We sincerely hope you are all safe and well during these very uncertain times. The last number of weeks have been hard for all our businesses. However, it’s great to see our Traders rise to the current challenges by reinventing how we do business and also set plans in place which will enable us to trade going forward in the ‘new normal’. As a business association we are there to help each other meet these challenges. By pooling our experience and resources as a business community together we will overcome this difficult time.
Clayton Turner from Son of a Bun has taken over the marketing role from Marie Clarke. We would like to thank Marie for the great work she did over the last three years, she will stay on the committee representing 96fm- who are always a great support to us. The sub marketing committee continue to work hard behind the scenes and will be steered by Clayton. We are also very fortunate to secure another UCC Intern this year. His name is Cian Donnelllan and he will be here to help us for the next number of months. May we wish Cian the best of luck and support over the next few months. We would also like to acknowledge last year’s UCC intern Jordan Fitzgerald for doing a super job and thank him for all his hard work.
Our plan is to focus on online events over the coming weeks until the restrictions are lifted. As a business community we need to pull all our resources together over the coming weeks, therefore your committee will be putting a plan in place, so any ideas are very welcome or indeed any help or expertise in the area of online marketing, web design, photography and videography please feel free to contact us at marketingthevictorianquarter@
CBA Awards Dinner
The Cork Business Association held its annual awards dinner in February 2019 in Silver springs Hotel, with many Victorian Quarter traders in attendance. Best in category awards were won by The Metropole Hotel, Greene’s Restaurant, and Gallagher’s Gastropub. In February 2020 a great night was also had in Vienna Woods where the CBA president, our own Phillip Gillivan announced he was stepping down after a very successful two years. I think you will all agree he did a great job for the City and particularly a great ambassador for the VQ. A number of VQ Traders were also blessed with big wins, including CADA for Best in Arts and Tourism and Cork English College an overall prize, Best Medium Business overall.
Thompson House Pancake Race
The Metropole Hotel came up with the idea of reliving the original pancake race on Pancake Tuesday which was a tradition of Thompson Bakery from years past. It proved to be a great success both last year and this year, and hopefully will now keep its tradition going forward. This event made National news!
St. Patrick’s Bridge Reopening / Tug-Of-War
March saw the reopening of a refurbished St. Patrick’s Bridge, ‘The gateway to Victorian Quarter’. The committee took part in the ceremonies, including 158 Patricks gathering at The Metropole Hotel.
The marketing sub-committee organised a tug-of-war battle with the Douglas Street Traders Association on the bridge to bring attention to the quarter and the media response was very impactful. A possible rematch is still in the works!
April Fools Mobile Phone Path Prank
Some people’s blood were boiling when it was announced that the City Council was going to launch a mobile phone lane for pedestrians in the VQ- however it turned out to be a well-executed marketing stunt and April Fool’s joke. The story was picked up by Cork 96FM, The Evening Echo and The Cork Independent generating great traction and publicity for the Quarter.
Design Pop Weekend Festival
In May, the Design Pop Festival took over Thompson House and showcased creativity in design, food, and culture. Talks and workshops were held in Thompson house and a pop-up food market with dinning space attracted a large crowd to our Quarter. Thompson House was to be the hub of the festival for 2020, however another casualty of the pandemic. We hope to see the festival return next year.
VQ Part 8 Redesign
The committee has been in close communication with Cork City Council regarding the planning of road works and reconfiguration of the Victorian Quarter. Clara O’Neill submitted a wish-list compiled of what the traders’ needs will be in order to adapt to the coming traffic changes. We may not get everything we asked for but at least we have a voice.
NETA- Judges Visit & Awards Gala
After months of strategy and planning by Victorian Quarter members for the “National Enterprising Town Awards” grant scheme, The Bank Of Ireland sent 3 judges to the VQ in mid-September. The judges were welcomed by committee members and the Lord Mayor. An open-top bus tour gave them a view into the area and all that it has to offer. After meeting with varied businesses, the judges perused an impressive expo of V.Q. traders, charities, and civic groups. Presentations and speeches concluded the 3-hour visit, and capped off a spectacular offering to the BOI representatives.
In December, committee members attended the awards gala in Kilkenny. A lovely evening was enhanced by winning Runner-Up in the “City” category, along with the €2,000 prize. The night was enjoyed by all, and allowed members to gain experience from other organisations. Overall, the NETA scheme was a fantastic collaborative effort within The VQ.
Mary Elmes Bridge Opening & Fashion Show
In late September, The Victorian Quarter, along with city officials, heralded the opening of the new Mary Elmes pedestrian bridge. The crossing leads right into the heart of the VQ, and gives Cork residents a new way to #crossthebridge. The marketing team came up with a pop-up event for the bridge, transforming it into a fashion runway to highlight the retail shopping offerings of The Quarter.
Cork Lions Club Ball Run
Always a great crowd puller to the Quarter and a fantastic fundraiser for the Lions Club who support many charities throughout the city. 12000 balls were to be released down St Patricks Hill in a colourful family friendly event on Sunday March 15th but unfortunately, they had to postpone this very worthwhile event until further notice. For more details and to follow the great work of The Cork Lions Club, please visit: www.corklionsclub.ie
Cork International Choral Festival
The 65th Choral Festival took place from the 1st to the 5th of May 2019. It is a great cultural and economic boost for businesses with overseas visitors both staying and performing in the Quarter. Unfortunately, the 66th Festival is postponed until the May Bank Holiday Weekend 2020. For more information and to stay in touch with the folks at Choral – www.corkchoral.ie
Soul in the City
Soul in the City in 2019 was the fourth edition of the Festival and was proving itself as a fast-growing calendar highlight! In efforts to expand, Eventi Management has come on board to expand the Festival across the city and a lot of work has been done to grow the Festival even more so. Check out the new brand, logo and slick website! Very exciting! Although plans were put on ice for 2020, Soul in the City will be back in 2021, bigger and better than ever before. Soul in the City will always have the VQ as the hub of the Festival to highlight its beginnings in the bustling Victorian Quarter. To keep up to date with the Festival follow them on social media or visit their website www.soulinthecitycork.ie
Organised by one of The VQ’s dynamic businesswomen, Loan Lucey of Vibes&Scribes, this is always a great success every year and raises funds for The Cork Lions Club. Well done Joan!, and hopefully it will be back bigger and better for 2021.
Cork Oyster & Seafood Festival
The brainchild of Sandra Murphy from the Trigon Hotel Group and another great festival for the Metropole Hotel. Taking place normally in September, the festival includes a gourmet trail of some of Cork’s best restaurants, a shucking competition, and well-known bands performing in the festival club at The Metropole Hotel.
Indie Cork is an independent film and music festival, which was in its 7th year in 2019. The Bridge Bar played host to screenings, demonstrating the cultural side if The VQ. Plans are still in place for 2020 and we forward to hearing all of the news!
Cork Jazz Festival
In October, Cork Jazz Festival was once again upon us, and the V.Q. was abuzz once again! The Metropole Hotel was festival club, bringing in huge crowds to the area. Various businesses added to the list of music venues and hot spots creating an amazing atmosphere in The Quarter. We look forward to hearing the news on the 2020 festival.
Christmas In The Carpark for 2020
“The 12 Bays of Christmas” was to be a small, holiday-themed exchange that was to highlight parking options and Christmas ideas in the VQ. This was another pop-up event that was planned by the marketing sub-committee. Unfortunately, participation was low and the event did not go ahead, but the pop-up event can be recreated for future involvement.