In the press – Dedicated locals build a new festival

Published on the Blue Mountains Gazette online 18 August 2022:

Dedicated Blue Mountains locals are making a little bit of money go a long way in the name of community resilience.

Bachelor of Anthropology student, Tina Marie Sheil is one Mountains resident donating thousands of hours of professional skills to develop a new community-led festival – The Festival of Resilience.

The unique festival platform includes headline and crowdsourced events celebrating the Mountains as a resilient, creative, connected community, living sustainably within a World Heritage National Park.

The festival was an idea sparked when community-led group Resilient Blue Mountains partnered with the Blue Mountains City Council to find ways for residents to get involved with building community resilience, sustainability and climate action. Council secured seed funding of $30,000 through the NSW State Government Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund.

Organisers said as a crowd-sourced festival, any group or business can add an event to the festival calendar if it falls across September or October and promotes connection, resilience, creativity or sustainability.

Ms Sheil said by creating connections we can strengthen community and become stronger and more resilient together.

“My wish is to spread joy and foster positivity – to encourage everyone to take action in order to combat the challenges of climate change,” she said.

Some of the events featured on the festival calendar include:

  • Regenerate – a community fair at Carrington Place on Sunday September 11
  • Reimagine – a community forum of talks, workshops and performances at Lawson Community Centre on September 24 and 25
  • Rejoice – a collaboration with Leura Village Fair on Sunday October 9 featuring local choirs and a mass outdoor singalong.

There are also events where people can learn the ukelele and a vintage clothing garage sale event.
Danielle Wilding-Forbes, the community engagement manager of Belong Blue Mountains said the festival spoke to the “unique and rich spirit of our Blue Mountains community, the capacity to give never ceases to amaze me”.

“The quantum of energy behind this festival is beyond measurement, community led for the community. Celebrations like this speak to local need and values and are exactly what we need right now to connect and nurture each other. “

Visit www.festivalofresilience.org to find an event or add one.

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