High Country Festival & Spring Arts 2009

The 26th annual High Country Festival comprises a diverse variety of 23 events ranging from art exhibitions, to unique and quirky community events and of course, horses. The whole Mansfield district is involved. Over 25 community groups work together to create a significant themed, high quality event.
The 12 day event features heritage initiatives art exhibitions, performance, music, bush markets, a grand parade, fireworks a Melbourne Cup picnic race meeting, food and wine events. Six local school communities are actively involved in a concert and the region’s CFA brigades take part in the moving ‘Torchlight Parade’.
The High Country Festival is an opportunity for young people to be heard, artists and musicians to showcase original work, for community groups to celebrate together and welcome friends and visitors to the area. It is a platform to educate and highlight little known and not exploited elements of High Country traditional lifestyles.

A strong component of the High Country Festival is the Spring Arts Walk. Over the past 10 years l the Arts Council of Mansfield has developed the Spring Arts Walk which gives artists an opportunity to participate in one of the NE Victoria's biggest arts events ove where cafés and other venues are transformed into gallery spaces over 11 exciting days of exhibitions and performances in the lead up and including Melbourne Cup weekend.
Everyone is welcome to come to the Opening Night walk on Friday 23 October where theatrical tour hosts will guides ‘walkers’ to the exhibitions amid street theatre, live music, great food and wine. It is a night of spontaneity and ‘side show’ performance.
This year we have introduced a new element where artists will take over a particular café in a solo, joint or group exhibition to show a full body of work.
Other exhibition categories include the Mansfield Spiritual Art Prize, Median to Rare Sculpture Exhibitions, Proactive Tax Keeping Head Above Water Sculpture Prize and the Mansfield Visual Art Prize.
If you would like to find out more or participate as an artist visit www.artsmansfield.com

Festival Background

The High Country Festival was established in 1983. It was founded on the idea of mountain cattlemen of the high country participating in a horse race inspired by the movie 'The Man from Snowy River' which was filmed in the area in 1982.
The crack riders in the movie were local horseriders from Mansfield and had a uniquely Australian style of riding developed over years of hard riding and hard living in the High Country bush and mountainous conditions.
The horses and the riders had a spirit of mateship and community. The 'Man from Snowy River' captured this feeling, and the Mansfield community wanted to continue the celebration.
In 2000 the High Country Festival combined with the Spring Arts Festival giving the High Country Festival an arts focus in addition to the traditional values of the Festival we have loved for 26 years.

The Artistic Vision

The High Country Festival strives to create an intimate regional event which engages with innovative ideas and cultural activities with 'design' being integral aspect; and which is committed to supporting Australian artists and our local community. It aims to present significant, high-quality work which local, national, and international audience members will find stimulating, provocative and entertaining.This year, all sectors of our community are collaborating creatively to highlight dearly loved as well as little known aspects of our region’s heritage and culture in an artistically exciting and tantalising way.

Our Volunteers

We wish to thank the volunteers in the community who work so hard to help shape, create, and deliver the event. Your loyalty and effort is deeply appreciated.
The High Country Spring Arts Festival invites you to join in the excitement and fun at the Festival Hub. We’ll need lots of help for various events throughout the festival’s 12 day run and we would love you to be involved.
Opportunities for volunteers may include things like providing assistance, setting up and packing up equipment, chairs, and tents and so on, ushering at events, administration work, and a myriad of other tasks involved in the organisation of the High Country Spring Arts Festival.

What will you get out of being a volunteer?

You will be a part of a great team of people.
You will meet lots of like minded people.
Your assistance will help support the development of the Arts in regional Victoria and in your local community.
Volunteers are a significant and valued part of our Festival.

If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact:
Sue Arndt - Tourism & Economic Development, Mansfield Shire Council
Phone: 03 5775 8575


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