I’m using this page as a CV of sorts, a little less formal, paperless and better for the environment. My interests are in the fields of festivals, third sector capacity building work, charity governance, events or arts sector projects; something that works to support creative talent or does something useful in the community while the world burns, in the vain hope we can knock the planet back onto the right axis, help each other out.
Not a huge ask, is it?
I have a BSc in Communication Studies, and an MSc in Public Relations and Events. I have studied creative business management, event management and squeezed in a photography course or two, I even won an award.
We ended up in Liverpool as the good Doctor was offered an interesting role in the city. On arriving I spent 6 months with Victim Support changing how victims services were managed. I raised 350k of new project funds and created new work with new partners in a role that was absolutely fascinating.
Over the last number of year’s I have been taking on more freelance gigs and producing stuff for magazines here and in Ireland, stuff with words, and pictures. They all live here.
In a broader sense, I have been delivering events for 15 years, I’m an expert at creating conversations and managing communication, I can take the hassle out of stakeholder relationships, develop networks and partnerships and deliver everything from business events to national consultation projects.
I enjoy nothing more than taking small charities apart bolt by bolt to see what needs oiling, what needs tweaked and find ways to make the machine work faster for everyone. In fact, I have recently joined the Capacity Building team at LCVS to do just that, it is early days but I’m enjoying life in the rough and tumble of the voluntary sector again. It is an amazing thing filled with brilliant people who want to change the world.
What’s not to like?
I have worked with a ton of lovely folk over the years, from OhYeah Belfast through to Belfast Music Week with MTV, Bushmills Live, Belfast Festival, Sound City, Electric Picnic, The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.
I developed the Oxjam Festival with a crew of remarkable friends and volunteers, delivering four music and arts festivals in Belfast, the first of their kind in the UK, delivering over 60 individual events. Perhaps more importantly, we worked with the Oxfam team in Belfast to develop the model for use across the UK and beyond, it has been used internationally and raised over £3,500,000.
Not bad for an idea hatched over a coffee on Botanic Avenue.
In the before times, when people could stand in the same room as each other I worked with the wonderful people at the Atlantic Sessions festival in Ireland, a beauty that will grow and grow and hopefully land me a bottle of Bushmills with my name on it.
Closer to home I found myself making confusing things real at the University of Liverpool, delivering comics, critters and conferences with national and regional collectives. Biomedical engineering might be a stretch of the imagination for most but we can all get a comic character.
Over the pandemic I found myself managing content and creatives at FASTN. The most significant task for FASTN was redeveloping their website, their branding, the charities image and tone of voice so it better represented the place and space it has become. Not a small ask. I had all that finished before I realised that the orange colour of their brandinf was exactly the same as the colour of my office…
I write and take pictures for a host of lovely people, from Getintothis in Liverpool, The Thin Air in Ireland and Folk & Tumble in Belfast on everything, from The Turner Prize win for Granby4Streets, music on Bold Street and old REM albums. (Check the words page). I make the occasional film.
I still brandish a camera and work for very reasonable rates. My most recent shows involved a rapper in a record shop, a clown in a candy store and a pirate ship in a forest. Beautiful.
Many moons ago I spent the better part of 8 years on capacity building and governance projects with Youthnet in Northern Ireland, developing relationships, delivering bespoke training and supporting organisations in all manner of crisis situations. I helped develop a Code of Good Governance for Northern Ireland and a sector-led Quality Assurance Framework for Youth Services in Northern Ireland. Both projects were much more exciting than their monikers would otherwise suggest.
I was Chairperson of the Belfast Fairtrade Committee, responsible for City accreditation in two national boards and managing partnerships across the UK.
While at that I launched the now annual Fairtrade Belfast awards. I took on that role while I worked with the Northern Ireland Co-operative to widen the organisation’s demographic and create new partnerships with communities and third sector partners. The Co-op is great, give them your money.
With little to no experience at the time, I managed to produce successful marketing campaigns, manage fundraising events, deliver training events and lead on recruitment programmes.
I have done just about everything, apart from the obvious, like underwater welding, fighting a Bengal tiger and flying a plane, or, I dunno, performing open-heart surgery on a demigod.
Over the years I have made tea, made policy, and created educational activities; I’ve trained, tamed, and tallied; I’ve managed diaries, breakdowns, meltdowns, washouts, washed floors, served pints and done just about every job in the book, bar those mentioned above.
I am game for just about anything, (within reason). That’s about the height of it, some lovely comments from others are below and the contact button isn’t very far away.
Be well, be beautiful and be good.
What other people say…
Chris has developed close working relationships with key artists, practitioners, venues, and promoters. His reputation for being dedicated, committed and his ability to deliver to tight deadlines has led to him being an invaluable member of the festival team.
I have known Chris for five years as both a manager and collaborator across a wide range of projects, developing proposals and creating innovative services for our joint employer and for my own company. Chris is consistently creative, innovative and thought-provoking (in a very positive way) in his approach, he is knowledgeable across a range of subjects and is thorough when researching a new area. I would have Chris on my team again without hesitation.
Freelance Client (AHP Services)
Chris is a tremendous ally who has supported the Oh Yeah music center since the very early days. He is a friend, a councillor, an expert in youth services and he scrubs a good floor. In the past few years, he has taken an interest in photography and he made this into a personal dynamic. His music shots have bite and drama. He has documented a lot of the changes in music around the city. His portraits are cool. I fully endorse this chap.
Journalist, NME, WORD, BBC
Chris has been an official photographer for CQAF for eight years. He is a technically gifted photographer with a great eye for the key shot and is as adept at careful composition as he is at beautifully capturing the moment be it at a rock or comedy performance or an audience reaction. I’d have no hesitation in recommending him for any kind of photographic work; such is his talent and versatility. Oh, and he’s a very dependable and decent bloke as well!
Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival
I have known Chris for years and have worked with him in a number of capacities. With his running of gigs for Oxfam in Belfast and promoting local music in many ways he is always a consummate professional. An all-round decent chap that does what he says he will. A credit to the Northern Irish nation!
Chris is a top bloke and a great photographer.
He’s documented several projects for Oh Yeah and always delivers the goods.
The Ohyeah Centre
Chris is an excellent photographer and demonstrates unrivaled professionalism to his work and dedication to his craft. Chris is highly efficient and personable and works hard to deliver exactly what is needed – using his expertise to advise and offer guidance.
I would wholeheartedly recommend him.
Holy Trinity Youth Centre