12 September 2019

Community shines bright in Bega CBD - FREE 'Parklight' cultural event

| Ian Campbell
Start the conversation
The Bermagui Trail of Light & Sound held earlier this year, inspiration for Parklight. Photo: Supplied.

The Bermagui Trail of Light & Sound held earlier this year, the inspiration for Parklight. Photo: Supplied.

In 2019 the Festival of Open Minds ignites with Parklight – a night of light, sound and movement in the heart of Bega on Friday, September 13.

Littleton Gardens will light up with magical occurrences and happenings, a celebration of our community with a focus on the contribution and talent of youth and Indigenous culture.

The centre of Bega will come alive with projections from the internationally renowned VIVID Sydney light festival. Original projections from The Bermagui Create & Make Crew will take things further and add local spunk and flair.

Plus performances by Sassi Nuyum, COPE, FLING Physical Theatre, The Gulaga Dancers, Mica Mahani, Yunion, Sam & Robyn Martin, Timor Leste Belun-Malu Choir, and The Navigate Explorers.

Timor Leste Belun-Malu Choir. Photo: Supplied.

Timor Leste Belun-Malu Choir performing at the Cobargo Folk Festival. Photo: Supplied.

This first of its kind creative event for Bega is being steered by Louise Morris of Navigate Arts.

“It’s a real honour to come on board to help deliver this wonderful community event,” Louise says.

“As a new artist in the area, it’s been such a great opportunity to connect and collaborate with such a dynamic team of artists and creatives. Facilitating the Bermagui Create and Make Crew with Scott Baker (Bega Valley Shire Library) has been a great experience and the crew has created some beautiful content for the Parklight event.”

Betty Burger, one of the projections from VIVID Sydney that will feature at Parklight. Photo: Supplied.

Betty Burger, one of the projections from VIVID Sydney that will feature at Parklight. Photo: Supplied.

Parklight starts with projections onto the buildings that surround Littleton Gardens – expect stories, soundscapes and First Nations language. Expect light, dance and movement, glowing orbs and shimmering umbrellas! Expect music on the back of a classic flat-top ute, clap sticks, bamboo flute and Japanese Taiko.

Aside from launching the Festival of Open Minds and the day of speakers, conversation and ideas that will follow on the Saturday, Parklight also signals a start to South/East Interference III at the Bega Valley Regional Gallery featuring the works of Shivanjani Lal.

This spellbinding exhibition is set against the backdrop of Indo-Fijian history and will lead you through a sensory exploration of personal loss and intergenerational trauma.

Shivanjani Lal comes from a background of indentured labour across the Indian and Pacific Oceans. She works across mediums to explore her dislocation that seeks to account for memory, erasure, healing, and an archive.

As curator of the exhibition, Bega Valley Regional Gallery Director, Iain Dawson, explains that “Bega is located on the south-eastern edge of New South Wales and through the South/East Interference exhibition series, I hope to expand our sense of place beyond local boundaries.”

“I want to reframe the notion of ‘southeast’ in terms of Australasia and introduce the idea of being part of Southeast Asia to our audience.

“Whether it’s through technology or cheap travel, we are all global citizens now; our regions aren’t backwaters – we are able to influence the agenda,” Iain says.

Parklight and the Festival of Open Minds fit nicely with this world view.

The Gulaga Dancers. Photo: Gulaga Dancers Facebook.

The Gulaga Dancers. Photo: Gulaga Dancers Facebook.

Join us at 6 pm on Friday, September 13 for the Parklight experience, at the Dr McKee Fountain in Littleton Garden, from there you will be led on a journey weaving through the gardens, watching strange and beautiful things as you go.

The night will culminate in song from the wonderful Belun-Malu Choir, recently back from a tour of Timor Leste, a high impact performance by local poet Sassi Nuyum (Meaghan Holt) and the stunning projection from VIVID Sydney onto the gallery wall, before heading inside for South/East Interference III.

Local restaurants and cafés are supporting the event by staying open to trade before and after the event.

Issi & Co will be serving wine and cheese before-hand and will be open for dinner. Nook Espresso will be staying open and putting on live music in their arcade leading up to the event. Mal’s Pizza Bite will, of course, be open and The Bistro at The Commercial Hotel will keep the kitchen open late.

Parklight – one night only, a fabulous evening out, soaking up visual and musical wonders from talented locals, with added oomph from a few visitors.

Supporting this unique regional event are – Bega Valley Shire Library, Bega Valley Regional Gallery, Bermagui Create & Make Crew, Navigate Arts, Bega Valley Shire Council, NSW Family & Community Services, Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre, UNSW Art & Design, and About Regional.

Want to know more about the Festival of Open Minds that follows on Saturday, September 14?

The theme for Open Minds in 2019 is ‘People With Oomph’ inspired by Bega Valley song man Damon Davis and his song of the same name.

“People with oomph – they’re not lyin down. People with oomph – spread the good life. People with oomph – keep their own style. People with oomph – walk mile after mile,” Damon sings.

Speakers and conversations on the 2019 Open Minds program so far include:

  • Tim Costello, Chief Advocate, World Vision;
  • Nas Campanella, blind Triple J newsreader;
  • Pastor Christie Buckingham, spiritual counselor to executed Bali 9 drug smuggler Myuran Sukumaran;
  • Aly Khalifa, entrepreneur focused on harvesting plastic waste from our oceans;
  • Emma Booth, para-equestrian competitor, represented Australia at the 2016 Rio Paralympics;
  • Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall, comedian, joke writer, grew up in Tathra;
  • Sassi Nuyum, AKA Meaghan Holt, rising Aboriginal writer, performer;
  • Corrine Gibbons, songstress and choir director;
  • Jonathan Kenna, Australia’s Ambassador to Sweden;
  • Captain Phil Holliday, Sydney, Port Kembla and Eden Harbour Master;
  • Damon Davis, long time singer-songwriter and the original man of oopmh;
  • A local panel of leaders including Erica Dibden – Tilba Milk, Louise Brand – road safety campaigner, Kate Toyer – Eurobodalla vet and transgender advocate, Warren Foster Jr – Aboriginal artist and leader, Darren Jones – Band Together, and Hannah Doole – climate change activist.
A stellar line up of speakers attracted around 350 people to thr 2018 Festival of Open Minds. Photo: Chris Sheedy.

A stellar line up of speakers attracted around 350 people to the 2018 Festival of Open Minds. Photo: Chris Sheedy.

Adult tickets for Saturday’s program are on sale now, including lunch option, people 12 to 19 years get in FREE, but you do need to reserve your place. Students there on the day will also be in the running to win $500 to put towards a science education experience of their choice thanks to The Sapphire Coast Regional Science Hub and Inspiring Australia.
Thank you to our Festival partners –

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.