Mela at Home 2020

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ArtsEkta would like to thank all our funders and sponsors for their support of Mela at Home

Principal Funders

Principal Sponsor

Media Partners

Digital Partner

Friends of Mela Equality Commission FOR NORTHERN IRELAND

Support Us We are pleased to present Mela at Home totally free of charge for you to enjoy. Please consider supporting the future of the festival by making a donation at our website – every little helps!

Festival Team

Executive Director Project Manager Finance & Operations Officer Outreach & Engagement Officer Heritage Officer Project Assistant Administration Assistant Press & Communications Web Design Graphic Design Motion Design Video Production

Mela at Home is brought alive by a creative family of artists, performers, choreographers, producers, digital geniuses and design professionals. A massive thank you to each and every one for being the heartbeat of our first ever virtual festival!

Nisha Tandon Krishan Tandon Deirdre McShane Aoife McCrory Julianne Skillen Nabeela Yasin-Iannelli Catherine McGivern Orla McKibbin Flint Studios Sonia McCourt Laura Coulter & Mash Mob Redcap Productions

Board of Directors

Hazel Francey (Chair) Pamela Ballantine (Vice Chair) Mukesh Sharma MBE DL Anna Lo MBE Dr. M Satish Kumar Stephen McGarry Janice Smith

Welcome to Mela at Home Join us on a free week long virtual journey across the world with the best local music, dance, food and art promoting and celebrating our cultural diversity. Transport yourself to Botanic Gardens with our interactive map, pay a visit to your favourite zones and curate a fun festival experience for all the family with a new line up of cultural creativity each day!

The Virtual Mela Experience To make sure you have the best possible Virtual Mela experience we have compiled a few handy hints and tips to assist you. How can I access the online events? All content can be accessed from the Belfast Mela website through our special interactive map. Each day a different line up will be released across all of the festival zones. Content will also be available across social media platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok. Look out for the icon beside each listing to see where it will be available. How do I access live and interactive events? Live and interactive events will be hosted through video streaming platform Zoom as well as Facebook Live and Instagram Live. Each listing will have information on how to register where required.

What is the best way to view the online events? All content can be accessed via a desktop computer, laptop, mobile or tablet device. For the best viewing experience we would recommend that content is viewed on a desktop computer, laptop or tablet device such as an iPad. What arrangements are in place for accessibility needs? Our website and content have been created with universal accessibility standards in mind. Where possible we have included video subtitles, image descriptions, native html, simplified language and appropriate colour contrasting.

We are pleased to present a very special edition of the festival this year, as we bring you Mela at Home.

Mela is now one of Belfast’s signature festivals and an iconic cultural experience bringing together thousands of people from across the island of Ireland in one shared, inclusive space to celebrate our diversity. In these challenging times, it has never been more important that we find strength in our diversity and collective community spirit. Throughout the year we work right across the country and we have been so heartened to see how we have all come together as one community to help and support one another.

Recent events have also created momentum in communities in every corner of the globe with equality and rights firmly under the spotlight. Our vision is a society that respects different cultures and communities in Northern Ireland. We will continue to play our part in challenging racism and prejudice by using arts and creativity to help us all embrace our differences and celebrate our similarities. The worldwide health pandemic has meant that we cannot present the festival as a live event in the interests of health and safety however with over fifty digital events throughout the week we are sure that Mela at Home will bring a little of the magic, colour and vibrancy of the festival that all of us have grown to love over the years. We encourage you to log onto

our brand new website and pick your favourite events many of which are interactive and created with every member of the family in mind. And of course, we’d love you to support the festival by purchasing a limited edition Mela Culture Box to create your very own pop up Mini Mela at home! As always we would like to thank all our staff, artists, partners, funders and sponsors, both old and new. We really hope our virtual festival brings you some joy, positivity and hope in these very strange times, and we look forward to welcoming you all back to Botanic Gardens in 2021 for one massive global party! Founder & Executive Director Nisha Tandon OBE

A Message from the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Frank McCoubrey With the current circumstances Botanic Gardens will unfortunately not come alive with the usual colour and vibrancy we have all grown to love over the years. However, I am delighted that ArtsEkta have shown resilience and adapted with a very exciting virtual edition of the festival – Mela at Home.

The award winning Belfast Mela, launched by the one of the city’s leading cultural groups ArtsEkta, is now the biggest celebration of cultural diversity in Northern Ireland.

