The Arties exhibition at Burrinja

A New World; Created Through Art

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Post by Makayla Rimington

Burrinja’s Mission Statement endeavours to ‘build community through arts’ and a shining example of this is the Burrinja ‘Arties’. The Arties is a Burrinja Planned Activity Group who, in 2016, celebrate a decade of weekly meetings. The program involves adults of all abilities, from many different circumstances, joining together to create individual, expressive art.

Edges & Echoes is the chosen title for this year’s upcoming celebration. This involves gaining inspiration from subtle realms of both the imagination and reality. An opening song, followed by performances and exhibitions are planned for this significant occasion. Lynette and the volunteers have worked with The Arties for many weeks in preparation, including a dress rehearsal to practice the meaningful opening number.

Managed and funded by Burrinja and The Department of Health and Human Services, The Arties gives people that may feel outcast from the public a chance to fit in, to be accepted by a group of like-minded people in a community and arts focused facility while creating and performing. An extremely positive outcome from this Burrinja Arties program is mental wellbeing; giving people aged 20 to 70 a chance to use their individual abilities to overcome obstacles, both physical and mental.

It is an arts-based skills and learning program that emphasises cultural participation while enriching understandings of culture and community. The program also teaches socialisation skills and many art techniques.

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Lynette Forrest, an experienced Creative Arts Therapist, facilitated and designed the program that assists members of the community who are affected by mental illness and expands social support for those who are ‘at risk of homelessness’. Many of the people involved have had experience with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, but having the involvement of working with other Arties gives a sense of achievement, peace and connection. Arties ‘challenges the participants to take positive risks by trying new activities, learning with artist mentors, exhibiting, performing and more’.

Lynette believes in the healing power of art, it moves beyond language and understanding, becoming instead about the physical and the pleasure of ‘doing’. ‘Anyone can do it, they can’t fail, they trust me to help them create and learn’ says Lynette.

Being treated as welcomed and individual members of the public is integral to supporting and encouraging the Arties participants to create art that tells their story.

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Each week the partakers create art-work that they have a chance to exhibit and sell once a year at the annual Arties Event. This involves painting, photography and construction all the way through to dance, music, drama and narrative.

‘The Arties get so much out of special programs like this, it is wonderful to experience’ – Dr. Ross Farnell, Executive Director, Burrinja.

‘If only everyday could be Friday’ was remarked to Lynette recently, each meeting is looked forward to by the artists, and the yearly exhibition gives the participants and their works prominence and appreciation from the community.

Lynette has found a link between art, music and mental wellbeing, she observes a positive transformation in her participants; ‘when they return next time, with a little spark, I can see that it has been a lasting change’.

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Lynette puts these amazing outcomes down to music and the arts changing and improving a participant’s self-esteem and mental wellbeing.

The latest event fell on November 4th and the Arties’ had planned an opening song with the help of Nicole from Harmonious Melodies. ‘Edges & Echoes’ is an exploration of the thresholds of imagination, space and time. The theme centres around making meaning out of reality and dreams, and the pieces created are an echo of each member’s world. The song, with the assistance of Nicole, has been written by the group, with the chorus ‘chase those bad dreams away’ coined by a participant. The song takes the members to the edge of their imagination, meeting both good and bad aspects.

The Arties exhibition

Celebrating 10 years of The Arties at Burrinja is an incredible achievement and shows the passion and determination of its facilitator, Lynette Forrest. ‘It’s amazing, my favourite job. I wish I could do it every day’. Lynette creates a happy place, an environment where the members can understand themselves and learn creative techniques to express their individuality. This year’s milestone gives recognition to the great work of Lynette, the volunteers and of course, The Arties.

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The Arties exhibition launch on November 4th.

The Exhibition runs from the 27th October to the 27th November at Burrinja.
Cnr Glenfern Road and Matson Dr, Upwey.

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belgrave farmers market reboot

Belgrave Farmers Market

The Belgrave Farmers Market began last year with great promise, but after a few markets and a relocation, it was put on hold for a while. Now they are back. I spoke with Gourav and Liz from the steering committee to find out what’s been happening behind the scenes and what to expect from the new, improved market.

