• music
  • performing
  • regional
  • visual

6 November 2019

Regional towns across Victoria will soon be enjoying a new dose of creativity thanks to more than $140,000 in grants that will support local community groups to present arts and music events in their regions.

Damian Callinan’s The Merger

Damian Callinan’s The Merger

Twenty-one community organisations across the state have been supported through the latest round of the Small Regional Presenters program.

These grants will support 64 performances across 29 different locations in some of Victoria’s smallest communities such as Bena and Mirboo North in South Gippsland, Birchip and Leitchville in the Mallee region, and Yarck in the northeast.

Launched in 2016, the Small Regional Presenters Program enables regionally-based community groups, venues and organisations to increase the quantity and diversity of professional performing arts available to audiences in their communities, supporting the costs of presenting shows and developing long-term success.

The latest round of funding will support Upper Kiewa Valley Regional Arts and Red Rock Regional Theatre and Gallery to present concerts by The Sapphires, while Indigo Shire Council will showcase a program of family shows, including Trash Test Dummies in Yackandandah, The Ukulele Show at Chiltern and Trinket at Rutherglen.

Damien Callinan’s The Merger, a one-man show about a broken-down country footy club that gets a comeback with the help of some unlikely members, will get a run of shows at Clune Neighbourhood House, Charlton Community Theatre and Birregurra Community Arts Group in partnership with the Birregurra Football Club.

Mama Kin Spender’s Sound of Your Town, a large-scale outdoor performance with local choirs, will be presented by Newham Mechanics Institute and the Shire of Gannawarra in partnership with Shire of Campaspe.

Audiences in South and East Gippsland, Warragul, Mirboo North and Murtoa can expect some exciting live music and theatre performances, while a presentation of the 2020 Café Culture Series will bring contemporary world music to the communities of Wangaratta, Charlton, Mallacoota, Bena and Orbost.

Several performances will also include opportunities for community members, local performers or school students to take part in complementary workshops, discussions and masterclasses with the visiting artists.

Small Regional Presenters program – Recipients October 2019

Clunes Neighbourhood House, $14,450
Presentation of a performing arts program at Clunes Neighbourhood House: Damien Callinan’s The Merger, a one-man show about a country footy team, 7 May 2020; 360 Allstars physical theatre performance, April 2020 (TBC); The Spooky Men’s Chorale, a humorous male choir, 4 June 2020.

Gannawarra Shire Council, $15,000
Presentation of Gannawarra 2020, across Gannawarra Shire in 2020: Jessica Wilson’s I See You like This, a humorous show for family audiences (Kerang); Jude Perl’s I Have a Face, cabaret on mental health issues (Leitchville); The Listies’ Rolling on the Floor Laughing so Hard, a comedy for young children (Cohuna); Michaela Burger’s A Migrants Son, cabaret exploring the arrival of Greeks in Australia in the 1930s (Kerang); and The Sound of Your Town with Mama Kin Spender, a large-scale outdoor performance including local choirs, in collaboration with Campaspe Shire Council, at Gunbower State Forest.

The Sound Doctor Presents Inc, $8,468Presentation of The Sound Doctor Presents An Evening With… March and May 2020, at the Anglesea Memorial Hall. The program includes opportunities for local acts to support the national touring artists.

South Gippsland Shire Council, $5,300Presentation of six live music concerts as part of the Live Music in Small Halls program across South Gippsland Shire: contemporary world music band The Royal Hi Jinks in Mount Best, Ruby, and Tarwin Lower; and Western swing music band The Canyon Callers in Toora, Ruby, and Tarwin Lower, in the first half of 2020. The program includes local acts supporting each concert, and two capacity building workshops for the South Gippsland Halls Network.

F.INC East Gippsland Inc, $4,250
Presentation of Ogopogo, a seven-piece art disco ensemble, as the headline act of Frouteville 2020, in Clifton Creek, 14 March 2020. The performance will be accompanied by an Australian animal mask making workshop and a roving music parade.

Wangaratta Arts Council Inc, $2,444Presentation of the 2020 Café Culture Series at The Vine Hotel, North Wangaratta: contemporary world music band The Royal Hi Jinks; Western swing music band The Canyon Callers; Kelly Auty, Sarah Carroll, Lissette Payette, Felecia Bassgal and Jen Hawley in Lady Ha Ha; and Argentinian singer and dancer Juan Vernon with La Bussa Tango. The performances are accompanied by a workshop program targeting a range of interests in music and dance identified in the community.

Mirboo North Arts Inc, $2,000
Presentation of contemporary world music band The Royal Hi Jinks, 1 February 2020, and Western swing music band The Canyon Caller, 16 May 2020, at The Artspit, Mirboo North. Both shows will be supported by local acts.