Mela is a reflection of Belfast’s welcoming spirit and showcases our capital’s continuously evolving make up of new communities and cultures. It has never been more important that we find strength in our diversity and be proud of all communities who make up the unique fabric of Belfast. With over 50 local online events to enjoy, Mela at Home allows us to experience the diversity of Belfast in a digital space.

Belfast City Council is delighted to have recently supported Mela as one of the city’s four signature events through its ‘Imagine’ funding scheme. With significant investment over the next four years, festivals and events are a cornerstone of our new 10 year cultural strategy – A City Imagining. This funding will be used to help support the growth and development of the Mela in the long term and we look forward to seeing how ArtsEkta continues to create innovative opportunities for cultural engagement in our city. I look forward to exploring what Belfast’s first virtual Mela has to offer and congratulate ArtsEkta on their outstanding contribution in bringing together communities from every corner of our city and beyond.

A Message from Junior Ministers Gordon Lyons MLA and Declan Kearney MLA

Junior Minister Gordon Lyons MLA

Junior Minister Declan Kearney MLA

We are delighted to give our support to this year’s Mela At Home.

scope and scale of a Sunday in Botanic Gardens for our own living rooms.

Belfast, traditionally, is the home of the Mela. But this year every home in Belfast and beyond can play host to one of the most hotly anticipated events in our cultural calendar.

This remains a celebration for us all. This year we can all remain socially distanced but unified in spirit, unified in fun and unified as a global community! 2020 has brought many challenges but in some ways it has brought togetherness and a sense of community that we should do our best to retain and celebrate.

Mela is about people, culture and diversity, the very things that are critical to making this a great place to live. It’s electric, eclectic and entertaining. Every year it gets bolder, bigger and more ambitious – so it is unsurprising that Nisha and her team have taken the COVID-19 restrictions and reinvented the

We would encourage everyone to sit back and relax or get up and dance – but most of all enjoy everything that the Mela brings.

A Message from the Arts Council of NI, Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Arts Council is delighted to take this opportunity to thank ArtsEkta for their determination that everyone will still be able to enjoy this year’s Belfast Mela, despite the restrictions of COVID-19.

One of the positive things to have emerged during this dreadful pandemic has been the response of local artists and arts organisations, who have found new ways to engage with audiences during lockdown. They have embraced digital and online solutions to reach out, then to reach out further, and their resourcefulness and leadership continues to lift everyone’s spirits in these most challenging of times. The world-wide spread of the Coronavirus is a stark reminder of our universal humanity. This year, of all years, it feels more important than ever that the Belfast Mela should continue to unite our people and communities in celebration of cultural diversity, in all its richness. We may be unable to come together to enjoy the festivities live and

in-person, but ArtsEkta have come up with a very appealing alternative. Thanks to this year’s virtual programme, we can still experience all of the colour and spectacle from the comfort of our own homes. As one of ArtsEkta’s long-term principal funders, through our National Lottery and Exchequer funds, the Arts Council welcomes the creative approach that the festival team has taken to this year’s Mela. As we can see from the programme, they have risen to the challenges of redefining this festival for our difficult times. We hope this year’s virtual Belfast Mela leaves you feeling uplifted, enriched, inspired and entertained in those very special ways only the arts can do.

SENSATA TECHNOLOGIES IS PROUD TO SPONSOR MELA AT HOME Sensata Technologies is a world leader and early innovator in mission-critical sensors and controls to make the world cleaner, safer and more connected. You will find 47,000 of our unique products in many applications that protect people and the environment. We are delighted to be part of this amazing cultural celebration online and strengthen our partnership with ArtsEkta. At the Virtual Mela, we will have a great range of STEM activities to encourage children to explore and foster passion about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. We are dedicated to ensuring our employees feel a sense of belonging and respect everyday. We believe that every individual has unique insights that others can learn from. Working at Sensata means you can bring your whole self to the table. Our goal is to achieve fair representation of women, minorities, veterans and people with disabilities among all levels in our organisation.’

Bring all the fun of the festival to your doorstep with our Mela Culture Boxes! Curated by our festival producers, the box is packed with global goodies for all the family including craft activities, recipes kits and party décor to enjoy throughout the month of August & beyond. Have fun creating your very own Mini Mela at home!

