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February 15, 2010

Hopkins Festival Moves to Newbridge

This year's Hopkins International Festival takes place from JULY 24 -30, 2010.

Hopkins FestivalThis year marks the 23rd Annual Festival of the Arts; it also marks the first to be held in Newbridge College.

To mark this event, and in conjunction with Kildare County Council, a function will be held in Arus Chill Dara, Naas, on Monday 22nd February at 6.30 pm. Friends and admirers of The Hopkins International Festival are welcome to come along and join the celebration  - and have some refreshments!

Presentations will be made of two important awards. The James McKenna Award (in honour of formerly Kildare based leading sculptor, James McKenna) will be presented to Chicago lawyer, John Patrick Sullivan who has been a wonderful friend and supporter of the Society since its inception in 1987.

The Hopkins Society Award this year goes to Richard Martin. Richard is managing Director of Flógas (Ireland) and has helped greatly to keep the Festival going at a time when sponsorship for a voluntary, non-profit Arts Organisation is crucially important. Each awardee will receive a beautiful silver trophy presented by Newbridge Silver, sponsors of the Annual Awards and themselves  great supporters of the Festival.

The audience on the night will be international and led by the Ambassador of Canada, His Excellency Patrick Binns, Robert Faucher, Deputy Head of Mission, UD Embassy is also expected as is Yiorgos Chouliaras from the Greek Embassy.

The Mayors of County Kildare and Newbridge will also attend, as will Geraldine Byrne, President of the Society. Music will be provided by talented guitarist, Conor Mahony.

The international character of the Festival will be very marked this year with participants already from 20 countries, from South Korea to Japan and Finland. The Youth  Programme has also continued to grow apace – the only one of its kind in Ireland.

A Festival highlight will be the Gala Concert by leading soprano and Kildare native, Celine Byrne. Celine, presently on tour with Franco Carreras, was recent winner of the prestigious Maria Callas Award and can lay claim to being arguably, Ireland’s finest soprano.