Great Southern Festival
The GSDC helped to initiate the Great Southern Festival in 2003, and remains its Great Southern Principal Partner. The festival gives the regional community the chance to experience a wide range of world class entertainment previously not offered in regional areas, provides professional development opportunities for local artists and performers, and encourages tourists to visit the region.
The Great Southern Festival ran from 13 February to 6 March 2016 and featured performances and events at various venues in the region. The 2016 festival opened at Albany’s Snake Run skateboard park, recently heritage-listed. The park is Australia’s oldest purpose-built skate park and the second-oldest in the world. Skaters competed in a range of events, and veteran US skater Russ Howell made a guest appearance. The opening also featured a Welcome to Country, and a music and dance performance.
Highlights of the 2016 festival included the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, which sold out the Albany Entertainment Centre in ten days. This event was co-presented with the festival by the GSDC and the Perth Theatre Trust.
Actor Jonny Donahoe involved audience members in four performances of Every Brilliant Thing, a humorous, touching and life-affirming play about depression. Writers entertained and inspired in a program that touched on poetry, natural history, sustainability and science fiction.
The 2016 Great Southern Festival also included music from A Filetta and others, the unique Playmakers series, art exhibitions, a writers’ program and a cinema selection of twelve films.
In 2012-2013 the GSDC was a finalist in the 2012 Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management for the Great Southern Festival.