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Forty Years, Twenty Festivals: Castlemaine Celebrates a Creative Milestone

12 March 2015

Castlemaine’s creative prowess will go on show from tonight with the opening of the 2015 Castlemaine State Festival.

Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, will be in Castlemaine tonight to speak at the Festival’s opening, The Big Bang. This will be a large-scale public music event, peaking with a big percussive bang and brass instrument blast created by more than 2000 community members, musicians and festival-goers.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the Castlemaine State Festival is Australia’s oldest regional arts festival. Established in 1976 by arts patron Berek Segan AM OBE, the Festival was originally modelled on small town classical music festivals in Europe.

The biennial event has since grown and established an identity of its own, one that reflects and celebrates the creativity of the region. It now hosts world-premiere performances by some of Australia’s best known artists, alongside international acts and independent and community events.

Centred around the theme Before and Beyond: 40 Years - 20 Festivals, the main program features 85 events as well as 90 associated events, including open studios, exhibitions, tours and workshops. Five hundred artists are participating this year, with 190 from regional Victoria and 36 artists representing eight different countries.

The Andrews Labor Government is supporting the 2015 Festival through Creative Victoria and it will be attended by the MP for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards.

The 2015 Castlemaine State Festival runs until 22 March 2015. For more information, visit: Link

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley

“The Andrews Labor Government is proud to be supporting the Festival, as a celebration for the local community, a significant visitor draw-card for the region and an example of the powerful role creativity can play in our communities.”

“With more than 85 events across local venues, the Festival puts Castlemaine on show as a vibrant and beautiful destination and boosts local tourism.”

Quote attributable to the MP for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards

“Congratulations to everyone involved on reaching this 40-year milestone. I’m sure there are many more festivals yet to come.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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