White Night set to light up the city once more
DESPITE the changing COVID-19 situation Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher said she hopes to this year welcome large-scale events back to the region.
Preparations for White Night Geelong are in full swing following the inaugural 2018 event.
In its first year the event produced an economic benefit of $5.1 million to the Greater Geelong region.
“We are hopeful this latest outbreak will be contained quickly, and restrictions lifted so we are able to welcome a COVIDSafe White Night Geelong event to the region later this year,” Cr Asher said.
“After the past 18 months, this year’s event will provide a much-needed boost to the region’s arts and cultural industries, tourism sector and the local economy.”
The state government initiative was initially hosted in Geelong and Bendigo but now has plans to expand into the Ballarat region.
More than 200 applications have been received for Geelong’s November 6 event which includes expressions of interest from artists in the categories of installation, visual art, lighting, audio-visual, projections, film, music and performance.
The 2021 theme is ‘everything on the land is reflected in the sky’ with the program also hoping to highlight Geelong’s industrial roots.
With the event plans taking shape, Visit Victoria CEO Brendan McClements said the event will go on.
“Geelong will shine bright when White Night returns in November,” he said.
“The event will bring locals and visitors into the city to enjoy a spectacular celebration of art and culture, which is good news for local businesses.”
Despite being a state-led event, Cr Asher said the city had been taking a range of actions to support the arts and culture sector.
“The council continues to support arts and culture through the Arts Industry Commissions program, COVID-19 Arts, Culture and Heritage Recovery Grants and It’s Our Backyard dining activation program,” she said.
Council has contributed more than $1 million to the arts and culture community as part of its COVID-19 response which has included appointing an advisory group, funding initiatives aimed at developing skills and training, as well as employment opportunities and grants.