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About Festival Melbourne2006

Chairman's Message

What an enormous honour it is for our city to be hosting the Commonwealth Games; to see the best athletes of the Commonwealth coming together to compete at such a high level, and for us to celebrate their shared drive for excellence through sport. And what better way to enhance this wonderful Games sporting experience than to provide the opportunity for the best performing and visual artists from these countries to also come together to showcase their artistic skills and cultural diversity, and allow us to marvel at their energy and talent?

Welcome to Festival Melbourne2006, twelve days of non-stop music, dance, circus, street theatre and visual arts from all the corners of the Commonwealth. From large-scale performance works and exhibitions through to intimate events, workshops and cultural exchanges, Festival Melbourne2006 will entertain, challenge and add another joyful dimension to your whole Games experience. When you come to cheer on the worlds elite athletes, you can also catch a concert, see a circus, stroll amongst street performers, be dazzled by visual spectacles, and enjoy an array of exhibitionsYou can join in, with public classes of dance from around the Commonwealth in Federation Square, lunchtime forums with the artists, and Artplays activity workshops for children. And you can celebrate Victoria’s own Indigenous culture with a showcase of the best of Victorias Indigenous businesses, artists and performers. Throughout the Games, Melbourne will be buzzing - day and night! The excitement will reach out across the State centred around regional festivals in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Moe. Best of all, all the great experiences of the Festival are free!

Festival Melbourne2006 is also providing opportunities for artists and local communities to benefit from an exciting program of cultural exchanges that has been put in place to celebrate the cultural diversity of the Commonwealth. For example, three leading youth circuses one from South Africa and two from Australia - have been living and working together to create a new, collaborative work, 3wAyXchange, to be performed under the Big Top in the Alexandra Gardens. And an extensive Youth Masterclass Program brings some of the worlds master percussionists together with Australia's leading tertiary percussion students to exchange ideas and skills. Their efforts will culminate in a public performance at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in the All Star World Percussion Spectacular. Meanwhile artists from South Africa, Malta, Mauritius, Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, Samoa and New Zealand have been working in conversation with local artists and communities, using their traditional skills to produce work to be exhibited in Common Goods: Cultures Meet Through Craft at Melbourne Museum. The cultural legacy of these exchanges will live on long after the last star in Festival Melbourne2006 has performed.

It is my very great pleasure to invite you to come and help us to celebrate what we have in common and to appreciate what makes us different by sharing in Festival Melbourne2006.

Sue Nattrass AO
Chair, Festival Melbourne2006

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Festival Acknowledgements

Festival Melbourne2006 is jointly funded and supported by the Australian and Victorian Governments:

Australian Government logo
Victorian Government logo

Festival Melbourne2006 media partner:

Herald Sun logo
Herald Sun Sunday logo

Festival Melbourne2006 would like to thank the following for their support:

Australia Council for the Arts
City of Melbourne
City of Ballarat
City of Greater Bendigo
City of Greater Geelong
Latrobe City Council
Creative New Zealand – Arts Council of New Zealand
Toi Aotearoa
Foreign Affairs Canada
Australian Defence Force
The Canada Council for the Arts
Commonwealth Foundation
Regional Arts Victoria
Australia-India CouncilNational Arts Council

Ministry for Education and Culture – Cyprus
British Council Australia
Festivals Australia, Department of Communications,
Information Technology & the Arts
The Myer Foundation
Department of Culture & the Arts – Government
of Western Australia
Department of Natural Resources, Environment
and the Arts - Northern Territory Government
Indian Council for Cultural Relations
Arts Council England
Tongan Defence Force
Glasgow City Council


Arts Projects Australia logo 
The Performing Arts
Program was produced and managed by Arts Projects Australia.
Global Art Projects Pty Ltd logo 
The Exhibitions Program was produced and managed by Global Art Projects Pty Ltd.
Next Wave Festival 
The Youth Program was produced and managed by the Next Wave Festival.
Koori Business Network 
Tribal Expressions was
produced for the Koori
Business Network by

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Festival Calendar
Ellis and Bheki
15-26 March 2006

  • Festival events pre-Games.
  • Festival events post-Games.

    Over 2,500 performing artists will stage Australia's largest ever free cultural festival during the Games.
    Learn more about the festival.
  • This Website is closed and for reference purposes only. To guarantee the stability of Games data, all external links are being removed.

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