Local festival up for award

UNEARTH: The City of Whyalla Events Team and volunteers at this year's Whyalla uneARTh Festival.
UNEARTH: The City of Whyalla Events Team and volunteers at this year's Whyalla uneARTh Festival.

Whyalla’s ground-breaking uneARTh Festival has been awarded statewide recognition as a contender for one of South Australia’s premier arts and culture awards.

The 2017 Whyalla uneARTh Festival has been announced as finalist in this year’s Arts South Australia Ruby Awards.

The festival, held for the first time this year, is one of five events vying for the Community or Regional Impact Under $100,000 category of the prestigious awards.

It is a remarkable effort for a festival that was conceptualised from scratch and organised entirely by the City of Whyalla’s events team in co-operation with the Whyalla community and a host of volunteers.

“We are so proud of our small events team led by Community Events Officer Rebecca Neilson and congratulate them being finalists for these great South Australian awards,” Mayor Lyn Breuer said.

“This tiny team of workers pulled off one of the best events this city has ever seen from literally nothing.

“I was an amazing effort and an amazing event that attracted more than 10,000 people to Ada Ryan Gardens. The Whyalla community should be congratulated too for the success of this event.

“I don’t know who the other finalists are but they’ll have to be bloody good to beat our uneARTh Festival.”

Twenty-five finalists have been announced across six categories, including Best Work, Best Event, Arts Innovation and Enterprise, Community or Regional Impact Under $100,000, Community or Regional Impact Over $100,000, and Sustained Contribution by an Organisation or Group.

A further three awards will be announced at the event: Sustained Contribution by an Individual, the Geoff Crowhurst Memorial Award and the Premier’s Award for Lifetime Achievement.

In congratulating the City of Whyalla on reaching the finals, Arts South Australia said in a statement there had been a record number of nominations this year.

The winners of the awards will be announced at the Ruby Awards event on December 2 in Adelaide.