Ilkley Arts Festival 2015

Ilkley Arts Festival runs from November 6th to December 20th with a mix of Concerts, Film, Art, Theatre, Ballet and Lectures.

Many of the events are free of charge, and specific details are below. You can find out more about the individual events using the contact details shown.

You can get a paper copy of the programme from the Ilkley Tourist office.


Friday 6th November


St Margaret’s Church Free Organ RecitalnewMusic1
Friday 7th & Saturday 8th November


Clarke Foley Centre PD Theatre PromotionsMr-Darwins-Tree-photo-600x400

“Mr Darwin’s Tree” by Murray Watts

This play is an outstanding, powerful and deeply moving piece of theatre. The play explores Darwin’s questions about his science, himself, God and suffering, creating an intimate portrait of the man, his life and work. The professional actor Andrew Harrison has done a magnificent job in ensuring that the play offers a faithful depiction of Darwin, drawing deeply on his diaries and correspondence to get underneath the skin of the scientist.

Tickets £8 from Patrick Dearnley 01943 603 927 or on the door

Saturday 8th November


Shed Gallery, 28 Sedbergh Park, Ilkley Andrew Lister Exhibition

An exhibition of the work of artist Andrew Lister, who is renowned for his idiosyncratic and meticulously crafted work with its unusual use of materials and involving a quirky sense of humour. Andrew will give a talk about his work at 2pm.

Free admission, with buns, tea and wine.

Contact Terry Hammill 01943 607 847

Thursday 12th November


Clarke Foley Centre Ilkley Soroptimiststimthumb

An evening with the Academy of Northern Ballet

This will be an opportunity to see some of the north’s most talented young classical dancers. The Academy shares the same state of the art facilities as Northern Ballet’s. Company dancers and students train under the expert guidance of artistic director David Nixon and ballet mistress Yoko Ichnio. The academy offers exceptional training for people of all ages and abilities. Hear directly from students, teachers and staff about how the students train in the Ichnio technique and their own inspiring stories and successes.

Free admission.

Contact Agnes Tomlinson 01943 430 120

Saturday 14th November


St Margarets  Cantores OlicanaeCantores-Split-Header-3

The Armed Man : a Mass for Peace.   Karl Jenkins

Gloria                          Vivaldi

With the Skipton Camerata

Adults £12, Students £5 and under 14’s free.

Tickets from Grove Music Shop 01943 817 301 or 830 873 or on the door.

Contact Anne Lowe 01943 872 689

Tuesday 17th November


Clarke Foley Centre  Ilkley Art Clubredbreugriver

Jake Attree

This widely known and highly regarded Yorkshire artist will be speaking about and illustrating his own work.

Admission free

Contact Helen Marshall 01943 600 760

Thursday 19th November


The Sanctuary, Christchurch  Olicana Historical Society

Sixty Years of the Yorkshire Dales National Park

An illustrated lecture by Colin Speakman

Free admission with tea/coffee

Contact John Cruse 01943 870 952

Wednesday 25th November


St Johns Church Hall, Ben Rhydding  Whafedale Recorded Music Societyheaderikon_72

80 Not Out

Music written by composers over 80 years old – a lecture by Sue Parker

Admission free with free tea/coffee

Contact Catherine Clarke 01943 608 664


Thursday 26th November


Church House Ilkley Civic Society

No Destitute Child

Lecture by Peter Higginbotham

Free Admission

Contact Denise Shillitoe  01943 609 315


Saturday 28th November


Ilkley Baptist Church Ilkley & North Bradford Band Association11403377_399637576897218_4675379624515379628_n

The Two Rivers Concert Band

So named because its players are from the Wharfe and Aire valleys, the band will play a wide range of wind music ranging from baroque to Bernstein and classical to modern popular pieces including music from West End shows and film.

Free admission and free refreshments

Contact Philip Chapman 01943 863 759

Friday 4th December


St Margarets Free Organ RecitalnewMusic1
Saturday 5th December


Ilkley Band Stand Ilkley Churches Together

Christmas Concert 

Concert by Ikley Churches together, school bands and choirs

Admission free

Contact Tony Gilroy 01943 609 077

Saturday 5th December


Ilkley Baptist Church Ilkley Moornotes

Winter Wondersongmoornotes

Ilkley Moornotes, an acapella choir, will sing a range of joyful seasonal songs from around the world including UK folk songs, eastern European laments and French drinking songs. A range from Mozart to Coldplay.

Tickets £5 include home made refreshments from Sarah Thomas 01943 430 664 or Graham May 01943 609 538

Sunday 6th December


Ilkley Playhouse Ilkley Film SocietyIda_(2013_film)


Poland 2014. A moving and intimate drama about a young novitiate nun in 1960’s Poland on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation. “Riveting, original and breathtakingly accomplished on every level”. Winner of 2014 Oscar and BAFTA for best foreign film.

Tickets £4 for non members from Richard Fort 01535 653 471

Saturday 12th Decmber

10:00, 11:15 & 12:30pm

Ilkley Playhouse  Ilkley Playhouse PlayersIlkley-playhouse-logo

Free performances by Greenroom members

  • 10:00 Junior Greenroom improvisations
  • 11:15  Senior Greenroom Improvisations
  • 12:30 Adult Greenroom Shakespeare Extracts

Free Admission. All stage performances approx 30 minutes

Contact Andrew Leggott 01943 609 539

Saturday 12th


St Margarets  Ilkley Choral Societychoral

Handel’s Messiah

Soloists from the Northern Royal College of Music

Yorkshire Chamber Ensemble

Conductor Barry Jordan

Tickets £12 from Grove Music 01943 817 301 or 01943 839 208 or 01943 839 874

Contact Adrian Heeley 01132 505 114

Wednesday 16th December


St Johns Church, Ben Rhydding  Club Francophone du Wharfedaledecemberevent

Chants de Noel

French songs and carols with the Ilkley Singers.

Admission free, with free wine, juice and nibbles.

Contact Judith Dunn 01943 817 588


Saturday 19th December


 St Johns Church, Ben Rhydding Cantores OlicanaeCantores-Split-Header-3

Carol Concert


A programme of festive music, old and new.

Guests Ermysteds Brass Ensemble, with organist Robert Sudall

Adults £10, Students £5, under 14’s free.

Tickets from Grove Music Shop 01943 817 301 or 830 873 or on the door.

Contact Anne Lowe 01943 872 689

Sunday 20th December


Ilkley Baptist Church Choral Scholars, Northern Youth and friends

Seasonal Choral Music

Concert finale of the 2015 Ilkley Arts Festival.

Conductor and contact James Griffett 01228 561 099

Admission free