A favourite feature on the Winter in Aireys Calendar is returning with Geelong-based Congolese refugee choir set to get the crowd up and dancing once more.
Political refugee Nelson Estrella organised the first Aireysistible event four years ago and said the choir was such a hit at last year’s event they’ll return to open the show.
“It was such a vibrant and moving performance, they epitomise what the evening is about − an extraordinary showcase of goodwill, musical talent and energy,” Mr Estrella said.
With a 30-year history in fundraising, Nelson said he realised the work of Aireys Inlet Rural Australians for Refugees (AIRAR) would be greatly enhanced if they had more money to directly support refugees and offered his services.
Close to $12,000 has been raised from Aireysistible events, providing support for a scholarship program for refugees at a Geelong secondary school; picnics, camps and activities for local refugees to give them opportunities they would not otherwise have.
Contributions have also gone towards providing phone cards for refugees on Manus Island; contributing to legal fees for local refugees applying for visas and providing emergency relief.
The performance will take place on Saturday July 28 at Aireys Inlet Community Hall.
AIRAR’s major annual fundraiser promises to be an exciting and enjoyable evening of food and entertainment.
Performers include Mr Shen Pangeng, an internationally renowned erhu player-the erhu is one of the most important Chinese instruments with a history of over 4,000 years – Shen will play a repertoire of traditional and modern music.
Johan Winkler, an acting student from the Victorian College of the Arts will perform a poignant monologue and movement piece about the plight of refugees.
The final act will feature feted local Bambra musician Louise Brown, who is composing a cello work for the night.
Well known for her work with Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Marsh, Louise conducted the Songs of Freedom concert at the Deans Marsh festival earlier this year.
Tickets always sell quickly and close to 150 people usually attend aside from catering, almost everything is donated, and the Anglesea and District Branch of the Bendigo Community Bank has generously provided a grant to pay for the transport of the entertainers.
Tickets cost $50 and can be purchased by phoning 0427 701 275 or emailing [email protected], drinks available on the night at bar prices.