C.S. Lewis Square opening 22.11.16 6-7pm

A new magical place for Belfast opens later this month with the opening of the landmark C.S. Lewis Square.

The square, which is currently being built at the intersection of the Connswater and Comber Greenways, will be one of Belfast’s most exciting public spaces, with capacity for around 2,000 people at events and celebrations - helping to revitalise inner East Belfast and also marking the life and work of one of the city’s most celebrated writers.

Its opening will be the latest phase in the £40million Connswater Community Greenway project which is creating a 9km linear park in the city.

The square will feature seven sculptures created by Irish artist Maurice Harron which are all based on characters from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: Aslan, Maugrim, Mr and Mrs Beaver, the Robin, the White Witch, the Stone Table and Mr Tumnus.

300 trees have been planted around the square on drumlin features which is also lit for evening events. There are also new railway tracks, arches and façade art around the development.

The Connswater Community Greenway (CCG) is one of just three Living Landmark projects across the UK to secure funding from the Big Lottery Fund. The project, which represents a huge investment in the regeneration of the city, is also funded by Belfast City Council, the Department for Communities and the Department for Infrastructure.  

The square’s opening celebration will take place at 6pm on November 22, the anniversary of CS Lewis’s death. Guest of honour will be the writer’s stepson Douglas Gresham.

The spectacular 45 minute event will be compered by East Belfast actor Dan Gordon.

The centrepiece will be the unveiling of the seven new sculptures. Local people have been involved in making seven short films, which will bring the seven statues to life: for example, the dance group Ajendance perform the Dance of the White Witch filmed under the H&W cranes and local flute players perform the Waterboys’ Further Up Further In filmed at the waterfall at Cregagh Glen – Mike Scott of the band is a fan of CS Lewis. 

There will also be dancers, and musicians, including members of the Ulster Orchestra performing live.

Douglas Gresham will speak in memory of his step father and formally open the £2.5 million square.

The harpist and composer Nodlaig Brolly has written a piece inspired by the new artwork entitled ’Land of Dreams’ that will be performed at the opening on the square.

To conclude the event a snow machine will transform the magical space into a winter wonderland as Aslan is revealed to the public.