Elizabeth Hamilton dresses in 18th-century costume in preparation for the Bundaberg Arts Festival gala opening and launch of the 2011 Crush Festival on October 1.
Elizabeth Hamilton dresses in 18th-century costume in preparation for the Bundaberg Arts Festival gala opening and launch of the 2011 Crush Festival on October 1. Paul Beutel Buncru

Region's culture thriving

BUNDABERG will be bursting at the seams with a kaleidoscope of fine arts, photography, textile, literature, cultural events and performances throughout October, as the Crush Festival takes hold - and kicking it off will be the annual Bundaberg Arts Festival Gala.

The gala, to be held on the eve of the arts festival opening on October 1, includes a preview exhibition of festival entries, offering a sneak peek at 22 categories of artwork.

Arts festival event co-ordinator Lili Thompson said the program for the 2011 gala evening aimed to introduce a wider range of the arts to the community and would have an 18th-century theme, with guests to be greeted by costumed actors.

"Guests at the Bundaberg Sugar gala event are in for a few surprises, and a very entertaining evening with great food and good company," she said.

"The gala also kicks off the annual Crush Festival, which this year has 51 events as part of a month-long program of arts and cultural activities.

"It's wonderful to see the Bundaberg region thriving as a cultural, creative and artistic hub where people want to visit to see what it is all about."

The gala will take place at the Bundaberg Civic Centre, with gourmet nibbles, refreshments and entertainment on offer.

The Bundaberg Arts Festival, now in its 35th year, is on track with a healthy number of entries, but it almost didn't go ahead this year after the long-standing committee decided to step down in February.

But following a series of stories in the NewsMail pleading with art lovers to get involved with the much-loved event, a new committee put their hands up to save the local institution and took the reins in March.

The Crush Festival runs for the whole month of October and the program is available for download from or can be picked up from Bundaberg Regional Council service centres, tourist information centres, the NewsMail office and Bundaberg Broadcasters.

Bundaberg Arts Festival Gala

Tickets to the gala evening are $30 each and are available from the Moncrieff Theatre, Art Plus, Custom Costumes and the Childers Arts Space (upstairs in the Palace Memorial Building).

The Bundaberg Arts Festival will run from October 2-8, with doors opening 9am-5pm daily.

Festival entry costs $6 per adult. Children are free if accompanied by a paying adult.



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