Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure
DCAL – A Department for the Economy and of Equality
Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín at the Belfast Mela

Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín, has attended the opening of the Belfast Mela in Botanic Gardens Belfast.

Speaking at the event the Minister said: “Now in its eighth year, the Mela is a celebration of multiculturalism and diversity. The event is a showcase of food, art, dance and many cultures from around the World. It is a fabulous example of how to promote a greater understanding between ethnic and local communities.

“The arts are an excellent way to bring people together, to engage with others and learn about our rich diversity of cultures.  

Organisations such as ArtsEkta, who stage the Mela, should be commended for their outreach activities which bring intercultural arts to communities who may have little opportunity to explore and experience other cultures. Working with international artists, people of all ages have been able to establish positive contacts, develop new skills and, in many cases, make new friends.

The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) is committed to proactively harnessing the transformative power of the creative and cultural sectors to tackle disadvantage and support a confident, creative, informed and healthy society in this part of Ireland.

Our top priority is to promote social and economic equality and tackle poverty and social exclusion.

DCAL has responsibility for a diverse portfolio ranging across arts and creativity, museums, libraries, sport, inland waterways and inland fisheries, linguistic diversity and public records. It supports cross-cutting Government priorities and works with a
wide range of social partners to make a real difference to
people’s lives. Programmes, organisations and strategic initiatives supported and delivered by DCAL can catalyse life-changing pathways and help to deliver wider social and economic change.

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DCAL supported programmes enhance education and life-long
learning outcomes; support
families and add value to
the work of teachers, schools
and alternative education

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We support thousands of jobs in the creative and cultural sector and innovative initiatives delivering qualifications and employability skills. We introduce social clauses delivering new jobs for young people and the long-term unemployed.

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Language/Cultural Diversity
Museums and Libraries
Arts, Creativity & Architecture
Inland Waterways & Fisheries
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

Ministerial Advisory Group for Architecture and the Built Environment

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Our programmes support healthy lifestyles, increase confidence and self-esteem, and help to tackle major societal challenges such as mental health and suicide prevention.

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DCAL supported initiatives tackle barriers to full participation in society. We reach out to and support those experiencing or at risk of isolation and alienation.

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