Festival for October long weekend

July 9, 2014

The Gwydir Shire Council would like to invite organisations and individuals to facilitate workshops in the upcoming ‘Quirky – Creative and Wellness’ festival to be held on the October long weekend.

The Quirky Creative and Wellness Festival will feature arts and crafts in the widest sense, workshops to boost the mind, body and soul; as well as talks and seminars dealing with stress, mental health and wellbeing.

The festival will kick off on Saturday 4 October leading into the long weekend and conclude on Saturday 11 October.

Quirky Creative & Wellness Festival

The focus of the festival will be to showcase and celebrate local arts and artists, and provide access to new and exciting creative experiences while raising community awareness about mental health issues.  The festival will also promote social and emotional wellbeing to the community, encouraging people to maximise their health potential, enhance the coping capacity of communities, families and individuals and increase mental health recovery.

The festival has been made possible by a partnership between Gwydir Shire Council, Schizophrenia Australia and Carers Australia, with a generous donation by Schizophrenia Australia and Careers Australia totalling just over $100,000.  The aim of the funding is to raise awareness of mental health issues, implement measures such as training for suicide prevention (particularly as the Shire faces one of the worst droughts in history), and give people in the Gwydir Shire access to referral services that can provide counselling, support and advocacy.

‘Art and mental health seemed to be an obvious fit’ said Georgia Standerwick, Gwydir Shire Council’s Economic Development Officer.  ‘Art is often used as a form of healing and expression, and being involved in a creative process can be very cathartic.  It is also about connecting with other people and sharing experiences’ said Georgia.  ‘Although the funding is specifically targeted at residents in the Gwydir shire, visitors to the area will be encouraged to participate and stay at established accommodation venues or to camp at nominated sites throughout the Council area.’ 

Connected events will include a major concert at Cranky Rock in Warialda on Saturday 4 October, exhibitions throughout the Council area, street walk exhibitions and a Gala Day on Sunday 11 October at the Ceramic Break Sculpture Park between Warialda and Bingara, where there will be artist markets, wellbeing stands and entertainment.

With a vast array of workshops on offer from millinery to whip making and Yoga to healthy eating, the festival presents a great opportunity to learn new skills, discover your inner creative genius or find inner peace with activities that appeal to all ages.  Council has joined forces with a number of community groups and stakeholders throughout the Shire to provide these workshops and would love to hear from any individuals and organisations who would like to get involved as volunteers or workshop facilitators.

If you are interested in running a workshop or being involved in the festival please contact Georgia Standerwick:

>>  Fill out online Workship Facilitator Registration Form

>>  Download Workshop Faciliator Registration Form (PDF File Size: 320Kb)