Derry’s Millennium Forum was the stage for a special cultural showcase for returning expats in October.

The event, sponsored by new diaspora association, Futureproof Northwest, featured snapshots of the region’s music, literature and art.

It included a choral recital, hosted by Maurice Kelly of Allegri and guests, a new exhibition of paintings of Derry street-scenes from the last century, by Bridget Murray, and the launch of the late John Bryson’s historical reference guide to the city, Derry’s Streets: 521-2021.

Futureproof chair Sean Downey said the diaspora group, which was inaugurated at Dublin’s Mansion House in 2019 and is made up of expats from Derry, Donegal and Tyrone, aims to support conversations that will help the region.

He added: “We want to encourage the diaspora of the North West to connect, share ideas and experience, exchange contacts and create opportunities. As part of this, we plan to organise activities and events to promote networking and relationship-building, and strengthen the community of Northwesterners across the islands and further afield.

“We also hope to provide support through the network to people in the North West and the diaspora across these islands and further afield seeking to develop business, promote culture and foster educational opportunities.”

Further information on the group is available at futureproofnorthwest.com 

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