Isle of Man News - POSTED Fri 11-05-2012

Laxey Institute 1st Birthday Party

by Ian Quiggin

Laxey Institute 1st Birthday Party

The Laxey Institute is celebrating its first birthday on Saturday 19th May having been open for a year following a complete restoration, which brought the building back from the edge of dereliction.  The volunteer committee, whoís job is to make the facility available for community and arts groups, are inviting anyone along to a free night of entertainment featuring some of the many acts who have played there over the past year. 


Its definitely a birthday party said Debbie Callister the committee member who take the bookings, “we have a fantastic cake being made to mark the occasion, the Institute is our baby and we are very proud of what we have achieved”. 


Over the past twelve months the building on New Road, in the heart of the village, has provided 137 fitness sessions that have included yoga, cardio tone and circuit training, in addition to which it is the home to the Laxey dog obedience club, the sketch club, mums and tots, has been used for childrenís parties, charity variety concerts, quizzes, a Christmas fair, the polling station in two elections and the venue for 24 music performances. You will find people using the building for community events and activities every day of the week. 


Chairman of the management committee, Richard Henthorn said, “the use has far exceeded our expectations and this has allowed us to keep the cost of hiring low with the income is allowing us to keep the building in good shape.  We depend entirely on volunteers and I think because we have all seen how valuable its been, and how people have really appreciated the activities and events, it has spurred us on and the number of volunteers has grown over the past year”.


Whilst the building is similar in many ways to the traditional village hall, it is run by a charity and the Trusteeís wanted it to been something a little different and so included what has become a very popular and well respected performance space.  Most of the community groups run their clubs and activities on weekday evenings or during the daytime and this leaves Friday and Saturday nights free for performances. 


The 1st Birthday Party not only marks a successful year, it will also be used as an opportunity to acknowledge the support the project has received from the Arts Council.  They provided the funds to purchase the sound and lighting equipment, which transformed the hall into an arts centre. “The quality of the equipment and the attention we have put into making the space somewhere musicians can have their art taken seriously is the secret formula,” explained Ken Callister, Trustee and volunteer.  “We have helped a very diverse range of local artists from choirs, brass bands, rock musicians, blues, folk, singer songwriters, and also acts from the UK and America. The positive reactions we have had from the performers and their audiences has been fantastic and it is this we want to report back to the Arts Council and our other sponsors”. 


Chris Corlett, music guru and Institute supporter is organising the acts for the night. Playing will be A.M. Frequency, The Zone, John Barker, The Neighbours and special guests.  Doors open at 7.30, it is free but with admission limited to 90.  For more information about the event and the Institute visit or check out facebook.

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