Art is Work… Music is my business

Thank-you to The Arts Council Northern Ireland & The Department For Communities NI

Last week I received notification that I have been awarded funding through The Individual Emergency Resilience Programme. It has taken a huge amount of work by our local arts officers, music champions and industry activists to deliver this lifeline. This year our creative industries have been dealt one heavy blow after another… most work has been cancelled and live music has effectively been banned. I feel very fortunate to know that my contribution to the arts is valued. This vital funding allows me to continue working on my music in the months ahead building on the success of my digital album ‘Sunsets’. I am incredibly grateful.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland
Individual Emergency Resilience Programme

Overview of the announcement:

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland on behalf of DfC and in collaboration with Future Screens NI, has announced details of 1089 individuals, working in the Creative Economy, who are set to benefit from £3,852,000 of emergency funding as part of part of the Individuals Emergency Resilience Programme (IERP).

More than £3m of this funding is coming from the £29m Executive allocation that was made to the Department for Communities to support the arts, culture, heritage and language sectors which have been severely impacted by Covid-19.

The IERP is designed to support those working in the Creative Economy including freelancers, musicians, actors, artists and craft workers during the COVID-19 crisis.  The IERP, worth £3,752,000 from the Department for Communities and £100,000 from Future Screens NI, offered individuals the opportunity to apply for grants of £1,200, £3,000 or £5,000 each. 

IERP provides much-needed financial support and employment, a lifeline to individuals working within the wider Creative Economy, at a time when essential elements of the arts sector have been decimated due to venue and gallery closures, festival and event cancellations and the disappearance of live audiences.  The IERP builds on the initial, Artist Emergency Programme (AEP), a fund that was opened by the Arts Council in April 2020 and was heavily oversubscribed. 

Daffodil greeting cards raise £300 !!

A big thank-you to everyone who supported my fundraising efforts and bought some specially created ‘Daffodils on Rathlin’ greeting cards. While my fundraising effort was interrupted by Covid19 lockdown, we have still managed to raise an impressive £300. This has now been transferred to Marie Curie (23/07/20) in memory of my aunt who passed away one year ago today. Our collective donation will help to provide 15 hours of vital nursing care for a patient living with a terminal illness, in the comfort of their own home. A massive thank-you to the Marie Curie team who do such a valuable job.

Daffodils on Rathlin – charity greeting card

Available until end of April 2020 – Daffodils on Rathlin charity greeting card

Charity greeting card in aid of Marie Curie - featuring an image of daffodils on Rathlin Island
image copyright Wendy Jack 2019

During the spring of 2020, Wendy is raising money for Marie Curie through the sale of specially created greeting cards. They are printed on RECYCLED CARD & the inside has been left blank for your own message. If you would like to support this project please get in touch. You can order packs of cards through my on-line shop – CLICK HERE. These beautiful greeting cards feature a scene on Rathlin Island and are available to buy in packs of 5 or 10 etc. If you have a shop, community group, business or other outlet where you can re-sell the cards individually then please let me know. For example you might like to order 25, 50, 100, 200 cards? Just increase the quantity of packs proportionately as you check out your basket in my on-line shop and let me know if you’d like me to list you as a business/outlet/community group/individual who stocks this charity card. Any questions please just send me a message to:

[email protected]

Sincere thanks to everyone who is buying and helping to sell these cards or is spreading the word to others who may be interested. Please do get in touch if you want to be more involved.

Individual cards are available to buy from:

Rathlin Island Post Office (& Treasure Island Gift Shop)

Rathlin Island Community Shop (The Rathlin Co-op)

Message from the charity:

At Marie Curie we believe that every day of your life matters. When you are living with a terminal illness you feel that more than ever. We want people to make the most of the time they have together and we also want to ensure that everyone gets the care and support they need, wherever they live. All funds raised will help us continue to support patients and their families across northern Ireland. Thank you so much for supporting Marie Curie.

Christmas song ‘Woolly Jumpers’ Released


Critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Wendy Jack releases instant Christmas classic ‘Woolly Jumpers’ via Bandcamp and all streaming services on Nov 29.

