Committee for Lorne: FOPA is back in October

June 5, 2019 BY

The Lorne Business and Tourism Association (LBTA), in conjunction with Lorne Community Arts and Culture Foundation (LCACF) is pleased to announce that the Festival of Performing Arts (FOPA) will be staged again this year in the first weekend of October. Did you understand all those acronyms? There will be a test later.

FOPA was first staged in 2011 to encourage visitors to come to Lorne in the off-peak months and experience a wide variety of performances including comedy, music, cabaret and something for all ages. The philosophy behind FOPA is to bring entertainment to Lorne that is not normally available outside major cities. Over the years, the FOPA team has worked closely with the School and the wider community to engage and entertain people of all ages.

Major acts to visit Lorne and participate in FOPA have included Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Djuki Mala, the aboriginal dance team from Arnhem Land, who in recent years have been touring the world to critical acclaim. We have also hosted world renowned music and cabaret acts.

The program for 2019 is coming together now and as in previous years, there will be a Gala night showcasing many of the acts who will appear over the weekend. There will be street performers and the chance to part of a choir learning and subsequently performing sea shanties as a homage to the place in which we live and its rich history of the sea.

Each year, a team of volunteers from LBTA works diligently to plan and stage FOPA. The team engages the company responsible for the Melbourne Cabaret Festival to recommend performers for the program and engage those performers for the weekend of the Festival. It’s a time-consuming project, but the rewards make it worthwhile.

The main objective since that first Festival in 2011 is to promote Lorne as a destination in the off-peak season and to provide a weekend of performance so that people will stay in Lorne and enjoy not only the Festival, but all that Lorne has to offer.

Statistics from previous years show that there is a significant increase in visitors to Lorne on the weekend of FOPA. Increasing visitation is important, but just as important is to stage and event for the people of Lorne. The Gala night has now become a tradition. It’s the event that always sells out early and the majority of the crowd is from Lorne and the surrounding region. In making FOPA accessible to all there is a mixture of ticketed events, free events and street entertainment. This year the date has been shifted to coincide with the second week of the school holidays and the program has been structured to provide a range of entertainment for children of all ages.

We hope that this year, by holding the event in the school holidays we can attract an even bigger audience to Lorne.

Staging FOPA is a time consuming and costly exercise. We receive financial support from the Surf Coast Shire and a number of very generous patrons many of whom have provided support from the start. This year we have received grant funding from Geelong Community Foundation and Regional Arts Victoria and both organisations have congratulated us on staging such an ambitious event in Lorne and providing the opportunity for people in our region to experience such a rich variety of entertainment.

We are always looking for more support, however. Whether by way of cash contribution or by volunteering to help during the staging of the event.

Since FOPA began in 2011, there have been many examples of financial and in-kind support. In each case, our supporters have made a real difference.

Their donations enabled us to take the risks we needed to continuously improve FOPA, securing iconic artists to developing a program of rich variety which offers something for everyone.

Each of our patrons, sponsors and in-kind supporters have made a tangible impact, contributing to the festival program and the viability and sustainability of an event which is now firmly entrenched in Lorne’s arts calendar.

If you would like to help us by either volunteering or making a donation, we would love to hear from you. Donations of $100 or more are tax deductible.

Please contact us at info@fopa.com.au

Thank you in anticipation of your support

The Team at FOPA