8th Apr 2020 in Arts

Right across the Cathedral Quarter, businesses, creative organisations, churches and community groups have been using the internet to stay in touch with their customers and communities.

We think this is a pretty comprehensive run down of all the ways you can enjoy your CQ favourites online, but we’re only too happy to add to this if we’ve missed anything – just get in touch!

Virtual events and livestreaming

Imagine Belfast became the first virtual festival this year, pivoting at lightning speed to bring three days of online events, talks, interviews and screenings. Watch them back here.

Belfast Cathedral has gone online too! They will be streaming services via their Facebook page, but it is possible to watch and listen even without a Facebook account. Check out the News section of their website for details of services and downloadable service sheets. Stay up to date by following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Redeemer Central’s congregation are also going to church at home, with Sunday gatherings and drop-ins happening via Zoom. This modern Belfast church actually began in people’s homes, as you can read in our profile of Team Leader David Armstrong.

As well as offering an already-wildly-popular new subscription and delivery service (see below), Mike’s Fancy Cheese are holding virtual beer and cheese nights – keep an eye on the Facebook page for details.

The Spaniard is livestreaming Stay In Sessions every Friday at 9pm on their Facebook – grab a rum cocktail and join the party!

The Black Box have begun taking some of their popular art/club nights online, beginning with Cyberskull on 16th April.
It’s on from 7 to 11pm GMT and you can tune in on @blackboxbelfast on Facebook Live, or on Instagram Live via @theblackboxbelfast or @skullogram. Escape the quarantine drearfest with a night of recorded music and live drawing. DJs Watson & Fitzsimmons will create an aural envelope broadcasting via Spotify, whilst illustrator Duncan Ross strives to capture the consciousness of the moment through the inky medium of illustration. Adventurous clientèle may submit suggestions to Ross for realisation via live chat.

If you’re reading this after the fact, keep an eye on their Facebook page for more live events – but we will do our best to keep this article up to date with any more we spot!

Berts Jazz Bar staff have been recreating some of your favourite classic cocktails at home – check out their Facebook page.

The Sunflower Bar’s Tuesday Sunflower Song Club has also moved on to Facebook Live – 7.30pm every Tuesday night, tune in with a pint or a cuppa, whatever takes your fancy! Keep an eye out for Sunday sessions going up on the page too…

The Ulster Sports Club’s Ginger Pete is bringing his famous quiz online every Thursday for the foreseeable – check the club’s Facebook events for the latest.

Order online

Mike’s Fancy Cheese has responded to the new normal with a subscription box and delivery service. The online shop is open from 7pm every Friday until midnight on Monday for orders. The boxes are filled with cheese, bread, butter and all sorts of MFC goodies and are delivered to your door with a no-contact knock and run!

Thanks to Direct Wine Shipments you can order your favourite delicious tipple direct to your door. Wine Club via Zoom, anyone??

Established Coffee are keeping us pumped with online deliveries and online masterclasses in all things brews and bites (see below).

Mikes Fancy Cheese- keeping it dairy

Dawsons Belfast has closed its doors but you can still buy online from dawsons.co.uk They are urging everyone to stay safe and to “use this time to practice”!

Elliott’s Fancy Dress online shop remains open – perfect to help a quarantine birthday feel a little more fun – or simply to add a splash of colour to that Houseparty meet-up this Friday night! We’ve already seen folk having online 80s parties – why not have a bit of craic with it?

Dawsons Belfast selling out fast
Dawsons Belfast

Gardiner Brothers Jewellers’ online store is open and they are running a number of giveaways to cheer customers up during these dark times – keep an eye on their Facebook page for those! Murray and Co aren’t selling online but are using the time to share some fascinating facts about diamonds and jewellery on their Facebook page every day – give them a follow and learn something!

The Hydroponics online store is open and staff are available via phone, email or online chat.

Jackson Sports is continuing to sell online. Why not get creative – if you’re lucky to have your own garden or outdoor space, try a bit of camping at home!

