Halifax Festival: Your Guide

Francesca and Tom performing in Upstairs at Harveys, the first perfomance of the Halifax Festival 2013.
Francesca and Tom performing in Upstairs at Harveys, the first perfomance of the Halifax Festival 2013.
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A celebration of arts and culture, this year’s Festival is the fourth one to hit the streets of Halifax.

With ten days of amazing events, the festival looks set to be the biggest and best yet with more performances and ways to get involved.

Long Division by IOU at All Souls Church on until Monday 8 July, 11am - 6pm & then Friday 12 - Sunday 14 July, 11am - 6pm


The first day of Halifax Festival 2013 begins with an incredible sound installation from local company IOU Theatre. Long Division has been created for one of Halifax’s most magnificent historical buildings, All Souls Church. As the clock chimes on the hour, there follows a sequence of 60 hushed, spoken exchanges, timed to the divisions of the clock. The whispering phrases gather in intensity second by second creating rhythmic speech patterns that send a wash of sound rippling around the walls.

All Souls Church is a Halifax landmark and one of the most beautiful buildings designed by architect Sir George Gilbert Scott. A prolific architect whose work includes St. Pancras Station and the Albert Memorial, Scott thought this his best church, completed in1859.

The presentation of Long Division, as part of the Halifax Festival, will be a rare opportunity to visit All Souls.

Clarinet and Saxophone Duet at Lloyds Banking Hall, 12pm
Pop up music in the banking hall. A Saxophone and Clarinet duo will perform a variety of different pieces from the both the classical and Jazz genres.

Francesca Hardman-Saião and Tom Kaye at Harveys Restaurant, 12.30pm


Halifax Festival is pleased to welcome a fantastic piano and vocal duo to Harveys restaurant to enhance your dining experience! Francesca Hardman-Saião and Tom Kaye will be performing their take on anything from folk and jazz to modern chart songs at 12.30pm and diners can enjoy this entertainment for free.

Voices from the Past with David Glover at Halifax Central Library, 2.30pm

£5 & £3 concessions

David Glover begins the first of several talks for the Festival today and here he will tell you all you could want to know about Lister Lane Cemetery.

Opened in 1841, Lister Lane Cemetery was the town’s first non-sectarian graveyard. It is the last resting place of over 20,000 citizens of Halifax and the surrounding area: the wealthy, the famous, the notorious, and the very poor. The story of 19th Century commercial Halifax may be read in its memorials. Who designed much of the Dean Clough Mill complex? Who founded our local Building Society? Who was Halifax’s famous 19th Century soprano? Which Halifax family was the first outside London to build pianos in Britain? Who helped defend Canada from the United States? Find out from the current Chair of The Friends of Lister Lane Cemetery.

Upside Down (12A) at Halifax Central Library, 4.30pm


The start of several free films showing at the library begins with Upside Down.

Adam and Eden fell in love as teens despite the fact that they live on twinned worlds with gravities that pull in opposite directions. Ten years after a forced separation, Adam sets out on a dangerous quest to reconnect with his love.

Seating is limited, so please book tickets either by phone or in person from Halifax Central Library 01422 392630 or Halifax Festival Box Office at Square Chapel 01422 349422.

Refreshments are available at all showings, for a small charge.

The Water Palace by Pomegranate Ensemble at Halifax Minster, 7.30pm

£9 & £7 concessions

The Pomegranate Ensemble comes together for a performance based on a story by Rabbi Nachmann of Bratslav. They will also be delighting audiences with a piece entitled ‘The Birthday Present’, which is inspired by the poet Sylvia Plath. The Ensemble is Rowena Thornton (soprano), Robert Orange (tenor), Edward Thornton (baritone), Stephen Shulman (violin), Paul Udloff (violin), Cordelia Prescott (viola), Caroline Steer (cello) and John Pratt (French horn).

