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Regional Festivals

Festival Melbourne2006 logoFestival Melbourne2006 reaches out across the state during the twelve days of the Games with festivals taking place in four major Victorian regional centres:

Each centre is home to a Melbourne2006 Commonwealth Games live site with a big screen broadcasting live sporting events and Games highlights. 

Local artists will work alongside visiting artists to facilitate unique cultural exchanges. Performing artists featured in the Melbourne program will also tour to each of these centres. 

Best of all, everything is free!

Ballarat Festival

Presented by the Victorian Government in partnership with the City of Ballarat

Camp Street
Camp Street will be an official Commonwealth Games Live Site, with a big screen broadcasting live sporting events and Games highlights alongside a full Festival program. Over 500 international, national and local performers and visual artists are taking part.

In tribute to Ballarat’s adopted Commonwealth nation, India, the Festival will feature a celebration of Indian culture, with performances and exhibitions by Indian artists. Ballarat’s own links to India will be celebrated, with the local Indian community contributing to the festivities. Four hundred Indian artists will be staying in Ballarat while preparing to perform in the Closing Ceremony in Melbourne.

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Camp Street Garden
A multi-part public art installation will transform the Festival site in Camp Street into an exotic garden complete with inflatable plants, vines and flowers, and indigenous imagery. This residency and collaboration between ERTH and Ratartat – arts companies formed in Ballarat - will involve 30 local artists, four weeks of ‘hands on’ creation of sets and costumes, and training and rehearsing of new performances. The work of local indigenous visual artists and members of the Ballarat community, including the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative, the Ballarat Indian Australian Association, and local school children, will be incorporated into the bluestone streetscape.

Don’t miss
The spirit of India will fill Camp Street, with performances from the mighty Dhol Foundation; the wonderfully exuberant Jaipur Kawa Brass Band from Rajasthan; and India’s master sarod player, Amjad Ali Khan. Local performers include the Sweet Mona’s, a 25-piece a cappella choir, and Kirrit Barreet, the Ballarat-based Aboriginal dance group. Adding to the excitement, the Begonia Festival parade coincides with the Games celebrations on Saturday 18 March. The parade will have a Commonwealth Games theme, with up to 40 floats proceeding along Sturt Street.

Ballarat will also host a number of international visual arts projects, including Nagaa, a Borana exhibition of Kenyan huts at the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery on 16 March. And February will see a Craft Victoria arts residency with Zakir Hussain and Intekhab Ahmed, specialist darners (Rafoogar) from Najibabad in Northern Indian, who will be darning for the Common Goods exhibition in the Melbourne Museum from 6 February – 7 May.

For more information on Festival Melbourne2006 in Ballarat visit the City of Ballarat's website or contact the City of Ballarat on 03 5320 5500.

With the support of ArtsWA, Ballarat & District Aboriginal Cooperative, Ballarat Indian Australian Association, Ballarat Regional Multicultural Association, 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, and The Myer Foundation.

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Presented by the Victorian Government in partnership with the City of Bendigo

Bendigo Town Hall, Civic Gardens and the Library Forecourt
Festival Melbourne2006 will travel to Bendigo for the duration of the Games, taking place around the historic Bendigo Town Hall, in Civic Gardens and the Library Forecourt.

Civic Gardens will be an official Commonwealth Games Live Site, with a big screen broadcasting live sporting events and Games highlights, and a wonderfully diverse cultural festival showcasing over 300 international, national and local artists and performers.

Scotland is the City of Bendigo’s adopted Commonwealth country. Scottish-themed activities and celebrations will foster links between the two countries. Starting in February, a Craft Victoria residency at Latrobe University Visual Arts Centre will feature Scottish/Samoan artist Niki Hastings-McFall making a Bendigo lei, for the Common Goods exhibition in the Melbourne Museum from 6 February – 7 May.

