Ceolaras Coleman (Coleman Music Centre)
Theatre, exhibition space and audio-visual
The theatre can accommodate 150 people seated and is also used to facilitate Ceili nights and exhibitions by writers, painters, craftsmen and craftswomen in the locality. A series of concerts will be run over the Summer months which will feature the finest living exponents of traditional music, including many artists from abroad. The theatre also houses an audiovisual display on South Sligo: it's music and the life of Michael Coleman.
There is a permanent exhibition located on the second floor of the Visitors Centre where you can listen to instruments, musical styles and individual musicians from the beginning of the last century right through to the music of today. Interactive multimedia terminals will tell you a little more about local lore, music in the area, Irish dancing styles & traditions, how musical instruments are made and much more.
The reception area houses a Music/Gift Shop, stocking a large selection of traditional music CD's, DVDs, Instruments, Accessories and gift items so you can take a little of the Coleman Country back home with you. A selection of these items is available in our online store . Our store is constantly being updated and special offers are regularly changed. So make sure to check back regularly.
Ceolaras Coleman is open all year round Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5 pm. For more information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A list of facilities for Visitors and conferences are available here.
History of Ceolaras Coleman/Coleman Heritage Centre
The Michael Coleman Heritage Centre Limited, known as The Coleman Music Centre is now the Regional Resource Centre for Counties Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon, Leitrim and Fermanagh as part of the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann Programme for the Development of the Traditional Arts.
The Company was registered in 1993 with sixteen directors drawn from the local community, Sligo County Council and local businesses with a mission statement to preserve, promote and develop the south Sligo style of traditional music and generate socio economic activity in the local area. After six years of determination and hard work fundraising and making various grant applications, the Centre was finally built in 1999 with grant aid from Peace & Reconciliation, INTERREG, International Fund for Ireland, and Sligo Leader Partnership. Generous donations were also received from Sligo County Council, Green Isle, the Kennedy Charitable Trust with the site being donated by the local farmers Co-op, and N.C.F. The company also received a host of smaller grants and donations from organisations and individuals to complete the fundraising.
The following years witnessed the development of music classes in all instruments and specialist weekend workshops drawing students from a local, national and international base of traditional music lovers. One of the major successes was the development of one day seminars based on the traditional music question in the Leaving/Junior Cert Programme. This attracts schools from all over Ireland.
The collection of archival material is ongoing since 1994 and a very extensive collection of music, folklore, songs, videos, photographs has been compiled. At the present time these are being digitised and will be available in the archive section of this website when completed. This collection of music led to the development of the Coleman Record Label. Ten CDs have been produced to date, two music books, a song book, and a book of folklore. These are all available in the Coleman Music Shop. and in the very near future will be available to download as MP3s.
The resident group 'Ceoltóirí Coleman' perform regularly in the Centre's theatre. This group has toured America, Scandinavia and Britain. The theatre also hosts concerts from top traditional groups and individuals throughout the year.
In 2004, the Centre was experiencing financial problems due to circumstances outside their control. Mr. Eamon O'Cuiv, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, gave a generous grant with matching funds from International Fund for Ireland. At this time, two directors from C.C.E. were appointed to the board of directors. At the end of 2005, with grant assistance from the Development Fund for Traditional Arts, tiered seating was installed in the Centre's theatre. In 2006, the board embarked on a major extension of the Centre, again funded by the Development Fund for Traditional Arts. When this extension is completed the Centre will have a 150 seat theatre, Music/Gift Shop, Coffee Bar, kitchen, a large exhibition area, increased dressing room area, class rooms, archive room and offices. In November 2006 . C.C.E. opened their Meitheal Office at the Centre.
Over the years the company have had the benefit of FAS Schemes on a continuous basis and in recent years a number of employees under the Rural Social Scheme.