Top class keynote events

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 31-Jul-2015

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THE 2015 Bendigo Writers Festival is just one week away, with organisers expecting record numbers of people to attend more than 70 sessions across the weekend.

Bendigo Writers Festival chairman Cr Rod Fyffe said the event has very quickly established itself as one of the best run festivals in regional Australia, capable of drawing large crowds and the best quality speakers and presenters to Bendigo.

“We keep building and it’s interesting how people I talk to in Melbourne think our festival has been going a lot longer than it has,” he said.

Cr Fyffe said the festival had helped consolidate Bendigo as a cultural venue and destination, where the opportunity to see and hear such wonderful authors was both fantastic and very real.

He nominated this year’s opening and closing keynote events as his personal highlights of a jam packed program that offered enormous diversity, quality and appeal to festival attendees.

The 2015 Bendigo Writers Festival begins with the now traditional Text Marks the Spot schools program on Friday, August 7, before former Greens leader Bob Brown delivers his keynote address at the Capital Theatre from 5.30pm. 

The action then shifts to the opening event at Ulumbarra Theatre with gourmet farmers Matthew Evans, Ross O’Meara and Nick Haddow, who will be joined by food writer Dani Valent.

Cr Fyffe’s other favourite session happens on Sunday, August 9, from 4.15pm, when artist John Wolseley joins writer, satirist and comedian John Clarke for a discussion on literature, art and nature to close the festival.

He also said he was looking forward to Bendigo Art Gallery curator Tansy Curtin’s session with author Sasha Grishin on Saturday, August 8 from 2.30pm, which will explore Grishin’s new book on famed goldfields artist S T Gill. 

Grishin will also appear on Sunday, August 9 from 10.30am at the La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre.  

Cr Fyffe said he was aware of people travelling from across Victoria to attend next weekend’s festival, including both return visitors and first time attendees.

He also welcomed the addition
of Bendigo’s jewel in the crown – Ulumbarra, to this year’s program of events.

“I think it will prove to be a fantastic addition to the festival,” Mr Fyffe said.

“The quality of the venue and the ability to enjoy the hospitality on offer, and the ambience of the venue itself should be something quite special… it’s just going to add so much to those events.”

Cr Fyffe said Bendigo historic View Street precinct was a proven winner for the festival.

He also paid tribute to all those involved in organising the Bendigo Writers Festival, including the committee, council staff, sponsors including La Trobe University and the army of volunteers who get behind the festival each year and support it the way
they do.

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