The MAC, Belfast’s award-winning arts venue, and Phoenix Natural Gas, are delighted to announce the details of the MAC’s s comprehensive Christmas programme; the first events programme to be supported by the new title sponsor. The programme this year proves to be even more popular than ever and has already got off to a flying start with a number of dates for the MAC’s family show, Pinocchio, already sold out.
Each year the MAC presents a host of family events for the festive season, that has been one of the key drivers in its increased visitor figures which rose to an impressive 311,000 last year alone, more than 60% of what was forecast for the venue*.
Likewise, Phoenix is marking a milestone year as the company celebrates its 20th anniversary, so the partnership between two of Northern Ireland’s leading brands seemed fitting.
Visitors to the MAC travel from across Northern Ireland and beyond, either as part of the MAC’s learning and outreach programme or as independent gallery visitors and theatre goers.
It seems mad to think about Christmas in June but that’s exactly what the MAC and Phoenix are planning towards. Now celebrating its fifth Christmas, the MAC has become a place where new family traditions are created. Many visitors have and will come to see the light switch-on, the unveiling of the magical Phoenix Natural Gas Christmas window and to watch the MAC’s anchor show, Pinocchio co-produced with award-winning theatre company Cahoots NI.
This year is anticipated to be the venue’s biggest year to date regards visitor numbers with the MAC set to welcome over 3,500 school children through its doors and over 10,000 families. Having already achieved 30% of its Christmas ticket sales in May, including seven sell-out school performances, the MAC has developed exceedingly strong relationships with local schools – some of whom are returning for their fifth Christmas visit in the MAC’s short, yet thriving, history.
Anne McReynolds, Chief Executive at the MAC, said:
“We are absolutely delighted to be working with our partners, Phoenix Natural Gas, who are supporting our Christmas programme. A MAC Christmas is something very special and has quickly become a firm tradition for many schools and families across Northern Ireland.
Just like Phoenix, we share a commitment to providing exceptional service to our customers from Northern Ireland and we look forward to announcing some very exciting plans together very soon.”
Michael McKinstry, Chief Executive for Phoenix Natural Gas, said:
“We are very excited about this partnership with the MAC, and as we approach our 20th anniversary this Christmas it gives us a real opportunity to celebrate our commitment to the community that we serve.
“We are very proud of our strong corporate social responsibility programme and we believe that the MAC’s additional programmes of support for communities and schools during the festive period are reflective of our vision and ideals. We look forward to a strong and creative partnership together.”
As part of that partnership, thanks to support from Phoenix, visitors to the MAC can expect to find the enchanting ‘Wishing Wood’ where families will be encouraged to make a wish. Just in time for Christmas, Phoenix Natural Gas will help to make one extra-special wish come true for at least one lucky family. More details coming soon.
For more information on the MAC or to enquire about the Christmas programme, including the upcoming production of Pinocchio, please visit themaclive.com.
*From targets set in the Benefits Realisation Plan in 2011.