Ballarat Harmony Fest 2019 will take centre stage in Ballarat from March 15-24, featuring more than 40 community events at various locations across Ballarat.
Highlights of the festival include the popular Tastes of the World event, showcasing some of Ballarat’s best restaurants, the Holi Festival of Colours, the Rock the Block youth-led culture event and the spectacular Intercultural City Gala Dinner.
Since it was launched in 2011, Harmony Fest has become the City of Ballarat’s vibrant celebration of diversity, attracting an average of 9,000 people each year.
Harmony Fest wraps around Harmony Day, the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which is celebrated on 21 March. The day encourages Australians to come together to reflect on and celebrate the many cultures that create our great city.
With figures showing Ballarat is home to migrants from 89 different countries and almost 10 per cent of Ballarat residents were born overseas, interculturalism is now a defining feature of our community.
This year’s program features events including but not limited to:
- Ballarat Welcome Centre Twilight Market, hosted by the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council, with stalls, food, music and dance at 25-39 Barkly Street on Friday 15 March, 5-8pm
- Ballarat South Harmony Night on Friday 15 March, 5.30-7.30pm, at Ballarat South Community Hub, Tuppen Drive
- Intercultural Welcome Lunch at Sebastopol Library on Saturday 16 March, 11am-1pm
- Indian Kerala Food Fest – celebrating food from southern India, presented by the Ballarat Malayalee Association, at St Patrick’s Cathedral Hall on Saturday 16 March, 5pm-late
- Meet a Muslim – enjoy an informal one-on-one chat with Muslim sisters Ita, Ruth and Anam at Sebastopol Library Community Hub on Saturday 16 March, 11am-1pm
- Dunnstown St Patrick’s Day Irish Festival at the Dunnstown Recreation Reserve 16-17 March
- Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines Cultural Day featuring music, dance, drums and food from three nations at the Civic Hall on Sunday 17 March, 10am-2pm
- Street Soccer, hosted by The Big Issue Street Soccer program, at Morshead Park on Tuesday 19 March, 1-3pm
- Harmony Day flag-raising ceremony at the Sturt Street flag pole, opposite Town Hall, on Thursday 21 March at 9am
- Intercultural City Gala Dinner on Friday 22 March at the Mercure Convention Centre
- Holi Festival of Colours – presented by the Ballarat Indian Association, this ancient Hindu festival celebrates the beginning of spring and the triumph of good over evil, at Fairyland at Lake Wendouree, on Saturday 23 March, 11am-3pm
- Official opening of Murrup Laarr – new public artwork by Deanne Gilson, at North Gardens, Indigenous Sculpture Park, corner Zoo Drive and Wendouree Parade, on Saturday 23 March, 6-8pm
- ‘Rock the Block’ Youth Culture Event featuring four hours of continuous stage performance at Federation University, Lydiard Street campus, 3-7pm.
Download the full program of events at ballarat.vic.gov.au. Hard copies are available at the Town Hall Visitor Information Centre, The Phoenix Customer Service, 25 Armstrong Street South, the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council’s Welcome Centre, 25 Barkly Street, Bakery Hill, and all three Ballarat Libraries.