The Belgrave Farmers Market was started a year ago at Mater Christi School. Unfortunately after a few markets, there was a slight hiccup when the key person that was running it  relocated from the area so it was closed down. A few dedicated locals realised the desire for a farmers market in Belgrave and a new steering committee was formed early this year.

Farmers markets require 3 simple, but key ingredients – patrons, stall-holders and access. We reviewed the first avatar, and determined that the market suffered on all 3 counts – sustained lack of patronage, insufficient stall-holders (especially fresh produce) and the lack of adequate parking and ease of access to the marketplace.

The reformed version of the market (which started in June) changed some of this – we relocated the market to St Thomas More Primary School, which provides a lot more parking and is closer to many amenities; and we had an organic produce stall. That helped prove that a market could work – patronage was loyal, and some really good producers were willing to participate – however, we were unable to attract stallholders in sufficient numbers to the market. This is due to the fact that there are plenty of farmers markets in existence, and consequently many potential stallholders have conflicting commitments. As a team, we realised that we did not have sufficiently deep networks or relationships to promote the market to potential stall-holders, and needed someone who brought those networks with them. We decided not to risk the market, still in its infancy, from getting a reputation of being too small, and took a break over Winter to review our options.

Luckily we have had Regional Farmers Market come on board to assist – it is an organisation started by Peter Arnold, but now actively managed by Claire and Melissa. They are almost the pioneers of the current form of Farmers Markets in Melbourne and have been doing this for 20 years. They manage farmers markets across the city, among others, the Bayside, Heathmont, Beaumaris and Williamstown Farmers markets – and bring a wealth of experience and the right connections that, we believe, can build and grow our market. They are responsible for getting stall holders through their large data base. There will be over 20 stall holders at the new re-launch on 23rd October.

One of the other key decisions that the committee made was to evaluate moving the Market to a single day – on the 4th Sunday of every month. The fabulous Big Dreams Market is held on the 2nd Sunday, and the gap of a fortnight should give sufficient ‘breathing room’ to both the events. In addition, there will be sufficient variation in the composition of the stallholders to be able to keep the visitors (i.e. You!) engaged and returning every fortnight.

We would like to see the Belgrave Farmers Market become the “go-to” market for producers in the Dandenongs and the Yarra Ranges, and for it to become a hub for organic and bio-dynamic producers in the Eastern suburbs. Obviously, this will take some time to accomplish – but I believe that we have the right ‘mix’ of people and attitude in the Hills, and in our new Market managers, to see this through. We’re also looking for locals who are interested in the journey forward to join the Belgrave Farmers Market steering committee. They just need to bring their enthusiasm and a ‘can-do’ attitude.

Belgrave Farmers Market
Sunday 23rd October 9am-2pm
St Thomas More Primary School, Reynolds Lane, Belgrave

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Class Comedy

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Hills dwellers need not travel to the inner city for hilarious first class comedy – Melbourne Fringe on tour returns to Burrinja with Bucket’s List, a satirical comedy about love and buckets by multi award winning Belgrave writer Sarah Collins, starring Justin Kennedy and a possum plus live music on stage.

“The show itself is a gem of a thing – inspired by a real life bucket salesman I met at a wedding,” says Sarah. “The show has been so positively reviewed, and I swear he is why. He is one of the kindest, nicest guys I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He was just totally inspirational. He was actually a bucket salesman by day and wedding DJ by night, and these two disparate worlds just HAD to be explored in a show, I felt. The trick was figuring out how to bring them together into a cohesive show that had a storyline and made sense and felt complete, not just novel. The jumping off point for me was these two jobs he did. Beyond that it was about imagining a world where something interesting happens because of those jobs. I had to explore the world of buckets and love and figure out a path for them to come together. So that’s essentially what the show is – a collision of these two worlds.”

Sarah and Justin share an underground house in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges – which has been featured on the Design Files blog.

