Pic: of a lantern parade during the event Nearer to the Light: Remembering the North Lyell Disaster, held on 12 October 2012. Photograph by Kim Eijdenberg.
QUEENSTOWN HERITAGE & ARTS FESTIVAL: CENTENARY OF THE NORTH LYELL DISASTER WINS TWO AWARDS AT THE 2013 WIN TV CRADLE COAST REGIONAL TOURISM AWARDS
The Queenstown Heritage & Arts Festival (QHAF) won the ‘Tourism Marketing’ and the ‘Heritage and Cultural Tourism’ award categories at the 2013 Win Television Cradle Coast Regional Tourism Awards, announced at a gala dinner in Smithton on Thursday night.
Festival Director Travis Tiddy said the awards were terrific recognition of the event. “It’s fantastic to receive official recognition of the surge of quality cultural activity in Queenstown as demonstrated by the festival – and how this can be harnessed as a genuine social and economic asset for our community.”
The QHAF is a biennial three-day festival that aims to be the most significant contemporary cultural programme in Tasmania. It aims to create arts and heritage experiences that are accessible, engaging, and fundamentally tied to a sense of place. The festival seeks to connect new people with our community and challenge existing perceptions of Queenstown, providing leadership to inspire people with the abilities and wealth of regional Tasmanian communities.
The 2012 festival was tied to the centenary of the North Lyell Mine Disaster, a tragedy in which 42 miners died. The programme represented an ambitious melding of 57 heritage and arts activities that reflected upon the past whilst acknowledging the promising future of our community. Visitors and locals responded in force, demonstrated by 100% booked accommodation with spillover into other west coast towns; a $608,482 visitor spend; and 173 interstate visitors who on average stayed in Tasmania for 9 days – outstanding statistics for an emerging regional festival.
The next festival will be held from 10–12 October 2014 and will encompass the centenary of the heritage-listed Lake Margaret Power Station – the oldest hydro-electric power station operating in Australia. A variety of creative cultural activities will form the programme, including main street dining, contemporary art installations, flash choirs, underground mine tours, book launches, arts workshops, films, cultural tours, theatre productions and forums – just to name a few.
The festival is mentored by the Artistic Director of Junction and The Village Arts Festivals, Ian Pidd, who commented on his experience working with the festival team: “The QHAF was an inspiring event that seems to have sprung, fully formed, from the magnificent landscape surrounding this compelling town. The combination of heritage events, brilliant high-end art projects and proper partying made for a memorable weekend.”
Travis Tiddy Festival Director, Leigh Styles Marketing Coordinator