• Now on display at the Grosvenor museum is the Museum’s 14th Open Art Exhibition. The biennial exhibition is a “dazzling display of artistic talent” from professional and amateur artists. Say the museum : “Selected from works submitted by UK-based artists over the age of 16, the vivid mix of styles and themes will include pieces you’ll love – and possibly a few you’ll hate!” Visitors are invited to vote for their favourite work, with the Visitors’ Choice winning £100. Most of the works on display are for sale and if purchased can be collected at the end of the exhibition. The exhibition runs until the 14th April and is decdicated to the memory of the late Peter Boughton, the museum’s Keeper of Art who died in 2019.
  • On display now until 4th February at the Contemporary Art Space Chester (CASC) gallery in the Forum is “The Post Soviet Experience” . The photographic exhibition shows an insight into how the lives of millions of people changed after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.Created by German historians Jan C. Behrends and Ulrich Mählert, the exhibition features 130 photographs from 15 countries and reveals some of the social, economic and political challenges of that time, as people attempted to cope with their drastically changing worlds and the disappearance of old narratives and routines. The gallery is open mon/wed/sat 10 til 4 and friday 12 til 6. https://www.cascgallery.co.uk/about
  • The latest art on display at Chester Cathedral is “Threads through Creation”. 12 huge silk panels retelling the creation story from the first pages of the Bible. The vibrant combination of  silks, hand-dyed materials, metallic leathers, gold leaf consists of miles of thread and eight million stitches. Created by artist Jacqui Parkinson, the enormous panels are 2.5m high and as wide as 3.5m and begin start with strong elemental pieces illustrating the first days of creation, onto complex and lush work as we enter the Garden of Eden. 
  • On this week at The Little Theatre (20-22nd Jan) is THEM & US: Two Short Plays About Machines Written and Directed by Andy Hutchings. The double bill consists of : From Little Acorns GrowAcorn is a robot built for one purpose and one purpose only; gardening. Waking up in a warehouse without any of her memories intact and surrounded by broken down robots all with the same face, she starts to piece together the centuries she spent with her friends rebuilding the Earth’s ecosystem after humanity finally destroyed it and by extension themselves. Secondly, The Man Who Built The Tin Man Douglas Miller is the greatest inventor of his generation having perfected the formula for artificial intelligence. Now he sits in his mansion as money from his patents rolls in and his creations become ubiquitous with modern life. But when a child jumps into a swimming pool to save their AI companion and drowns as a consequence Douglas must start asking big questions about culpability and moral responsibility. This production is in the Salisbury Studio where seats are unnumbered. BOOK TICKETS – CLICK HERE
  • Outdoor woodland adventure park BeWILDerwood Cheshire returns on the 19th February in time for half term. The unique woodland adventure park is located next to the historic Cholmondeley Castle, in South Cheshire – just 5 miles from Whitchurch. Tickets are on sale now and explorers are advised to plan ahead and book their adventures early. Park Manager Hannah Monteverde commented “After such a fantastic opening last year, the Twiggle Team can’t wait to reopen and bring even more BeWILDerwood magic to the area. As well as our famous Slippery Slides, Wobbly Zip Wires and Storytelling Shows we are also excited for visitors to explore our new play structure, The Towering Treetop Tangles. We will also have face painting this year, which as with everything here at BeWILDerwood is included in the ticket price – so no hidden costs, just lots and lots of fun for explorers.” The new Towering Treetop Tangles structure adds a whole new element of play to a day at BeWILDerwood. Standing tall amongst the trees, the new play structure is one for the braver explorers with a mix of adventurous ground play, challenging high-level walkways and super tall platforms. https://cheshire.bewilderwood.co.uk/plan-your-day/opening-times-prices/

Coming up in February at Alexanders is Band Night for BIRD (Brain Injury, Rehabilitation and Development). The charity music night will feature music by The Deluded and Ego King. taking place on Thurs 17th February (doors open 7.45) . with advance booking only- . Ego King are an established six piece band from Chester performing a jukebox range of covers from ABBA to Zappa. The Deluded are still fairly new to the circuit but the organisers guarantee both bands will get you up dancing and singing along! For tickets https://alexanderslive.seetickets.com/event/band-night-for-b-i-r-d-/alexander-s-live/2193836?fbclid=IwAR0OGteN0prDU_b46uNetGyZl3T9OcDOmM7f8MNeurfpsDCRMUw2WZDFtoc

  • To celebrate Chester becoming a Queen’s Green Canopy Champion City, volunteers came together to plant 360 trees at a community event in the Countess of Chester Country Park on Saturday, 15 January. Over 40 volunteers joined The Mersey Forest, The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and the Friends of the Countess of Chester Park group to plant a range of native trees including Oak, Birch, Hawthorn and Hazel. The woodland will form part of the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC), a unique, national tree planting initiative to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee this year. Chester has been recognised as a QGC Champion City, joining 13 other cities nationally, and will work with The Mersey Forest to undertake a wide range of tree planting projects across the borough, throughout the year. Alongside the woodland planting, The Lord-Lieutenant, Lady Redmond planted a Jubilee tree on the site, before presenting a plaque to the Sheriff of Chester, Councillor Jill Houlbrook, on behalf of the Queen’s Green Canopy Foundation, in recognition of the city’s status as a QGC Champion City.  The Jubilee tree species is an Oak, a native species which will grow to up to 40 metres high and supports more life than any other native tree species in the UK. The Sheriff of Chester also planted an Oak tree on the day to mark the 900th anniversary of the role of Sheriff of Chester. The Lord-Lieutenant, Lady Redmond MBE, said: “I am extremely proud that Chester has been given this well deserved award as one of the QGC’s Champion Cities.  Congratulations on a fantastic plan for planting new trees and establishing new woodland within the city, as well as supporting local people to be trained in woodland creation and management; an impressive and important legacy celebrating Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.’” Councillor Louise Gittins, Council Leader added “It’s great to see so many people getting involved with the tree planting at this popular local park. This site forms part of the wider Mersey Forest, which is connecting people with nature, something that we know is beneficial for our residents’ health and wellbeing. As it establishes, the woodland will become a carbon store, playing an important role in helping the borough to become carbon neutral by 2045, as well as boosting biodiversity in the area.”
Lady Redmond and Sheriff Houlbrook
  • Chester Women’s aid are providing a domestic abuse training course which helps local employers to identify and respond to instances of domestic abuse. Supplied in three short online lessons, employees will learn how to provide a responsible and safe environment for customers and staff. The training will detail: How to identify cases of domestic abuse, where to direct and how to support victims of domestic abuse, and how to update relevant HR policies. Part of Chester Women’s Aid goal to make Chester a domestic violence free city, the course has been funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire. The training is aimed at HR Managers, Mental Health First Aiders, Managing Directors, Owners, or other staff entrusted with staff safety and wellbeing, and empowered to influence and decide on policy and information distribution. Training is delivered virtually by a live trainer via three separate Zoom calls, each lasting two and a half hours, thus allowing employers to easily schedule the training around other employee commitments. Fully funded places are available to small to medium enterprises and sole traders in Cheshire. Other types of organisations can enquire about pricing. To book email dafreechester@gmail.com with company name, number of delegates to take the training and their contact details. https://chesterwomensaid.org/
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