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Wednesday, 1 February 2017


Get set for a year-long celebration of creativity and culture with the announcement that Greater Bendigo, Mount Alexander, Central Goldfields and Hepburn Shires will host the state’s first Regional Centre for Culture program in 2018.

Announced today by Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan at an event jointly hosted with Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards, Regional Centre for Culture is a Victorian Government initiative that will support a year-long program of arts and community activities in the region that engage local people and attract tourism.

Inspired by an EU ‘Capital of Culture’ initiative, the Regional Centre for Culture program will celebrate and boost local cultural projects and events. The program will also feature specially commissioned artworks, activities and community-based projects by local artists as well as leading Victorian creative practitioners. 

The four shires that share in the Regional Centre for Culture designation represent the Traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung and local Aboriginal artists and community representatives will be highly involved planning and programming.

In addition to announcing the designation, Minister Allan announced the first major event of the program – Artlands 2018, a conference and festival which will be held across the state with a strong focus on Bendigo in September 2018. The event will be delivered by Regional Arts Victoria with the support of the Victorian Government.

Artlands is a highly anticipated national conference and five-day festival dedicated to regional arts. The biennial conference attracts hundreds of delegates from across Australia.

Regional Centre for Culture is an action of the Victorian Government’s Creative State strategy. With the designation now announced, Creative Victoria will soon open a tender calling for a creative producer to lead and deliver the 2018 Regional Centre for Culture program. For information and updates, visit

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan

“Victoria is the creative state and the Victorian Government’s Regional Centre for Culture initiative will provide a high-profile platform to showcase the strength of our local artists, creative events and venues.”

“The program will be a boost for the creative sector and for local businesses. It will be a chance for the locals of all ages to immerse themselves in creativity and for tourists to visit our region and experience it at its best.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards

“We’ve had some great success with arts and cultural events in our region in the past - including record-breaking exhibitions and renowned festivals - imagine the benefits that a year-round program will bring.”

“This region is an ideal host of the first Regional Centre for Culture and with the designation; now announced we’ve got a year to plan a program that will be a drawcard in 2018 and create a lasting legacy for our communities.”  


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