hubert Kearns, emphasised to the Committee how the development of cultural facilities at The Model ‘will be a driving force in the success of the city, and will boost Sligo’s reputation as a cultural and tourism destination. This is a region steeped in archaeological treasures and culture, and the development of a cultural quarter is one of a number of strategies Sligo Local Authorities have to strengthen Sligo city’s status as a cultural centre.”

We hope this visit will create heightened visibility for Sligo as a cultural and creative hub within the Oireachtas committee’s work.