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Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2000/2001

Date: 02 July 2001

In attendance for public evidence session at 11:10am: Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry - The Independent Professional Theatre Lobby - Mr Simon Magill, Artistic Director of Tinderbox Theatre Company, Mr Drew McFarlane, NI Secretary, Equity, Ms Paula McFetridge, Actor and Artistic Advisor Lyric Theatre, Mr Paul McErlean, Director of Drury Communications Ltd and Director Tinderbox Theatre Company and Mr Tim Loane, Oscar Nominated Film Director (Dance Lexi Dance) and writer of Channel 4's 'Teachers'.

In attendance for public evidence session at 11:50am: Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry - Belfast City Council - Cllr Tom Hartley, Chairman of Tourism and Promotion of Belfast, Ms Shirley McCay, Head of Economic Initiative and Mr Brendan Toland, Tourism and Development Manager.

The meeting opened, in public, at 10:20am.

1. Chairperson's business

1.1. The Chairperson advised members that the meeting would adjourn to allow members to take part in the discussion of the Minister's statement on last week's meeting of the North/South Ministerial Council on Inland Waterways.

1.2. The Chairperson advised the Committee of the usefulness of the recent visits to Paris and Barcelona in informing the Inquiry and referred to the offer made by the Ministry of Culture in Paris to engage with Northern Ireland counterparts in sharing their experiences of promoting cultural issues. Members were also advised that the Director of the British Council in Northern Ireland, had also been in touch to offer assistance with the arrangements and to explain to the Committee what the Council's role is in terms of showcasing abroad the best of the arts from Northern Ireland. Members agreed that this would be useful and also agreed to pursue the proposed seminar with the French Ministry of Culture, contacts in Barcelona and in Boston.

1.3. Members were advised of the receipt of a letter from the National Trust expressing concern about the application for planning permission for a pub and restaurant development at the gateway to the Giant's Causeway Visitors' Centre. Members agreed that the National Trust would be informed that the Committee had referred the letter to the Environment Committee. Members were reminded that the adjournment debate later in the day was about tourism in the North Antrim area and that this could be an appropriate opportunity to raise the issue of the proposed development.

1.4. Members were referred to a letter received from the Northern Ireland Karate-Do Wado-Kai updating the Committee on their achievements at the world karate championships in Malaysia. Members agreed to write to the Department raising the subject of attracting public funding for karate and to the karate association to congratulate them on their remarkable sporting achievements.

1.5. Members were referred to the letter from the Minister of Finance and Personnel to the Chairperson for the Finance and Personnel Committee seeking views of other departmental committees regarding the layout and presentation of the publication of the budget document 2002/2003. Members were asked to consider the document and to send their comments to the Clerk before Thursday 5 July 2001.

1.6. The Chairperson updated the Committee on contacts from United Christian Broadcasters concerning their application for the local digital licence for Northern Ireland, which was declared inadmissible by the European Court of Human Rights. Members agreed a letter for issue to the Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights.

The meeting adjourned at 10:30am.

The meeting reconvened at 11:35am.

Mr McElduff joined the meeting at 11:45am.

Mr Wilson joined the meeting at 11:50am.

2. Public evidence session - Cultural tourism and the Arts Inquiry - The Independent Professional Theatre Lobby

2.1. The Independent Professional Theatre Lobby gave evidence, in public, to the Committee on the Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry.

Mr Wilson left the meeting at 12:12pm.

Mr Shannon joined the meeting at 12:33pm.

3. Public evidence session - Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry - Belfast City Council

3.1. Belfast City Council gave evidence, in public, to the Committee on the Cultural Tourism and the Arts Inquiry.

Mr Davis left the meeting at 12:33pm.

4. Chairperson's business - continued

4.1. Members were advised that they would receive invitations from the Grand Opera House to 'Jesus Christ Superstar' scheduled to take place on Monday 3rd September 2001 and that they should let staff in the Committee office know if they are available to attend.

5. Minutes of the meeting of 21 June 2001

5.1. Minutes of the meeting of 21 June 2001 were agreed.

6. Matters arising

6.1. There were no matters arising.

7. Follow up on Soccer Strategy debate

7.1. Members were referred to the response from the Minister to the issues raised by the Committee relating to the Soccer Strategy debate and were advised that the Department will be liaising with the Committee on the draft Strategy document which would be published in September 2001.

8. Date of next meeting

8.1. The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday 5 July 2001 at 10:15am in Room 152.

The meeting closed at 12:48pm.

E ONeill

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