THE SPLASH RIVER FESTIVAL CELEBRATING FOUR YEARS
Splash! Where the waters meet, creating a community with a reverence for water.
The Splash River Festival is a community oriented celebration which celebrates our cultural connection to the water and raises awareness for the value of our waterways and its rejuvenation and preservation.
By tradition, Splash will be held on Chambers Island, Maroochydore on Saturday October 21, from 12noon until 7pm during National Water Week.
Produced by Maroochy Waterwatch the festival has become a key part of the Sunshine Coasts cultural identity, linking the historic and present role of our waterways. With less than a month to go, excitement is building as final preparations are slotting into place.
Co-ordinator of Maroochy Waterwatch Cerran Fawns said, "Splash! Is a unique event for the coast in that it bridges the gap between the arts and science in relation to water and catchment management. The event brings the community groups together to showcase their work whilst being part of the performance and water pouring ceremony."
There will be many highlights to experinece at Splash which is filled with family-oriented activities. The day begins at 12noon, view local art installations, watch chalk board performances, find out information from environmental groups and participate in workshops all afternoon.
Kids love to make black bean boats to float down the river in a small afternoon regatta and make fish kites to fly in the parade and there is a host of other things to keep them happy, laughing and smiling.
Steve Langton and Tribal Wave will show you how to make percussion instruments so you can join the parade. For those interested in the traditional people of our region and the river's history, the Gubbi Gubbi will be sharing their stories, dance and artefacts from open air workshops. The Gubbi Gubbi are
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the ancestors of these rivers and an integral part of the Splash River Festival. The rivers are solidly integrated into their culture. The Gubbi Gubbi will also perform Welcome to country, a traditional indigenous opening followed by Terrane's Swan Song.
Splash is brought to life by an artistic team and a variety of community groups. Majella Jacobson is the music co-ordinator and musicians taking part have had the opportunity to be involved at the decision making level as well as being performers and artists. "We have been involved in general workshops, learning new song material, dance moves and chants. As things have begun to take shape, we have been able to determine who is doing what and when, keeping in mind that if you can talk, you can sing, if you can walk, you can dance and if you can clap, you can drum and most importantly, to have fun along the way. There has been a high level of enthusiasm leading up to the festival, and allot of group support. Everyone who is involved in the music part of the project has had the opportunity to offer their input for the final exciting performance."
At 4.45pm The Parade of the Waterways will commence across the footbridge to Chambers Island. Surf Lifesavers carry a ceremonial pot, created by disabled students and community members carry water from their local waterway along with the musicians, dancers and long rivers cloth, to be carried like Chinese Dragons.
The parade leads into the Pouring of the Waters Ceremony where the ceremonial pot is placed. Here each water carrier pours their water into the common pot, declaiming the name of the water place from which the water came. This ceremony has become the heart of Splash!; an evocative, poignant ritual that seems to encapsulate some of our feelings about our waterways. The ceremony will happen before dusk as part of the festival performance.
Sweet Chill Choir a local vocal group who make great harmonies together feature through out the event along with well known performers Tommy Lenard and Noel Gardener.
Dance and rhythm will be presented by Amethyst Dance Studios, Hinterland Creative Dancers and Tribal Wave, whose dance performance titled 'Lova don't Stir the Water' will feature dancer Dominique Azoulay.
The new highlight of the festival is Float, supported by Festivals Australia, Swan Boat Hire and Maroochy Surf Life Saving Club. Float connects with water vessels and the people whose cultural identity and leisure involves our waterways. Float includes the arrival of traditional canoe people the Gubbi Gubbi, and an evening spectacular of large glowing creatures floating into shore to the sounds of the Mulu - Kiai. Visual artist Tamar Kirby has worked with Green Corps and community to create the characters which are made out of cane and tissue paper and illuminated with fairy lights, the creatures are designed especially to sit on top of canoes from Swan Boat Hire.
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Malu-Kiai Mura Buai Torres Strait Islander Dance Group will close the festival. The word Malu-Kiai, is the traditional name given to the people of Boigu Island in the top western part of the Torres Strait. The songs and dances performed by the dance group are based upon everyday lifestyle of Torres Strait Islanders and customary dancers that have been past on from generation to generation.
Be sure to catch the Sunshine Coasts own river festival for National Water Week. For more information contact Maroochy Waterwatch on Ph: 5476 4777