What is an APG?  

An APG, All-Party Group, provides a forum by which MLAs and outside organisations and individuals can meet to discuss shared interests in a particular cause or subject. The difference between an APG and APPG, is that an APG is relevant to Stormont and the Northern Ireland Assembly. To see more about what APG’s are and what the current APGs are Visit the Northern Ireland Assembly page on All Party Groups.  

What is an APPG?  

An APPG, All-Party Parliamentary Groups, are informal cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament. They are run by and for Members of the Commons and Lords, though many choose to involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament in their administration and activities. The difference between an APPG and APG is that an APPG is UK wide and aims to incorporate the needs at both a national and local level. To read more about APPGs visit The UK Parliament Website or to find out more about the APPG for Theatre, visit UK Theatre’s APPG on Theatre page.  

The Cross Party Group 

Prior to the formalisation of the APG, a Cross Party Group, led by Clare Bailey (Green Party), was set up to provide a forum to facilitate cross party discussion and co-operation relating to the Arts, and to demonstrate the value to our economy and society by raising the visibility of the Arts in the Assembly. Theatre and Dance NI were secretariat, providing organisational, staff, time and strategic support. The Cross Party Group led to the creation of the current All Party Group on the Arts.

To watch the most recent APG, visit our YouTube Channel.  


Chairperson:  Clare Bailey (Green Party; South Belfast)  

Secretary:  Mike Nesbitt (Ulster Unionist Party; Strangford)  

Treasurer:  Matthew O’Toole (Social Democratic and Labour Party; South Belfast)  


  • Steve Aiken (Ulster Unionist Party; South Antrim)  
  • Kellie Armstrong (Alliance Party; Strangford)  
  • Paula Bradley (Democratic Unionist Party; North Belfast)  
  • Gerry Carroll (People Before Profit Alliance; West Belfast)  
  • Pat Catney (Social Democratic and Labour Party; Lagan Valley)  
  • Mark Durkan (Social Democratic and Labour Party; Foyle)  
  • Sinéad Ennis (Sinn Féin; South Down)  
  • Paul Frew (Democratic Unionist Party; North Antrim)  
  • Andrew Muir (Alliance; North Down)  
  • Rachel Woods (Green Party; North Down) 

For the full name and information on the All Party Group on the Arts, visit the Arts APG page on the Northern Ireland Assembly website. 

APG on the Arts: Past Meetings