The Belfast Children’s Festival brings us the very best performances and arts experiences from around the world, handpicked for young audiences.

The quality of the performances, such as ‘Oorlog’ (War) by Theater Artemis and ‘Removed’ by Prime Cut Productions, is extremely important, because for many young people the Belfast Children’s Festival is their first real encounter with international professional arts, and it leaves a lasting impression. High-quality engagement with the arts at an early stage can have such a positive impact on a child’s learning and development, as it awakens lively, enquiring minds and encourages young people to see the world as full of wonder, diversity and possibility. With the theme of ‘Our Place in the World’, this year’s festival will introduce young people to the stories of the lives of people from other countries and cultures, helping everyone to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a global citizen.

As principal funder, through our public and National Lottery funds, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland is proud to support Young at Art and the Belfast Children’s Festival as it continues to create opportunities for children and young people of all abilities, from all backgrounds and circumstances, to access great art. This is an investment in our children’s creative potential and in their fundamental right, as children, to enjoy enriching creative lives.

Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland