Saturday 1 – Monday 31 March 2014
Various venues in and around Greater Shepparton
Full program details: www.sheppartonfestival.org.au
The SheppARTon Festival is thrilled to announce its program of arts, events and celebrations taking place across March. Teaming up with La Trobe University, and in partnership with Greater Shepparton City Council, the SheppARTon Festival highlights a culturally rich arts community. Working around the theme of Unique Events in Unusual Places across the Goulburn Valley, the festival program is sure to delight every member of the family.
The Shepparton Festival is now in its 18th year and is the largest cultural event on the Shepparton calendar.
In 2014, the SheppARTon Festival extends from 11 days to the full 31 days of March. The SheppARTon Festival features a rich program of music, theatre, literature, dance and film, celebrating the unique community of Greater Shepparton and its myriad stories. Shepparton, the heart of Victoria’s ‘food bowl’, is a vibrant, culturally diverse, modern city with a strong indigenous population and a long history of immigration. With the threatened SPC Ardmona potential closure, the festival offers strong support to a community in uncertain times.
The festival kicks off with a weekend of family-friendly activities. Emerge at Twilight (1 March) is a spectacular multicultural celebration around Victoria Park Lake including a global marketplace, music and dance from local indigenous, refugee and emerging communities and culminating in a fireworks display over the lake. Polyglot Dream Weavers (1 & 2 March) present Tangled, an interactive and engaging installation combining weaving, music and storytelling; and the Victorian Concert Orchestra present an afternoon of music in the sun, basking in Shepparton’s beautiful natural surrounds for Orchestra in the Dookie Hills (2 March).
The long weekend starts early with purveyors of fine Australian jazz, The Andrea Keller Jazz Quartet, bringing their spirited style to Shepparton (7 March). The Festival then hosts celebrated opera, concert and stage performer David Hobson at Opera in the Orchard (8 March), in the gorgeous setting of the Findon House Gardens. Distinguished memoir writer Patti Miller discusses her latest novel, The Mind of a Thief, at the Literary Lunch (9 March), and the Dream Voices Gala (9 March) brings together the specially directed, multicultural Dream Voices choir with festival guest Deborah Cheetham, renowned Aboriginal Australian soprano, actor, playwright and proud Yorta Yorta woman. Deborah Cheetham and rising local star Tenielle McKenzie have composed songs especially for the event, in an evening not to be missed.
With hundred of entries already receieved, the 15th Shepparton Shorts Short Film Festival (14 March) promises to delight, with a prize awarded for the best film on the theme Dream Voices. Finally, closing out the festival in an exciting spectacle comes The Community Dragon Boat Regatta (30 March), with festivities including a Blessing of Boats ceremony and a traditional race across Victoria Park Lake!
Coinciding with the SheppARTon Festival, visual art lovers can enjoy a number of exhibitions on display at the Shepparton Art Museum including Melbourne-based artist Nick Selenitsch’s Play, featuring interactive installations and sculptures that draw upon sport, games and modern abstractions, and Sydney-based painter Mitch Cairns’ sweeping mural using bold cartoon forms and deadpan humour for The Drawing Wall #14. More information can be found at SAM’s website: www.sheppartonartmuseum.com.au/
The festival offers experiences for the local and visitor alike, SheppARTon Festival Artistic Director John Head said, “The 2014 SheppARTon program has something for everyone, whether you want to relax in our exquisite natural surroundings, enjoy quality arts and community performances, or treat yourself to some of the country’s finest produce. We have workshops in singing, sculpture, yarnbombing, bellydancing, creative mentorship and photography, with a host of talented artists and performers coming to Shepparton to share their skills, knowledge and passion. It is an opportunity to come together to celebrate the things that make Shepparton such a unique place.”