Big West unveils 2009 festival program - its largest ever

The Footscray-based Big West Festival launched its largest ever program today, including the all-day Big Backyard performance and visual arts centrepiece on Saturday, 21 November.

The biannual event, co-sponsored for the first time this year by Victoria University, features local and international performers, musicians, artists and crafts practitioners.

Launching the festival at Maddern Square, just off the Nicholson Mall, Footscray MP Marsha Thomson said the festival had earned a reputation as a showcase event for the western suburbs.

“A civilised community is not a civilised community if it doesn’t have a commitment to the arts that reaches out to everybody.”

With many free events, that’s certainly the case with Big West, whose theme this year is Home Is Where the Art Is.

Highlights include:

  • Big Knit, featuring knitted items as small as baby booties and as large as the Railway Bridge over the Maribyrnong River, an installation by US textiles artist Dave Cole.
  • Tin Chef, in which western suburbs chefs cook-off against each other at the Footscray Market on 25 November.
  • Home Is Where … bringing together four local artists presenting art and sculpture displays, installations and musical performances.

Maribyrnong Mayor Cr Michael Clarke said Big West had fulfilled its commitment to be an inclusive and diverse community event.

“We want the City of Maribyrnong to be an arts city. We want to embrace our diversity and we are looking to create a social melting pot with a focus on the arts,” he said.

VU will present its own performance for the first time, a cabaret revue by staff and students on Saturday 21 November at 9.30pm at the Dog Theatre, 42a Albert St, Footscray.

Students from the University are working on festival events, organisation and planning as part of their Learning in the Workplace program.

For a full festival program visit:

African musicians Abiy and Danny play at the launch

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