Add ‘Woolly Jumpers’ to your Spotify Christmas Playlist Now!

Fresh from being recently awarded runner up in the highly prestigious (and hugely competitive) International Songwriting Competition for her track ‘90 Degrees,’ Dungannon, Co. Tyrone-bred and Rathlin Island based artist Wendy Jack unveils an instant festive favourite for the Christmas season in the form of ‘Woolly Jumpers’ on Nov 29 and it’s a tune that’s as sweet as a selection box. 

A crowd pleasing sonic tonic that will warm your proverbial cockles during these chilly months, this live favourite was actually written, like some of the most famous seasonal songs, in January when the adventurous tunesmith returned to a wintery Ireland, as she explains:

“I wrote ‘Woolly Jumpers’ when I returned to Ireland after a seasonal trip to Namibia in a very hot sunny Southern Africa. I never thought I’d write a Christmas song as such… but it seemed to just write itself. It’s about celebrating all the cool and quirky things that happen in winter in Ireland and Christmas traditions are a big part of that, whether you actively celebrate Christmas as a religious festival or not.

“When writing it I was thinking of all the things that make this time of year special. Cold days, warm nights, misty breath, crunchy grass, iconic Christmas songs, winter solstice, the race for a Christmas number one in the charts, just wanting to hibernate and let it pass, missing loved ones… and, of course, everybody wearing cosy, hug-able woolly jumpers and I don’t just mean all those crazy Christmas Jumpers.”

Recorded in producer Declan Legge’s Big Space Studios, the song caps off a memorable year for Wendy that saw the release of her first album Sunsets which includes the critically acclaimed previous single ‘90 Degrees.’ 

A track that tackles environmental issues close to her heart and uses Facebook comments as lyrical fuel, it marks the second time that Jack has been awarded runner up in the International Songwriting Competition (her first was for debut single ‘Sunsets’).

“It’s a real honour to be given such an accolade, especially considering the number of talented people who enter this competition from all over the world,” she says. “Being recognised in this way definitely spurs me on to keep working at and improving my technical skills as a professional songwriter and it definitely helps me get my songs out to more listeners.”

‘Woolly Jumpers’ is released on Bandcamp and all streaming services on Nov 29.

Praise for Wendy Jack

“Jack’s imitable croon creates worlds and stories you could get lost in.” Hot Press magazine

“[Sunsets is]…a strong and infectious debut from Wendy Jack. Good lyric, melody and hook, strong performance, the emotion is there too, and high production values. In my experience, these are the kind of ingredients that help jump you up the airplay queue in radio land…” Liam Merriman, The Green Room on WLRFM.

“I think ‘Woolly Jumpers’ is a very, very good Christmas song. I think it should be up there with the Pogues”  Errol Doherty, QRadioNetwork

New International Songwriting Award for ’90 Degrees’

Wendy’s retrospective album has now produced 2 award winning songs in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition. Songs are judged on their creativity, originality, lyrics, melody, arrangement and overall likability. Production / recording quality and vocal ability are not criteria. This makes the award all the more special for recognising the art of song writing.

Watch the new video and listen to ’90 Degrees’ here:

Not content with one mention in the International Songwriting Competition (for title track ‘Sunsets’), Wendy’s song ‘90 Degrees’ has also just been awarded runner up in this year’s contest. She is humbled to once again be included alongside some giants of music making.  

“It’s a real honour to be given such an accolade, especially considering the number of talented people who enter this competition from all over the world,” she says. “Being recognised in this way definitely spurs me on to keep working at and improving my technical skills as a professional songwriter. It also really helps me get my songs out to more listeners. As an artist though, I do believe that all creativity has merit and the best reward is always when someone really connects with my music on a personal level.”

Read the fascinating story behind the song in the article below:

Thank-you to everyone for reading, listening, watching, sharing and buying my music. Receiving this new international songwriting award is brilliant, but it would mean very little without your continued support.

Go raibh maith agaibh !!