• Jack Ward

Extra eisteddfod: the arts bounce back

Published in The Ararat Advocate, Ararat's weekly newspaper published by West Vic News Pty Ltd.


THE Ararat Eisteddfod committee is going against the cancellation tide, planning an extra event for its 2021 calendar.

PHOTO: Eisteddfod committee members (L-R) Melanie Jones, Jean Gill, Barb Shannon and Karly Harris. (Jack Ward/Ararat Advocate)

Committee members have decided to hold a Modified Ararat Eisteddfod in April, on top of the usual September event, despite the cancellation of several regional competitions already this year.


Ararat Eisteddfod entries coordinator, Karly Harris, said the Warrnambool and Hamilton eisteddfods had been scrapped for June and July, but Ararat’s committee has enough support to get an extra event off the ground.


“We saw people hold some mini-competitions in January and they were able to successfully do that. So we thought, let's put it to the committee, put it to the council and see what they think,” she said.


“It just gives kids another opportunity, and we've already seen some events starting to cancel because they don't have the capacity with their committee or the bank of volunteers like we do.”


Ms Harris said the April edition will be smaller than the annual event, however, it will still give young dancers an opportunity to perform and make up for last year’s cancellation.


“We won't have troupes, we're not having our championship sections - we'll save them for the annual event - and we’re reducing the numbers we can take into each section,” she said.


“It will be a big week but the committee – and Council - is all for it. Having kids themselves that dance or dancing in adult groups, you know how much not being able to perform has impacted people socially.”


The event will run over six days in the second week of the Easter school holidays, broken into age groups to prevent large competitor numbers each day.


Ms Harris said it will provide a much-needed economic injection earlier in the year ahead of their main event.


“We're not relying on the businesses to sponsor this April event, we're going to run it off our own back, but we will still advertise for businesses so that food outlets get customers coming in,” she said.


Entries will open in the coming weeks while planning continues to progress for the annual September event.

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