Jackson Sports- outdoor clothing
Jackson Sports

Make Up Pro Store currently have 15% off all orders in their online shop.

They have also kicked off the #SIMPLYRED challenge on Instagram – if you’re bored at home, create your best red lip look and post the results with the hashtag, tagging @makeupprostore and @paddymcgurganmakeupartist

Make Up Pro Store

MCA Print are accepting orders online and via phone, and artwork can now be uploaded online.

Misstique Belfast are accepting orders online and via phone.

Noblett’s of North Street is accepting online and phone orders, and are also keeping their Facebook page updated with regular livestreams from the shop so customers can browse the range remotely, as well as daily flash sales. They are turning a negative into a positive by encouraging people to use the time at home for ‘Project Isolation Decoration’ and transform their homes!

Norm’s Bikes is offering bike repairs from home – get in touch via Facebook or by calling 07548 527330.

Pizza Punks has announced they will be reopening for a delivery-only service – order now by downloading the Deliveroo app.

If your home entertainment systems are in need of an upgrade, you will be more aware of it now than ever! Richer Sounds’ online shop is open and the team are working from home and happy to advise.

From 4pm on Friday 17th April, you can order your favourites from House of Zen as they offer online and phone food takeaway and delivery. Place your order online or phone it in. Check their Facebook page for all the details.

Mumbai 27 are also offering delivery within the Greater Belfast area, or non-contact collection. Email info@mumbai27.co.uk or phone 9023 3926.

Educational & family fun

We were able to offer our in-depth Google Analytics workshop with Glow Metrics as a webinar and our Lunchtime Learning page contains an online video archive of all our previous Lunchtime Learning sessions.

The Northern Ireland War Memorial has made a whole suite of its learning resources available online to download and print off, to help young ones learn about the Second World War, including pdfs of ration books, wartime recipes, a Spitfire colouring-in sheet, and lots more. Keep an eye on their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for more ideas and resources.

BX Daily with Belfast Exposed
Belfast Exposed

Belfast Exposed is posting daily Digital Activities featuring downloadable worksheets and challenges for the whole family to enjoy. Give it a go and post yours using the #BXDailyActivity hashtag.

Maverick Belfast has popped some amazing colouring in sheets of their Drag Queens on their Facebook page. Colour in and post your entry for a chance to win a VIP night once Maverick reopens!

Established Coffee is sharing some of their secrets to getting a perfect brew at home, along with some tasty recipes and cook-alongs for anyone missing their pie and drip or other delights – check out their Instagram to join in.

Coppi and Buba’s chefs are cooking up a storm on social media – follow chef-owner Tony O’Neill, chef Jonny Phillips plus the main Coppi and Buba accounts on Instagram for fun and easy follow-along video demonstrations.

Young at Art will be sharing creative ideas on their Facebook page – keep an eye out for those and in the meantime, let them know how much you enjoyed this year’s festival by filling in their feedback survey for a chance to win a CQ restaurant voucher!

Belfast Central Library may be closed but don’t worry – all items on loan will renew automatically during closure and while the doors are shut, you can visit the Libraries NI Digital and download e-books and audiobooks, listen to the Libraries NI podcast, find kids’ home activity ideas, access virtual research services , find virtual arts and culture tours to enjoy, or watch some films from the digital archive. Don’t worry if you’re not a library member yet – you can join online.

Libraries NI
Belfast Central Library

They also have daily storytimes over on their YouTube channel – 11.30am every weekday.

Training Matchmaker continues to be a fantastic resource for the best in online education, whether you are looking for a course, or interested in promoting your own online programmes and workshops.

Ulster University is offering remote learning for its students and also has this handy resource for adjusting to working or studying from home. Meanwhile, the Unique Art Shop based at the University is running online art classes for kids every Saturday at 2pm. Find out more on the Facebook page.

