Townsville to host Arts and Cultural Festival 2018 as part of Commonwealth Games program

Date published: 11 August 2017

Townsville residents will have a unique opportunity to celebrate the spirit of the Commonwealth Games next year through Festival 2018 – a series of never before seen arts and culture events planned across the city from April 4 to April 15.

The exciting 12-day program funded by Queensland Government, was launched today by Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill and Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland, Coralee O’Rourke, on behalf of Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones.

The program will showcase and the region’s talent, culture and lifestyle to the world.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the content of the festival would offer a balance of artistic and cultural pursuits from local, national and international participants.

“Townsville is thrilled to have been chosen as an Event City for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and by hosting Festival 2018 we will be able to offer residents and visitors not only the sporting aspect of the games, but also a chance to actively participate in creative experiences that celebrate Commonwealth values and relationships,” Cr Hill said.

Townsville, Cairns and Brisbane along with the Games host city Gold Coast will all collaborate to present this Festival showcasing the artistic culture of our state as part of a Games for all Queensland.

A local creative team has already been established to act as an overarching creative lead for the festival to deliver music, theatre and art in a number of locations over the 12 days.

Minister O’Rourke said the Festival, which would be held across Townsville, Cairns, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, was a key part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Embracing 2018 legacy program, which ensured  the benefits of the Games extended beyond the sporting venues.

“Townsville’s Festival 2018 program will feature inspiring events that, reflect our state’s lifestyle, culture and creativity and capture the unique and authentic spirit of Queensland and its communities,” Minister O’Rourke said.

Venues chosen for Townsville’s Festival 2018 are Strand Park, Queen’s Gardens and Jezzine Barracks.

Queens Gardens will replicate the famous festival settings of the Adelaide Festival with – for the first time ever in Townsville – not one but two Speigeltents showcasing performances of music, dance, theatre, circus and comedy.

There will also be a Festival Stage in Queen’s Gardens and a continuous program of free shows and events.

A showpiece of Festival 2018 will be an amazing Container Art Park in Strand Park creating a space of art, entertainment, food, music, and community and drawing upon our city’s famous street and building art program with international, national and local artists working on towering container structures. The Container Art Park will also incorporate a Games telecast live site during the days and nights of competition.

Jezzine Barracks parklands will also feature during the festival with the opening and closing events to coincide with live site telecasting of the Games ceremonies.

The local arts and cultural community will have the opportunity to showcase works and the festival will be greatly programmed to give opportunity to local and regional participation.

The traditional owners of the region, the Wulgurukaba and Bindal people as well as our neighbours from Palm Island will also be invited to participate in the festival.

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