Big West Festival to retire at end of 2016

BWF15 For Heaven's Sake photo by Carla GottgensAfter a period of careful consideration, the Board of Big West Festival has unanimously decided the organisation will retire by 31 December 2016, following the completion of the current projects including Mobile Art Spaces and HOUSE.

Established in 1997, Big West Festival was created to address issues of geographic, cultural and social isolation of local residents, challenging perceptions of Melbourne’s West as culturally impoverished by highlighting its rich and diverse arts scene.

The Board are extremely proud of what Big West Festival and Melbourne’s West have achieved in the last twenty years. “The need for our contribution in the contemporary landscape has changed,” said Kirsty Ellem, Chair Big West Festival.

“We are excited that the West is evolving as an engaged, resilient and creative community, blessed with a wide range of organisations that deliver high quality, cutting-edge, multi-cultural and multi-artform programs. While we acknowledge that there are current arts funding challenges, this did not determine our decision.

“We would like to thank everyone who has helped shape Big West’s long history of supporting innovative and inclusive community-based contemporary arts and we look forward to the next vibrant chapter of arts in Melbourne’s West,” said Ellem.

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Image: For Heaven’s Sake at the 2015 Big West Festival – photo by Carla Gottgens