Jul 18

Viva celebrates culture, creativity and films

Performers from the Srikandi Indonesian Dance School will take part in the street parade at Viva la Gong on November 8. More than 25,000 people are expected to attend the day-long festival at MacCabe Park. Photo: CHRISTOPHER CHANWOLLONGONG ADVERTISER

This year’s Viva la Gong will showcase all facets of the Illawarra’s creative community, from filmmakers to circus performers.

The November 8 festival is a one-day celebration of Wollongong’s creative economy, featuring local musicians, artists and dancers.

“Wollongong is a fabulous place not just for its natural beauty but the creative wealth we have here,” Wollongong City Council cultural development co-ordinator Megan McKell said.

The council is expecting more than 25,000 people to attend the festival.

“All demographics are catered for – we’re kid friendly with performers, circus workshops, pop-up playgrounds and arts and crafts activities,” Ms McKell said.

While old favourites like the street parade return, this year’s festival will have something new. A stage dedicated to the silver screen will feature films curated by Beyond Empathy, a group that uses art to advocate for marginalised groups.

Local filmmakers Jodie McGill and Georgina, of Briar Productions, will screen their documentary, In Search of the Illawarra Koala, for the first time at the festival.

Other highlights include the Scouts adventure ground, the community stage, international food fair, art and design markets, and band performances, including headliners Shining Bird.

Viva la Gong is on Saturday at MacCabe Park, starting with the street parade at 11am.


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