Tiny Towns Art Trail – April 21, 22, 28, 29
Once heaving with miners, the tiny towns of the Central Goldfields now thrive in different ways. Over two weekends in April the Tiny Towns Art Trail is an annual celebration of the resilience and beauty of the region, with visitors invited to meet the local creative communities. Sixteen venues – including galleries, cafes, and wineries, courthouses, private homes and railway stations will throw open their doors for activities including exhibitions, workshops, performances collectibles, historic gardens, recyled fashion and more. The trail spans eight Central Victorian towns including Bealiba, Clunes, Maryborough, Adelaide Lead and Dunolly over the two weekends. Take a day or two off work and make a long weekend of this ideal invitation to discover the area’s hidden gems.
Daylesford Sunday Market – April 22
The sprawling Daylesford Market is on again in late April, featuring a large amount of local loot. Held at the Daylesford Railway Station, browsers are welcome to comb through a wide selection of vintage goods, antiques, locally made crafts and food stalls in a relaxed and friendly community-driven setting.
Big Dance, photographer Jamie James
Big Dance – April 29
The Big Dance will see dancers of all ages and abilities take part in a global participatory dance event. An Ausdance project choreographed by acclaimed artists Frances Rings and Craig Bary, guests are invited to learn the dance ahead of April 29 when it will be performed simultaneously by hundreds of dancers at one of several locations around Australia and the world, including Castlemaine. The dance will celebrate International Dance Day and include local performance groups.
Australia on Screen, Eagle Hawk
The Star Cinema is a gorgeous old movie house that dates back to the ’60s, located in the Eaglehawk Town Hall, ten minutes from central Bendigo. The cinema prides itself on bringing interesting, art house and hard-to-find movies to the region. Part of this year’s program is committed to Australian cinema with a focus on regionality and place. Australia on Screen sees movies like Muriel’s Wedding, Walkabout, Monkey Grip grace the screen, each introduced by Australian actor and cultural treasure John Flaus (The Castle, The Dish, Crackerjack). There will also be guest speakers, including directors and film experts. Australia on Screen happens on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 7pm.
The Great Trentham Spudfest – May 5
Potatoes galore. That’s the throughline of Spudfest, which on May 5 celebrates all things spud in the town of Trentham. Now in its 11th year, the festival invites guests to enjoy music, carve potatoes and enjoy local food, entertainment, and an animal petting farm. There will be spud-specific games and special local product for sale at market stalls and used in cooking demonstrations. This is no minor event – last year 6,000 people attended.
Anderson's Mill, photographer Jake Roden
National Trust Anderson’s Mill Heritage Weekend – May 12 and 13
Over two days in May, Anderson’s Mill in Smeaton will be the focus of a family-friendly weekend of activities and games. Part of the Australian Heritage Festival, the event will feature the Clunes-based circus, Asking for Trouble, running performances and workshops; a display of radio communication skills called Mills on the Air, which sees amateur radio groups from around Australia and the world linking up; a display of quilts and Victorian doll houses; and a demonstration of flour milling. There will also be food and drink options available across the weekend to sate your mill-watching.
Now You See It... – May 11, 12, 13
The town of Smeaton has a population of a little over 200. It also has Anderson’s Mill. Once used to grind flour, it will be resurrected after dark for three nights in May as an audio-visual work titled Now You See It.... A collaboration between Dja Dja Wurrung traditional owners Marilyne Nicholls and Rebecca Phillips with artists Video Architecture and James Henry, Now You See It... uses projections and synchronised music to recreate the environment in which the mill was built –with a modern touch. It’s a unique expression of heritage set in the stunning landscape of grasslands surrounded by seven volcanic hills. Only on display after dark – coat and torch recommended.
Clunes, photographer Jake Roden
Booktown – May 20
Tucked away in Hepburn Shire, north of Ballarat, lies the bookish township of Clunes. How can you tell? On the third Sunday of each month, The Warehouse in Fraser Street celebrates the written word, hosting authors to talk about their works. Martin Flanagan, Les Twentymen and Melanie Cheng have made recent notable appearances, while upcoming names include Lynne Kelly, Dennis Glover, and Bran Presser. The talks are free.
Town Hall Crawl – June 2, 16, 30
Warm your chords. Across three days in June the Regional Centre for Culture will host nine free singing concerts with a difference: you’re the performers. Professionals will be on hand to coach you through and prep you for a public group performance on Saturday June 30 at Maryborough Town Hall.
Ten town halls in total will be used to host the singing lessons, spanning Dunolly to Bullarto – you’re welcome to attend one or all.
Ghost Tour of Old Castlemaine Gaol – April 13
The Old Castlemaine Gaol has seen its fair share of unlucky spirits pass through its stone walls in its 130 year history. Do some still stalk the halls? Come find out on Friday April 13 when staff guide you through a tour laced with stories of the unlucky souls it housed.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with the Regional Centre of Culture 2018.