FRIENDS OF MELA LAUNCH NEW DIVERSITY INITIATIVE

 
Friends of Belfast Mela gathered in Botanic Gardens to launch ArtsEkta's new diversity initiative. Pictured (l to r - back row) are Gillian Orr, Phoenix Natural Gas; Claire McBride, Olenick; Caroline van der Feltz, Danske Bank; Mexican dancer Mayte Segura; John Boyd, Hannon Travel; Kelly Clifford, First Trust and Ciara Smyth, Belfast Harbour with Nisha Tandon, ArtsEkta and Annapurna Nallaka, AllState seated on the 'Friends' sofa. (©Press Eye/Darren Kidd)

Friends of Belfast Mela gathered in Botanic Gardens to launch ArtsEkta's new diversity initiative. Pictured (l to r - back row) are Gillian Orr, Phoenix Natural Gas; Claire McBride, Olenick; Caroline van der Feltz, Danske Bank; Mexican dancer Mayte Segura; John Boyd, Hannon Travel; Kelly Clifford, First Trust and Ciara Smyth, Belfast Harbour with Nisha Tandon, ArtsEkta and Annapurna Nallaka, AllState seated on the 'Friends' sofa. (©Press Eye/Darren Kidd)


Many of Northern Ireland’s leading companies have signed up to become Friends of the Belfast Mela, a new initiative which enables organisations to positively demonstrate support for promoting cultural diversity across Northern Ireland.

The Belfast Mela is the largest celebration of cultural diversity on the island of Ireland attracting up to 30,000 people each year.  ArtsEkta, the award-winning cultural charity which was set up by Nisha Tandon, OBE to run the Belfast Mela, is also responsible for running workshops, seminars and many creative projects across the year to develop intercultural relationships at the heart of Northern Ireland’s various communities.

To launch the Friends of Belfast Mela initiative ArtsEkta’s Executive Director, Nisha Tandon, OBE invited some of Mela’s new corporate friends to join her in Botanic Gardens where the 13th Belfast Mela will be held on Sunday 25 August this year.

Nisha Tandon, OBE, Executive Director of ArtsEkta says:

“Our Friends are forward thinking organisations who understand the benefits of a diverse society in driving success for their business objectives and enriching the lives of their employees who live and work here.

“So far 16 organisations have already pledged their support for our Friends initiative. I am now writing to the leaders of Northern Ireland’s top 100 companies asking them to show their support and promote cultural diversity by becoming a Friend of the Belfast Mela.  Our aim is to encourage many more businesses to join us, so we can continue to deliver our much-needed programme of outreach projects, events and training across the year which is transforming communities through shared creative experiences. But we still have a lot more work to do before Northern Ireland can truly claim to be a welcoming and inclusive place for all.

 “We are so proud that Mela has grown to become one of the city’s signature cultural events promoting Belfast as an open, inclusive and welcoming place to live and do business. It has never been more important that we embrace the individuality and cultural heritage of each citizen and find strength in our diversity.”

Current Friends of Belfast Mela include: Sensata Technologies; AllState, Belfast Harbour, Belfast International Airport, Business Eye, Co-ownership, Danske Bank, Department of Finance, Department of Justice, Equality Commission, First Trust, Hannon Travel, Olenick, Phoenix Natural Gas, Pinsent Masons LLP and U105.