A traditional meeting place for Aboriginal ancestors, the iconic location of Stumers Creek, Coolum Beach, will play centre stage for the Horizon festival finale on Sunday, September 11 from 5am until 6.30am.
Dawn Awakening will celebrate the beginning of a new day with stories of our First Nations Peoples and their spiritual ancestors told through music, song, dance and spoken word.
Artistic Director Angie Dunbavan said her creative vision for Dawn Awakening was driven by a desire to celebrate and share the stories and culture of the First Nations Peoples of the Sunshine Coast.
“To my absolute delight, the Dawn Awakening event has evolved into a true community celebration of First Nation culture with the local Kabi Kabi First Nation people, the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, professional musicians, performers and visual artists, the local primary school and Coolum community groups,” Ms Dunbavan said.
“Many fortuitous synergies arose through the planning of the event, including the discovery that Stumers Creek was a traditional gathering place for Aboriginal people – creating an ideal environment for the staging of such an important cultural celebration.”
Arts Portfolio councillor Rick Baberowski said whilst the 5am start might be a little early for some, there was the promise of a bush tucker breakfast on offer.
“Don’t let the early start worry you,” Cr Baberowski said.
“Come along and see the beautiful Coolum sunrise and enjoy some delicious bush tucker muffins, coffee and billy tea available for purchase before and after the performance.
“The celebration will begin with a traditional smoking ceremony and will include Kabi Kabi traditional owner Lyndon Davis sharing the story of the Coolum Dreamtime.
“There will also be dance and music performances featuring didgeridoo, the Gubbi Gubbi Dance Troupe, renowned cellist Louise King, Torres Strait Island Elder Uncle Milton Walit and musician Alister Bartholemew, Coolum State School’s Groovy Girls & the Beat Boys, CoolHearts community choir and the Sensory Circus Tribe.”
Division 9 Councillor Stephen Robinson said it was going to be a wonderful finale for the 10 day festival.
“It’s great to see the local Coolum community bringing the Dawn Awakening event together, and a credit to Angie Dunbavan who has led the way,” Cr Robinson said.
“This finale event for Horizon festival is just one of the great activities happening in Coolum over the weekend.
“The Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival and unFramed will also be held over the weekend, so whether your passion is writing, art, music or learning about our incredible indigenous heritage there will be something for everyone in Coolum this weekend.”
During Dawn Awakening, Coolum State School students will float canoes that they made during a workshop held with artist Kris Martin.
The celebration will close with a Torres Strait Islander celebration of the new dawn and a performance by the Gubbi Gubbi Dance Troupe.
Patrons are encouraged to bring a torch and a chair/beach mat.
Parking is limited, so carpooling or group walking to the site where possible is advised.
Horizon Festival is presented by Sunshine Coast Council and supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.
Major sponsors of Horizon include University of the Sunshine Coast and SunCentral, Maroochydore - The Bright City, as well as media partners Tidal Magazine, Sunshine Coast Daily, MixFM and SeaFM.