THE Prom Coast Seachange Festival goes from strength to strength. It grows in size, reputation and participant numbers, so much so that it now needs two weekends to do justice to the big program of 60 events on offer.
The 2015 program will offer a diverse range of events taking in the dates of 17-19 and 24-26 April and will incorporate the many significant ANZAC Day events already planned for the area.
According to festival chairperson Deb Bray it became clear from early in the planning process that more and more people, including businesses and community groups, want to be involved in the festival.
“Word is spreading and it is quite exciting now, that instead of the committee having to approach artists and groups to be involved, we are now being contacted by people from far and wide who don’t want to miss out on being included.”
The festival celebrates creativity, culture, lifestyle and landscape and provides a fantastic platform that attracts quality artists and performances to the region.
“The past four festivals have been extremely successful and well attended by locals, as well as the region’s regular holiday-makers, and visitors from a wide area including Melbourne and interstate,” explained Deb Bray.
“The festival committee is very passionate about providing a structure that is driven from within the community; one that showcases established activities and emerging skill-sets and, importantly, fosters quality events that draw attention to, and celebrate, this magnificent region.”
These priorities dovetail well with those of festival sponsors Toora & Foster Community Bank® branches, Esso BHP Billiton and South Gippsland Shire Council.
“We are pleased to welcome ABC Gippsland on board as our official media partner for 2015,” said Deb. “They have some great things planned for the festival, and will be with us during the first weekend running a free 1-day workshop titled ABC Open Gippsland Writer’s Festival and covering the festival through a series of interviews content for online features.”
Playwright and theatre director Chris Dickins’ Waratah The Musical will be produced in conjunction with FAMDA; accomplished violinist Cath Shugg will again play at the Celia Rosser Gallery in Fish Creek; Melbourne male choir, Low Rez take to the stage at the Fish Creek Hall; and, the Prom Coast Arts Council’s annual The Great Southern Portrait Prize will be exhibited at the Stockyard Gallery in Foster.
“The festival is a wonderful way to draw people together by providing something for everyone,” said Deb Dray. “From food and wine to sustainability and the environment, musicals and art to tours, sport and workshops.”
The Sustainable Architecture Tour and the Gippsland Food Adventure tour, both over subscribed events in 2013, will be on offer again in 2015 and, to get people out and about even more, activities such as bush walking, bike riding and garden tours are on the program.
Children will enjoy opportunities offered by renowned local author and artist Alison Lester at her recently opened headquarters in Fish Creek; there will be kite making and flying in Sandy Point; and, quirky performances such as dog dancing.
Long established events, such as the Prom Country Farmers Market, ANZAC Day commemorations and local sporting events such as the South Coast Boardriders surfing competition are included in the program and are an important part of promoting what’s on in the local area over the festival’s two weekends.
The traditional long lunch in Foster’s main street offers local traders the opportunity to showcase their wares. Many such business are partnering with local artists to turn their shop windows into exhibition space for exciting works of art that will be created utilising or depicting elements particular to the hosting trade. While lunching be entertained by acts including Bec and the Acquaintances and the South Gippsland Brass Band. Adjacent to the long lunch will be The Magic Theatre of Curiosities and Wonder. Be enchanted by mesmerising circus, magical mime, exquisite puppetry, curious clowns, accordion music, storytelling and film.
“There really is something for everyone”, remarked Deb Bray. “With so many great events organised by local community groups, sporting clubs and traders it’s impossible to list them all.”
“Pick up a program from local traders or check the festival website and Facebook page for updates and details on how to make bookings.”
Please visit www.promcoastseachangefestival.org.