With a hilarious support set by another seasoned local comedian Michael Connell this is sure to be a night to remember. Michael, who’s performed on Australia’s Got Talent, Rove, and other TV shows, mixes big ideas with big laughs before throwing in a few surprises.

Are you a budding writer or comedian or both?  Here’s your chance to learn from this talented duo by taking part in a Comedy & Script Development Workshop with Justin Kennedy & Sarah Collins the weekend before the show. Bucket’s List is a storytelling show, told through the mediums of narration, physical comedy, live music and puppetry – and this workshop brings all of these experiences together.

“We’ve been getting asked to do more and more of these comedy/writing workshops in recent times, which is great, because we really love talking about ourselves and feeling like we still know things after being on a big parenting kick the last two years!” Sarah explains. “A session just like this was what got me into writing my own things back in 2004 and I would go so far as to say it was life-changing. Certainly career changing at the very least.”

“The biggest thing we want participants to know is that the workshop is not at all scary. You don’t have to be a genius to get something from what we’re teaching. It actually takes the process back to the very basics and gives everyone these ridiculously simple tools to create their own work.”

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Clockwise from top: Sarah Collins, Justin Kennedy and Michael Connell.

 

Comedy Class – with Justin Kennedy
Justin is a stand up, actor, and head writer for Channel 10’s The Project. He has written for Letters and Numbers and Rove and has been a regular on the Comedy Channel for years.

From Idea to Script to Show – with Sarah Collins
Sarah is a Belgrave based writer and performer known for her comedic storytelling shows.
She has won numerous awards for her script writing and her shows have enjoyed sell out seasons at La Mama, Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe Festivals, the Arts Centre Melbourne – Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse and even Toowoomba! Her show Bucket’s List has received straight 5 star reviews and won the Tiki Tour Award.

“We’re so happy to be playing at Burrinja, our home arts centre! We’ve had such amazing support from the hills and can’t wait to play for all our friends here.”

Bucket’s List, with support act by Michael Connell plus Comedy & Script Development workshop at Burrinja – Cnr Glenfern Road and Matson Dr, Upwey.
Workshop: Sunday 2 Oct, 2 – 4:30pm
Performance: Friday 7 Oct, doors open 7:30pm
Cost:  Performance $18 – $28 | Workshop $25 | Workshop &performance $44
Fantastic student price for the show and workshop just $35
Contact: 9754 8723

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oxjam up close

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Post by Gareth Hart.

What happens when you place event organisers, a venue, musicians and social conscience in the same space? OXJAM at the Skylark Room. that’s what.

According to the OXJAM website, the program “is a month-long party against poverty where hundreds of music lovers from all over the country create and throw their own gigs and parties, all in aid of Oxfam’s vision of a just world without poverty. OXJAM is one unforgettable month of DIY gigs and parties across Australia, all in support of Oxfam’s life-changing work around the world”

It is a nation-wide demonstration of how two things I believe deeply in, can blend into one: live performance and humanitarian values.

OXJAM is an exciting project that showcases how a venue-based model of artistic support can have a social conscience and contribute in a very real way, to an enriched, more connected and integrated future. From the Skylark table, 20% of ticket sales are being donated to OXJAM, with the added bonus of happy hour drink specials to support the cause between 7pm-8pm.

So why are the event organisers running this? According to the Skylark room, “We are so pumped for this gig on Friday night! It feels amazing to be doing something to actively help kids have access to the basic rights and services that we take for granted everyday”. The enthusiasm with which this new venue is supporting and advocating social justice through creative endeavours is amazing.

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Spare Tyre Politics

On the night, Spare Tyre Politics, Khristian Mizzi & Pia Nesvara share their musical love for a great room & a great cause. 3 great acts for only $10! $2 from every ticket sale will go to Oxfam. So, this Friday, get along to the Skylark Room, 351 Glenfern Road, Upwey, and enjoy an incredible night of music, great local beverages and receive a huge amount of good creative karma by supporting a worthwhile cause.