Indigo Shire Council, $2,881Presentation of Live in the Library, a program of three family shows from late 2019 to late 2020: the Trash Puppets’ Escape from Trash Mountain, a show and workshop on sustainability, Yackandandah Library; The Ukulele Show by Woody’s World at The Chiltern Jam Session festival; and Little Wings Puppets’ Trinket, a family show on exploring and understanding feelings, Rutherglen. The program is presented in partnership with Indigo Shire Libraries, working with community partners.

Murtoa Mechanics Hall and Free Library Inc, $2,120
Presentation of The Spooky Men’s Chorale, a humorous male choir, at the Murtoa Mechanics Hall, 6 June 2020. The show includes opportunities for community participation, and a pub choir event.

LINK Neighbourhood House Inc, $10,660Presentation of two shows at Kaniva Public Hall and Birchip Public Hall: The Wolves Theatre Company’s The Magnolia Tree, a psychological thriller with audience participation, 17-18 May 2020; and Little Wings Puppets’ Trinket, a family show on exploring and understanding feelings, 28-29 September.

Newham Mechanics Institute Inc, $5,352Presentation of two shows, Sounds of Your Town with Mama Kin, with workshops and a performance by a local choir; and The Spooky Men’s Chorale, a humorous male choir; at Newham Mechanics Institute, 2020.

Charlton Arts Inc, $6,824Presentation of the 2020 Café Culture Series at the Charlton Golf Club: contemporary world music band The Royal Hi Jinks; Western swing music band The Canyon Callers; Kelly Auty, Sarah Carroll, Lissette Payette, Felecia Bassgal and Jen Hawley in Lady Ha Ha; and Argentinian singer and dancer Juan Vernon with La Bussa Tango. Masterclasses with local schools will be offered alongside the program.

Yarck Mechanics Institute and Library, $10,240Presentation of Artz@Yarck, at the Yarck Mechanics Institute, May to September 2020: The Spooky Men’s Chorale, a humorous male choir; and the Gravity Dolls’ family circus show Go, Go, GO! The program includes opportunities for community choir workshops, and activities sharing traditional board games ahead of the circus performance.

Upper Kiewa Valley Regional Arts, $12,605Presentation of four shows in Mount Beauty, in the first half of 2020: Sun Rising, a musical/narrative of the story behind the songs from Sun Studios, Memphis; Under the Microscope’s Mental As Everything, a musical performance on mental health issues; The Spooky Men’s Chorale, a humorous male choir; and The Sapphires by Tony Briggs. The program includes workshops and other activities for local schools and the community.

Mallacoota Arts Council, $8,350Presentation of the 2020 Café Culture Series at the Mudbrick Pavilion, Mallacoota: contemporary world music band The Royal Hi Jinks; Western swing music band The Canyon Callers; Kelly Auty, Sarah Carroll, Lissette Payette, Felecia Bassgal and Jen Hawley in Lady Ha Ha; and Argentinian singer and dancer Juan Vernon with La Bussa Tango. The performances are accompanied by a workshop program targeting a range of interests in music and dance identified in the community.

Red Rock Regional Theatre and Gallery, $7,500
Presentation of shows in the 2020 Carolyn Theatre season, at RRRTAG, Cororooke. The season opens with a concert by Andy Richardson (Howling Wind) and includes The Sapphires by Tony Briggs. The program is accompanied by workshops and after show discussions.

Charlton Community Theatre, $10,000
Presentation of shows as part of the It’s Okay, You Will like It program at the Rex Theatre, Charlton, in the first half of 2020: pianist David Helfgott; a family show by the Splash Test Dummies; and Damien Callinan’s The Merger, a one-man show about a country footy team.

Warragul Heritage Preservation Association, $2,000
Presentation of A Sunday Afternoon in Vienna, featuring Viennese composers of operetta and light music performed by The Robert Stolz Viennese Music Society, at Wesley in Warragul, 23 March 2020.

Bena Hall Committee Inc, $5,914
Presentation of the 2020 Café Culture Series at Bena Hall: contemporary world music band The Royal Hi Jinks; Western swing music band The Canyon Callers; Kelly Auty, Sarah Carroll, Lissette Payette, Felecia Bassgal and Jen Hawley in Lady Ha Ha; and Argentinian singer and dancer Juan Vernon with La Bussa Tango. The performances are accompanied by a workshop program targeting a range of interests in music and dance identified in the community.

Birregurra Community Arts Group, subcommittee of Birregurra Community Group Inc, $3,785
Presentation of Damien Callinan’s The Merger, a one-man show about a country footy team, at the Birregurra Hall, in partnership with the Birregurra Football Club, 2 May 2020.

Snowy River Arts Network, $9,000
Presentation of the 2020 Café Culture Series at the Orbost Exhibition Centre: contemporary world music band The Royal Hi Jinks; Western swing music band The Canyon Callers; Kelly Auty, Sarah Carroll, Lissette Payette, Felecia Bassgal and Jen Hawley in Lady Ha Ha; and Argentinian singer and dancer Juan Vernon with La Bussa Tango. The performances are accompanied by a workshop program targeting a range of interests in music and dance identified in the community.