What does it include? • • • • • • • •


Mela themed party décor 4 recipe kits 4 global craft activities DIY magic henna tattoos Coloured party powder Diya candle holder Selection of chilli sauces, spices and teas Fortune cookies



You can purchase your own culture box online throughout the month of August from

Get your best dance moves at the ready for a party at the World Stage! We’ve assembled a wonderful line up of music, dance and discussion from around the world, all presented by local artists living in Northern Ireland. Bust a Bollywood move with our South Asian Dance Academy, transport yourself to the sun kissed sounds of Spain or get into the groove with Zimbabwean beats. There’s a little something for everyone!

WORLD STAGE South Asian Dance Academy Monday 24th August, 7pm The South Asian Dance Academy are going global with a mash up of dance styles and cultures all set to sounds of Bollywood. Featuring dancers from Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland and Estonia. Feel good vibes all round!

Bulgarian Association of Northern Ireland Tuesday 25th August, 12.30pm Journey with the Chemshir Dance Group into the beauty of Bulgarian culture as they present a mesmerising array of traditional folk dance against a beautiful backdrop of greenery.

Magwere Tuesday 25th August, 7pm Firm festival favourite Wilson Magwere and his live band bring you a performance that is crackling with energy. Their music is primarily influenced by Zimbabwean rebel music, with of elements of funk, reggae & trance also present in the mix. Magwere are truly one of Ireland’s best kept secrets!

Basork Thursday 27th August, 7pm Basork are a fusion group whose compositions are influenced by Irish, European and Middle Eastern sounds. Brass, strings and woodwind combine with hints of jazz, funk and a dose of traditional sounds with big melodies.

Los Dramaticos Friday 28th August, 7pm Fronted by Paddy & Victor, who hail from Northern Ireland and Chile respectively, Los Dramaticos are a hidden gem in our local world music scene. Their eclectic musical past incursions include classical and blues piano, French chanson, Argentinian Tango and even Afropop.

Anna’s Number Saturday 29th August, 7pm After beginning their journey busking on the streets of Belfast Anna’s Number have continued their journey of becoming the forefront of youth-inspired funk music in the country. If you like to dance, Anna’s Number is the perfect band for you!

South Asian Dance Academy Sunday 30th August, 7pm No Mela is complete with a spectacular festival finale from the South Asian Dance Academy. Choreographed by the wonderful Jayne McIlveen, get ready for colourful costume, energetic moves and colourful Bollywood sounds.


Join us on a fabulous food discovery! Tickle your taste buds on a food journey across the globe and get hands on with our at home cook alongs, tea talk and taste workshops and a showcase of Belfast’s best chefs and producers. From east to west, there is a little something for everyone resulting in a cultural culinary experience using the finest Northern Ireland produce. Step into the Palm House at Botanic Gardens as we present a tasty line up of artisan producers. We’ll be hearing from chilli grower Tim from Blackfire, joining Belfalfel who will demonstrate spicy Middle Eastern delicacies, having a go at shucking fresh oysters as well as hearing from the international food blogger – The Urban Rajah.

TASTE THE WORLD The Urban Rajah Monday 24th August, 1.30pm Ivor Peters is the Urban Rajah – Chef, writer and presenter with roots deep in the Indian subcontinent sharing spiced recipes and next generation Indian cuisine. Join the Urban Rajah, as he uses some of NI’s finest local seafood produce combined with mouth watering Indian flavours. Warning: come hungry!

Make Your Own Mango Lassi Tuesday 25th August, 1pm Join the founder of the Belfast Mela, Nisha Tandon, as she prepares the exotic Indian summer drink of Mango Lassi in the tropical surroundings of The Palm House at Botanic Gardens. U105 presenter Carolyn Stewart will talk to Nisha about how Covid-19 has changed the festival and what you can expect in the future from Mela.

The Tale of Suki Tea Tuesday 25th August, 3.30pm Belfast Boutique Loose Leaf Tea Blender, Suki Tea, first set up in 2005 by business partners Anne Irwin and Oscar Woolley, ethically source and blend loose leaf teas, herbal infusions and fruit blends from all over the world. Hear more about the story behind Suki Tea and get some fascinating insights into tea blending.

Into the Wild: Tea Foraging Walk Wednesday 26th August, 1pm Journey into Belfast woodlands with Clare McQuillan, a freelance chef and foraging guide based in East Belfast. Through her educational foraging walks Clare hopes to show off the best seasonal and sustainable wild ingredients and also demonstrate how to make them delicious. In this walk, she will be exploring natural heritage for plants and herbs to brew your very own tea!