Ulster university- unique design shop
Unique Design Shop

Visual Artists Ireland has moved fast and has a whole itinerary of digital events and webinars for artists and members, including a virtual Visual Artists Cafe, online Artists’ helpdesks, and a range of interesting webinars coming up on topics including digital marketing, arts funding, and writing about your work.

Arts, exhibitions and music

The Oh Yeah Music Centre is trying to fill the gap left by the lack of gigs by curating and sharing some cracking Spotify playlists, including this one celebrating the best of Northern Irish music. They are also sharing museum close-ups, bringing pics and facts from some of the best artefacts in the Oh Yeah’s amazing NI Music Exhibition. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The much-loved monthly storytelling event Ten x 9 has shifted online until it’s able to return to the Black Box. There has always been collected and listenable via the podcast but now for the first time, this will be the only way to listen, and it will feature stories recorded at home. Get involved and submit your own true story.

The Black Box’s art outreach programmes have embraced the use of technology to keep their work going – participants in the Moonbase – Creating Connections programme have been staying in touch online and Black Moon’s DJ Twister has remotely performed a set on 343 Radio during lockdown.

BlackBox Belfast hosting a range of events
BlackBox Belfast

Seedhead Arts have brought their monthly live drawing event at The Black Box online, you can now get Real Sketchy from the comfort of your sofa on the first Thursday of the month when Late Night Art would usually be taking place in Belfast. Keep an eye on the Late Night Art Belfast page as they are scanning the web for any virtual exhibitions and art to share during #LNAB.

In the run-up to April’s Late Night Art, University of Atypical ran a Short Shorts competition for 60-second film shorts – keep an eye on their Facebook page to see if they do the same for the next LNAB.

The MAC partnered with The Royal Court Theatre to showcase the fab Cyprus Avenue #WorldTheatreDay  (18+ recommended).

Craft NI Gallery is shining a spotlight on a maker a day on Facebook.

Craft NI Workshops
Craft NI

The Golden Thread Gallery is currently exploring how to bring their planned gallery exhibition – More Bad News by Dougal McKenzie – to you digitally, so keep an eye on their website and Facebook for more announcements.

Here NI, who support lesbian and bisexual women, is offering a number of online social events, including yoga workshops, coffee hours, creative classes and information sessions. The current schedule is on the calendar on their homepage.

Northern Visions is revisiting some of their best films and programmes on their Facebook channel every day.

Silent Canvas Media is using their Facebook page to shine a light on artists for whom they have created album covers or photography portfolios, and are encouraging their audience to support local music during the lockdown.

With so many of us looking for things to do at home, Source Magazine have made their latest issue free to read online for the entire month of April. The magazine is currently taking submissions for their Graduate Photography Online 2020 and the entry fee includes a free digital subscription to the magazine.

The Ulster Youth Orchestra is using their Facebook page to post links to online classical concerts, as well as highlighting individual members and performers.

Health, Beauty & Wellbeing

Flow Yoga has been taking our health and wellness online with a brilliant schedule for home meditations, flexibility sessions and good to go yoga classes. See all classes and book here.

Bellaire Hair and Beauty is offering online skincare consultations, with products online available for order and delivery. They are also running a video competition on their Facebook page for a lucky winner to bag a salon appointment when the doors open again.

yoga stuido
FLOW Yoga studio

Black Mountain Zen Centre is sharing helpful mindfulness tips on their Facebook page, and have shared a link to an online zendo from the San Franciscan Zen Center which takes place Monday to Friday beginning 12:30 GMT.

PureGym has a selection of free online workout videos and exercise guides, as well as free guides via their app, blog or social media.

Polercise is offering a number of daily online classes – who said keeping fit at home had to be boring? Work it!


Don’t forget to follow us online on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tag us if you’re exploring the CQ from your sofa! We’ll be continuing to champion the Cathedral Quarter and its amazing people and organisations, right until the minute they open their doors to us all again. Until then – see you online!

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