The team are attempting to raise $500 through the night, which would be an exciting achievement. If you can’t make it to the gig, you can support the cause by giving online at: www.oxjam.org.au/theskylarkroom

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Beneath the surface

Post by Adriana Alvarez.

It’s opening night at What Lies Beneath, a group exhibition currently showing at Burrinja, and the crowd is lively and sociable. We are greeted by gorgeous fruit platters, nibbles and wine at the entrance. Inside a woman painted white and wearing an eco-dyed wedding dress mingles in the crowd. The works around the gallery offer a myriad of sights and sensations waiting to be devoured. It’s shaping up to be a great night for this group of artists.

What Lies Beneath is an exhibition of works emerging from a series of eco-printing workshops lead by local artist Jacqui Grace and soul crafter Rebecca Funk. Eco-printing engages the pigments in leaves, natural fibres, metal and heat to create prints and imagery that resonate with an organic and unpredictable nature. The workshops were held over two weekends in Winter. “We did the workshop so we could let people engage in the process of eco-printing to take some time to see what would emerge as they stayed with a theme” says Jacqui Grace. “And because from previous workshops I’d done such an amazing body of work comes out just after one day. I thought what would it be like just to display this and let people curate their story. So that’s why we did the workshops and an exhibition at the end.”

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At the opening night a dance performance and poetry reading is followed by the unravelling of a large piece of silk, a collaborative piece made by the group during the workshops and which had been sitting in the dye until this moment, waiting to be unveiled. Everyone had contributed with words written on paper and other pieces gifted to the creative process. “It’s amazing how cohesive the group was right from the beginning,” says Michelle Morgan one of the artists. “I felt like there was a real community of support, it was really quiet beautiful.”

This exhibition has a lot of heart and emotion. Beautiful, strong organic colours mingle with subtle natural imprints in the works. The theme What Lies Beneath lends itself to a lot of probing and questioning. As ‘what lies beneath’ is usually something we try to keep hidden, buried deep.

Works such as Amanda Scott’s Little Books of Experience – Perfectionism, Depression, Fear and Joy, which viewers are invited to look through portray the idea of a guarded inner life. These are paired with an installation of a silk dyed dress, a lace umbrella and a birdcage, which express the feeling of fear turned to joy at the unexpected outcome of the work.

Kate Heron also offers an interactive experience with her work Unravelled, which has a set of boxes to open and look inside, illustrating a complex journey of emotions such as fear, shame, disappointment and cowardice, all emotions to be overcome. A mantle sitting on a wire cage shoulder mold extends the piece, acting like a ghostly figure in the space.

Michelle Morgan whose work includes a dyed wedding dress, which she wore on the opening night as part of the performance, agrees that it was an emotional experience. “Every step of the way it was a real process of fear and risk and having to step over that fear edge, it was quite amazing. So for me the dress is kind of an embodiment of being able to take creative risks. And kind of living that through the workshop is now flowing into my life as well. So noticing those moments where I’m in fear of doing something in my life and actually going, ahh this is another moment of risk and actually having the courage to do it. So I’m so grateful for that… what happens inside the workshop flowing into my life.”

Journey’s also feature heavily in the exhibition, such as Cassandra Barrett’s work which shows the journey of What lies beneath. From the beginning circle of gathering which embodies the group energy through the impediments on the journey, digging deep for insights; to a dream catcher that incorporates pieces from her grandmothers and mothers sewing kit, linking to the past then leading to the final pieces which were the jewellery attached and woven through wire and silk. Many of the works, like this one, incorporated elements from the dyeing process including rusted metal parts, organic matter, scrolls, papers and twine but with their own individual touches. Cassandra’s work includes encaustic wax, photography and drawing to create transparent evocative effects.

Kate Borradaile, whose works include photography, botanical matter and the elements of the process said, “the theme of What Lies Beneath intrigued me and I jumped in, eager to discover more about the eco-printing process and about myself. My pieces in the exhibition show parts of my process; the initial gathering of leaves, discovery of age-old rage within, of impossible and fleeting beauty in the eco-printing process and of the transcendence from tragedy to seeds of knowing. Such discovery!