Bia Rebel Wednesday 26th August, 1pm Bia Rebel is Northern Ireland’s only real ramen shop, serving handmade noodles and delicious broth made from the best local ingredients. Join owner Brian Donnelly as he gives you a guided demonstration into the traditions of ramen.

Virtual Belfast Oyster Experience Thursday 27th August, 1pm The Belfast Oyster Experience are passionate about local food, and especially the classic pairing of Guinness and Oysters. The experience is hosted by husband and wife, Lee and Aoife, and showcases the best local and sustainable produce Belfast has to offer. Join them for a special virtual edition of the Belfast Oyster Experience – it’s shucking good craic.

TASTE THE WORLD Falafel Making Workshop Friday 28th August, 1pm Join Mela favourites Belfalafel as they teach you have to make your very own homemade falafels. Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas and a traditional street food from the Middle East.

BBC’s Best Home Cook - Suzie Arbuthnot Friday 28th August, 5pm Suzie is an accountant from Northern Ireland who was crowned BBC’s Best Home Cook in 2020. She’s been cooking since she was young when she used to help out in her family’s Chinese takeaway. Her cooking style is hearty family food served in very generous portions.

Tea Talks Series Saturday 29th August, 11am We are pleased to welcome Eric Woods who will discuss the life and achievements of Sir Samuel Davidson, founder of the Sirocco Works. In 1863 Samuel Davidson travelled to India, at the tender age of 17, to grow tea, he proceeded to industrialise every aspect of teas production, except for picking the bud and leaves of the tea. For history and tea enthusiasts. Have a large mug of builders tea with biccies whilst you watch!

Blackfire Artisanal Chilli Sauces Saturday 29th August, 1pm Blackfire Artisan Food is the result of 30 years of global travel and tasting by Belfast native, street artist, grower, sauce alchemist, and chilli fanatic Tim McCarthy. Join Tim to hear about his journeys and tales, and the secrets behind his homegrown chilli sauces.

Tea Leaf Reading Sunday 30th August, 1pm Tea leaf reader Rosie Lee (aka actress Rosie McClelland) delves to the bottom of the cuppas of some of ArtsEkta’s Board and staff for a light hearted look at what the future holds! Run a pot of loose leaf Earl Grey through the strainer for this fun frivolity!

The Art of Cooking: Looking Beyond the Plate Sunday 30th August, 4pm Get your best cooking skills at the ready with our free recipe book created together with refugees and asylum seekers living in Belfast. Every culture has its favourite recipes, and in this book you’ll find dishes from Syria, Sudan and even Spain!


Culture Land is a magical children’s arts experience Young ones and their parents are invited on a journey through the world to make discoveries and learn new things. Experience a line up of crafts, sounds, dance, stories and art, giving them a true cultural experience they will never forget. Get your passport and suitcase at the ready and embark on a journey across the globe to explore cultures and traditions.

CULTURE LAND Rainbow Rangoli Monday 24th August, 1pm Join local visual artist Elaine Taylor with a team of local artists as they take over Botanic Gardens to create a massive art installation inspired by the ancient Indian rice craft of Rangoli. We would love you to help us and create your very own Rainbow Rangoli using our step by step guide – share you completed creations to social media using #rainbowrangoli

Magical Mexico Monday 24th August, 3pm Learn about the culture, traditions and food of Mexico. Have a go at creating your very own Mexican guitar using our step by step guide, and join Mayte Segura to learn some traditional dance moves.

STEM with Sensata Tuesday 25th August, 10.30am Join our principal sponsor, Sensata Technologies, as Emily the Engineer takes you on an exciting discovery into the wacky weird of science and technology.

The Art of Origami Tuesday 25th August, 3pm Delve into the ancient traditions of Japan with the paper folding art of Origami. Follow our step by step video for creating your very own Origami masterpiece inspired by animals from around the world.

Bollywood Grooves Wednesday 26th August, 12noon Join choreographer Jayne McIlveen from ArtsEkta’s South Asian Dance Academy to bust a Bollywood move with a Tik Tok takeover. We want to see your best moves and grooves!

Chinatown Wednesday 26th August, 2pm Take it on down to Chinatown! Explore the culture and traditions of China, make your own Chinese lantern, have a go at some cooking and learn traditional dance moves.

Beautiful Bulgaria Thursday 27th August, 3pm Learn about the culture, traditions and food of Bulgaria. Have a go at creating your very own floral headdress using our step by step guide, and join the Bulgarian Association of Northern Ireland to learn some traditional dance moves.

