September 1, 2015  |  Members Statements

Ballarat arts events

Mr HOWARD (Buninyong) — It has been a bumper season for the arts in Ballarat with cultural activity well and truly thriving across the region. On Friday, 21 August, I joined Julian Burnside, QC, and others to launch the Ballarat International Foto Biennale at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. After being held first in Daylesford in 2005 the Foto Biennale transferred to Ballarat in 2009 and is now a major international arts event featuring a sensational range of photographic styles. The Foto Biennale, which this year runs for a month, features 238 events staged at more than 80 venues across Ballarat.

More recently I experienced a truly magnificent concert as part of Ballarat’s Festival of Slow Music. Held at Ballarat Mechanics Institute, the event started with a presentation by composer Lisa Cheney on the Federation Handbells. Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Satu Vänskä then mesmerised the audience with her violin and vocal performance, accompanied by Jim Moginie from Midnight Oil and Brian Ritchie from the Violent Femmes. Closing the night was a composition by Michael Kieran Harvey and Adam Simmons, with an orchestra made up of Ballarat’s finest musicians who performed the Concerto for Piano and Toy Band. The nine-day Festival of Slow Music captivated audiences with an eclectic mix of the finest local and international musicians. I commend all of those, including Jeff Moorfoot and Adam Simmons, for bringing these great events to Ballarat.