Title: Nearer to the Light: Remembering the North Lyell Disaster
Photographer: Kim Eijdenberg

Title: Installation The Drink, by Hobart artist Peter Waller, at the Royal Linda Hotel
Photographer: Kim Eijdenberg

State-wide recognition has poured in for the Queenstown Heritage & Arts Festival 2012: Centenary of the North Lyell Mine Disaster, with the festival placing gold in a stunning six local and state awards:

• 2012 Australia Day Community event of the year;
• Cradle Coast Regional Tourism Award – Heritage & Cultural Tourism;
• Cradle Coast Regional Tourism Award – Tourism Marketing;
• Creative Partnerships Australia – Toyota Community Award;
• TICT Tasmanian Tourism Award – Festivals and Events;
• Community Achievement Award – Prime Super Events and Tourism.

Festival Director Travis Tiddy was ecstatic with the results. “To gain such strong recognition for only our second festival is a wonderful achievement and a testament to our team. We’re so proud to accept these awards on behalf of the west coast community and together with our Principal Partner Vedanta Copper Mines of Tasmania.”

The festival also recently gained Regional Event Funding through Events Tasmania, Assistance to Organisations funding through Arts Tasmania, and support from the Regional Arts Fund.

The QHAF focuses on high-end arts and heritage activities and aims to engender significant socio-economic change in the Queenstown community. In 2012 the festival was tied to the centenary of the North Lyell Mine Disaster, a tragedy in which 42 miners died. The results from the weekend were exceptional, demonstrating that the festival is a true socio-economic asset for western Tasmania:

• 57 individual events held over 3 days and 1774 completed festival surveys;
• 93 festival volunteers from the local community;
• $343 visitor spend per person with a total $608,482 visitor spend;
• 100% booked out accommodation resulting in spillover into other west coast towns.

The next festival will be held on 10–12 October 2014 and will focus upon the centenary of the historic Lake Margaret Power Station, the oldest operating hydro-electric power station in Australia and a site of high cultural heritage significance for the region.

Mr Tiddy believes that such strong industry recognition for the festival is invaluable. “We’re very keen to harness and build on this momentum, and we have some innovative plans and partnerships in place for the next festival. Our ultimate goal is to strategically spread the benefits of the festival throughout the west coast, and develop year-round cultural activity so that the festival ‘never goes away’ and significantly contributes to the livability of our regional mining community.”
Travis Tiddy Festival Director