STEM with Sensata Friday 28th August, 3pm Join our principal sponsor, Sensata Technologies, as Emily the Engineer takes you on an exciting discovery into the wacky weird of science and technology.

CULTURE LAND Mosaic Making Friday 28th August, 3pm Artist Fionnuala Lennon is taking you on a tea themed mosaic making journey recycling old and unwanted crockery. The completed art work and footage of the making process will whet your whistles for making your own mosaics. Suitable for children, families and crafters. Have the breakfast tea on the ring and the kettle on standby for this mosaic master class!

Great Global Treasure Hunt Saturday 29th August, 2pm Calling all culture seekers! It’s time to transform your home into a global treasure trail. Follow our treasure hunt kit packed world inspired activities and cultural learning. Don’t forget to share your photos with us on social media!

STEM with Sensata Sunday 30th August, 3pm Join our principal sponsor, Sensata Technologies, as Emily the Engineer takes you on an exciting discovery into the wacky weird of science and technology.

Martial Arts with RAPTR Sunday 30th August, 3.30pm RAPTR is a Mixed Martial Arts Club that uses the concepts from Jeet Kune Do to teach and train a variety of martial arts. The main concept of Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is to ‘absorb what is useful’. In this video they will take you through some basic martial arts steps and teach more about the cultural values of this centuries old skill.

Phew! If your journey through our virtual wonderland is all getting a bit too much, then relax and unwind at the World of Wellbeing. Curated by Tessa Ann from Tonic Wellness, experience an area of calm and pamper your mind with guided workshops, at home treatments and wellness experiences. Have a go at guided yoga, tai chi and sound healing or create your very own at home treatments with fresh herbs and oils. A refreshing experience for the mind, body and soul.

WORLD OF WELLBEING Yoga with Lisa Monday 24rd August, 2.30pm Lisa is a traditional yoga teacher and owner of The Temple Studio and MXC Comber. Lisa introduces zero-resistance techniques that are suitable for all levels. The focus of this practice is about conserving energy, whilst helping to release any accumulated stress in the spine, freeing your back, shoulders and neck.

Tropic Skincare Wednesday 26th August, 3.30pm Mel demonstrates a facial using Tropic’s multi award winning products with amazing healing properties. 100% natural, vegan approved, cruelty free, Tropic Skincare is the fastest growing beauty brand in the UK for the past 4 years and 1st company in Europe to be accredited with the certificate “Protect Land & Sea”

Sound Bath with Tessa Thursday 27th August, 12noon Tessa Ann guides you into relaxation for this Sound Bath Experience, during which she plays a range of instruments including crystal bowls, Tibetan bowls, gongs and voice. An experience to relax and reenergise. Please listen with headphones at a safe level.

Alison’s Head to Toe Therapies Friday 28th August, 2.30pm Alison will take you through some relaxation techniques, whilst demonstrating a simple yet effective hand massage. During the routine she will cover some pressure points that can be used to help ease anxiety, headaches and sinuses.

Tai Chi with Fiona Saturday 29th August, 12noon Qigong (“Chee-gong”) are mind, body, movement practices originating from China. Qigong is growing in popularity because it’s simple and easy to do, with a number of health benefits including pain reduction, helping anxiety, sleep, and improving fitness. Fiona will show some exercises that can be done by anyone, anywhere.

Norwex Sunday 30th August, 3.30pm Norwex’s mission is to radically reduce chemicals within the home and in our personal care. In this video they will demo their most popular package, the Safe Haven 5. The starting point for a Norwex journey to reduce chemicals. Norwex look forward to sharing their passion for these products and giving you safer alternatives.


Immerse yourself in a world where cultures come together through storytelling, writing, theatre and discussion. World of Words is an area of the Mela where your imagination can run wild. Whether it be globally inspired stories for young people, inspirational conversation and discussion or creative thinking, we are sure you will love our line up of local and international artists and speakers.

WORLD OF WORDS World of Words Short Monday 24th August, 4pm Check out one of the winning stories from our World of Words storytelling competition from the 11-17 years category. The story has been brought to life by film makers Mash Mob.

Creative Writing with Jan Carson Tuesday 25th August, 1.30pm In this hour-long interactive workshop for adults, award winning Belfast-based writer Jan Carson will guide participants through a series of fun writing exercises designed to help craft and write a short piece of prose. This is an interactive event, you can register at

Dip into Storytelling with Peter Chand Wednesday 26th August, 3pm Get ready for a storytelling masterclass with British Indian storyteller Peter Chand, one of Europe’s most renowned storytellers. This taster workshop will explore the basics of storytelling, an ancient art which has been around for centuries.

