Ards and North Down Borough Council is proud to present Creative Peninsula 2024, a highlight of the thriving annual arts programme and a celebration of the high-quality art and craft that is produced in the Borough. Now in its 23rd year, this vibrant annual event unites local artists and makers to demonstrate their skills and showcase their exceptional work.

Ards and North Down is renowned for its lively artistic community, and Creative Peninsula provides visitors with a unique opportunity to view, purchase, or even commission artworks, as well as participate in workshops throughout the festival. Running throughout August, the festival offers a wide array of free and bookable activities suitable for all ages and experience levels. Attendees can engage with various art and craft forms through open studios, exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations, and more, fully immersing themselves in the local creative scene.

This year’s featured artist is Maria Horvathova, whose artwork graces the cover of the Creative Peninsula guide. Since moving to Northern Ireland from Slovakia, Maria has found a strong connection to home in nature. She will be leading a Freedom of Painting workshop in Ards Arts Centre, on Thursday 8 August, offering participants the chance to express their feelings about home through painting.

The festival kicks off with the Creative Peninsula Twilight Market and Arts Night at Conway Square in Newtownards on Friday, 2 August. For one night only, the space will transform into a bustling arts and crafts village with artists and makers displaying and selling their work. Free demonstrations, including potter’s wheel throwing, painting, printing, and wool spinning, will run throughout the evening, accompanied by live music from the String Ninjas and Los Dramaticos. Ards Arts Centre will also be open and filled with artists demonstration their work. Try your hand or just sit back and watch!

New to the programme this year are some special events at Castle Espie. Create your very own treasure tray with Ceramicist Tracey Johnston, make your own decorative bird with Wildlife Artist Adele Pound or try your hand at the En Plein Air Workshop with Pandora Butterfield. On Saturday 3 August, the Alfresco Art event in the garden and Kingfisher Café Courtyard at Castle Espie will feature artists and makers demonstrating their skills.

The popular Bangor Art Tour and Tipple returns on Wednesday, 7 August, where attendees can enjoy a walking tour of Bangor, visit three creative spaces, meet the makers, and enjoy a drink along the way! North Down Museum in Bangor will also play host to a Creative Peninsula exhibition and a Heritage Craft Afternoon taking place on Sunday 4 August.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Alistair Cathcart, said: “Creative Peninsula is a wonderful celebration of arts and crafts in our Borough. It is fantastic to have so many talented creatives living and working here, and Creative Peninsula provides a unique opportunity to showcase their work. We are excited to bring this event to you once again and would encourage everyone to explore the Creative Peninsula programme and see what’s on offer.”

Emily Crawford, Arts and Heritage Manager for Ards and North Down Borough Council, added: “We are thrilled to offer a vibrant programme of art and craft activities this August as part of August Craft Month. With events at Castle Espie, a Creative Walking Tour of Bangor, a Twilight Market in Conway Square, exhibitions showcasing our local artists and makers, and a variety of creative workshops and Open Studios, there are plenty of opportunities to get creative.”

To view the full Creative Peninsula programme and to book tickets, visit:

Tickets go on sale on Thursday 27 June at 12noon.