The Bendarts Festival

The Festival Program

The 2018 BendArts Festival program is now available!

About the Festival

Established in memory of Bendigo artist Hugh Waller, as a not-for-profit organisation with the purpose of advancing a sustainable arts culture in Bendigo and Central Vic by holding an annual arts festival to promote the value of the arts to the community.

When speaking recently on how the festival came about, BendArts Festival president Jess Cola explained:

"The night before Hugh’s funeral I was reading an interview that he did with Megan Spencer, way back in 2011, just after he launched the BendArts facebook group. One of the final lines of the interview, when asked where he saw this group leading, was a quote from him that ended with the line ‘...who knows? We might even have a festival!’

That night, it honestly felt like he was reaching out through the computer and grabbing my attention - I couldn’t think of a more fitting ‘next step’ to continue to grow Hugh’s vision for a vibrant and connected local arts community.

I shared this idea with a few of Hugh’s friends and the BendArts Festival committee was loosely formed. Over the next few months we tossed around ideas and made grand plans for a way to to honour our friend and the community he worked so hard to create."

So, what do we envision for the festival? The plan is to host the inaugural BendArts Festival in October 2018. It will be a week long festival, with a program that includes events organised by the committee and events submitted by the local creative community.

Festival events, organised by the BAF committee will include:

  • An art prize.
  • A festival opening event, potentially a gala dinner style.
  • As well as showcase events and fundraisers throughout the year to build momentum for the festival.

The vision for the wider festival program, submitted and organised by the community could include:

  • Group/Solo exhibitions.
  • Performances.
  • Educational events (such as industry panels/discussions/workshops/etc).
  • Open studios.
  • Art trail/Art in the streets.

The possibilities are endless, and we can't wait to see what the local creative community comes up with!

Expressions of Interest

If you are interested in taking part of the festival please contact fill out the expression of interest form: