Festival a Huge Success
The Yarram project committee has been enjoying a well-earned
rest after its very successful Spring into Art
festival over the Melbourne Cup long weekend in November.
The festival followed hot on the heels of several other
successful projects, the Back to Back international
wool challenge and two art exhibitions organised by
the Omeo-Swifts Creek project committee, and the launch
of Maffra-Stratfords Garden for Humanity.
The queen of Australian musical theatre, Marina Prior,
was a major drawcard at Yarram, with 300 people filling
the towns Regent Theatre on the Saturday night
to hear her sing.
Marina not only sang on stage: she moved among the
audience, much to everyones delight. All in all,
the vibrant Marina set the pace for a weekend of memories
to last a lifetime. The five day festival was officially
opened by Jill Gael in front of 80 people at the Courthouse
Gallery on the Friday night.
Jill, from South Australia, has become well known throughout
Gippsland as an events workshop facilitator. She
was the ideal person to open the festival as it was
one of her workshops which inspired the Yarram women
to take the plunge and organise the event.
It was 13 months of hard work but project coordinator
Tina Hambleton said the weekend was one that the Yarram
and district people would talk about for quite some
time. On the Sunday, more than 400 people headed to
Port Albert for a Snapper Fest where their appetites
were enticed by a range of seafoods.
A community market and art displays throughout the
district added to the variety of entertainment on the
day. Other activities organised for the festival included
garden visits, Art in the Park, barbecues,
a scarecrow competition and book launch.
Tina extends her appreciation to other members on the
festival committee, including Jan Jess, Lyn Willmott,
Julie Brandsma-Mark, Fay Reeve, Lisa Grassby, Cheryl
Kane and Helen Durkin.
women at Yarram set out to organise an arts festival,
they go right to the top. An evening with Australias
leading lady of musical theatre, Marina Prior, will
be a high note of an inaugural five day Spring
into Art festival to be held in Yarram and district
during the Melbourne Cup weekend.
While Marina will be a major drawcard, the main aim
of the festival is to attract people to Yarram to experience
the artistic and creative talents of local artists.
The festival has been the brainchild of a small team
of Yarram and district women taking part in the State
Government funded Gippsland Women who Mean Business
Women in eight districts within Gippsland have been
busy researching and producing a project to benefit
their community. The Yarram women, led by team leader
Tina Hambleton, decided a festival would benefit their
town in many ways. Tina, with Cheryl Kane, Lyn Willmott,
Jan Jess and Lisa Grassby, with additional help provided
by Fay Reeve and Julie Brandsma-Mark, has spent months
organising the many aspects of the festival.
Obtaining an evening with Marina was a major achievement
and hopes are high of filling the Regent Theatre for
this event, a one off experience for Yarram, on the
evening of Saturday, October 29.
Marina Prior is regarded as Australias leading
lady of musical theatre. She is best known for her lead
role in The Phantom of the Opera which she played for
more than three years.
She has also performed with international stars including
Richard Harris and José Carreras. Tickets for
Marinas Yarram concert will need to be booked
early to avoid disappointment and two options, one with
dinner, the other without, are available.
The first option includes a night of gourmet Food
as an Art Form presented by Roman Manser of the Tarra
Valley Rainforest Retreat, at $79 a head, and the second
option is entertainment only, upstairs at the Regent,
for $45 a head.
The festival launch will take place the evening before,
on Friday, October 28, at the new Court House Gallery
Art Space. Events on Friday will include Art
in the Park, from 10am until 2pm, with artistic
demonstrations, live music and food stalls in the Yarram
This will be followed by a book launch at 4pm in the
Bush Nook Café. Local author Lyn Willmott will
launch the book titled Hidden Realm. Meanwhile,
over in Welshpool, a flower show will open at 2pm in
the Welshpool hall.
This will continue on Saturday. Entertainment will
head outdoors on Sunday with the Port Albert Snapper
Festival, An Art by the Sea exhibition and
Sunday market at the restored Port Albert Hall, the
Port Albert Sunday Island Yacht Race, and a Melbourne
Cup Weekend of Golf.
A Tarra Valley Art Trail has been organised for Monday,October
31, with opportunity to explore local artistic talents
amid an array of fine accommodation centres and beautiful
Visitors will be able to see Tarra Valleys heritage
garden at Eileen Donan, go to the Tarra Valley Rainforest
Retreat and view a woodwork exhibition. To top it off,
they can enjoy a lunch comprising a sizzling Swiss barbecue
and delicious desserts.
Outcomes So Far:
- Courthouse Gallery
- Developed network with the organising committee
of the Tarra Festival
- Working Partnership with Shire
- Distributed 10,000 brochures across Victoria
- Established database of Artists within the Region
- Shire provided funds for printing of brochure
- Website for Spring into art
- Developed relationships with B & B's and accommodation
- Worked together with Alberton project and DSE
- Marina Prior singing at Festival
- Establishing contacts by breaking down the barriers
- Event management - theory put into practice
- Individually took on responsibilities and tasks
- Working with local businesses
- Developed brochure and lots of marketing material
- Strong volunteer base