The thing that strikes me about the exhibition is that all the works are beautifully differentiated, despite sharing the same process of creating works through the eco-printing process. Many have used wedding dresses, which were sourced by Jacqui from a supplier that was closing down, but they are all presented and crafted in very different ways. Some like Diane Glendale’s The Bridge of Time as installations with multi media, film and painting. Others like Jacqui Grace’s includes a book of process made from silk and sewn with poetry. Her dresses embellished with fur, rusted frying pans, chicken wire and rose thorns.

Rebecca Funk agrees “the container was eco-printing but definitely everyone took it in such different directions.” Her work of a standing figure with a hole at it’s heart that you can peer through was dictated by a wool scarf that she had dyed with a heart on it. “It lead me to a whole exploration about armouring, my defensive postures in life,” says Rebecca. “So a piece emerged about peeking through my armour to my heart and it’s actually been a piece where I can stand at the heart space and look out and looking out it’s such a limited perspective, I kind of want the armour to move back a little bit. So it’s entirely dictated by what came out of the eco-printing, I didn’t set out to make a certain piece.”

There’s so much going on in this exhibition it’s difficult to mention every work and story. What’s clear is that it was an intense and emotional journey that included both individual awakening and a spirit of community. This exhibition contains all my favourite things. Beautiful fabrics, paper, words, organic colours, natural processes, the delight of the unexpected and the spirit of collaboration, making this an exhibition well worth visiting more than once.

What Lies Beneath is showing at Burrinja until August 7.

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Photos by Kate Borradaile  www.kateborradaile.com.au

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students inspired to have a heart

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VISUAL Communication students from Mater Christi College recently entered a Victoria-wide student art competition, Our Sunset, My World.

This Exhibition is a very special one. The theme, Our Sunset, My World, is to inspire students to appreciate and value the rich diversity of our world and their place in it through their art. The Exhibition will have the dual purpose of highlighting students’ art while raising awareness and funds for disadvantaged children in Cambodia, providing them with much needed opportunities for education and a future. All student artwork will be sold through a SILENT AUCTION process.

Students from over 100 schools entered artworks for the competition run by Have a Heart Cambodia. Find out more about Have a Heart Cambodia on their facebook page.

All six Mater Christi students that entered were selected to have their work exhibited and sold at the exhibition. This event will be held in the Atrium and the Edge Galleries at Federation Square on Saturday, 23 July. The exhibition will form part of the Cambodian Arts and Cultural Festival.

Year 10 student, Madison Winkler, said the Cambodian situation inspired her work. “My design juxtaposes the developed society that we live in, with that of Cambodian children, by illustrating key factors of everyday living in the two scenarios, through a series of playing cards,” she said.

Another successful entrant, Molly O’Bryan said, “Through my artwork, I wanted to depict the independence of Cambodian children and highlight their vulnerability”.

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Pictured are Mater Christi College students (left-right) Madi, Molly, Stephanie, Jocelyn and Stacey with their work. At the front right are portraits by student Renee.

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From Milingimbi to the Dandenongs: introducing Stanley Gawurra

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Post by Gareth Hart.

This Friday at the Skylark room in Upwey, you are in for a real treat. A rare treat. The kind of treat that in a years from now you will either:
a) be ranting to your friends how you were there when it all began; or
b) be kicking yourself for not being a part of something so special from the start.

I am referring to the incredible voice, musicality and performance of Stanley Gawurra. A gifted musician with a talent for storytelling, Gawurra performs deeply felt and intimately connected songs.

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Gawurra is an indigenous musician from Milingimbi, in North East Arnhem Land. In 2015 Gawurra won the ‘Pop’ award in the Northern Territory Music Awards, and this accolade has skyrocketed his career. His debut album, Ratja Yaliyali followed this success and was launched earlier this year. Releasing an album in this overly competitive creative landscape is difficult enough, so it must be remarked upon when this is met with critical acclaim, the 4.5 star review kind of acclaim, from none other than Rolling Stone. According to Rolling Stone ‘like fellow Yonglu artist Gurrumul, Gawurra commands attention regardless of backdrop.’