Tartaning up the Icons will use public art. Cultural Crossings, with banners depicting both Australian and Scottish themes and emblems, will be installed in Charing Cross. In Fit for a Queen, local artists and designers present wearable art that blends sporting aspirations with the arts, while Conversations at the Town Hall will explore the relevance of the Commonwealth today.

And don’t miss Nagaa, an exhibition of the huts of the Borana people of Northern Kenya, being installed at the Bendigo Art Gallery from 11am -2pm on 15 March. On Sunday 19 March the Festival extends into Bull Street with Strange Fruit; Kutcha Edwards; Singapore’s Wicked Aura Batacuda; Northern Ireland’s Michael McGoldrick with Sharon Shannon; and the African Show Boyz from Ghana.

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Human Momentum
Library Forecourt

This public art event, led by the Melbourne Fringe Festival, involves the contribution of young people living in Bendigo, working in collaboration with internationally acclaimed bamboo design company Bambuco, world renowned aerial artists Dislocate and the Bendigo Chinese Association. Together they will develop an interactive bamboo ‘playground’ and a performance which creates and stores energy, using water, through human momentum.

Human Momentum will be constructed out of huge bamboo poles fixed together by rope and nylon ties. The construction will slowly evolve in the Library Forecourt in the central business district of Bendigo during the Games, and will be formally launched on 19 March.

Designs for a Modern World – Charles Rennie Mackintosh
4 February - 9 April
Bendigo Art Gallery
Presented in partnership with Glasgow Museums, Scotland

Bendigo Art Gallery is the exclusive Australian venue for this exhibition featuring the work of acclaimed Scottish designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The exhibition will include design pieces from major Australian institutions together with international works on loan from the collection of Glasgow Museums, Scotland. A highlight of the exhibition is the magnificent ‘Hill House’ writing desk designed by Mackintosh in 1904.

One of the most celebrated designers and architects of his generation, Mackintosh drew inspiration from Scottish traditions and blended this with the flourish of Art Nouveau and simple Japanese forms. For more information on Designs for a Modern World, visit Bendigo Art Gallery's website

For more information on Festival Melbourne2006 in Bendigo visit the City of Greater Bendigo's website

Human Momentum is supported by Arts Victoria, Festivals Australia, The Australia Council, The Myer Foundation, and VicHealth.

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Geelong Festival

Presented by the Victorian Government in partnership with the City of Greater Geelong.

Steampacket Gardens
Steampacket Gardens will be the official Commonwealth Games Live Site in Geelong, with a big screen broadcasting live sporting events and Games highlights and a range of free live music, sports, circus and street theatre.

The festival in Geelong will kick off with the aerial spectacle of the luminous Heliosphere, from England’s The Dream Engine, and will end with a bang when New Zealand’s master percussionists, Strike, lead a huge community percussion event.

In between, don’t miss the elastic Afro Jambo Acrobats from Kenya; the Chipolatas, England’s master juggling clowns; Canada’s La Bottine Souriante, revered as the most exciting French Canadian roots band on the planet; and the Buskers by the Bay Festival.

Keep an eye out for Nagaa, an exhibition of the huts of the Borana people of Northern Kenya, installed from 11am - 2pm at the Geelong Gallery and at 21st Century Garden, Geelong Botanic Gardens from 14 March. And South African telephone wire weaver Hlengiwe Dube will be at the Geelong Gallery in February weaving new objects for the Common Goods exhibition in the Melbourne Museum from 6 February – 7 May.

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The Geoglyph Project
Eastern Park
Australian artist Andrew Rogers is currently engaged in producing the world’s largest contemporary art installation. His ‘Geoglyphs’ are massive land art works constructed with local materials in various countries around the globe. Rogers, who has been working on his Geoglyphs since 1999, plans to have twelve of these spectacular works in various locations throughout the world - so far he has constructed them in Chile, Israel, Bolivia, and most recently in Sri Lanka. The City of Greater Geelong and the local community are hosting his latest construction.