Beat Mark + The Ruckus + Fold at Arden Road Social Club presented by Doghouse Productions at Arden Road Social Club, 8pm
£6 & £5 concessions - pay on the door
Beat Mark is composed of two boys (Julien and Gaëtan, formerly from Adam Kesher) and two girls (Chloé, former drummer for Yussuf Jerusalem and Karin). Not long after the band started a debut cassette was released by the Southern Californian label Burger Records. The first LP ‘Howls of Joy’, which was out on Final Taxi Records in Paris, France, was released internationally by the London-based label Ample Play in February 2013.

Gabby Young & Other Animals at Square Chapel, 8pm

£11 & £9 concessions

Fronted by flame-haired eccentric, Gabby Young, this 6-piece band brings a fresh new perspective to music that has crowds jumping for joy.

Young’s avant-garde fusion of globally-influenced folk combines Balkan brass, jazz and swing in an aural antiques shop from the future to produce what has been affectionately dubbed Circus Swing.

Gabby’s unique perspective of the world around her is inspired as much by imagination as real events, but when thyroid cancer threatened to take her classically trained voice at the age of 22, she got serious about recording her stories. Using her recovery time to pen her melodies, Gabby took in global influences to fuel her heartfelt emotion, which shines through her beautifully haunting songs.

Events on throughout the Festival

What is Art? at Bankfield Museum on until Saturday 31 August, 10am - 4pm


Drawing on the collections of Calderdale Museums, this exhibition explores our perceptions of art. From the prehistoric to post-modern, explore concepts and taste and consider the questions “Is it Art?” and “Do you like it?” There is also a unique opportunity to ‘vote out’ your least favourite work. For more information telephone 01422 352334.

Britain’s got Artists Top 50 at UK-Artworks on until Wednesday 31 July, 10.30am - 3pm (10.30am - 8pm Fridays)


The prestigious national art competition, now in its second year, comes to new Halifax art gallery UK-Artworks at 29-31 Broad Street.

Check out this must-see exhibition of the top 50 artists, as voted for by the public, including the top three finalists, chosen by judges Alison Dunn, sculptor Sheila Gaffney and MP George Galloway in the judges’ live final event. The gallery is also host to many other cultural events throughout the year, please check website for details - www.uk-artworks.co.uk

Calderdale Calligraphers - Hanging on Every Word at Halifax Minster on until Monday 16 September, 10am - 4pm


Display of calligraphy created on fabrics and based around Pennine people and places, and situated in the nave of Halifax Minster.

Northern Division Exhibition of Contemporary Glass by Contemporary Glass Society in Unit 58, Piece Hall, on until Sunday 14 July, 11am - 4pm


In its second year, this exhibition will celebrate the wealth of creative talent in the world of glass from across the North of England. The work will be presented by the artists themselves who will talk to you about techniques and inspirations that went into producing each piece. You will also have the opportunity to make a piece of your own fused glass. A full timetable of artists can be seen on the Halifax Festival website.

Giant Map of South Pennines by Angela Smyth at Halifax Central Library on until Sunday 14 July and available for viewing during library opening times


Internationally-acclaimed artist Angela Smyth has created a spectacular, giant, ten foot map to encourage people to seek out the hidden treasures of the South Pennines.

The artwork, painted in the Halifax-born artist’s trademark quirky and humorous style, captures the character and charm of the area and took six months to complete in the artist’s Sowerby Bridgebased studio. Not a map in the traditional sense, it is Angela’s interpretation of the area and a reflection of the things she finds inspiring.

Simon Armitage, the Marsden-born poet, playwright and novelist, has contributed lines of poetry to the map from his Stanza Stones project – a set of poems inspired by the region’s language and landscape.

The South Pennines Map was commissioned by the Local Distinctiveness Project managed by rural regeneration company Pennine Prospects.

Square Circle Exhibition in the Square Chapel Foyer until Wednesday 31 July, Mon – Fri 9.30am – 5pm and Sat 11am – 3pm and during events


A selection of work produced over the past year by the artists who attend Square Chapel’s Square Circle workshops - weaving, painting and calligraphy for the over 50s.