The Village Festival Newstead – June 23
Those who have experienced travelling arts festival The Village popping up in Fitzroy North’s Edinburgh Gardens in October or at Falls Festivals across the country would have a fair idea of what to expect in Newstead on June 23.

A pop-up wonderland with palpable fringe-esque vibe, the carnival comes back to the Castlemaine area every second year and brings with it a dose of performances, circus acts, dancing, theatre and installations. There’s even a pyrotechnics show that doubles as a good outdoor heater at night.

Hosted this year at the Newstead Racecourse and Recreation Reserve, the day starts at 2pm and runs until midnight. Camping overnight optional, costumes encouraged.

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The Marilyn Shot, Wal Richards

Wal Richards Wedding Photographer – June 23 to July 19
If you were married in Maryborough between 1946 and ’96, photographer Wal Richards likely arrived at your wedding on his bicycle to capture the nuptials. Never hired for the job, wedding photography was his passion and the resulting photos are considered a local legacy.

The photographic style was unorthodox, including non-posed images of brides in the car, or of new couples signing the register. These natural shots are what many modern photographers now strive to capture.

The Maryborough Midlands Historical Society houses a collection of his work, and a new exhibition at the Central Goldfields Art Gallery will showcase highlights from Richards’ half-century of practice. Catch the works in Maryborough 23 June - 29 July.

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Bendigo Symphony Orchestra – June 24
Founded in 1981 with support from the Victorian Government, the Bendigo Symphony Orchestra is made up of community members both long-time and fresh.

Headed by musical director Rohan Phillips, the orchestra will premiere a new work by renowned Bendigo based composer David Chisholm on Sunday June 24 at Heathcote RSL Hall as the start of their regional winter tour. They’ll then continue on to play Elmore Memorial Hall on July 29 and St Paul’s Cathedral in Bendigo on August 5. More information

Buda Historic Home and Garden, Brook James

Contemporary Textiles Exhibition – July 28 to August 11
Every second year the Buda Historic Home and Garden in Castlemaine hosts its Contemporary Textiles Exhibition, where embroiders and fabric artists showcase their creations.

The location of the event is a treat unto itself. The goldfields-era villa house and garden in Castlemaine remain authentically maintained, right down to the possessions of the Leviny family who owned the property for 118 years.

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Study as St Jerome for a self-portrait 2016 (charcoal on paper), Peter Grziwotz

Paul Guest Prize – June 30 to September 9
Bendigo Art Gallery attracts many international exhibits, but it’s the Paul Guest Prize that speaks to Australian artists. The contemporary art competition focuses on the medium of drawing, and was initiated by Family Court Judge-cum-Olympic rower Paul Guest who generously awards $15,000 cash to its winner.

Peter Grziwotz was the last to take home the award in 2016 with his Study as St Jerome for a self-portrait 2016 (charcoal on paper). The 2018 exhibit will feature all the finalists between June 30 and September 9.

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Letters from the Inside – July 6 & 7
Every inmate has a story. Now’s your chance to hear some. Castlemaine resident and writer Lisa D’Onofrio facilitates workshops and other writing sessions around the region including in some of its jails. Now taking her project one step further, several of her letters will be adapted into theatrical plays to be performed in June at the Old Castlemaine Gaol, Railway Cafe and Tracks Bar Gallery. If you can’t get there, the letters will also be broadcast on local FM Radio and online.

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The Theatre Royal, Linsey Rendell

Castlemaine Documentary Film Festival – July 20, 21, 22
The Theatre Royal Castlemaine is a historic 1855 movie theatre that’s weathered fire, the advent of television, life as a nightclub in the late ’80s, and more recently a second life as a live music venue and home to lovely Lola Bistro. It’s now fighting fit to host the three-day Castlemaine Documentary Film Festival.

In its fourth year the festival aims to showcase non-fiction stories from Australia and the world. Presented by festival director and award-winning filmmaker Geoffrey Smith, there will also be Q&A sessions with directors throughout.

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The Dunolly Queen’s Birthday Festival – June 9, 10, 11
Ever had the urge to be entertained like it was the gold rush era circa 1860s? The small town of Dunolly will provide the experience at the Queen’s Birthday Festival over the June long weekend.

Proceedings kick off with Dunolly’s Street Band at the courthouse, followed by a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Savoy opera The Gondoliers at the Town Hall. The line-up will also include theatre performances, exhibitions, a walking tour with the town historian and a $5 high tea.

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This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with the Regional Centre of Culture 2018.