Don’t miss
Geelong theatre group Back to Back and Australia's only giant puppet company, Snuff Puppets, will unleash a crazy world of giant puppets, slapstick falls, aerobic dance routines and general chaos in Boomtowners on 24 and 25 March. Moving through Steampacket Gardens, they will entertain with roving guerrilla tactics and performance enhancing tips for athletic excellence.

Sheepish will be presented by local group BUMP Out There Theatre through the Courthouse Youth Arts Centre. It is a roving event that will materialise at odd times at strategic locations in the Steampacket Gardens. An ensemble of young emerging artists from Geelong will champion and profile the athletic, creative and intellectual abilities of the oft-maligned sheep, utilising satire and comedic physical theatre and providing lots of opportunities for audience participation.

For more information about what’s happening in Geelong visit the Commonwealth Games section of Geelong Australia's website

With the support of Diversitat, The Myer Foundation, and Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative Ltd.

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Moe Festival

Presented by the Victorian Government in partnership with Latrobe City

Moe Racing Club
The official Commonwealth Games Live Site is located at the Moe Racing Club. It will be the hub for twelve days of fantastic Games entertainment. The big screen will broadcast live sporting events and Games highlights for the community to watch together, alongside a wonderful program of artists and performers in music, dance and street theatre. There will be daily entertainment with a variety of performers to suit all tastes, including Battle of the Bands, and a country music night.

The Opening Ceremony on Wednesday 15 March will feature the Latrobe City’s only male choir, Coal Valley Chorus singing alongside the Australian Welsh Male Choir, and conclude with a fireworks spectacle. During the Festival, international acts from around the Commonwealth will come to Moe including Fiji’s wildly popular Black Rose; the incredibly elastic Afro Jambo Acrobats from Kenya; contemporary dance star Ravibandu Vidyapathy from Sri Lanka; and the unique Dya Singh.

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Space and Place, Latrobe
Saturday March 25 at PowerWorks, Morwell
At dusk
Hosted by Latrobe City, Space and Place is a major community arts project conceived and led by Y Space. Y Space is a performance company from Natimuk that has made itself a name by producing spectacular performances in unusual places.

Space and Place will be performed by aerialists against the backdrop of PowerWorks’ iconic dredger, a huge machine once used for digging brown coal for electricity production. The event combines a spectacular aerial performance with live animation, puppetry, shadow sculptures, original music, and a mass choir joined by local musicians and percussion groups. The production reflects the local community’s own sense of space and place, explored through a series of workshops and a 10-day residency with Y Space artists working in collaboration with Latrobe artists and community participants.

Don’t Miss
Malta is Latrobe City’s adopted Commonwealth nation. The Maltese connection begins with a Craft Victoria residency in February with Australian-born Maltese artist Mary Farrugia coordinating lace-making workshops at Latrobe Regional Gallery in Morwell, employing the skills of local lace makers for the Common Goods exhibition in Melbourne Museum from 6 February – 7 May. At the Live Site, Maltese Duo, George Puse Curmi and Yury Charigiun will perform on the night of Saturday 18 March. And local Maltese Australian musicians Joe Camilleri and Nicky Bomba team up in their band Limestone for the final performance just before the Closing Ceremony of the Games is broadcast on Sunday 26 March.

For more information on Festival Melbourne2006 in Gippsland visit Latrobe City's website

Latrobe Space and Place is also supported by Anglicare, Arts Victoria, Braiakaulung people from the Gunnai-Kurnai clan, Regional Arts Victoria, the Australia Council, The Myer Foundation, PowerWorks, Ulysses Motorcycle Club and VicHealth.

Images from top: Erth's Garden; Human Momentum, Photo: John Sones; Ancient Language, Attacama Desert Chile, 80M X 3M, 2004; Space and Place, Photo: Melissa Powell, Wimmera Mail Times.

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Festival Calendar
Ellis and Bheki
15-26 March 2006

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