World of Words Short Wednesday 26th August, 4pm Check out one of the winning stories from our World of Words storytelling competition from under 11s category. The story has been brought to life by film makers Mash Mob.

Ten x 9 Wednesday 26th August, 7pm Ten x 9 is a storytelling event where nine people have up to ten minutes each to tell a true story from their own life. Everybody has a story; ordinary stories, extraordinary stories, stories that delight, entertain, educate, stories that make you laugh, think, hope and cry. This is an interactive event, you can register at

The Garden of Hopes Thursday 27th August, 4pm Become a Hope Hunter and join us in the ‘Garden of Hopes’ an online immersive storytelling adventure for ages 5 plus. From mermaids to sprites each character in the garden uses an enchanting mix of storytelling, song and mindfulness tools to tell their tales of how they use the power of hope to help garden seeds find their way into the light.

Success through Equality Thursday 27th August, 8pm ArtsEkta present in partnership with JoinHer Network a Live panel discussion to hear leaders address the existing diversity in local communities, the importance of inclusion and steps to be taken towards a fairer and more equal society.

WORLD OF WORDS Plúra Lúra agus na Bopóga Friday 28th August, 1.30pm Don’t miss Plúra Lúra, Little Nóra and all their friends with their songs, stories and poems. Well known Irish language nursery rhymes such as ‘Put Your Hands Up’ and ‘Lovely Little Teddy Bear’ are sung beautifully throughout the show by world renowned Irish singer; Gráinne Holland

Stories of Struggle and Hope Friday 28th August, 4pm Join Mara the Storyteller and Nandi Joli as they discuss stories of struggles & hope. Mara draws on her rich, dual Kenyan/Scottish cultural heritage, exploring contemporary issues through legend, myth and fantasy. Nandi is a writer, poet and motivational speaker. She migrated to Northern Ireland in 2001 from South Africa and uses her writing to express her pain, frustrations and hopes.

Perfecting your Poetry Saturday 29th August, 3pm Clara Rose Thornton is a spoken word artist, culture journalist and broadcaster. Her work focuses on the arts and their intersection with social justice, identity politics, history, and place. Hone the creation of an original piece to be performed vocally and with dynamism. Each participant to discover and polish their individual style. This is an interactive event, you can register at

World of Words Short Saturday 29th August, 4pm Check out one of the winning stories from our World of Words storytelling competition by 18+ category. The story has been brought to life by film makers Mash Mob.

Family Story Time with Liz Weir Sunday 30th August, 12noon Liz Weir is a storyteller and writer from Northern Ireland. She was the first winner of the International Story Bridge Award from the National Storytelling Network, USA, which cited her “exemplary work promoting the art of storytelling”. In this story time she will be telling stories from around the globe!

Master Davey & The Magic Tea House Sunday 30th August, 5pm Storyteller Eamonn Keenan reads ‘Master Davey & The Magic Tea House, the Legend of the Blue Tiger’ by Susan Chodakiewitz and David De Candia. Suitable for children, families and the young at heart. Make an iced tea with the kids and sit down and savour whilst listening!

Polish Grandmothers with Kasia Lech Friday 28th August, 3pm There is no superhero like a Polish grandmother: Babcia. This session focuses on stories about Polish grandmothers, food they cook, games they play, songs they sing, and daily miracles they perform. Performed by Kasia Lech, a multilingual actor, storyteller, puppeteer, and Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University.



Voices of Mela is a film and photographic exhibition that was commissioned to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the festival back in 2016. We are delighted to bring the exhibition online for first time exploring all our favourite and iconic moments of the festival as well as the immeasurable impact it has had on the cultural landscape of Belfast. Log onto to view the film and photo series to journey into the memories of Mela!


Each year at the Mela almost a hundred traders and exhibitors flock the park to bring us a global wonderland of local food, crafts and amazing products. Of course this year we cannot welcome our most loved exhibitors to the festival and instead are showing our support by showcasing their products and services. We encourage you to support these small businesses, shop local and spread the word about their fantastic products!

Glendinning House 6 Murray Street Belfast, BT1 6DN

Tel: +44 (0)28 9023 1381

ArtsEkta is a charity registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (NIC102412) and has one wholly owned trading subsidiary Ekta Events C.I.C #belfastmela

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