LAKE BOLAC - Migration - of people, plants and animals - is the theme of the 9th Lake Bolac Eel Festival.
The Festival kicks off this Friday with the official opening of the Art Exhibition from 6pm, to be followed by a meal and live music with the Tim Guy Trio at the Lake Bolac Hotel. The exhibition is open all weekend and this year features the work of highly regarded Koori artist Eileen Harrison. Eileen lived in Ararat and worked for a short time in Lake Bolac. She has co-authored a book on her life titled 'Black Swan'.
Also featured will be photographs taken by marine biologist Natalie Davey on her whale watching voyages, and Daniel Armstrong's multi-media installation Traces from the Littoral Edge No 2 including voices of locals interviewed about Lake Bolac. The back of the envelope drawings in the Make the Eels Migrate project will be displayed including drawings from as far afield as the Tiwi Islands
The main Festival Day is on Saturday kicking off at 11am with the Festival Forum and continuing with live music from the festival stage until midnight.
A range of other activities ensure an informative and entertaining day out for the whole family.
The migration theme is reflected in the Forum where keynote speaker Natalie Davey will speak on her recent trip following the eel migratory path to Vanuatu. Michelle Casanova will discuss the importance of healthy waterways and biodiversity corridors to enable migration of flora and fauna instigated by climate change.
The migration of regional Indigenous people as well as migration of European settlers will be addressed. The migration of people will also be looked at by film maker, author and former local resident, Robin deCrespigny who has written the highly acclaimed book 'The People Smuggler'.
From 1pm the Festival stage will host an exciting line-up of live music. Headliners, Things of Stone and Wood, will be supported by local singer-songwriter Neil Murray who will team with the legendary Jim Moginie of Midnight Oil fame. Also on the bill are Tank Dilemma, Roesy, Rhys Crimmin and the Toms, Andy Alberts and the Walkabouts, Blue Couch and Nitida.
The world premiere performance of Neil Murray's song 'Kuyang Lapakira - Plenty Eels' will be performed by Lake Bolac College students joining with the Gunditjmara Karween dancers, puppetry and story-telling, at the not to be missed Twilight Celebration. Festival goers who would like to participate in the twilight celebration should take part in Dawn Joseph's soundscape workshop during the afternoon.
Entries are also open for The Recycled Sculpture Competition which offers a $200 prize for a sculpture made of aluminium cans, and other scrap materials. The theme is 'Migration: people, plants and animals on the move'. Sculptures can be delivered to Lake Bolac Hall between 10 and 11am on Saturday.
'The migrant stones: Stone walling and Ghost muscle' invites participants to imagine yourself in the 1800s. To think about the history of the stones and the volcanic eruption over two million years ago, personalise a stone with your initials, an image or a symbol and add it to the wall.
Dancing into Lake Bolac, Deakin University's Shaun McLeod will lead a Migratory Dance Performance around several township venues. Also on the dance scene there will be a performance of traditional Punjabi Bhangra dancing, and Rozalind Drummond invites visitors to bring their favourite records to the Scots Church Hall to be played (and danced to) at the 'Festival Record Club'.
Children of all ages will find plenty to amuse them with the Woolly Creatures workshop, a circus skills workshop, kite flying and the ever popular Connies.
A selection of food stalls plus a craft and produce market complement the festival activities in this unique setting by the lake.
Tickets are available at the gate: adult $30, family $60, 13-18 $15, 12 and under free. Camping is available close to the Festival site along the foreshore. For more information contact the Lake Bolac Information and Business Centre on 5350 2204 or check out the website at www.eelfestival.org.au