According to Gawurra, “Ratja Yaliyali translates to ‘Vine of Love’, meaning a thread of love that keeps everything connected. When Yolngu people hear it they feel the spirit in their hearts. If they have a problem or feel gloomy, they listen to Ratja Yaliyali as it touches them and builds their spirit making them stronger and brighter.”

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Earlier this year, Gawurra moved from Milingimbi to the Dandenong Ranges, where he continues to hone his craft and focus on his career as a musician. What a gift we have with a talent such as this on our back doorstep.

Gawurra recently joined Clare Bowditch on 774 ABC Melbourne, and this is a great introduction to Gawurra’s story and his music. Have a listen here:

https://soundcloud.com/774-abc-melbourne/gawurra-joined-clare-bowditch-for-a-couple-of-songs

Gawurra will be supported by Alice Skye, another gifted indigenous songwriter making waves on the emerging music scene. This will, quite honestly, be an incredibly special night.

Be there, this is the early stages of a big career for this man.
You have been warned.

For more info on Gawurra, see: www.gawurra.com
Tickets for Friday’s gig can be arranged via: (03) 8288 2204

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Belgrave Lantern Parade photo by John Weeks

Lantern Parade turns 10

Post by Justine Walsh.

Belgrave Lantern Parade has become a very well known and celebrated event on the local calendar, with up to 10,000 people from the Dandenongs and beyond attending. This year the parade, held on Saturday the 18th of June, will be celebrating the festival’s 10th year!

It is shaping up to be more spectacular than ever. There will be dancing, singing, drumming, musical & even circus performances! With a beautiful post-parade Village space for community to gather for delicious food, hot drinks and entertainment – complete with fire pits & lantern tipis – there will be plenty for everyone to see, hear & engage with!

Belgrave Lantern Parade photo by John Weeks

2016’s parade is a very exciting one – the Lantern Parade team have been busy ensuring that the program is jam-packed and has something for everyone.
Before the parade – from 4pm onward – the main street will be alive with activity. With the road closing at 5pm and parade beginning at 5:45pm, the cold winter night won’t deter thousands of people from congregating and watching the playful & spectacular beauty of the parade, or walking along with their beautiful lanterns!

At 6pm, The Village (in Hayes Carpark) will open, and will run until 9pm for people to continue to enjoy themselves & celebrate. There will be delicious local food, hot chocolate, face painting, fire pits to warm your hands, singalongs with local musicians to join in, performances by local poets & storytellers, beautiful glowing decorations and giant lit-up lantern tipis decorated by local school children and artists! With spaces for young & old to play, sit back and relax, sing, listen and get cosy inside a lantern tipi, there will be ample opportunity to bask in the gentle afterglow of the parade and experience the sensory delights of celebrating our community in the depths of winter.

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Lantern making workshops have been running for the past couple of months and many beautiful handmade works have been crafted specially for the event. Ranging from gorgeous decorated pyramids to stunning detailed creatures, the parade will be quite a sight to behold! The Belgrave Lantern Artists have of course been working on many wonderful large structures to make this year’s parade move & feel even better than ever!

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There is only one more workshop left, on the morning of the festival itself, for those of you who would like to learn how to make your own lantern to bring – at the Belgrave Library (please call the Library on 9800 6489 to book in, limited places available). Check out the website & facebook page for further details!

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We are always looking for more volunteers to help out on the day – contact us at celebrate@belgravelanterns.org.au for info and to get on board!

Keep an eye out for parade program flyers about in local stores & online to make sure you catch the performances you want to see on the night.

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Contact Justine at justine@entwinearts.com.au

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hillscenelive needs you

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Post by Adriana Alvarez.

