Media Releases

November 24, 2017


First program highlights alongside Victorian Government
Local Grant recipients announced

Larrak Dja Dja Wurrung Kundidja
Home of the Dja Dja Wurrung People

The announcement of the first program elements for Victoria’s first ever Regional Centre for Culture reveals an unprecedented showcase of local creativity set to enliven the cultural communities of four municipalities in central Victoria across 2018 - The City of Greater Bendigo and Central Goldfields, Mount Alexander and Hepburn Shires.

Officially kicking off on Valentine’s Day with Love Letters to the Heart of Victoria, a large-scale public event in Bendigo's Rosalind Park, the year long celebration of culture in all its forms will offer plenty to get hearts pumping and communities involved.

Dja Dja Wurrung Traditional Owners, the Regional Centre for Culture Producers, Mount Alexander Shire Mayor Bronwen Machin and local artists joined Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan and Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards in Castlemaine for the first Regional Centre for Culture program announcement.

Producers Jo Porter and Elizabeth Walsh  said the 2018 Regional Centre for Culture program will be built around the six seasonal Times observed by the Dja Dja Wurrung People and focus on events that celebrate communities and locales across the region.

Porter and Walsh have been working with the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, local councils, new and established creative practitioners and the local communities to shape the Regional Centre for Culture program.

‘The year-round program invites locals and visitors to explore, meander and celebrate the region’s arts, culture and creative communities. There are plenty of surprises being planned across the region and we are thrilled to release the first of many program announcements’, said the producers.

 Four of the program highlights announced today include celebrations in small towns across the region. Waterhole will be held on March 3rd and is the perfect opportunity to dive into Newstead for a circus in the pool. In May, it's Smeaton's turn to light it up at Anderson’s Mill with an immersive video work Now You See It and then it’s roll up roll up to the big smoke in Maryborough as Circus Oz Rolls into Town for some very special shows. Finally Trumpit Up and Drone On sees hundreds of pipe and brass players from communities right across region in a mass music event in Hepburn Shire.

Also announced were the Victorian Government grants totalling more than $500,000 for 36 new projects by local artists and groups that will be presented across the region in 2018.

Designed to attract tourism and highlight innovation and diversity in the regions, the supported projects will form the backbone of the Regional Centre for Culture program providing tourism opportunities with a wealth of cultural experiences for locals and visitors alike.

In addition to the grants, two leading Victorian creative teams have been awarded $260,000 to create high-impact new outdoor performance works in Bendigo that will employ local artists and develop audiences.

Hailing from Natimuk in the state’s west, Arapiles Community Theatre – known for transforming their small town silos into giant creative spectacles - will work with local artists, community groups and organisations on an event combining aerial circus, projections and music, centred on Bendigo’s iconic Poppet Head in Rosalind Park.

Clunes-based creative duo Rebecca Russell and Ken Evans will work with a range of artists, musicians and performers to create an outdoor performance based in, and around, a real-life building that is slated for demolition. Across several nights, audiences will see a story unfold and as the structure is gradually demolished. 

A range of much-loved local events – from Trentham’s Great Annual Spudfest to the Tiny Towns Trail ­– will also receive a boost to extend their activities in 2018.

The producers said the announcement of the first events is an exciting prelude to future program releases.

 ‘The depth and breadth of talent in the region has been inspiring. It’s not just a building or a town, but a whole region of art, community, music, food and, of course, wonder.’

‘We are delighted to work with regional Victorians and shine a spotlight on these amazing places and people during 2018,’ said co-producers Porter and Walsh.

An initiative of the Victorian Government, the inaugural Regional Centre for Culture is being delivered in partnership with the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, the City of Greater Bendigo and Mount Alexander, Central Goldfields and Hepburn shires. 

For Regional Centre for Culture program information or to get involved visit details of the Victorian Government grant recipients go to


Creative Victoria Announcments
Creative Victoria's Announcements about the Regional Centre for Culture are available here