01 June 2011: Minister Deenihan launches high-tech Culturefox platform for Irish cultural events

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD, today launched Culturefox, a pioneering new Irish cultural events guide that can be downloaded as a mobile phone app or used online, as part of Government efforts to boost the creative sector and draw more tourists to Ireland.

The guide is an accessible one-stop-shop for all the festivals, exhibitions, museum and arts events happening in an area.

Culturefox, which is available online (http://www.culturefox.ie) and downloadable free from today for iPhone, Android and Blackberry, was developed by the Arts Council, in collaboration with Fáilte Ireland, and funded by the Government. It is the latest high-tech enabler for Ireland’s arts and tourism sector which is key to our economic recovery. The app version of Culturefox uses location-aware technology to provide an instant map for what is on nearby and everything you need to know about an event.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Deenihan described Culturefox as an ‘exciting new initiative for Ireland’s arts and tourism sectors’.

‘The Government is delighted to support Culturefox which combines technology and the arts to create a new window on the cultural world for individuals, families, locals and visitors. Culturefox is an important high-tech addition to Ireland’s vibrant and talented arts community which is key to restoring sustainable economic growth and our global reputation. ‘I want to pay tribute to the Arts Council, in particular, for developing the project,’ said Minister Deenihan.

In recent weeks, the Arts Council has written to its funded organisations alerting them to Culturefox and, already, over 500 venues and 1,000 festivals and events have been uploaded to the platform. 

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar TD, said Culturefox would be very useful for Ireland’s growing tourism sector. ‘Cultural tourism is worth more than €2 billion in direct spending each year. The recent visits by Queen Elizabeth II and President Barack Obama presented our culture, heritage and arts to a global audience. Most visitors to Ireland come to experience our culture. Culturefox is a simple and effective way of providing visitors with this information on the move,’ said Minister Varadkar.

Culturefox works all over the world so irrespective of where the user switches on their phone they will be able to access information on Irish cultural events.

The Chairman of the Arts Council, Pat Moylan, described the arts community’s response to Culturefox as very positive, saying it would enable thousands of artists and culture groups across the country to profile their events on one integrated platform. 

‘Ireland has a vibrant and talented arts community which is key to our economic recovery and global reputation. Culturefox is the Arts Council’s latest step in building a bridge between citizens and the creative sector, providing a supportive framework and focal point for our artistic community to develop and profile their work, enhance quality of life and create jobs.

‘In his remarks in Moneygall, Co Offaly, last month, President Obama referenced the arts as a key part of our cultural identity abroad. By stimulating original thought and spurring innovation in the wider economy, the arts has a major role to play in contributing to the Government’s policy drive to make Ireland Europe’s innovation hub and draw more foreign direct investments,’ said Ms Moylan.

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Yelemba dance troupe from the Ivory Coast - Clonmel Junction Festival.

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