Planning has been underway for hillsceneLIVE 2016. This year’s festival will comprise a full series of Artist professional development, workshops and forums throughout the year, and a big three day festival in October 2016. Yes, that’s right!  In 2016, hillsceneLIVE will be a full weekend festival. And we need your help to make this ambitious program a reality.

To make hillsceneLIVE happen we are running a crowdfunding campaign, in order to deliver the biggest and boldest festival to date.

We have been fortunate enough to be supported by Creative Partnerships Australia, through their MATCH program, meaning that every pledge you make will be matched dollar-for-dollar – provided we reach our target.

How often does $20 instantly become $40?!?!

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See our hillsceneLIVE pozible campaign.

Your pledge to this campaign is an investment in the future of the Australia Arts sector, creating a vibrant and dynamic creative sector right here in our own backyard.

hillsceneLIVE is the only program of it’s kind in the Dandenong Ranges, which fringes onto regional Victoria. It is the only program that brings together artist of diverse practices, in a supportive and developmental capacity.  Through the program dozens of artists have been supported to create new work, ask new questions (of themselves and the world), and forge partnerships with other artists, makers and the community.

The campaign funding will be used to help the festival achieve it’s goals of supporting artists and their development. This includes supporting artists with marketing, production,venue, mentoring and a small fee. Due to a strange twist of circumstances, this pozible campaign is the major source of funding for the project in 2016.  With your support, we can roll out a super successful festival and support a bunch of artists who continually enrich our lives!

To find out more about hillsceneLIVE go to hillsceneLIVE.com

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HillsceneLIVE has been made possible through the support and partnership of Burrinja cultural centre.

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Incredible Bakes cookbook by Carolina Griffiths

Delicious sugar-free baking

Incredible Bakes cookbook by Carolina Griffiths

Post by Adriana Alvarez.

Do you or your mum love cooking? Are you interested in healthy eating? If you are here’s a treat which is just in time for Mother’s day. On Saturday 7 May (the day before Mother’s Day) Auld Alliance Merchants in Olinda is having a book signing and tastings from Caroline Griffiths new cookbook  Incredible Bakes.

From 10.00am onwards Caroline, a Melbourne author, renowned cook and nutritionist will be in store to talk about her cookbook and offer some sweet treats. You can pop in to the shop to buy a book, get it signed and taste some of Caroline’s delicious treats plus get 10% off products in the shop if you purchase a book in store.

This is a sweet baking book with a difference – all the recipes are free from refined sugars. Not that you’d notice it. The recipes are triple-tested and completely delicious. Rather than use refined sugar, which has been shown to adversely affect health, author Caroline Griffiths has added sweetness using natural fruits and, occasionally, other non-fructose sweeteners, including rice malt syrup. Recipes include baking classics, such as shortbreads, cheesecakes, cookies and cupcakes, as well as more contemporary bakes, including macarons, cruffins and donuts. With a section on over-the-top celebration cakes as well, Incredible Bakes will have you covered.

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Lorna Jane (left) with Caroline Griffiths and recipes from her cookbook.

Caroline Griffiths has a wealth of experience as a cook, writer and food stylist working as a ghost writer for many “famous” cooks and chefs as well as contributing to the Australian Women’s Weekly. She is a passionate food expert with over twenty-five years of food industry experience who loves to create recipes that are flavourful, wholesome, creative, and achievable.

“Caroline and I are friends and when I heard she was launching her book I thought it would be a great idea to harness the book release in my shop for the local community’s sake and to offer a little something fun to enjoy,” said Lorna Jane, director of Auld Alliance Merchants. It’s also a great Mother’s Day gift idea if your mum appreciates delicious food with a twist.

Auld Alliance Merchants situated in Olinda sells a curated collection of global and local homewares and gifts, alongside vintage French furniture.  They also offer alliance services, being Interior Decoration, Styling, Staging and Garden Design. They are also an official stockist of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™, the decorative and DIY paint which has had a global following for 25 years.

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Auld Alliance Merchants (formerly Metisse)
Shop 8, 540 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road, Olinda Vic 3788
www.auldalliancemerchants.com.au

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