“Voices will soar” at the SheppARTon Festival

THIS March, the SheppARTon Festival will be celebrating multiculturalism, as well as featuring an elaborate Indigenous program that will give you the chance to get to know another side of regional Victoria. Luke Henriques-Gomes has the details.

The SheppARTon Festival will celebrate "those who have come from afar..." Image: SheppARTon Facebook

The SheppARTon Festival will celebrate “those who have come from afar…” Image: SheppARTon Facebook

Taking place from March 1 until March 11, this year’s SheppARTon Festival is based on the theme, “Emerging Voices”.

Two hours north of Melbourne, Shepparton is a picturesque city situated on the Goulburn River. With a population of around 40,000, the SheppARTon Festival is enthusiastically supported by the community and caters for both locals and visitors.

The festival’s theme image is based on the Long-necked turtle, a symbol of the Yorta Yorta Aboriginal nation and a creature of perseverance that carries its home wherever it goes. Organisers say the image celebrates those who have come from afar and made Shepparton their home, bringing their own cultural traditions and histories with them.

Organisers say "voices will soar" at the festival, which centres around the theme, 'Emerging Voices'. Image: SheppARTon Festival Facebook

Organisers say “voices will soar” at the festival, which centres around the theme, “Emerging Voices”. Image: SheppARTon Festival

The centrepiece of the SheppARTon Festival is the Emerging Voices Community Performance (March 9). A mass multicultural choir will perform inside an enormous hillside carving of the festival’s motif, the Long-necked turtle.

This year, Shepparton is also part of the Emerge on the Goulburn Festival (March 2), a Multicultural Victoria initiative that commemorates the contributions of refugee and multicultural groups throughout the region. A key part of Emerge on the Goulburn is ‘Emerge at Twilight’ (March 2), which offers festival-goers the opportunity to taste and hear the culturally diverse flavours and sounds of Greater Shepparton.

Choral singing is one of the festival's main attactions. Image: SheppARTon Festival

Choral singing is one of the festival’s main attactions. Image: SheppARTon Festival

SheppARTon Festival Artistic Director John Head says there will be many talented artists and performers sharing their skills, knowledge and passion.

“The 2013 SheppARTon program has something for everyone, whether you want to relax in our unique environments and enjoy some top quality performances or simply get involved,” Mr Head says.

“We have workshops in singing, lantern making, filmmaking and even the ukulele.”

Other Festival highlights include:

  • Opera in the Orchard (March 11) – La Prima Opera bring romance, love, betrayal and murder to the Findon House Gardens
  • The Choir of Hope and Inspiration (March 6) – A performance under Choir of Hard Knocks founder Jonathon Welch AM
  • Emerge to the Edge (March 8) – A burlesque caberet double header at the Shepparton Showgrounds
  • The Shepparton Shorts Short Film Festival (March 10) – The best short films from the area, based on the theme “Emerging Voices”
  • The Golden Age of Colour Prints, Ukiyo-e (March 7) – Shepparton Art Museum’s first internation exhibition from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston

To learn more about the event and to view a detailed events calender visit the SheppARTon Festival website.

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